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Old 12-05-2011, 10:29 AM   #31
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Awesome!

What was step #2?

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Old 12-05-2011, 02:28 PM   #32
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Apparently, I should not have requested expedited shipping if I wanted to follow Joe Dirt instead of leading....

I'm still hoping to hear back from anyone regarding my post #27 about the mystery air duct. Any thoughts? I am still at a loss regarding its purpose. It seems somewhat self-defeating for me to bypass and discharge the newly humidified air into the supply plenum and for that newly humidified air to just go through the mystery duct and back into the return without going out into the house. I know that would only be a small portion of the air, but still, it just doesn't seem to make sense to me.

By removing the mystery duct, I can reuse those openings for the new install, and the humidifier equipment will actually be in a more convenient location for servicing, etc., so that would be a win-win. Of course, if the mystery duct is serving a real purpose, then I will leave it be.

Thanks.
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Old 12-05-2011, 04:26 PM   #33
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Awesome!

What was step #2?
what happen there was i had to delete 2 pictures.....only allows 10 photos in one post so i had to delete a couple pictures.......then for some strange reason it still dident post the pictures.....step 2 just showed the mark on the duct were the humidifier was going to go.
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Old 12-05-2011, 04:28 PM   #34
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I've been following Joe Dirt's thread because he asked the same question I was going to right before I did, and everyone's responses have been great. I went with the Aprilaire 600 also, but during the install, I noticed something I thought was odd. There is already an 8" duct connecting my supply plenum to the return plenum with a damper in it (on the supply side) about 3/4 closed. While I'm no HVAC expert, I don't ever recall seeing a return and supply connected like that, except in the case of a bypass humidifier.

My current system did have a Herrmidifier 707 installed, but by the looks of it, that thing has not worked in years. Although, I did find it odd that it was installed on the return plenum, and the discharge is almost directly across from the above-referenced duct (my recollection is that most of those were installed on the supply side). Is it possible that someone was effectively trying to create a bypass system before such a thing really existed? Of course, that does not make a lot of sense to me as I assume the mist would be heavy and being discharged into the cold air return would not readily "bypass" the furnace and go through the mystery duct and into the supply plenum, but maybe there are some physics that would make it work.

Regardless, unless someone tells me there is a real reason for that mystery connection between the return and supply to be there, I am going to either use the old cutouts for the new Aprilaire with a 6" reducer on the supply plenum and mounting the evaporator portion on the return side by overlaying the template on top of the existing 8" hole).

If there is a good reason for it to be there please let me know, and I will just leave it alone and install the unit and connect on the plenums opposite of the mystery duct is. If that duct does have a purpose and should be left alone, any thoughts on why the damper (which is not adjustable from the outside any longer because it was sealed in place with mastic by PO) is set 3/4 open, and is that right, or should I reach through and open or close it further while I have the hole open on the other side?

I hope that made some sense, and I hope Joe Dirt's running into fewer mysteries than I am while doing this today. Apologies in advance if this is one of those really obvious things everyone should know.

Thanks!
The only thing that i can think of is that you have a zone system and thats a dump zone.......
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Old 12-06-2011, 05:56 AM   #35
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Would there ever be a reason for a dump zone without other zone dampers? There is no automatic or manual way to control airflow to different rooms or zones except at the registers in the individual rooms and none of those are fully restricted at any time. I thought you only used dump zones to relieve pressure when some zones are restricted. While I would like true zone control, we don't have that. Is it possible for the system to be too big and even when all vents are opened there is too much pressure and thus the need for this constant dump? That doesn't make sense to me but maybe that is the case. If you installed a system and then checked pressure and temps maybe there would be a reason to have this constant dump. I will have someone that knows more than me look into that because I don't have the equipment to check internal pressure and temps. In the meantime, I will leave it be and just install the humidifier on the other side. If it's determined the system does not need the dump zone, the I can always have that closed further down the road. Thanks for the input.
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Old 12-06-2011, 04:25 PM   #36
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I made a couple of calls and looked at a few more things online regarding the mystery bypass duct. The consensus was (based on the fact we did not have zones) that it was installed to either resolve an issue with the coils freezing up or to alleviate some kind of noise that the system created when the pressure was too high. Most people thought it was probably the former because we have a 2-story house with a significant temperature differential between the 2 floors. The best guess is the former owners tried to solve the temperature problem by shutting all the vents on one floor, but that created the pressure build-up, which was resolved with the bypass. In all likelihood, the manual damper was forgotten about, and since the system worked a little better and was not freezing up, no one bothered to adjust it seasonally. We resolved most of that temperature disparity already with some insulation and windows, so I am not sure the bypass is even needed anymore.

At this juncture, I think I will just leave the mystery bypass in place and close the damper, open the room vents and see what happens. If it seems like we are having a pressure issue going forward, then I will install a barometric damper in-line. Other than waiting for the coils to freeze up when the AC is coming back on or listening for strange noises, is there any other way to easily determine whether there is too much pressure being built up with the bypass damper closed?

Now, back to humidifiers, which is really where I have wanted to be the last couple of days--my humidifier bypass will discharge into the supply plenum directly across from the mystery duct opening. Will having the discharge opening directly across from the mystery duct's closed damper cause me any issues? If I end up having to install a pressure damper, then will the humidifier bypass have enough pressure coming from it to artificially influence the pressure damper if it's mounted directly across from it. If so, could I move the pressure damper somewhere in the middle of the mystery duct to resolve any issues?

Thanks in advance for the thoughts, and apologies for getting a little off-track on a humidifier thread. Hopefully it will be back to humidifier install tonight with everything wrapped up by the end of the week.
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Old 12-06-2011, 04:46 PM   #37
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I made a couple of calls and looked at a few more things online regarding the mystery bypass duct. The consensus was (based on the fact we did not have zones) that it was installed to either resolve an issue with the coils freezing up or to alleviate some kind of noise that the system created when the pressure was too high. Most people thought it was probably the former because we have a 2-story house with a significant temperature differential between the 2 floors. The best guess is the former owners tried to solve the temperature problem by shutting all the vents on one floor, but that created the pressure build-up, which was resolved with the bypass. In all likelihood, the manual damper was forgotten about, and since the system worked a little better and was not freezing up, no one bothered to adjust it seasonally. We resolved most of that temperature disparity already with some insulation and windows, so I am not sure the bypass is even needed anymore.

At this juncture, I think I will just leave the mystery bypass in place and close the damper, open the room vents and see what happens. If it seems like we are having a pressure issue going forward, then I will install a barometric damper in-line. Other than waiting for the coils to freeze up when the AC is coming back on or listening for strange noises, is there any other way to easily determine whether there is too much pressure being built up with the bypass damper closed?

Now, back to humidifiers, which is really where I have wanted to be the last couple of days--my humidifier bypass will discharge into the supply plenum directly across from the mystery duct opening. Will having the discharge opening directly across from the mystery duct's closed damper cause me any issues? If I end up having to install a pressure damper, then will the humidifier bypass have enough pressure coming from it to artificially influence the pressure damper if it's mounted directly across from it. If so, could I move the pressure damper somewhere in the middle of the mystery duct to resolve any issues?

Thanks in advance for the thoughts, and apologies for getting a little off-track on a humidifier thread. Hopefully it will be back to humidifier install tonight with everything wrapped up by the end of the week.
can you mount the humidifier on the return instead of the supply......they work much better on the return.
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Old 12-06-2011, 08:40 PM   #38
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This is awesome- I got the filters in the mail today, but still need the humidifier. That should be here tomorrow. In the meantime, any possible question I think I might have is still being answered... Keep it up!
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:17 PM   #39
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The humidifier will be mounted on the return. I had the air flowing the wrong way in my head when I asked the last question. If anything, the humidifier bypass will lower the pressure on the supply side and not increase it. I had to be looking at it to realize my mistake.

Thinking out loud here--if I close the damper on the existing bypass deduct and find out the pressure is ok in winter when humidifier bypass is open but pressure is high in summer when humidifier bypass is closed, couldn't I just open the humidifier bypass but turn-off the water and power to the humidifier and see if that solves the pressure problem? Keep in mind that the damper on the existing bypass can only be opened and closed from inside supply plenum because previous owner sealed the controls with mastic and I don't want to try to free them up. So, by using humidifier bypass to dump extra pressure instead, I don't have to get back to the inside of the supply plenum to adjust the other damper from the inside. Is there any reason from a wear and tear standpoint on the humidifier not to try that first and see if it solves any pressure issue? It doesn't seem like it would cause any problem to have air flowing through with the humidifier and water off (and maybe remove water evaporator tray to further increase air flow). While the humidifier bypass is only 6" and the current bypass is 8" or 10", the current bypass damper is currently 3/4ths closed so a wide-open 6" seems like it would be close to the current amount being dumped by the larger existing duct.

Based on that same logic, it would seem that I could actually remove the existing bypass and just put the humidifier and 6" bypass in its place, which means less holes to cut, and I assume I can get a reducer to take the existing 10" hole and reduce that to the 6" for the humidifier on the supply side and the the 10" hole on the return is smaller than the humidifier opening, so I would just overlay the template on that on cut out the remainder for the humidifier to fit. Can you adjust the humidifier damper with any precision, or is it simply opened or closed?

Just trying to figure out the best way to make lemonade here and hopefully end up with a more efficient system overall.
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Old 12-07-2011, 06:29 AM   #40
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The humidifier will be mounted on the return. I had the air flowing the wrong way in my head when I asked the last question. If anything, the humidifier bypass will lower the pressure on the supply side and not increase it. I had to be looking at it to realize my mistake.

Thinking out loud here--if I close the damper on the existing bypass deduct and find out the pressure is ok in winter when humidifier bypass is open but pressure is high in summer when humidifier bypass is closed, couldn't I just open the humidifier bypass but turn-off the water and power to the humidifier and see if that solves the pressure problem? Keep in mind that the damper on the existing bypass can only be opened and closed from inside supply plenum because previous owner sealed the controls with mastic and I don't want to try to free them up. So, by using humidifier bypass to dump extra pressure instead, I don't have to get back to the inside of the supply plenum to adjust the other damper from the inside. Is there any reason from a wear and tear standpoint on the humidifier not to try that first and see if it solves any pressure issue? It doesn't seem like it would cause any problem to have air flowing through with the humidifier and water off (and maybe remove water evaporator tray to further increase air flow). While the humidifier bypass is only 6" and the current bypass is 8" or 10", the current bypass damper is currently 3/4ths closed so a wide-open 6" seems like it would be close to the current amount being dumped by the larger existing duct.

Based on that same logic, it would seem that I could actually remove the existing bypass and just put the humidifier and 6" bypass in its place, which means less holes to cut, and I assume I can get a reducer to take the existing 10" hole and reduce that to the 6" for the humidifier on the supply side and the the 10" hole on the return is smaller than the humidifier opening, so I would just overlay the template on that on cut out the remainder for the humidifier to fit. Can you adjust the humidifier damper with any precision, or is it simply opened or closed?

Just trying to figure out the best way to make lemonade here and hopefully end up with a more efficient system overall.
basicly yes to both questions.....
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:32 AM   #41
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It's here! I'm almost in the game... :D
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Old 12-07-2011, 11:51 AM   #42
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Thanks, harleyrider. I think I will remove the existing bypass and put the humidifier and new bypass in its place and then adjust accordingly when it's time to turn-off the humidifier in the Spring. Do you recommend that I remove the water evaporator when I shut-down the water and power to the humidifier controls if the bypass is left open during the summer to relieve the pressure? Thanks again for all your input.

Good luck with everything, Joe Dirt. I went ahead and installed the humidity sensor control last night, since the issue with the bypass did not have any impact on where it was getting mounted. I did a rough external wiring job and hooked up the water and power, and then sat the humidifier level on a bucket to make sure everything worked. It all seemed to pass muster and appeared operational at least the water was flowing, but no airflow because it was not hooked up to anything with pressure. So, it's just a matter of running the permanent wires and actually installing the humidifier and bypass in their final locations. The only thing I did not test was having the humidifier come on with the blower motor. At this point based on what I have read, I am only planning to have it come on when the furnace itself is on, but if that is not keeping the humidity levels up and constant, then I will decide on whether or not to have it pump in moisture during the recirculation (blower only) cycles. Of course, it was all a little more complicated because it has been raining the last few days and the return air is fairly humid. I had to increase the desired humidity level significantly to get it to actually call for the water, but it finally came on. Hopefully I can get the rest of it knocked out tonight and cross one more thing off my "to do" list.
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Old 12-07-2011, 01:14 PM   #43
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Thanks, harleyrider. I think I will remove the existing bypass and put the humidifier and new bypass in its place and then adjust accordingly when it's time to turn-off the humidifier in the Spring. Do you recommend that I remove the water evaporator when I shut-down the water and power to the humidifier controls if the bypass is left open during the summer to relieve the pressure? Thanks again for all your input.
Only if its necessary then i would remove it.....other wise change it every fall
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Old 12-09-2011, 11:39 AM   #44
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I'm not intending to hijack this thread but I have a quick question. What do you like to use on the humidifer water line where there is a chance of cold temps along the path of the water line? The humidifier itself is safe, as it gets heated from the bypass air from the furnace, but where the water line goes it could be a lot colder at times. I know it's a small chance, but I'd like to be sure it can never freeze.
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Old 12-09-2011, 03:16 PM   #45
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I'm not intending to hijack this thread but I have a quick question. What do you like to use on the humidifer water line where there is a chance of cold temps along the path of the water line? The humidifier itself is safe, as it gets heated from the bypass air from the furnace, but where the water line goes it could be a lot colder at times. I know it's a small chance, but I'd like to be sure it can never freeze.
Thats a good question......never had that situation pop up......I guess heat tape like they use and mobile home water lines......

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