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Humidifying Helper

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by drurb, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    It's that time of year again (at least, in the northeast US) where we have to start watching the hygrometers. One thing that I've found to be somewhat of an annoyance over the years is that if a humidifier has a humidistat at all, it's not usually very useful (the humidity swing it allows, i.e., "the differential," is usually too great) and to get a humidifer with such a control usually means you have to spend more.

    Enter the Dayton plug-in humidistat. This little gem combines a hygrometer and humidistat with a claimed +/-1% differential. Sure, it's $50 but you can combine it with an inexpensive evaporative humidifier and you're good to go. If the humidifier ever craps out, just get another inexpensive one. The control should go on and on. Yup, there's one plugged into the wall where my bass lives. :)
    robobass likes this.
  2. BrBss


    Jul 9, 2010
    Albuquerque NM
    Looks like a nice product. I won't buy one, because here in New Mexico, once we shut off the evaporative coolers, the humidifier runs pretty much 24/7 in my music room!
  3. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    At times, that 24/7 is true for me too. Like a number of other players, I have a whole-house humidifier and a separate supplemental one for the bass. As the seasons change, it's important to have the smaller one be controlled.
  4. shwashwa


    Aug 30, 2003
    is is accurate? i just bought a hygrometer with an indoor and outdoor unit, and i just keep them next to each other in the same room, and they read some times as much as 10% apart from each other. kind of a bummer.
  5. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    I've been testing it. It's plugged into an outlet near the floor but I have another hygrometer right near it. They tend to typically be 2-3% apart. I have yet another hygrometer near the bass a few feet away. They all seem to be within 5% of each other. Of course, you could always adjust the dial on the Dayton unit to maintain the humidity at whatever level you want on whatever hygrometer you trust the most.
  6. Cody Sisk

    Cody Sisk

    Jan 26, 2009
    Lilburn, GA
    Ronald Sachs Violins
    Most digital hygrometers are inaccurate just by design. The temperature makes a difference in the measurement of relative humidity. You need a device that will make the necessary calculation and the cheapest one I could find with real pinpoint accuracy is my Fluke Hygrometer. Though I paid 300 smackers for it. Worthy investment if you have hundreds of instruments stored.

    However, to the average bass player, it's not feasible. As an alternative, I'd suggest either purchasing or making your own sling psychrometer. These nifty devices are even more accurate than my fluke and can be built/acquired pretty cheap.

    Cheaper than that, trust your body to tell you. If it feels drafty or your sinuses feel dry or are bleeding, it's too dry. If you're sweating and it's only 72° in your house, your humidity is too high.

    In most cases, unless you're babysitting a 200+ year old pedigree instrument, if you're comfortable so is your bass.
    robobass likes this.
  7. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    I'm updating this because of another current and related thread. First, any device designed to read relative humidity must take temperature into account. That's where the "relative" part comes from. All digital and analog hygrometers purport to do this. I agree with Cody that some do it better than others but, to my knowledge, none of them simply reads absolute humidity such that they are flawed by design.

    I now have three of the Dayton devices. I decided to install two at work for reasons other than bass maintenance. :) They work incredibly well and they are quite consistent across devices. That is to say that all three agree with each other within about 1% or so. Either they're all accurate or all equally inaccurate. :)
  8. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    A better price on the Dayton control can be found here.
  9. groooooove

    groooooove Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    this is just a plug that goes into an outlet that will turn on/off when the humidity is too low/high, right?

    seems useful, but for $60? jeeze...

    maybe ill try one.
  10. shwashwa


    Aug 30, 2003
    nifty. i actually use 2 humidifiers to humidify my bass room. i have a bunch of basses in there. if i plug them both into an extension chord, then the extension into that control it will control both right? cool. more tanks = less fequent water fill ups. it gets rather tedious after a few months...
  11. groooooove

    groooooove Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    i have all of my instruments in a small bedroom. normally i leave the door open and a small humidifier running pretty much always. with the door closed it gets real wet real fast. with it open it feels comfortable but its always running, so needs to be filled pretty much every day.

    just got my dayton all set up. now i can leave the door closed and let this thing control the humidity, so there should be much less fill ups, since the space is small and more contained if its closed.

    the better part is that the humidity will at least be controlled, which is better than my old setup of "this is definitely better than nothing."

    so, i have to admit, this thing was definitely worth the $60.
  12. hygrotechindia


    Jan 13, 2014
    Humidistats happen to be a crucial part of humidiifiers. They are vital for maintaining the relative humidity in air.
  13. powerbass


    Nov 2, 2006
    western MA
    it may have already been mentioned but when you run a humidifier constantly all the moisture goes up and attaches onto the coldest surface like the attic side of your roof. this can cause mold problems, wet insulation, wood rot etc. I ran a humidifier constantly one winter and discovered this issue when I went up to my attic. granted I need better ventilation up there.
  14. Dbassmon


    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    If you are a working musician and your instruments leave the house, it is important to moderate the humidity level in the environment in which they are stored.

    Quick and drastic changes in humidity and temperature are things that should be avoided. So if keep you music studio at 50% humidity, that can be a problem when you go into a venue with 20% relative humidity.

    Consider keeping your humidity level in your studio at 30-35% if you are gigging and taking your instruments somewhere where there is dry heat. There will be less stress on the instrument.
  15. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Good advice! People can avoid the problem if they don't over-humidify and if they have well-insulated and well-vented attic spaces. Actually, the problem can occur within walls as well, especially in older homes without vapor barriers. You can find charts that list the maximum recommended indoor humidity for a given outdoor temperature. The idea is to minimize condensation in the walls.
  16. Bass Momma

    Bass Momma

    Dec 25, 2017
    I just bought a Dayton Hygro plug, the 1UHG3, and an AirInnovations humidifier. The problem is that the humidifier has an electronic switch, so I'm guessing if it's switched off by the Dayton, it won't switch back on without that On button being pressed again. Am I missing something here? There is a humidistat in the humidifier, so I might just have to rely on that.
  17. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    Quick/drastic changes in humidity are not so important, as wood takes a fair length of time to absorb or shed moisture. It's something I would worry about if leaving my carved bass in a venue for more than a few days, but for a few hours, not at all. Quick temperature change is another issue.
    Bass Momma likes this.
  18. Bass Momma

    Bass Momma

    Dec 25, 2017
    I just started upright in July, on a nice old carved bass (one gets to a certain age where postponing the good stuff doesn't make much sense :laugh:). So I'm going through some of that "new baby" phenomenon, before you figure out that they do have a degree of resilience! :bassist:
    Max George and AGCurry like this.

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