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#2079165 - 05/08/13 07:40 AM Re: Questions about the Dampp-Chaser system [Re: dynamobt]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
Boy, this is getting complicated. Honestly, I think I would:

1. Keep the humidity levels reasonably comfortable in the winter (room humidifier) and reasonably comfortable in the summer (air conditioning).

2. Give the piano an extra tuning per year if necessary (2 instead of 3, etc).

3. Enjoy the piano. smile

*edit* an extra tuning would be 3 instead of 2, not 2 instead of 3! Typing before sufficient caffeine. smile


Edited by Loren D (05/08/13 07:59 AM)
Edit Reason: correction
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#2079236 - 05/08/13 11:24 AM Re: Questions about the Dampp-Chaser system [Re: dynamobt]
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3834
I had the same condensation issues with my Chicago workshop in the winter. I had a small gas fired furnace hanging from the ceiling in one corner. I hung bat type insulation (with paper moisture barrier) underneath the roof sheathing - and had condensation. That's how I found out a spacer between the insulation and roof sheathing is required. So I ripped that out, and installed 2" thick insulated panels for a ceiling, however, there were gaps between that allowed air to reach the "attic" space and condensate.

What I really needed was a proper ceiling, with a vapor barrier and insulation.

I did not use a humidifier in there.....i kept the heat at about 50F when I was not in there, so the RH didn't drop much below 35% on cold days, and was often much higher than that.

So, I've been there and done that, and I can relate to the OP's issues.
_________________________
www.PianoTunerOrlando.com






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#2079258 - 05/08/13 12:01 PM Re: Questions about the Dampp-Chaser system [Re: dynamobt]
dynamobt Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 646
Loc: NH
The problem hasn't gone on long. I would hope I have caught it before major damage. It would be cost prohibitive to tear the ceiling out of this room!!! The solution to me is to turn the whole house unit down to a level that condensation won't form in the severe cold.

I'm calling my piano technician today about installing the Dampp-Chaser system. I figure I will get it installed soon. Then wait until July to give the piano a tuning after it has adjusted to regular humidity.
_________________________
1918 Mason & Hamlin BB





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#2079417 - 05/08/13 04:44 PM Re: Questions about the Dampp-Chaser system [Re: dynamobt]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Piano or not, your great room needs a vapor barrier.

For decades, vapor barriers have been standard practice and, in many cases, the law, in "wintery" regions. Your addition was built under five years ago without a vapor barrier? I think you need to first talk to the contractor. And then see a lawyer.
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Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
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#2079469 - 05/08/13 07:07 PM Re: Questions about the Dampp-Chaser system [Re: dynamobt]
dynamobt Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 646
Loc: NH
Called my piano technician about getting the Dampp-Chaser. I appreciate all the input and response to my questions. Some things I can do. Some things I can't do. My husband wouldn't stop me from contacting our contractor or getting a lawyer. But, it's clear he wouldn't be too thilled if I did. I have to let this drop at this point.

I do thank people for their contributions to this thread.
_________________________
1918 Mason & Hamlin BB





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#2079488 - 05/08/13 08:13 PM Re: Questions about the Dampp-Chaser system [Re: dynamobt]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1101
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By: dynamobt
Called my piano technician about getting the Dampp-Chaser. I appreciate all the input and response to my questions. Some things I can do. Some things I can't do. My husband wouldn't stop me from contacting our contractor or getting a lawyer. But, it's clear he wouldn't be too thilled if I did. I have to let this drop at this point.


If you don't have a vapor barrier, the condensation will prevent the insulation from doing its work, and you just might find that you develop a mold problem. Most areas have a codes requirement that requires a vapor barrier. If your contractor didn't follow this, and the codes department didn't catch it, you have a very good case for negligence. It isn't clear why your husband would be against having a healthy home, but that isn't any of our business.
Regards,

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#2079552 - 05/08/13 11:00 PM Re: Questions about the Dampp-Chaser system [Re: dynamobt]
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3834
When I removed that insulation from under the roof sheathing, it was soaked, smelly, and moldy. The roof sheathing had areas of mildew on it as well. I was amazed at how wet everything was. Condensation can lead to serious damage.
_________________________
www.PianoTunerOrlando.com






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#2079805 - 05/09/13 11:45 AM Re: Questions about the Dampp-Chaser system [Re: dynamobt]
dynamobt Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 646
Loc: NH
Talked with my builder and my piano technician. The thought is that the vapor barrier is working too well and trapping moisture in the room giving it nowhere to go.

My piano technician thinks I take wonderful care of my piano and that the piano is in great shape. She honestly doesn't think I need the Dampp-Chaser system. Though, I will probably go ahead and get it installed for peace of mind.

I have not turned a blind eye to potential problems. But, we aren't the type of people who sue other people. If there was a real problem, we would deal with it. The consensus is that I'm overreacting. There's no need to accuse either my husband or myself of not caring about the condition of our house or our own health. I started this thread because I care about my piano and want to take the best care of it that I can. And having talked with my piano technician, I believe I am doing just that.
_________________________
1918 Mason & Hamlin BB





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#2079837 - 05/09/13 01:01 PM Re: Questions about the Dampp-Chaser system [Re: dynamobt]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1101
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By: dynamobt
Talked with my builder and my piano technician. The thought is that the vapor barrier is working too well and trapping moisture in the room giving it nowhere to go.


Somebody is contradicted here, as the above can't be true if what you posted earlier is correct: i.e.,

" Moisture gets behind the wood through the seams between the boards. When the temperature outside is hugely contasted with inside, we get condensation freezing on the underside of the roof."

You want the vapor barrier to be as much of a barrier as possible. Is it possible that you don't have adequate ventilation above the insulation? If so, your attic is in dire need of venting.
Regards,

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#2079840 - 05/09/13 01:16 PM Re: Questions about the Dampp-Chaser system [Re: dynamobt]
dynamobt Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 646
Loc: NH
This was my supposition. Not necessarily true. The roof is fully vented with sofits at the eaves. We had the builder out to see if there was anything more that could be done. There isn't.

We were clearly trying to humidify the room more than it could handle.
I will put a Dampp-Chaser in the piano. The room was fine before I got obsessive about humidity for the piano's sake.

Thank you for your concern.
_________________________
1918 Mason & Hamlin BB





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#2080200 - 05/10/13 07:52 AM Re: Questions about the Dampp-Chaser system [Re: dynamobt]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3169
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: dynamobt
Talked with my builder and my piano technician. The thought is that the vapor barrier is working too well and trapping moisture in the room giving it nowhere to go.



That really doesn't seem possible.

If in fact your room is built correctly, then your humidifier is malfunctioning.

If the vapor barrier were working too well and construction was very tight (and I've seen European construction where infiltration was so low that humidity really did build up) then your humidifier should sense that and stop emitting water. It has a humidistat, or should.

It's like if your room temperature went to 100 degrees F, and your builder told you it was too well insulated. Nope. Your thermostat should know what temperature it is, and turn the furnace off when setpoint is reached.

Either your room is built incorrectly, or your humidifier is working wrong, or both. Correctly constructed rooms do not have condensation with a properly functioning humidifier.

In my experience (I'm a mechanical engineer, and this is what I do) about 90% of the time it's the humidifier. But in your case I'd have to see it.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2081600 - 05/12/13 09:50 PM Re: Questions about the Dampp-Chaser system [Re: TimR]
RestorerPhil Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/12
Posts: 212
Loc: Georgia, USA
As I have watched this thread, I tend to agree that the humidifier has a problem with its humidistat. Perhaps it is cycling too widely - going too wet before stopping the addition of water to the air. If this assumption is correct and we had a long-term graph, it would show severe peaks in the relative humidity during times when the heat was being used.

Of course, vapor barrier application is important - being very different here in the south than in the northern part of the country. In this case, however, it seems that something beyond the vapor barrier issue alone is in play. The Dampp Chaser system can't solve the whole-house-system puzzle, but it can take care of your piano, regardless of the possible quirks which may be found in your home system's humidistat.
_________________________
Lavender Piano Services
Established 1977
Tuning, Concert Maintenance,
Rebuilding & Restoration

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#2081767 - 05/13/13 08:38 AM Re: Questions about the Dampp-Chaser system [Re: dynamobt]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Where is the humidistat located? If it is on the cold air return duct near the furnace and has a knob for adjusting the humidity level, I'll send you a new one free. I have several lying about. Takes 10 minutes to replace, which you can do yourself (2 wires, 24 volt system).

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