humidifier keeps over filling


  #1  
Old 12-06-05, 11:13 AM
the_fiddler
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humidifier keeps over filling

Hi,

recently purchased my house and i am slowly going through the things that aren't working right. I have now made it to my humidifier. Noticed it was not working when I checked out my furnace and installed a new filter for the winter.

The humidifier is attached to the furnace and is a General 1042-L. Sticker is dated 02/22/99, furnace was retrofitted in 2002.

The first thing I noticed about it was that the water line feeding it was not connected to anything, it was just left dangling in the ceiling next to my water pipe. I went and bought the appropriate connector and spliced it into my cold water line, opened the valve and heard the satisfying sound of water filling the reservoir. Great I thought and walked away.

Came back to check on it a few minutes later when the furnace turned on and I find water coming out the over fill hose. I let it run for a bit with the hose in a bucket until the furnace turned off again, but it didn't switch off and you could still hear a trickle of water going into the reservoir. Tried setting the humidistat to higher and lower settings but this doesn't seem to help.

So, there must be a float or something in there that shuts off the valve at the appropriate water level. Is this an adjustable thing like in your toilet or do I likely have a bad valve and need to replace it?

I am asking because the nob that installed the new furnace crammed the humidifier far back out of reach and I need to go through an access panel in a closet in an adjacent room to get at it. Very bad planning when this basement was renovated, all the important stuff is crammed into little tiny spaces without easy access (water meter, furnace and hot water tank, elec. panel etc.) This means moving lots of stuff and I want to know if I should just go out and buy a new part before diving into this, or if I need a whole new humidifier, etc.

Thanks for any help,

F
 
  #2  
Old 12-06-05, 12:48 PM
macd
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What kind of humidifier do you have?

A flow-through humidifier, such as the HE260, attaches to a drain and the water runs when the furnace runs and turns off when the furnace turns off. In this case there is a solenoid valves that turns on/off with a 24V current.

A disk or drum humidifier, such as the HE160 has a water resevoir that fills up. There is a float inside to turn off the water when the resevoir is full.
 
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Old 12-06-05, 01:38 PM
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That model is a flow though.. There is no standing water.. It will have small amount of water tricking down the hose when it's running..

If the water don't stop at all, then the solenoid valve is stuck open., need to find out for sure if the power is turning off to it or not.
 
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Old 12-06-05, 03:22 PM
the_fiddler
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The model again is a General 1042-L.

It sure looks like there is a reservoir on the bottom of it. There is the typical large round space for the drum to turn in, and then plastic reservoir looking piece under the drum.

The solonoid is definitely getting power, I can hear it click on and off as I turn the control nob to a setting higher than the current humidity (so that the unit will turn on).

I can only see one switch/solonoid type unit mounted on the side of the humidifier. It has 2 power wires coming to it from the furnace, and 2 wires from the controller/humidistat. I assume that this turns the drum on and off when the furnace starts if the humidity is low enough.

Is there another internal solonoid that is responsible for water level? I would have thought it would be more simple like a float/valve combination.

Thanks,

F
 
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Old 12-06-05, 04:13 PM
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Looks like this?

http://www.appliancefactoryparts.com...2l-1042lh.html

This is a flow though..
 
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Old 12-06-05, 10:29 PM
the_fiddler
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Okay Jay, that's definitely the one.

So I guess that means my solenoid is stuck open, or is not getting power. Either way I have to fight my way in there and open it up I guess.

I'm still wondering though, is the solenoid you mention responsible for actually opening and closing a water valve? Ie. when the unit turns off then the water is supposed to stop completely right? Then when it turns on the water flows through and a small amount might come out of the hose as you mentioned.

Or is the solenoid just for starting and stopping the drum, and the water is a continuous flow kind of thing?

It just seem odd that a device that is meant to help you save on heating bills and keep your air humid would waste water by having it constantly flow through all the time even when the unit is not in use.

F
 
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Old 12-07-05, 05:36 AM
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I have a General 1040, which is very similar to yours (I think!).

First of all, there's no drum -- there is instead a flat media pad which sits vertically in the unit. Water flows through it, some water evaporates into the air flowing through the pad, and the water left over flows out the bottom to the drain. This is a common design and is intended to allow minerals in the water to flush down the drain.

RE: the solenoid valve -- it is a "normally closed" valve, which means that any time it is not energized, it should be closed. If you have water continuously flowing even when the furnace fan is off, the valve is stuck open. Sometimes they can be cleaned and will work properly; if not, can get a replacement for $50-75.
 
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Old 12-07-05, 06:33 AM
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Looks like 400 pretty much said it all! :-)

This valve should shut off when there is no power..

It may take a few min for the water flow to stop since there still some water left on the pad.
 
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Old 12-09-05, 10:28 AM
the_fiddler
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Thanks again all, solenoid is very likely the problem and I will try to clean it out this weekend, or else find out that I need to replace it and order a new one.
Nice to find somewhere to get a bit of insight into a problem before just having to dive in.

F
 
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Old 12-09-05, 08:41 PM
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Keep us posted on what you find.
 
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Old 12-15-05, 02:46 PM
tmwpg
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Originally Posted by the_fiddler
Okay Jay, that's definitely the one.

So I guess that means my solenoid is stuck open, or is not getting power. Either way I have to fight my way in there and open it up I guess.


F

I have a similar question. I have a Lifebreath flow-through humidifier that "flows" too much. I can hear a click on the humidistat when I turn it back and forth. When the furnace is operating, I can hear a distinct click on and off at the solenoid at the top of the unit. However, water flows continously (most of the time) regardless of humidity setting or furnace on/off.

Every once in a while it will work, and the water will stop flowing. Very intermittent however. I took the valve/solenoid apart, and noticed that the plumbing itself, which is a brass L-shaped fitting, allows water to flow through. I thought these types of valves were always in a closed state, unless the solenoid is energized? If that is true, I suppose this means the problem is with my fitting (valve usually stuck open) vs. with the solenoid? Any input appreciated.

Ted
 
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Old 12-15-05, 09:38 PM
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Ted,

Some times these units will have a spring that will "push" the pin to shut the water off..
 
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Old 12-16-05, 12:41 AM
tmwpg
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Originally Posted by Jay11J
Ted,

Some times these units will have a spring that will "push" the pin to shut the water off..
Hmm, ok. Might this spring be located inside the brass fitting? I know that's pretty vague considering you don't know what type of fitting I'm dealing with. Assuming it had a spring, would the solenoid function to retract the pin while energized?
 
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Old 12-16-05, 07:15 AM
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yes, the spring maybe inside the valve.. it will push this in close to shut off the water flow, then when water is needed, it will be pulled in by the solenoid.
 
 

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