humidifier furnace problem

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Old 01-19-04, 03:38 PM
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humidifier furnace problem

Furnace is Rheem Criterion II 3 yrs old.
Always have used 3M allergen filters.
Recently purchased (x-mas) new humidifier and (evenmist thermomist seen here http://www.fieldcontrols.com/thermo.shtml)

Humidifier has been leaving a fine white dust on hardwood floors. Today is below zero and I noticed my furnace fan wouldn't shut off and the furnace seemed to be cycling abnormal. I checked a few posts here and checked the filter. The filter is pretty much clogged with this whiteish powder. I am now waiting to see if it will cycle normally without filter (humidifier is off).
On the humidifier website it mentions this problem as minerals in the water and only cure is reverse osmosis (come on).
Should I return this humifier and get a "typical" one? or:
Do I have to change my $15 filter every three weeks (how old this one is)?
I have never had this problem before humidifer and changed filter every 2-3 months.
Any help would be appreciated.
 
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Old 01-19-04, 04:12 PM
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When you use a humidifier that does not evaporate water, every component of the water is sprayed into the air. One component of your water is obviously minerals. Probably calcium. On an evaporative humidifier, that would be left behund as scale on the pad and pan. In your case, it will be disbursed into the airstream. I would not use it if I were you. Possibly you can find a way to use demineralized water. A water softener would remove the minerals. Are you on a public water supply or do you have your own well?

Is this what you meant? The clearwave?

http://www.fieldcontrols.com/ClearwaveHome2.html
 
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Old 01-19-04, 04:17 PM
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dtro :

RO water for a humidifier???

Are you on a well or municipal system and do you know the hardness of the water?
Where are you located?

That is the last type of humidifier I would use because of the problems you are having.

I personally like drum types in that they are inexpensive and very easy for a novice to maintain.
 
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Old 01-19-04, 04:53 PM
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RO water???? What is RO?

I have city water and valve is located upstream of softener per instruction manual. Apparently softened water will clog the nozzle prematurely. ( I would think the opposite).
I think the hardness is 18,000 ggm.
At least the furnace is now working! New filter.

I guess I could put an inline filter before the valve. (great another filter to remember).

So the concensus is I shouldn't have used this?
It was just so darn easy to install, and actually works well. Basically it is temp activated. There is a sensor in the plenum and when it hits a high enough temp to evaporate the water it kicks on and starts misting until the temp is too low to evaporate.
 
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Old 01-19-04, 05:26 PM
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I would definitely use softened water for the humidifier. It may solve the whole problem. There is no reason I can think of why softened water would clog a nozzle in the humidifier.
 
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Old 01-19-04, 05:30 PM
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yeah, I'll talk to customer service tomorrow about doing that.
Thanks
 
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Old 01-19-04, 06:01 PM
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Sorry about that!

RO is the abreviation for reverse osmosis.

This type of humidifier needs a filter to prevent the fine nozzle from plugging with sediment in the supply water, it will not help with the problem you are experiencing.

The nozzle in your humidifier is like an oil burner nozzle.
 
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Old 01-19-04, 06:17 PM
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calcium carbonate

this falls out of suspention when heated or chilled...(ie ice machines) along with iron... this is the hardnessyou spoke of. If you have a softener, definitately use the softened water and always have an inline filter to protect the nozzle, just like an oil furnace does, Some have 3 filters, a string one, a nylon one and a bronze one. Use a cheap inline icemaker filter. Or go get the drum style, these arn't with problems though either but not the one your experiencing.
 
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Old 01-19-04, 06:21 PM
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Good God how'd I miss that one RO??
DOH

Anyways, Greg (or anyone else)

If you were in my position what would you do (having purchased and installed already).

I guess my options are:
1, Buy new flowthrough or bypass humidifier.
2. Inline filter
3. Replumb downstream of softener.
4.Do nothing and replace furnace filter more often.

Thanks
 
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Old 01-19-04, 06:34 PM
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hvac, we must've posted the same time.
I actually thought of the ice filter thing when I was at the hardware store gettin the new furnace filter.
I might just do that. Pretty easy fix.


Getting off topic here, but what about opinions on the 3M allergen filters.
 
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Old 01-19-04, 06:57 PM
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filters

they are a good filter but not much better than the three pack at HD for about 3.50 ea
All your doing is moving the saddle tap to the downstream side and putting in an ice machine filter till it completely cloggs. This is the cost of a filter and some time and a little home pluming...whats the big deal??? you probly still have 1/4" tubing left over from the job anyway...
If you decide to get the drum style, you have to shut it down and replace the sponge each season. On the install you'll have to wire it up, and cut it into the ductwork and plumb it too.
 
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Old 01-19-04, 07:55 PM
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I would take the unit back that you just got and get the basic by-pass unit..

Home Depot has the Honey-Well humdifire and a kit for it.

I've always used the 3-M filter, and now been using the Red Framed Filter from Home Depot since they are a few dollars cheaper then the 3-M. As long you keep them changed (clean) you will be ok. Even tho the packaged says "Last up to 90 days" don't mean you leave it in there for 90days.
 
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Old 01-19-04, 08:08 PM
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I too think it would be best to pipe downstream of the softener and install a small filter.
 
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Old 01-20-04, 06:30 PM
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Spoke with customer service today. Was told DO NOT plumb with soft water. Nozzle will become clogged.

I look at it this way. If it does become clogged. I need to replace it "per manual". Mail order only. She also told me I would need to change inline filter (which is located in the control box, I didn't even know about this filter) will have to be replaced a few times per heating season. Mail order only.
No other options.

Fine, it's going back.
I'm going with this one. http://content.honeywell.com/yourhom...dity/he360.htm
replacement fillters and probably parts at all the bix boxes.


Thanks for all your help!
 
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Old 01-20-04, 08:36 PM
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Huh?? How could soft water plug up the system??? It sure don't make any sence!

I would take it back as well!
 
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Old 01-21-04, 08:01 AM
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Id get that new bypass humidifier for sure. That filter there can be taken out and cleaned some. This will stop the white power in the home You might want to look at the AC coil if you have one and see if its clean

Jay - Ill bet you have never seen what soft water can do to a water cooled condensers tower. Its bad man.

ED
 
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Old 01-21-04, 08:22 AM
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Ed,

No, I have not seen Soft water in a cooling tower. Is it the salt settlements that may cause the problem? or I should say when the water evaperates, you have salt crystals??
 
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Old 01-21-04, 10:12 AM
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cooling towers

Yes its left there from when the water evaporates. What all it is I dont know . But like Nu-coil and all the calgon's cleaner will get it a little bit but cant get them clean. It takes a special cleaner for towers that have soft water to them ED
 
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Old 01-21-04, 10:39 AM
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Ed,

So a person is better off having thier cooling tower running on hard water vs soft water

I would of thought salt would be easy to remove vs lime build up from hard water.

Water around here are range from 20 to 25grain ppm. That's pretty hard water.
 
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Old 01-22-04, 06:34 AM
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new honeywell unit is now installed. We'll see how it goes. I used the same saddle valve (hard, cold water), just for ease. I guess if I have problems I will move it to soft or even soft, hot.

Thanks again.

p.s what's up with the 69.99 install kit? Sail switch, duct, saddle valve and some tubing? Seemed a bit much, but I couldn't find a sail switch anywhere. Oh well.
 
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Old 01-22-04, 07:28 AM
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If the humidifier power comes from the fan relay, you don't need the sail switch anyway.

Jay, why would there e salt in soft water? if you are thinking it is because the brine is used to clean the resin bed, that brine is rinsed out before the system returns to normal operation. I don't know why soft water would plug the orifice or a cooling tower, but I'll take everyones word for it. Problems like that can drive you nuts and it's easier to learn from someone elses experience.
 
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Old 01-22-04, 07:39 AM
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I agree with you Ken, I was kinda suprise too when Ed mention about the salt issues.

I have soft water, and haven't seen any salt cryastal on the bottom of a bowl that been evaperated.

Once in awhle, I will taste salt in the water in the shower.
 
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Old 01-22-04, 10:44 AM
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Didnt say the wire set up you have there for the humidifier. Could just tie to fan control for heat if able. Or a 110v relay to close when fan is on heat.

Like I said guys I dont know what it was in the tower. This cooling tower was on a 40 ton chiller. For 2 1/2 years from new. Head kept going up.'As said we used anything and everything on it to try and clean it. Even put a micrormet feeder on it . Then a guy said its got to be on soft water and he had some thing that will work. We took and put it in the tower. It didnt take long and boy talk about foam the 48" fan on the tower was blowing it right out and all over the place. Had to run and get cars moved off the parking lot cause it filled with foam. Didn t know what it would do to the paint on the cars. After this was over we had to put in more than 45 lb of freon in the chiller. I asked then if they had soft water there and they said sure had it for everything. Thats when it came to me that is what we had been fighting also in all the ice machines trying to keep them clean.

Soft water I do like and have had it in homes. But when it comes to machine and water ill go for hard water and fight the lime and calcium or put a hako conditioner on it

Out of the box again ED
 
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