Aprilaire 400 wiring

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  #1  
Old 02-12-07, 10:55 AM
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Aprilaire 400 wiring

So, I took the plunge and bought the aprilaire 400. I chose this model because I had no place for the excess water of the other units to go. In other threads I often saw the need to wire the humidifier so it only came on with the fan. Do I need to do that with the 400? It seems like it would be ok for this unit to be "on" all the time as it only takes the water it needs with no constant flow, and only really does anything when the bypass air flows through it. Or is it bad for the unit to be on all the time for other reasons. Also, this unit can be powered by either the adapter or directly from the furnace board? If so, How will I know if my furnace board supplies enough juice to run this thing. This is the control on my furnace.

http://americanhvacparts.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=TRA8184M1051&Category_Code=oil-opc

Is that the little board that you wire it to? Will that unit supply enough power? I havent received the humidifier yet so I dont have the instructions yet. I just like to be prepared ahead of time.
 
  #2  
Old 02-12-07, 04:13 PM
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You could tie it to that board W and C and not use transformer that comes with the humidifer.
 
  #3  
Old 02-12-07, 04:18 PM
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Wink

Do I need to do that with the 400? It seems like it would be ok for this unit to be "on" all the time as it only takes the water it needs with no constant flow, and only really does anything when the bypass air flows through it. Or is it bad for the unit to be on all the time for other reasons.
You have to rethink this whole set you want to try here. It should go on and off with the furnace blower .
 
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Old 02-12-07, 04:43 PM
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Ok, on and off with the blower it is. If I tie it in with the w and c will it go on and off with the blower or do I still need to wire a relay to do that? I found these diagrams online that have helped me some.

http://www.alpinehomeair.com/view.cfm?objID=C1EC4FEC-1C8E-409D-9581-3B9839F377F0

Im thinking diagram #1 is what Im looking at. Is that designed to go on and off with the blower?
 
  #5  
Old 02-12-07, 05:29 PM
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#1 will only go when the t-stat calls for heat, not with the blower, so when you turn the t-stat fan swith to ON, the humidifer will not run.
 
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Old 02-12-07, 06:06 PM
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ok, I get it now. #1 would be fine for normal heating operation. But If I want to make it run with the fan only, regardless of heat setting, #2 would be a better idea.
 
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Old 02-12-07, 06:21 PM
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Right. #2 is what you want then.
 
  #8  
Old 02-13-07, 09:29 PM
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Does this unit benefit from using a hot water feed? It will be installed in the return side of my system. Will the hot water hurt the water tray or floats?
 
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Old 02-13-07, 09:33 PM
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Wink

Use hot water if you can . Works better stays cleaner wont hurt any thing in the unit
 
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Old 02-13-07, 09:39 PM
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Wow, that was quick. Thanks.
 
  #11  
Old 02-16-07, 08:48 AM
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Ok, I have the unit installed. Its in the return with the humidistat upstream, using hot water, and its wired to go on with the call for heat, not with the fan. I will get the relay and change that soon. So, I did all the tests and it is functioning properly. I have it set manually to about 6. It ran all last night with the heat. I dont know if it made any difference. Things that I have observed. There doesnt seem to be any wicking action going on. When I checked the unit this morning the whole thing was dry as a bone with no water in the lower tray and the filter thing was totally dry to the touch except for a tiny bit of wetness at the the very bottom. The solenoid is coming on and all but the flow of water is very slow. It just dribbles out the end of the fill tube at the top of the unit. The power is never on long enough for the tray to get any water in it. I also noticed that the copper line that is connected is very hot where it comes off the saddle valve but quickly gets cold after that. That would indicate to me that not much water is passing through this line. I know there is an orifice in the solenoid valve to reduce the water flow. Is the water just supposed to trickle out of the tube? Its like it cant keep up with the drying power of my bypass air flow. I guess having it power on with the fan will make it run longer but it almost seems like it needs to have power all the time to actually be able to have some wicking action. Should the unit be dry like this? Does that indicate that its doing its job? I will be getting a hygrometer this afternoon to check the RH levels. On a side note, there is condensation on the windows on the north and west sides of my house. A line about a quarter inch high on the upper pane of the double hung window. These are double pane insulated glass windows. There was a bit on the front (south) side but the sun quickly dried that up and there was only a touch in the corners that is now gone. This is a good sign, No? How long does it take for a digital hygrometer to get a reading in the house. Should it stabilize within an hour?
 

Last edited by Carbuff; 02-16-07 at 08:59 AM.
  #12  
Old 02-16-07, 12:14 PM
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I have never seen the 400 in person, so I don't know how this really works.. I am going to say the water flow is not up to par. have you removed the line from the solvenoid and see if you got good flow?

Check the screen to make sure there nothing in side catching.

I would think you should get a good flow to fill the tray.
 
  #13  
Old 02-16-07, 01:33 PM
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Hi, yes, I get good flow from the line. I will have to check the screen. I checked it again today and the lower portion of the water pad was wet and there was water in the tray. Its daytime, nice and sunny,30 degrees, and the heat isnt coming on that much today. I got a digital Hygrometer/thermometer and it says the RH is 30%. I will check it later tonight after work to see if the unit is adding more humidity. I think that once I get the a50 relay and install it, it will work much better. The fan tends to run a lot more than just the burner by itself so that will give it more time to run.
 
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Old 02-16-07, 04:21 PM
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Ok, I did a little research on this model, and found out how this really works...

Your unit has a tray on the bottom that the water is wicked up by the pad... As the water is wicked up on the pad the water level will get lower..

When it get lower the valve then opens and feeds water on the top tray, and trickel down the pad... when the water level is up, the valve closes, and stop giving water on top. The pad will then wick up the water from the tray.

So yes, the pad is going to feel some what dry since the air flow is going over the pad "drying" it out.. it wont' be wet. I am sure if you felt the back side, it will feel a little bit more damp. (my stand alone humidifer was like that.. Dry on the air flow side, but some what damp on the other)

I really think, the A50 is not going to make much diffrent for you. The power hook up as we talked about on #1 is providing power to the valve and feed water as needed. However, the A50 may help add water if you do run your fan all the time, and provides water if the tray runs low.

So that's why the line only feels warm short ways away from the hot water line because you are not using a steady stream of water that a "Flow-Through" uses any time call of humidity.

Give it a few days for it to "Catch up"
 
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Old 02-16-07, 10:18 PM
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That all makes sense. So, tonight its 22 degrees out and my RH is 32% at 70 degrees inside. Ive got some condensation on the windows where it had dried out in the morning. So, I guess its working. I definitely noticed that the static is gone. I used to get zapped all the time and havent once since installing this unit. Do you think that there is any benefit in getting the RH any higher? It seems comfy at 32%.
 
  #16  
Old 02-17-07, 05:13 AM
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That is about where mine is now, and as long you are comfy, and not getting zapped, you are good.

You just don't want water dripping on your window where it will build up and cause damage, and also build up in hidden area that may cause damage.
 
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Old 02-17-07, 08:21 AM
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Ok, we're up to 36% this morning. This thing is definately working. It is set manually at 6. At what point do you think I should consider turning it down? I was thinking about setting up the automatic outdoor probe. Do they work ok, ie yield good results, or is manual the preferred method. Its amazing how my dry skin has all but disappeared. The tops of my hands were raw 2 days ago.
 
  #18  
Old 02-17-07, 11:37 AM
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I don't know where you are out of. but I am in MN, and got mine set at 5 with outdoor sensor and works well..

The sensor controls the humidity in the home as needed with outdoors temp.. You don't want too much when it gets really cold, otherwise you are going to have hidden damage of moister, and also wet windows.

I know Ed love saying get rid of the sensor. I think he says that cuz he lives down south and the temp change is not extream like ours up in MN.
 
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Old 02-17-07, 11:58 AM
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We got down to 8F the other night and my 700 is doing just fine. No sensor .I have very good windows here and if the frames sweat. I cut down on the R/H at the humidistat on the cold air drop. So far this year I have had to move it just one time. If you lost the manual mode for the tstat you can just use a 44K to 48K Ohms resistor.
 
  #20  
Old 02-17-07, 11:52 PM
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Great. Im gonna give it a few days at the current settings. Im in NY btw. Ive got the A50 resistor on order so I will be able to run it with the fan manually if I want. I'll see what effect that has on the performance. When thats all settled maybe I'll try the automatic sensor. What do you guys think of the fancy digital humidistats that mount on the wall in your house like a thermostat. Are they a waste of money if the one on the furnace works fine. Just a fancy toy to hang on the wall?
 
  #21  
Old 02-18-07, 05:50 AM
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That control you got now works very well either way with sensor or not. digital one is just a toy.

I upgraded my t-stat to the Honeywell IAQ model, and just came with one built in along with an ourdoor sensor and works well as well.

The basic humidistat are the one that has a large swing. where your is not. so stay with you got.
 
  #22  
Old 02-20-07, 01:50 PM
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Ok, I got the #50 relay. I have it set up as #5 in the diagram.

http://www.alpinehomeair.com/view.cfm?objID=C1EC4FEC-1C8E-409D-9581-3B9839F377F0

Does it make any difference whether the relay cuts out the 24v supply for the humidistat or the line from the humidistat to the solenoid? Also, there are 3 big wires that go to my blower compartment. They are yellow, purple and white. I have it on the white wire. That is correct, right? Also when the relay is in the "off" position there is still 6 v on my meter. Not enough to activate the thing but its still there. Is that normal?
 
  #23  
Old 02-20-07, 02:24 PM
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It don't matter what side you put it on.

White wire on blower is right.

As for voltage wise, I don't know.. I never put a meter on it before.
 
  #24  
Old 02-20-07, 08:34 PM
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Thanks. Its interesting how certain wiring setups will leave constant voltage to the humidistat but just cut the connection to the solenoid while others leave the connection to the solenoid alone but cut the power on and off to the humidistat. It seems that one way the humidistat is always "working" but the solenoid is controlled with the fan, while the other way both items are off until the fan goes on. Is it bad for the humidistat to always be on? Or is it worse for it to get turned on and off all the time? Or doesnt it make any difference.
 
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Old 02-21-07, 01:48 PM
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Ok, so I have it set to turn on with the fan now. Its 50 degrees out today and the RH will not go past 32%. Its been on all day.Ive turned the humidistat all the way up but it still wont go click until I get to the test. Its not turning on with it set to 7 and there is no water in the tray. The float is bottomed out and it still wont go on. I am using hot water but it wont even click on to run the water. Could my humidistat be bad? Its on manual and turned up to 7. You would think it would be able to crank it up in my 1400 sq ft single story house. I will check it again later when I get home.
 
  #26  
Old 02-21-07, 03:41 PM
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I wonder if your A50 is not doing it's job.. It was working before you added the A50.... But then you said it works in TEST mode...

For kicks put it back to the way you had it before. the A50.
 
  #27  
Old 02-22-07, 01:14 AM
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Yes, it works in test mode. I now have it wired with constant 24v power to the
humidistat and the a50 relay opens and closes the circuit to the humidifier (solenoid). Figure 2.

http://www.alpinehomeair.com/view.cfm?objID=C1EC4FEC-1C8E-409D-9581-3B9839F377F0

The a50 is doing its job. The solenoid will only activate if the fan is running and there is a call from the humidistat, ie, in test mode. As soon as I back it out of test mode, click, it shuts down the solenoid as if it senses tons of humidity in the return duct. But my RH is only 31%. So, set at 7 in manual mode with the fan on, it wont activate the solenoid to let water in the unit.(tray is empty, floats all bottomed out) So, with the fan off and constant power to the humidistat I can rotate the knob and feel the click on and off at 6.5 and 5.5. As soon as I turn on the fan on for a few minutes this goes away and I can only get it to click on by setting it to test. So, basically my humidistat thinks that 31% RH is enough to turn the system off while set to 7 on manual. Is it possible that my humidistat is too close to the unit? Here is a picture.

http://members.aol.com/carbuff/humid.jpg

Its about 8 inches upstream of it. Also, Id just like to say Thank you for putting up with all my questions with this. Its been warmer here the last 2 days, around 50 f, so my heat has rarely come on so the "fan on" has mostly been blowing room temp air all day but I figured that this would make it come on sooner (at lower number setting) if nothing else.
 
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Old 02-22-07, 04:16 AM
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Humm.. Well, I guess it points to the humidistat being bad..

Have you tried and remove the A50 in line and see?
 
  #29  
Old 02-22-07, 06:36 AM
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Are you using outdoor sensor or manual mode?
 
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Old 02-22-07, 08:17 AM
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Yes, Ive had the relay totally disabled with the same results. I am using manual without the sensor. I have that manual jumper connected. Is that just a jumper or is it a resistor in the plastic? Im gonna remove the humidistat from the return and see how it responds to just being exposed to my basement air. If it doesnt respond to that I will look into replacing it.
 
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Old 02-22-07, 05:43 PM
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Yes that manual mode is a 44K to 48K ohms resistance
 
  #32  
Old 02-24-07, 09:12 PM
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So, now we've had some colder weather for a couple of days. The thing is wired up with the humidistat powered all the time with the a50 relay on the fan wire controlling the humidifier solenoid. Ive got 42% RH. I think thats about as high as I will ever need so it seems all good. Its kinda annoying that it has to be set at 7 to accomplish this but nothing is perfect I guess. Thank you all for your help with this.
 
 

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