Tricky drum humidifier install

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Old 01-29-08, 09:31 PM
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Tricky drum humidifier install

Iím trying to replace my current humidifier with a new drum model (Air King 850). The space available on the furnace is quite limited, however, so I thought Iíd ask for some feedback before potentially creating more problems than Iím solving.

This picture shows my furnace, along with where I would like to place the new humidifier. You can see the old humidifier on the supply duct, right above the flue. I would like to place the new humidifier on the return duct, as recommended in this forum.


(Sorry it's a bit dark)

The problem is two-fold:
1. The only space on the return duct is pretty high. The new humidifier would sit >5í7Ē off the floor. Iím not sure if this is a problem or not Ė any comments?
2. The existing ďhumidifierĒ (itís pretty bare-bones, as you can see) has a square hole cut into the supply duct. This hole will not be horizontal with the new humidifier.
3. There is little room above the new humidifier for the humidistat.

My plan is to mount the new humidifier as shown in the picture, get some flat sheet metal to patch the existing humidifier hole (sealing the edges with aluminum tape), and then make a new hole parallel to the humidifier for the flow-through duct.

Or, would it be bad to simply connect the flow-through duct to the existing humidifier hole, so that the duct runs slightly upwards towards the drum unit?

Where should I put the humidistat? I was thinking on the horizontal return duct above-head in this picture. I figure this way it would still be reachable without a ladder, while providing enough separation between the humidifier and humidistat.

Any other mounting suggestions?

Thanks!
Louis.
 
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Old 01-30-08, 08:37 PM
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Sorry, my post above is a bit long winded. The two main questions I have are

1. Why should the flex-duct connecting the supply to the humidifier be parallel to the ground? (or, is it bad if it slopes downwards by ~ 12")
2. Is there any problem with mounting the humidistat on the horizontally running duct, which seems to not be the standard way of doing this?

Any advice is greatly appreciated, and my cracking skin and reduced static shocks when switching on/off the lights thanks you.

Louis.
 
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Old 01-30-08, 09:15 PM
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Looks like you got things all figured out.. You're good to go.

YOu can put it on the return, and with a slope in the duct is fine.. just as long there is no sharp turns.
 
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Old 01-30-08, 10:12 PM
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Great, thanks Jay!

What method would you recommend to patch the hole where the old humidifier is sitting? It is much bigger than the new hole for the flex-duct.
 
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Old 01-30-08, 10:34 PM
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Pick up flat sheet of sheetmetal, and zip screws...
 
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Old 01-30-08, 10:35 PM
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I also want to add...

Are you aware of the maint. involed with this type of humidifier?
 
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Old 01-30-08, 11:57 PM
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Sheetmetal it is then.

The maintenance I'm aware of is 1. closing the mechanical valve that I'll install b/w the flex-duct and supply duct in the summertime, 2. shutting off the water supply at the same time, 3. replacing the drum unit sponge every so often.

What other maintenance would you recommend?

Are there humdifiers that require less maintenance? I wanted to avoid flow-through due to the larger water consumption, plus the need to run a hose to the drain.
 
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Old 01-31-08, 06:16 AM
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The main thing is keeping the pan clean since it's standing water, float clear of lime.. Cuz if they build up with lime, it can over flow. These style has been nothing but nightmare for many people.

Most peoople use the flow though.... true, they do use water, but you don't have the standing water in the tray for bactria to grow, and over flow issues.

I figured our water bill out the other day, don't recall now what it cost me a month in water.. I think it was around $7 a heating season.

What is used for drain for your water from the A/C?
 
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Old 01-31-08, 10:42 AM
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Yeah, I'm not a big fan of the standing water myself. That's one of the reasons I'm replacing the crappy humidifier the house came with -- as an experiment, I turned off the water supply to it two weeks ago. The water level in the bucket has barely gone down, which I suppose explains why it does such a poor job of humidifying (not enough surface area exposed to the hot air stream?). That tray is limed up beyond hope, and I can only imagine the bacteria festering in there -- the previous homeowners were not much into DIY and home maintenance. Good thing it hasn't overflown, since it's directly above the burner and control board...

$7 per season, ey? How much water does that translate to? I can live with that -- will just have to pass it by the wife, who wants to conserve water as much as possible.

A/C -- we're in Edmonton, AB. There is approximately 1 week per year where you really wish you had A/C. The rest of the year, you wish you were somewhere that required A/C. So we don't have A/C. You should see the window A/C units fly off the shelves during that 1 week though! I bet that's when HD sells 80% of their A/C units.
 
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Old 01-31-08, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by yorkergizer View Post
$7 per season, ey? How much water does that translate to? I can live with that -- will just have to pass it by the wife, who wants to conserve water as much as possible.
Our water rates for me is pretty cheap, we are charged 69.2 cents for 1 unit (748 gallons) of water. My water bill went up 2 units, so that is bout $1.39 a month. So for the heating season cost about $7 of water.

So, that makes it just about 1,400 gallons of water... I know it's alot! but like I said our water is pretty cheap, and I agrre with your wife wanting to save on water..

If you really want to save on water, and get the best humidity, look into the Honeywelll TrueSTEAM. They should be out, or starting to come out soon, they are more spendy, but you got your water worth!
 
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Old 01-31-08, 03:35 PM
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Ouch! 1,400 gallons plus double the price for the humidifier? There's no way I can swing that past her I'll just have to be dilligent with cleaning the pan -- put in a little sweat equity I guess. In either case, it'll be a huge improvement over the current arrangement.

That Honeywell looks pretty nice. I'll keep my eye out for those.

Thanks again for your input Jay.

Hey, one last question to bug you with. This one's just for curiosity's sake. Why do the humidifier instructions say the flow-through tube should be horizontal? It seems that if the air passing through there is driven by the temperature and pressure differential, that the orientation of this tube doesn't matter. This was confirmed by you when you said sloped is fine (as long as there are no kinks, of course). Just trying to figure out what I'm missing here. Possiblity of dripping condensation down the tube into the supply side?
 
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Old 01-31-08, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by yorkergizer View Post
Hey, one last question to bug you with. This one's just for curiosity's sake. Why do the humidifier instructions say the flow-through tube should be horizontal? It seems that if the air passing through there is driven by the temperature and pressure differential, that the orientation of this tube doesn't matter. This was confirmed by you when you said sloped is fine (as long as there are no kinks, of course). Just trying to figure out what I'm missing here. Possiblity of dripping condensation down the tube into the supply side?
I am not sure why they talk about it... It could very well be if water go into it.. but haven't heard of that before..


Here is mine..



Mine 90˚ up, then twist and turns to get to the ductwork above. And works just fine.
 
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Old 01-31-08, 06:57 PM
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Yup, that's definitely not horizontal...

Thanks Jay.
 
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Old 02-04-08, 09:25 PM
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Well, I got the humidifier mounted and ready to go. Unfortunately, I'm stuck with the wiring I'm sure you expected this

I have a Trane XB80, but unfortunately, it has no HUM or EAC connector (the space for them is marked on the board, but there are no spade connectors there -- must be an "upgrade". I guess they use the same board for multiple furnaces). Is there any way to rectify this?

In any case, the furnace has a 35VA transformer on there right now. From what I gather on this forum, this is not enough juice to power both the humidifier's drum motor and the low voltage electronics on the furnace.

Is that correct? Please tell me I'm wrong. Please.



Also, can I use a electromechanical relay driven by the 24Vac thermostat signal to drive my humidifier instead of the A50?
 
 

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