Aprilaire 110 not working


  #1  
Old 12-19-05, 01:40 PM
ZoneIII
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Aprilaire 110 not working

I have worked on all kinds of equipment professionally and personally all my life but this simple little humidifier has me stumped. I am simply getting no humidity at all. The weird thing is that the water panel is brand new and installed in the proper orientation (black mark up), I am getting good water flow (enough for overflow), and the fan is working. The unit is like new too. I replaced an identical but old unit that I had several years ago when I had the exact same problem and finally gave up on it. I know this unit is obsolete but a supplier had a new one on hand.

As a last resort, I just (a few minutes ago) replaced the water panel with a new one even though the old one was like new. I installed it correctly with the black mark up, of course. The humidistat switches it on and the fan goes on properly. It all goes on with the furnace blower as it should. I am getting plenty of water flow - enough for overflow in the overflow tube. The drip chamber and holes are perfectly clean and free as is the entire unit inside and out. In short, it turns on, water flows over the panel and I am getting overflow. The fan turns on. But no humidity!

When this or the old unit was working properly, I would have iced up windows within hours if it was turned up too high. But I have had the humidifier turned up all the way for days now with no humidity at all. The house is dry as a desert.

I noticed something that seems strange, though, with both this and my old 110. The fan is rotating so that it sucks air through the water panel rather than blowing through the panel and into the flue. In other words, fan is blowing air in the direction AWAY from the furnace flue. Since my old one did that too, the only thing I can think of is that by drawing air through the panel rather than blowing it (which makes little sense to me), it may be assisting flue pressure and the mist may then be drawn back and into the side chambers of the unit where it then enters the flue (???). This makes little sense to me though, because the flue is pressurized. At first I thought that maybe the fan motor was of the type that when current is reversed the direction of rotation was also reversed and that maybe it was a wiring problem but no such luck. I reversed the wiring but the fan motor still rotates so that it draws air through the water panel rather than blowing it through the panel and into the flue. Is that how it is supposed to work?

Anyway, for such an incredibly simple piece of equipment, it really has me stumped. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions.
 
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Old 12-19-05, 09:27 PM
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The air should pull though the pad.

how old is the heating equipment? Type?

Where is the humidifer? (supply or return?)

What the water hooked up to, Hot or Cold?
 
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Old 12-20-05, 04:04 AM
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The furnace is not quite two years old. It's a Trane XB80. The guys who installed it wired the humidifier in wrong so that it wasn't turning on. I didn't notice that until the following winter when I turned it on. They came out and wired the outlet that the 110 line to the humidier plugs into so that it turns on the humidier to the fan circuit when the furnace blower is on. Originally, they just plugged the humidifier 110V line into a regular outlet which left the fan on constantly, of course, even when the humidistat didn't call for moisture. The humidifier is on the supply side mounted in the flue just above the heat exchanger in my forced air system. The water comes from the cold line via a saddle valve. My new furnace was almost a drop-in replacement for my old one with only minor sheet metal work needed for the installation so the setup is the same as it was before. It is positioned in the same cutout hole as the original Aprilaire 110 unit.

I'm glad to hear that the fan should pull the air because that's exactly what it is doing but I am having difficulty understanding how it can get the moisture into the system when it is drawing moisture into the humidifier not blowing air through the humidifier pad and then into the flue. As it is, the water in the pad is being drawn back away from the flue where the first thing it hits is the plastic wall that separates the pad compartment with the electrics of the humidifier. How does the moisture from the pad enter the air flow when it is being drawn into the humidifier? From the side-chambers?

This simple thing is defying my logic. LOL! Plenty of moisture is loading up the pad and, in fact, I have healthy water overflow. The unit is turning on properly and the fan is working but still no humidity(???)

I really appreciate your help.
 
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Old 12-20-05, 06:08 AM
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The air is pulled though the pad, and thrown into the back of the houseing and then work's it way around the pad and out the sides. It is thrown back into the air flow.

The temp rise may not be high enough to help put humidyt into the air of the home.. I'd would suggest then move the water line over to the hot water..

Also, does your furnace run long? If so, how long on an avg cycle? time per hour avg.
 
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Old 12-20-05, 06:40 AM
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I would say that the furnace runs for about five to ten minutes per cyle depending on the temperature outside.

The funny thing about this is that the humidifier used to work perfectly connected exactly as it is now. In fact, as I mentioned previously, if I set the humidistat too high or the outside temperature dropped a lot (I have a manual humidistat), my windows would ice up in a matter of hours. I have had the humidistat turned up full blast for days now so that the humidifer is on whenever the furnace is running and the house is bone dry without any trace at all of any moisture on the windows that I would normally get in such a case. When it was putting humidity into the air, I could even smell it (a fresh smell) and feel it but not so now. The house feels desert dry but water is going through the panel and the fan is on. The one thing that I don't know, however, is whether or not it ever actually worked correctly since getting the new furnace. It is possible that it never worked right with the new furnace and I didn't notice it. But the furnace setup is basically the same as the old one and was almost a drop-in replacement. The new blower might be pumping air at a greater pressure, though. The old and new humidifier have always been hooked up to the cold line and that worked fine previously. I could, of course, tap off of a hot line, if that would help but the water heater is down-line and in another room and since we used to get all the humidity that we needed (and more) in the past with the humidifier hooked up to the cold line and we are now getting no humidity at all, I have a feeling that that won't solve the problem. It's a factor that hasn't changed since the humidifier worked. But I could hook it up to a hot line if necessary.
 
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Old 12-20-05, 10:11 AM
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I'm assuming the damper is fully open?
 
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Old 12-20-05, 11:33 AM
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I'm not sure what damper you are referring to? The the registers are open or adjusted the way I want them and cold air returns are clear. In fact, I had the all the duct work cleaned when the new furnace was put in. There is no damper in the flue and/or chimney. It's all open. I'm getting good air flow in the system. I don't know of any damper in a forced air system. Am I missing something? The humidifier itself just fits into a rectangular hole cut in the furnace above the heat exchanger just as it always has but there is no damper.
 
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Old 12-20-05, 02:45 PM
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400, this is a fan powered humidifer.. Not a by pass type. So there will be no dampers on this model.
 
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Old 12-21-05, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Jay11J
400, this is a fan powered humidifer.. Not a by pass type. So there will be no dampers on this model.

Good point --never mind...
 
 

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