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#2304746 - 07/21/14 09:16 AM Damp Chaser question.
Ragdoll Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/12
Posts: 695
Loc: Illinois
Hi all, I ordered some new pads for my system and have a couple small questions. I removed the knee board (I think it's called) to have a peek and noticed that the buildup on the pads is like a collection of sapphires of brilliant blue. Is this significant and if so what significance does it imply? Should I do something about it or ignore it. I'm inclined to think it may be my water. Thanks for any insight. smile
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Ragdoll

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#2304754 - 07/21/14 09:37 AM Re: Damp Chaser question. [Re: Ragdoll]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Ragdoll,

It's hard to say what the buildup is, but I doubt that you are growing sapphires!

With a D-C system, it is best to use distilled water and one capful of the additive, for each filling, which is produced by Piano Lifesaver Co. That will prevent the excessive buildup that you are seeing.
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Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2304756 - 07/21/14 09:42 AM Re: Damp Chaser question. [Re: Ragdoll]
prout Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 898
Probably cupric sulphate.

As the water in the pads evaporates, it produces a supersaturated solution of whatever chemicals occur in your water, which then grow into crystals. I am guessing that the PAD treatment solution (electrolyte) used to ensure that sensors work correctly contains the above chemical.

Enjoy.

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#2304767 - 07/21/14 10:14 AM Re: Damp Chaser question. [Re: Ragdoll]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Prout, it's not good to guess.

When used correctly, there is no build up from the additive. It comes from the use of tap water. Switching to distilled water solves the problem completely.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2304771 - 07/21/14 10:19 AM Re: Damp Chaser question. [Re: Minnesota Marty]
prout Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 898
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Prout, it's not good to guess.

When used correctly, there is no build up from the additive. It comes from the use of tap water. Switching to distilled water solves the problem completely.


I didn't guess. The crystals grow from the chemical constituents in the solution, regardless of how they got there. If you use distilled water and no additive, unless your tank or pad is contaminated, it will be non conductive, and therefore the low water sensor will not work.

(Edit: Actually, I did guess about the specific chemical.)


Edited by prout (07/21/14 10:31 AM)

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#2304774 - 07/21/14 10:30 AM Re: Damp Chaser question. [Re: Ragdoll]
prout Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 898
This is a little off topic so please excuse my rant.

I get tired of people saying "It is not good to guess." (Marty - I am not angry with you, just angry with a concept.) Guessing is at the very heart of scientific enquiry.

I make a guess about something, set up an experiment to test my guess, and then find out that I was wrong. I have now learned something. This advances my knowledge and is a good thing.

(rant over)

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#2304782 - 07/21/14 10:42 AM Re: Damp Chaser question. [Re: Ragdoll]
Frank Pinn Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/21/10
Posts: 18
Loc: Lake Zurich, IL
Ragdoll this is straight from Dampp Chaser
3. Adding water to the Humidifier tank. Your System will need water at regular intervals such as every two weeks (+/-), depending on your environment. If this regular interval changes drastically, call your technician. The Humidifier is equipped with sensor probes that sense when the water reservoir is three-quarters empty. At that point, the yellow light marked WATER on the light panel will continue blinking until water is added. When the yellow light blinks, add a watering can filled to the FULL can mark. Do not add just enough water to turn the light off. If your grand piano System has 2 tanks, add 2 full cans of water when the yellow light blinks.

If your tap water comes from a well or is "hard" water, meaning containing significant minerals, we recommend using distilled water. If distilled water is used, add a capful of PAD Treatment (see below) or 1/4 cup of tap water to insure there is adequate electrolyte in the Humidifier to support operation of the Low Water Warning Light. Without sufficient electrolyte, the light will blink continuously, even when the tank is full. Do not put salt in the Humidifier, as it is corrosive.

Build up of those minerals is normal. Your pads should be changed out once a year or more often if needed. Your technician can advise you on this.

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#2304784 - 07/21/14 10:43 AM Re: Damp Chaser question. [Re: Ragdoll]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
It is true that distilled water is nonconductive. The D-C water treatment contains the proper electrolytes for the tank sensor to work and antibacterials so 'stuff' doesn't grow.

Ragdoll was asking if she should "do something about it or ignore it."

I recommended that she should do something and relayed the instructions of the manufacturer. What she is experiencing is from her tap water and not the conditioner solution.

Strangely enough, the D-C pads are blue, but I've never encountered any dye seepage.

(use of 'bold' as per OP)
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Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2304786 - 07/21/14 10:45 AM Re: Damp Chaser question. [Re: Ragdoll]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Frank, we were typing at the same time.
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Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2305065 - 07/21/14 08:28 PM Re: Damp Chaser question. [Re: Ragdoll]
Ragdoll Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/12
Posts: 695
Loc: Illinois
Thanks to all who took the time to answer. I do find I have to add water (and additive from DC) at about 2-3 week intervals. Closer to 2 in the winter. Guess I'll pick up a couple o' jugs of distilled water when I go to market and see if anything changes. Cheers.
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Ragdoll

Never get directions from someone who hasn't been there.


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#2305084 - 07/21/14 09:13 PM Re: Damp Chaser question. [Re: Ragdoll]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1483
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
So, that seems to imply that use of the additive does not reduce mineral deposits. Which makes sense. I always wondered how an additive could chemically change a mineral into water, or prherwise reduce mineral buildup. Correct me if you know otherwise.
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Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2305088 - 07/21/14 09:19 PM Re: Damp Chaser question. [Re: Ragdoll]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Ragdoll,

When you make the change, putting in the new pads is a good idea. The switch to distilled won't get rid of the buildup on the old pads.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2305090 - 07/21/14 09:21 PM Re: Damp Chaser question. [Re: Ragdoll]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Mark, you are absolutely correct. The D-C solution isn't a "water softener." Even "softened" (Hey Culligan Man!) water will cause a buildup because it isn't totally mineral free.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2305145 - 07/21/14 11:59 PM Re: Damp Chaser question. [Re: Ragdoll]
Chris Leslie Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/11
Posts: 756
Loc: Canberra, ACT, Australia
Isn't it possible to use volatile electrolytes so that they evaporate along with distilled H2O and not leave a solid residue? Does anybody know of one that is not corrosive or toxic?


Edited by Chris Leslie (07/22/14 12:00 AM)
_________________________
Chris Leslie
Piano technician
http://www.chrisleslie.com.au

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#2305154 - 07/22/14 12:38 AM Re: Damp Chaser question. [Re: Ragdoll]
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 1843
Loc: Conway, AR USA
All good points.

"Dampp Chaser PAD Treatment... prolongs the humidifier pad life, keeps the watering tube clean and clear, and reduces mineral build-up in the piano humidifier tank. Use one (1) cap full every time you refill the humidifier with water.

"We recommend replacing Dampp Chaser Pads at least twice a year, or when mineral deposits render them ineffective. Newer Dampp Chaser systems have a 'PAD light' on the front panel that will alert you when pads should be replaced."

In some areas of the Arkie Boonies the water is so "hard" that the pads wouldn't last six months. (Such water had also been known to literally change the color of the pads.) Even distilled water with a qtr cup of the well-water (for the sensor) might not slow the petrifying effect enough to make a significant difference. Before the development of the D-C PAD Treatment I had to provide these piano owners with an extra set of pads (along with instructions) to change out at three to five months. The D-C pad treatment is truly a wonder drug for "ailing water."


Edited by bkw58 (07/22/14 12:52 AM)
Edit Reason: clarity
_________________________
Bob W.
Retired piano technician
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com

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#2305281 - 07/22/14 10:23 AM Re: Damp Chaser question. [Re: Chris Leslie]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: Chris Leslie
Isn't it possible to use volatile electrolytes so that they evaporate along with distilled H2O and not leave a solid residue? Does anybody know of one that is not corrosive or toxic?

Why not just buy the formulated treatment from D-C?
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2314111 - 08/11/14 08:18 AM Re: Damp Chaser question. [Re: Ragdoll]
Ragdoll Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/12
Posts: 695
Loc: Illinois
FYI... I only bumped this as a follow-up. The pad/liner change went well but I discovered an interesting fact that may have contributed to my original problem (sapphire farming grin), and which I think resulted in an overdose of chemicals. "Purified" water and "Distilled" water are definitely different things. I will certainly look closer at labels when I purchase water for the system in the future. I was adding the "purified water" (which has chemicals added) as well as very occasionally tap water and the pad treatment in both cases. blush Seems no lasting harm has occurred to the damp-chaser however.
_________________________
Ragdoll

Never get directions from someone who hasn't been there.


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