Indoor pool dehumidification

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  #1  
Old 02-12-05, 10:58 PM
Canadave
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Indoor pool dehumidification

I came across this board searching for info regarding dehumidification for our indoor pool. My wife and I left the rat race in Toronto and retired almost 7 years ago and bought a country home on a lake in SE Ontario by auction. The place came with an indoor pool about which we knew squat but are well into the learning curve. Being on a lake, we rarely use the pool in the summer but frequently in the winter and cooler months. To deal with the humidity we keep the pool cover on at all times which is quite effective; however, after a swim, we immediately put the cover back on and open the patio doors and opposite windows and let the outside air blow through. The cold outside air meeting the warm humid inside air turns the pool room into a London fog for about 15 to 20 minutes after which the humid air has been expelled and we then close the patio doors and windows. If we had $25,000 to throw at the humidity problem, the obvious solution would be to buy a Dryatron which does an excellent job; however, my Scottish genes demand that I find a more economical solution. Two alternatives are
1) exhaust fan(s) with a seperate opening for replacement air with the option of an in-line heater to pre-heat the fresh air or 2) a heat recovery ventilator, also with an optional in-line heater. Exhaust fans have been recommended as being realistic as we only use the pool in winter for a half hour 3 times per week on average meaning a relatively low humidity exposure. An HRV is more expensive but there would be a pay back over 7-10 years due to heat recovery. We have had many recommendations by so-called experts who collectively claim both options either would or would not work and hence we are left scratching out heads. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 
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Old 02-14-05, 11:30 AM
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I have worked on just what you are talking about many times. It is a hard fight all the way. In fact I know of 3 Holiday Inns that just close the pool down for what the cost was in the winter. Dont know if you have seen one but they stopped building what was called Holiday dome Inns. You have it right, exhaust fans and a big make up air heater But you would have to use a furnace for the make up air to go into the pool room and then try and take it into the home. Any of the big make up air heaters that I have used dont have any vent pipes on them. You have to tie the exhaust fans to go on when the heater comes on so it dont kill anybody from carbon monoxide. Have done a lot of big restaurants kitchen this way.For the cost and what you use it . Have you tried any dehumidifers.
NO help sorry just my .02 cents
ED
 
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Old 02-16-05, 09:13 PM
Canadave
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Thanx for the reply Ed!

An electric in-line heater was recommended so carbon monoxide wouldn't be a problem. An air handler was also suggested which I could connect to the boiler that I now use to heat the pool water as well as the house. The cheapest solution would seem to be an exhaust fan. I would end up wasting energy by exhausting heated air but since we use the pool 3 times per week at the most for a total of 1 1/2 hours, the energy cost should be a lot less than the cost of a more expensive system. An HRV is likely a reasonable possibility. A VP at Bardon Supplies, a local reputable distributor of plumbing, heating equipment etc. recommended it as he uses one in his indoor pool and he claims quite successfully. Decisions decisions eh?
 
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Old 02-17-05, 09:57 AM
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Ok now if that boiler is big enough they have blower coil units that have hot water coils in them. Take out side air in them and On the other side of the room put some auto flipper vents size to the CFM that will let the air out. Elec would work also. Go http://www.warmair.net compare fuel cost.

ED
 
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Old 02-17-05, 10:58 AM
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"You can't get something for nothing" is an engineering principle that applies here.

If you simply exhaust the air, you have to heat the incoming air which will have a very high cost in the wintertime.

If you use a common HRV, you will save on heating costs, but will have a problem with too much frost forming on the exhaust side of the heat transfer media. The constant defrost cycles will make it less effective.

If you use a simple dehumidifier, you will need too many to get the capacity you require, plus as the temperature of the room goes down, so does their capacity.
This is what the Dryatron unit is for.
They are expensive but the right tool for the job.

Although they will want to sell you something, Dryatron in my opinion would be the ones to get the most solid info from.
A sales rep from a local distributer may not be able to provide an objective appraisal of what you need.
He may only offer the best solution using what he has in HIS catalogue, and might not be that well versed in the subject as a whole.
 
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Old 02-18-05, 11:55 AM
Canadave
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ED: You asked ... "Have you tried any dehumidifiers"?

I don't think dehumidifiers are a good solution as I think that it's important to expel the humidity ASAP before it can get into the walls or through the ceiling into the attic space. In the half hour periods that we use the pool, the windows and walls are dripping wet and remain that way for the half hour until we replace the cover and open the patio doors and windows to exhaust the warm humid air naturally. The walls and ceiling are tongue and groove pine and cedar and to our surprise, there is no vapour barrier behind the tongue and groove in the ceiling. Our concern is that any humidity that could get behind the wood might soak the insulation and wood causing mildew and rot etc. which as you can appreciate could quickly cause extensive damage requiring expensive repairs. Thanx also for suggesting the http://www.warmair.net site. I'll check it out. By the way, we have a 264 K BTU boiler for heating the house and pool water and I believe that it should also be able to handle an air handler as you suggested.
 
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Old 02-19-05, 02:01 PM
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Talking

The walls and ceiling are tongue and groove pine and cedar and to our surprise, there is no vapour barrier behind the tongue and groove in the ceiling. Our concern is that any humidity that could get behind the wood might soak the insulation and wood causing mildew and rot etc. which as you can appreciate could quickly cause extensive damage requiring expensive repairs.
I can see the $$$$ go now. But Id try and take it all down now before it goes to far. Put a 6 mil poly over all the insulation and put the wood back.
With just the pool there the moisture will be there to get into the wood
Had one last year here Just a home up there in canada.Had paper V/B on the insulation. Moisture till got to the sidings nails and started to rust . On a new home.We use paper back insulation most of the time here But still put a 4 mil poly over it as one big piece to like help seal it for a good V /B

ED
 
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Old 02-22-05, 02:17 PM
Canadave
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Thanx for the input Ed. We're going to have our carpenter and handyman go up into the attic space above the pool in the spring to check out the condition. When he built the addition to accomodate the boiler, filter etc. he was able to inspect the inner walls to some degree and found they were fine. I hate going up there myself as black rat snakes like to get in there to shed their skins and being an ex-city boy, I'd have a heart attack and die if I came across one of them up there. Those suckers are six feet long. What the hell was God thinking when he came up with those damn things? He and I do not have the same sense of humour I suppose.
 
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