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Old 12-14-2010, 06:52 PM   #1
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What to do about whole house humidification


I bought a house last year that has forced air gas heat along with a whole house humidifier (1990 Drumatic 45SH 16gal/day). I did not run the humidifier last winter any but my house is already so dry my nose and sinuses are taking a beating. Lifing the cover on the drumatic I can see a lot of mineral deposits. I really don't know the first thing about these units but I've heard they are nice to have. Is it worth messing with the 20 year old unit or should I look into buying a more modern brand. I'd like to get this one operable but it will take some cleaning and probably some replacement parts. THis unit has a humidistat and copper frech water supply line. How would I go about cleaning this unit and getting it operable again?

If this unit needs replaced can anyone recommend a good replacement system? Preferably something that would fit the same opening that the drumatic uses.

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Old 12-14-2010, 07:34 PM   #2
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What to do about whole house humidification


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Originally Posted by speedster1 View Post
I bought a house last year that has forced air gas heat along with a whole house humidifier (1990 Drumatic 45SH 16gal/day). I did not run the humidifier last winter any but my house is already so dry my nose and sinuses are taking a beating. Lifing the cover on the drumatic I can see a lot of mineral deposits. I really don't know the first thing about these units but I've heard they are nice to have. Is it worth messing with the 20 year old unit or should I look into buying a more modern brand. I'd like to get this one operable but it will take some cleaning and probably some replacement parts. THis unit has a humidistat and copper frech water supply line. How would I go about cleaning this unit and getting it operable again?

If this unit needs replaced can anyone recommend a good replacement system? Preferably something that would fit the same opening that the drumatic uses.
Don't waste your time or money on the old one. It can make you sick if not maintained properly---but that is another story.

Get a by-pass/drain type humidifier that does not hold water in a pan.

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Old 12-14-2010, 07:35 PM   #3
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What to do about whole house humidification


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Originally Posted by speedster1
I bought a house last year that has forced air gas heat along with a whole house humidifier (1990 Drumatic 45SH 16gal/day). I did not run the humidifier last winter any but my house is already so dry my nose and sinuses are taking a beating. Lifing the cover on the drumatic I can see a lot of mineral deposits. I really don't know the first thing about these units but I've heard they are nice to have. Is it worth messing with the 20 year old unit or should I look into buying a more modern brand. I'd like to get this one operable but it will take some cleaning and probably some replacement parts. THis unit has a humidistat and copper frech water supply line. How would I go about cleaning this unit and getting it operable again?

If this unit needs replaced can anyone recommend a good replacement system? Preferably something that would fit the same opening that the drumatic uses.
I'm a fan of steam humidifiers I use Honeywell true steam with red link and a prestige t stat works great
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:36 PM   #4
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What to do about whole house humidification


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I'm a fan of steam humidifiers I use Honeywell true steam with red link and a prestige t stat works great
It's self cleaning
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:38 PM   #5
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What to do about whole house humidification


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It's self cleaning
And uses less water then most or all by pass type humid
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Old 12-15-2010, 12:47 PM   #6
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What to do about whole house humidification


AS nice as the steam systems look they don't fit my budget right now. I was thinking more in line with a bypass drain style system.

I read some reviews online and there didn't seem to be a clear choice as to which is best in the $150 range. So now I'm thinking about maybe an Aprilaire 500 or a Honeywell HE225. How much maintainance do these systems require?
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Old 12-15-2010, 03:35 PM   #7
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What to do about whole house humidification


Most humidifiers are are all the same because the technology used to make them to make them is routine.

Either of the choices you posted are good. Aprilaire has very good online support.
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Old 12-16-2010, 08:07 AM   #8
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What to do about whole house humidification


I was looking at the installation manual for the Aprilaire model 500 and it led me to believe it was better to mount the humidifier on the hot air box with the bypass connected to the cold intake. Thats kind of the opposite of how my current skuttle works. Not really crazy about this is it would require me to do a fair amount of ductwork replacement.
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Old 12-16-2010, 05:39 PM   #9
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What to do about whole house humidification


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I was looking at the installation manual for the Aprilaire model 500 and it led me to believe it was better to mount the humidifier on the hot air box with the bypass connected to the cold intake. Thats kind of the opposite of how my current skuttle works. Not really crazy about this is it would require me to do a fair amount of ductwork replacement.
Most tech avoid mounting humids. on the supply air to protect the components inside from water damage if the the humid. overflows.

You don't lose anything by using a cold air mount.
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Old 12-17-2010, 09:41 AM   #10
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What to do about whole house humidification


Speedster My Aprilaire is eighteen years old and quit working two years ago. I noticed the same problems as you with low humidity in the house. I suspect the drumatic is similar to the aprilaire. Pull the unit apart and check to see if it is getting water through the valve when the furnace is heating. If not is the valve clicking open when the furnace is heating. You might need to check to see if voltage is getting to the valve if not clicking (mine had voltage and was clicking but was corroded inside and stopped up so I replaced it). Is water getting to the valve from the tap at the cold water line. If getting water remove the brush and put it in the dishwasher. Clean the inside of the unit and check the damper on the incoming air line (is it closed). Repost and let us know how it went.
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Old 12-17-2010, 01:02 PM   #11
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What to do about whole house humidification


I sent an email to Aprilaire to clarify and this is what I got back
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Thank you for contacting us. The Model 500 can be ducted on either side with no difference in the performance. Also the 500 could use the same 6" bypass you already have. The only retro fitting that may occur is the plenum or duct opening. Also, the 500 can operate with cold water, however hot water is preferred to obtain the optimum relative humidity level. Please contact our Customer Service Department with further questions or a local heating and cooling contractor in your area for an estimated cost.
So I'd probably be okay. Only concern now is making sure my ducting is wide enough to fit the Aprilaire which has a larger footprint than the Skuttle unit. I'll measure tonight.

Superrick- I'm pretty sure I've given up on the idea of resurrecting the drumatic. It just looks too far gone to me and would need most of the parts replaced which would cost more than a new unit. I can get the 500 for about $135 and the 600 for about $155.
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Old 12-17-2010, 04:39 PM   #12
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What to do about whole house humidification


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I sent an email to Aprilaire to clarify and this is what I got back


So I'd probably be okay. Only concern now is making sure my ducting is wide enough to fit the Aprilaire which has a larger footprint than the Skuttle unit. I'll measure tonight.

Superrick- I'm pretty sure I've given up on the idea of resurrecting the drumatic. It just looks too far gone to me and would need most of the parts replaced which would cost more than a new unit. I can get the 500 for about $135 and the 600 for about $155.
good choice.

Some practical advice: as long as the opening of the humid can fit into the return duct its ok if the sides over hang the duct,

I have mounted Skuttle and Aprilaire with 90* sheet metal pieces no problem.

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