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OldCountry 12-13-2009 11:32 AM

Honeywell TrueSTEAM Installation
2 Attachment(s)
I've decided to install a 12-gal TrueSTEAM in my 2100 sf house. I don't really have room in my water heater closet to properly install it as a remote, and I already have a nice drip pan under my attic furnace, so I've decided to install directly on the plenum.

Water and drainage are not problems, and I've already installed a Prestige HD thermostat to wirelessly control the TrueSTEAM. I just want to make sure I'm on the right track as far as my installation location.

I'm attaching a couple of (grainy) pictures of my furnace. As you can tell (hopefully), there is a short, probably 24" box that is the same color as the furnace itself, then a larger sheet-metal plenum from which all the supply ducts originate.

Where would be the best place for the TrueSTEAM? I may be over-thinking this, but I first thought the first section nearest the furnace would be perfect, but I'm wondering if that is the fan itself. Obviously I know next to nothing about the configuration of the furnace, and when I checked with my dealer about a humidifier a few months ago he said he couldn't install one without raising the furnace with a new plenum underneath. That just confused me. But after a lot of research I assume his would have been installed on the return side, and my returns go straight to the furnace; no plenum. I understand that's not an ideal situation, but that was beyond my control. That's the way they build the houses in this addition.

Any help would be appreciated. I want to try to get the humidifier installed pretty soon. I can already feel the effects of the dry heat and winters barely begun in Oklahoma City.

Thanks in advance!

beenthere 12-13-2009 12:31 PM

Not approved for installation in an unheated attic. Worse place you can install a water device. If you have a power failure, it will freeze and burst the tank. Causing lots of water damage.

This can also happen on cold days/nights between its run cycles.

Best to mount it in any closet in the occupied/conditioned space near the furnace.

OldCountry 12-13-2009 12:38 PM

:eek: Wow, I didn't really think about that. And I should have! What are your thoughts in regards to the water-heater closet?

It's in the garage with three walls surrounded by conditioned space, but the door is in the unheated garage. I suppose I could put a freeze sensor in there and perhaps even a small heater of some kind.

Right now I don't have room for the TrueSTEAM, but I intend to replace my tank with a Takagi tankless and I might just do it at the same time. Would it be okay to install the TrueSTEAM there as well?

And thanks for the warning!

yuri 12-13-2009 12:39 PM

AND you need LOTS of airflow to use a 12 gallon steamer and large unobstructed ductwork. Very critical where the nozzle is installed otherwise the steam will hit the ductwork condense and run back into the furnace as water and blow some electric parts up. Your setup looks bad. I have installed quite a few of them.

OldCountry 12-13-2009 12:39 PM

By the way...
On another note, assuming I find a place for the TrueSTEAM, where on the furnace would I cut the hole for the steam tube?

yuri 12-13-2009 12:44 PM

Read my post above yours. I doubt if you will get good airflow for the steam with yoursetup. Read the install manual here for more info:
Download it at bottom of page

OldCountry 12-13-2009 12:52 PM

Yuri, I've read the manual and watched the available videos, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to rely on your expertise. What would have to change about my setup to make it work?

yuri 12-13-2009 01:15 PM

The ONLY ductwork I install those in is old school large horizontal ductwork at least 8-10" high with lots of airflow or a large bonnet with no A/C coil close to the nozzle. Steam loves to condense easily and run back as water. I am not a big fan of them as they are quite finicky and job specific to make work. You have too many branches off the bonnet and dead airflow spaces to get a good current of airflow to carry the steam from my experience. Sorry.:(

Not sure what you can use for an attic install.

OldCountry 12-13-2009 02:30 PM

Man, I'm glad I found you. I thought I'd done enough research that I was OK. But it's partly the fault of my HVAC company.

I first contacted one of the leading companies here in OKC and the salesman was unfortunately not all that competent. But he brought someone out to look at the situation (I was at work) and that person apparently agreed with you, that with the return going straight to the furnace and not much plenum, it would cost a fortune to rework the system for any kind of whole-house humidifier.

Since they weren't Lennox dealers, I decided to get one more opinion. So I called the company that installed the system in the house. It's only a year old so I was able to get the same people who actually installed it. They said a steam humidifier (although they didn't mention Honeywell by name) was the way to go and quoted me $1,600.00 if I furnished the new AC circuit.

I decided to investigate a little further and realized that I could buy the Honeywell and even with the cost of a plumber to run a water line, I could do it for a whole lot less.

But it sounds like there is no whole-house solution in my case. I suppose that what they were going to do would suffer the same problems you mentioned in your posts. Perhaps they just didn't think it through, or didn't care. Who knows.

Now I suppose the question is, how do I humidify my home in the winter without manually carrying pitchers of water to a stand-alone unit?

Any suggestions from anyone would be greatly appreciated.

And thanks again Yuri. It seems you may have saved me from some big problems.

Marty S. 12-13-2009 02:44 PM

Yuri, how about a 90 and 10' of insulated horizontal duct instead of that mess? Humidifer would mount in the conditioned space below and remote mounting tube placed 2' past the 90. Would need to hook flex back up to the trunk line but I wouldn't think that small amout of duct could cost too much.

yuri 12-13-2009 02:54 PM

Marty has a good idea.
ALL/LOTS of the air needs to pass the steam nozzle and yes if a competent interested professional sheetmetal guy made the ductwork it is a possibility. Now where do you find one of those? MOST techs have never seen or installed one of them and don't have the real world experience to know how to and the positioning etc. HUGE learning curve. So many problems that Honeywell has to provide special training packages (on their website) as things are not going so well for them. Tricky to wire etc. I have a controls background and love zoning systems and complex wiring jobs.

OldCountry 12-13-2009 03:00 PM

:lol: Good one Marty! It probably is a mess! I'm near retirement and my wife and I downsized last year and bought primarily for the location. I contracted my last house myself and spent 18 months getting everything as right as I could. I knew I was too old for that now so I tried to overlook as much as possible.

Any possibility of a return-side unit of some kind?

And I don't mind spending a little money on new duct work to make something work. The dry heat is a killer.

OldCountry 12-13-2009 03:03 PM

Yuri, the wiring shouldn't be a problem if I stick with TrueSTEAM. I was worried about that myself and that's why I went with the Prestige HD thermostat. It supports RedLINK and so do the new TrueSTEAMS (with an accessory) so that's how I planned to wire it. The Prestige is already installed and range is certainly not a problem.

I know a really good HVAC guy, the one who did my last house. He's not cheap, but if there is a ducting job that would support the TrueSTEAM it sure would make my life easier.

OldCountry 12-13-2009 03:05 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Here' a little better picture of my setup. I really, really appreciate you guys.

yuri 12-13-2009 03:15 PM

Return side not possible as the humidity will affect the motor. If you and your sheetmetal guy sit down and carefully read the install manual (download it) and carefully learn the clearance from the tip of the nozzle to the ductwork etc you should be able to make it work. What is the complete model number of the furnace? I can probably determine if the fan is big enough for that size, you may need to go smaller.

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