General-Aire 1042-L not doing the job

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Old 12-15-09, 07:52 AM
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Unhappy General-Aire 1042-L not doing the job

Good Day,

I have a Generalaire 1042-L humidifier installed for a few years now. It appears to work as far as water flowing through the unit when the furnace is running, and I have replaced the media. But it does not put any humidity in the air. I have a reliable humidity guage in the house and I am lucky if it goes up 1% or 2% on the days the unit is running.

Has anyone thought/suggested putting a ‘baffle’ of some sort into the furnace vent to direct the air ‘through’ the humidifier? Currently the air appears, for the most part, to flow past the humidifier; there is nothing to help the air go through it? Do they make such things?

Any and all thoughts are appreciated. Thank you.
 
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Old 12-15-09, 08:37 PM
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This is a bypass unit.

Where is the unit itself mounted?

Where is the bypass duct going to/from?

Is the summer damper open?
 
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Old 12-16-09, 03:32 AM
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Hi Jay,

Thank you. The damper is open, I have taken the covers off to clean and make sure it is open as the dial does not always match the indicator.

The unit is mounted on the intake air / return vent (cool side), about 4 feet above the air filter and fan motor. My thought is the air is flowing down this vent (10”x24”) and there is nothing really to bring the air through the humidifier!! To my un-educated observation the air is just flowing past the opening (and therefore the humidifier). I would think most successful units have a fan or something (like a air dam or baffle) to direct the air into the humidifier media where the water is flowing.

Again thank you for your time and thoughts. Geary
 
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Old 12-16-09, 03:44 AM
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Hi Jay,

Reread you message and see I forgot the bypass duct question. The duct (8” diam) comes out of the side of the unit and is connected to the warm air side about 2 feet higher than the unit. Since these vents are back-to-back the duct is looping 180 degrees. Would a picture help?

Thanks again, Geary
 
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Old 12-16-09, 05:16 AM
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A photo would help. It will need to be posted on a photo host site like yahoo or imageshack.us

When you put your hand in front of the pad, you should feel air going into the unit, and also you should feel warm air blowing out of the bypass duct into the pad area.
 
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Old 12-21-09, 06:19 AM
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Unhappy General-Aire 1042-L

Hi Jay,

Obviously I had misunderstood the air flow to a bypass unit. I thought it was just gravity feeding the air from the cool side and thought a baffle or dam would increase the air flow. The unit I had in the previous home was a reservoir unit with a fan that pulled the air into the unit, through a rotating media and then back out. It held the humidity level fairly well in the house. Lot’s of cleaning though.

I got back into the unit this weekend and now with your comments I have a better handle on the air flow of a ‘bypass’ unit. I am getting plenty of water flow, as observed by the gallons of water in a drain bucket. The damper is fully open, and the air flow is coming from the hot side, through the unit, into the cool side. What I don’t know is if it’s enough air flow. It feels okay!! But the humidity does not get above 12% in the house. Mostly staying around 10-11%.

Is there anything to be done to increase the efficiency? A better media for the water/air mixing? Any suggestions?

With the furnace running on an average cool/cold day I am getting 5+ gallons of water in the drain bucket. Is this excessive?

Thank you for your time and attention. Geary
 
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Old 12-21-09, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by gbeau View Post
sWhat I don’t know is if it’s enough air flow. It feels okay!!
If you got a good air flow, then should be good.


But the humidity does not get above 12% in the house. Mostly staying around 10-11%.
Your winter is mild than ours in MN, and it should not be that dry! Are you getting the same reading on another humidity gauge?

What's the avg run time are you getting on your furnace? and how many times in an hour does it cycle?


Is there anything to be done to increase the efficiency? A better media for the water/air mixing?
When was the last time the media pad been changed?

Home Depot has the Honeywell humidifier pad that is kinda like paper, that can hold the water a little bit better. But ma have to change the pad more often.

With the furnace running on an average cool/cold day I am getting 5+ gallons of water in the drain bucket. Is this excessive?
No, that's normal for the flow-though unit.
 
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Old 01-20-10, 06:56 AM
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Hi Jay,

Sorry for the delay – between the Holidays and trying to get this additional information for you just has taken a while. And I ordered and installed a new solenoid valve. I found that while I was getting plenty of water running through the system, it was only when I was playing with the controls. So I have installed a new valve a few days ago and water is flowing whenever the furnace is running.

I installed a new media pad when this season started. I have also since tried a paper type element.

As for run times – that’s a bit harder – but my impressions are on a mild (winter) day the furnace may run 20-25% of the time. On the cold snap we had the last couple weeks, it runs upwards of 50% of the time. The humidity never got above 10%, mostly stayed at 9%. So I am back at looking for somehow to improve the efficiency of the unit.

Is there a better unit I should be using? Would a reservoir system do a better job?

Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 
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Old 01-20-10, 03:38 PM
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I can't see how you can be soo dry in GA since your winters are not like ours here in Minn.

Are you sure your humidity gauge is in line? Take a rag and soak it in hot water that you can stand, then wring it out. quickly wrap the humidity gauge in it, and it should ready pretty high.
 
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Old 02-11-10, 05:32 AM
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Checked Out Meter - seems okay

Hi Jay,

Hoping you believe in better late than never!!!

Anyway I have checked out my meter (Scientific Oregon) pretty well, here are the different numbers:
• Normal room – 67 degrees – 11% humidity
• Normal room – 70 – 9%
• Sitting on kitchen heat vent with heat blowing – 104 – 2%
• Sitting on bedroom heat vent with heat blowing – 99 – 3%
• Outside daytime 52 – 13%
• Outside morning 36 – 17%
• Wrapped in hot wet towel 90 – 77%
So I think it is working, maybe not real accurately, but relatively.

Reviewing, the unit has water in and out, is warm to the touch so some air is passing through, I have tried a paper/clothe element and a new GeneralAire element. So it seems everything is functioning – just not very well; actually pretty poorly.

One last question, do you think ‘volume’ of water has anything to do with poor performance? Since there is water dripping out of the exhaust tube I assume there is enough input volume? I had a lot water coming out the exhaust tube so I turned down the input volume so the output is just a drip now.

Thank you for your time and patience.
Kindest regards, Geary
 
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Old 02-11-10, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by gbeau View Post
Anyway I have checked out my meter (Scientific Oregon) pretty well, here are the different numbers:
• Outside daytime 52 – 13%
• Outside morning 36 – 17%
• Wrapped in hot wet towel 90 – 77%
So I think it is working, maybe not real accurately, but relatively.
That's way off! For outside winter humidity are not that dry unless you are in the dessert. I looked at the overall humidity for GA, and it's in the range of 40 to 45% humidity.

I have tried a paper/clothe element and a new GeneralAire element. So it seems everything is functioning – just not very well; actually pretty poorly.
Why do you say "poorly"?

One last question, do you think ‘volume’ of water has anything to do with poor performance?
Oh yes.. The valve needs to be on full.
 
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