Ideal/max RH for finished basement


  #1  
Old 06-10-21, 06:39 AM
N
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 468
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Ideal/max RH for finished basement

What should the RH be in my finished basement (and what's a safe max)? I had been maintaining it at 50% with a portable dehumidifier, and finally (per some of my other posts) had the basement company reinstall my Santa Fe.

Now I can't get the RH below 63% even with the Santa Fe running non-stop.

Thank you.
 
  #2  
Old 06-10-21, 07:20 AM
P
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 25,524
Received 963 Votes on 884 Posts
Don't know what a Santa Fe is other than the city.

The ideal humidity is what you want it to be. If you want to prevent mold and mildew growth than less than 50% is the ideal but I have not had trouble with humidity higher.
 
  #3  
Old 06-10-21, 07:24 AM
N
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 468
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Santa Fe is the dehumidifier: https://www.santa-fe-products.com/wp...nce_Manual.pdf

Thanks for the info. I'll have to have the company come back and take a look as it just won't go below 63%
 
  #4  
Old 06-11-21, 08:34 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 62,579
Received 1,599 Votes on 1,473 Posts
The Santa Fe dehumidifier is rated for 90 Pints/Day water removal so it's a pretty good sized unit.
You said the unit is running non stop. That would mean the compressor needs to be checked to see it it's also running non stop.
 
  #5  
Old 06-11-21, 08:44 AM
N
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 468
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks and the compressor definitely seems to be running, as there's a noticeable difference when I turn on the fan to run non-stop (vs. auto) and when I raise/lower the humidity level causing the compressor to kick on. In other words, fan-on is one noise, lowering humidity causes 'something' to kick-on which is quite louder.

Given that the compressor is running, is there anything that I (a novice) can do at this point? The basement company already said that they won't inspect the unit as it's out of warranty, and I have no idea what type of professional might be able to diagnose/repair it (my regular hvac guy already said he doesn't work on dehumidifiers).
 
  #6  
Old 06-11-21, 09:15 AM
2
Member
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: USA near Boston, MA
Posts: 1,262
Received 117 Votes on 101 Posts
had been maintaining it at 50% with a portable dehumidifier...
Now I can't get the RH below 63% even with the Santa Fe running non-stop.
Have the room conditions (humidity without dehumidifying) changed? What was the capacity of the portable (pints)? If the capacity of the portable is less than 90 and it was able to get down to 50%, then either the Santa Fe is working against a higher humidity load or is not working correctly.

This link has a chart showing various capacities needed for initial humidity conditions.

See the note in 6.1 about room temperature below 65*.

Maybe the Santa Fe humidity control is out of calibration. Check the troubleshooting section 8.2 in the manual.

When the Santa Fe says 63% have you checked that independently? What reading do you get from the portable sitting next to the Santa Fe?
 

Last edited by 2john02458; 06-11-21 at 09:18 AM. Reason: room temp
  #7  
Old 06-11-21, 10:45 AM
N
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 468
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks 2john. The portable is 50 pints (https://www.bestbuy.com/site/ge-50-p...?skuId=6390682). It would fill up about halfway every 24 hours or so.

I had that running for a few weeks and kept the humidity at any level I set it at (whether 45, 50, 55%...).

I can't imagine it's any more humid now than it was the past few weeks (when we also had a lot of rain...). Past few days have been bone dry outside, so I think it's roughly apples to apples. Also, with the portable it was at 50% right before the install of the Santa Fe. Once the installers showed up I turned off the Santa Fe. When they left an hour later they turned on the Santa Fe, and since then it hasn't gone below 63%. I don't believe the humidity conditions changed that much to have caused any difference. In fact, last night I turned off Santa Fe and turned on portable (in the utility room with door open to finished space), and finished space got down to 55% (portable was set to 50% but, again, was in another room).

So yeah, unfortunately I think the Santa Fe just isn't working right

Finally, the Santa Fe doesn't tell me the humidity. There is just a dial (from humid to drier, or 80% to 20%, or all the way to the right is 'On all the time').

Unless I put the dial at 30% or lower, it doesn't kick on. So it seems to think there is hardly any humidity, but 2 hygrometers right next to it say that it's much higher (55% or so in the utility room). And even when the Santa Fe has been running for a while, they still say 55% (not only is it not drying the finished space it's not even drying the space right next to/around it).

 
  #8  
Old 06-11-21, 10:58 AM
2
Member
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: USA near Boston, MA
Posts: 1,262
Received 117 Votes on 101 Posts
Is the Santa Fe collecting any water?

I suspect the humidity controller is not working correctly.

Looks like it is available and not too expensive. Humidity control
 
  #9  
Old 06-11-21, 11:07 AM
N
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 468
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Minimal water comes out. Just a very slow drip every few seconds (or longer). I'm not even certain the condensate pump has needed to kick on.

In terms of the humidity control, would a new one help if the unit is running? In other words, I am able to get/keep the compressor on if I keep the setting really low, it just doesn't seem to be dehumidifying the air. If the compressor didn't kick on I could absolutely see it being the humidity controller, but in this instance I'm not sure. That being said it's a cheap part so might be worth a shot anyway (though do you know if it's something easy, for a novice, to install)?

Thank you again.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: