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When I bought my 2 year old grand a year or so ago (from the original dealer, after the first buyer decided to upsize), it came with a grand Dampp-Chaser that the first buyer had left on it. As I already had a whole-house humidifier, I decided not to bother using the Dampp-Chaser. Seeing, however, that my RH was still sometimes under 30 (according to my old, pretty cheap, hygrometer), I decided this made no sense.

I ordered a Filler pitcher, humidifier pads and treatment from the Dampp-Chaser site, all of which came with instructions. What I couldn't find was any instructions on how to remove the bucket from the piano or how to fill it, using the pitcher.

Managed to get through it without too much difficulty, but still have a couple of questions. Is it correct that, to remove the bucket, you detach the lights, water sensor and humidifier cables from the controller, and then loosen the wing-nut to detach the bucket from the hose?

When the pitcher was empty, the end of the hose was still full of water. I tried to lift it high enough for all the water in the hose to drain into the bucket, but without much luck - had to mop up. Is there a trick to this?

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Youtube is your friend

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You remove the tank only when you change the pads or clean up the system, etc. To fill the tank, simply fill the pitcher, plug it to the tank tube and hold it high enough to be above the tank. Gravity takes care of the rest. Once the pitcher is empty, simply hide the tube end under the piano where it was.

To remove the tank for clean-up or change pads, you can do what you mentioned (depending on DC model and how it was installed). I personally change pads once the tank is empty - here RH goes so high in the summer that the humidifier part of the DC is not requested. So it's easy to remove an empty tank. Otherwise, I bring a bucket nearby and begin by carefully tilt the tank towards the bucket. Once it's empty, it's much easier to unscrew and disconnect things. Don't forget to unplug the system for extra safety before you start.

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My tech told me to lower the container with tube attached after I had poured the water in, so that any water remaining could drop back into the container. After a few seconds I would just disconnect it and place the tube back inside the clips on the underneath of the piano.

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Originally Posted by sfhombre
Youtube is your friend


You know, I belong to a woodworking forum in which that answer is given so often I'm embarrassed not to have thought of it. Just took a look and found an number of videos.

Thanks.

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Originally Posted by Bosendorff
To fill the tank, simply fill the pitcher, plug it to the tank tube and hold it high enough to be above the tank. Gravity takes care of the rest. Once the pitcher is empty, simply hide the tube end under the piano where it was.


My hose runs from the tank over a back brace - very near the soundboard, so raising the entire water-filled hose to this level for everything to drain is a problem. I'll take a look at installations in the YouTube videos recommended above, and see if I need to change my configuration.

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Originally Posted by tend to rush
My hose runs from the tank over a back brace - very near the soundboard, so raising the entire water-filled hose to this level for everything to drain is a problem. I'll take a look at installations in the YouTube videos recommended above, and see if I need to change my configuration.


You might need to reroute the fill tube so you have more tube to work with on the watering can end. It's possible the fill tube is just too short. I'm not sure if you have a newer system, or one of the various older systems.

Did you notice if the water went in quickly or slowly? If slowly, there may be a small kink in the fill tube, or the watering can just isn't high enough.

If it's just water left in the fill tube, keep the fill tube attached to the watering can and lower the watering can, allowing the water to drain back into the can. THEN, remove the fill tube and place the end inside the watering can and tap it around a bit. This will get all but a few drops out of the fill tube.


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Originally Posted by Eric Gloo
[quote=tend to rush]If it's just water left in the fill tube, keep the fill tube attached to the watering can and lower the watering can, allowing the water to drain back into the can. THEN, remove the fill tube and place the end inside the watering can and tap it around a bit. This will get all but a few drops out of the fill tube.


Yeah. Saw this in one of the YouTube videos. Kinda obvious, at least in retrospect.

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Hi tend to rush, sent you a PM with a pic.

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Just to add, it is the swing in humidity that can be the worse for tuning stability. 30% is a bit dry but if it stays there, the piano should be stable.

The continued dryness may result in some cracks forming down the line though. Good idea to try and raise that. But be warned, if you get the humidity up, and then the tank goes dry and the board flattens out a bit, the tuning will be knocked out and adding water after the fact will not help. So don't leave the house for more than a week without someone monitoring it.

Also, be aware that if you do not have the Smart Heater Bar, and the pads get too much mineral deposits on them and stop wicking water up, the humidifier bar will not turn off, and it will turn into a drying bar, drying out the piano at the precise time when you need humidity!

Even when the tank runs empty, the humidifier bar can still go on. I called DC about that problem. They said 7 watts is nothing to worry about. Well, 7 watts of heat when my piano is already at 20% is something I'd rather not have.

With the Smart Heater Bar, dry pads due to mineral deposits or an empty tank, are the same thing; the bar turns off.

You know you have the Smart Heater Bar if you have three lights on your panel; Power(green) - Water(yellow) - Pads(red)

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Thanks, Mark. Looks like I do have the Smart Heater Bar.

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Originally Posted by Mark Cerisano, RPT
Even when the tank runs empty, the humidifier bar can still go on.

I noticed that too a few years ago. Then replaced the DC humidistat with an electronic controller.

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Originally Posted by Mark Cerisano, RPT
With the Smart Heater Bar, dry pads due to mineral deposits or an empty tank, are the same thing; the bar turns off.


The bar is "supposed" to turn off when the pads are dry. However, in the majority of cases I've seen in my area, the pads dry out due to excessive mineral deposits, but the Smart Heater Bar sensor still senses "something" and doesn't turn the humidifier tank heater bar off.


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Hmmm...not very smart :-)

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Am I the only one that blows into the end of the tube after filling to clear it of excess water so it doesn't leak back out?

<embarrassed> :-)


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I do it, too...gently.


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Yes, I like to do that too. Just be sure no one else is doing it too.

As mentioned, the "smart" does not ALWAYS work as intended. Also, try very hard to avoid letting the thing go dry. Repeated drying of the pads will cause them to stop wicking prematurely.

Pwg


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Yes to the smart heater bar not being smart. At my last tuning, my piano was way out of whack to the point where the tech said the tuning pins didn't feel as tight -- turned out the pads and the ends of the heater bar were totally encrusted with nastiness and I'm sure no water had been wicking for quite some time (I noticed the piano wasn't asking for water very often but I thought it was just the weirdly warm winter we were having). My dampp chaser has an undercover installed and the tech has been changing the pads for me for years so I hadn't really looked closely to see what was going on. I ended up taking the unit apart after the tech left and chipping off like an inch and a half of mineral buildup off the ends of the heater bar and the top of the tank - so gross!!!

He recommended I switch to using distilled water only because of the crazy high mineral content our water has. (Just a note - if you use distilled water, you have to also use the dampp chaser additive or the sensor can't detect the water in the tank.) It's kind of a pain but it will be worth it if it helps.

And yes, I totally blow into the tube to drain the water.

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Originally Posted by lkplatow
(Just a note - if you use distilled water, you have to also use the dampp chaser additive or the sensor can't detect the water in the tank.) It's kind of a pain but it will be worth it if it helps.


I was afraid you would not add that last statement Lisa. Great to see you here after all this time!

I hope the family and your Chickering are both well.


Rich Galassini
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