Which Humidifier wokrs best in ALt darkroom

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Jim Noel, Nov 27, 2006.

  1. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    I know this has been mentioned in some alternative photography threads but a search does not turn up the answer.

    Some workers seem to have a favorite tower humidifier to keep the darkroom at 50% RH when coating and printing alt processes. I am interested in purchasing one, and would like suggestions.

    Thanks in advance.

    Jim
     
  2. donbga

    donbga Member

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    Hi Jim,

    Funny you should mention this. I just replaced my Honeywell floor console model with a Holmes HM6005HD tower unit. It seems to work very well, and is fairly quite. This unit has an illuminated RH indicator with 3 auto fan settings. My darkroom is about 640 cu. ft.

    Now the odd thing is that I have 3 RH meters. The one that is contained in the new humidifier, an old Radio Shack Wall unit, and a wet/dry bulb thermometer. They all read differently, though occasionally the Radio Shack and the tower unit are only 5 points apart.

    I've had my new unit less than a week but I can definitly tell the difference just by feeling my paper that has been left in my darkroom.

    Anyway I got my unit for $55 on sale at Home Depot.

    Hope this helps,
     
  3. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    Thanks Don.
    Even the price seems right. I wil check with my local Home Depot tomorrow.
    Jim
     
  4. davido

    davido Subscriber

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    I'm looking to get a decent humidifier. It seems that the Holmes model mentioned above is cool mist humidifier but there are also warm mist ones. Wouldn't a warm mist humidifier humidify a room quicker? Are there advantages to one type over the other?
    It would be so great to have an RH indicator as well as automatic RH control for my paper coating area.
    thanks for any advice
    david
     
  5. donbga

    donbga Member

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    There is no mist produced at all with this humidifier. I do have another small cool mist humidifier and it does indeed produce a cool mist, more than is really useful.
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    It's not cheap, but after years of messing with inadequate humidifiers just to keep the musical instruments from cracking, we've finally settled on a Venta Air-Washer. These keep the humidity in the 40-50% range usually through our dry New York winters (occasionally it can get lower), and they don't create dust (in fact they reduce dust), and don't require pads, though they do need to be cleaned every couple of weeks.
     
  7. wilsonneal

    wilsonneal Member

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    In my experience, the cold mist humidifiers create some dust, but they have the benefit of lower maintenance. The warm mist humidifiers require regular cleaning/maintenance, as calcium deposits build up on their heater coils. In my darkroom I have a ten year old Bionaire with a one gallon tank. It's very small. It brings the 7x7x8 foot room from 30% RH to about 50-60% RH in about half an hour.
     
  8. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

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    I have a small cool mist humidifier that I use to humidify paper just before coating. It is too small to bring the humidity in the room up. In winter, the RH in my alt dark room is often around 20 to 25%. I found the fastest way to get the humidity up to 50% is to just boil water for about 10 minutes. I have a hot plate for heating the developer anyway. Once I get the RH up to 50%, I don't have any problem keeping it there because I have the wash water running.
     
  9. bobherbst

    bobherbst Member

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    Relative Humidity Indicator

    Davido,

    How do you know you need a humidifier if you don't currently have a relative humidity indicator? I know it depends on your heating system, but if you have a forced air system, you would be far better off with a whole house humidifier on your furnace. It will also be better for your health as well. We installed one 21 years ago and it only requires annual replacement of the media at about $15. The only electricity it uses is to activate a solenoid valve to turn the water on and off. The solenoid is linked to a humidistat sensor inserted into the plenum of the furnace. In the summer in Ohio, there is never a need for humidification in the basement where I have my printing facilities. We run a de-humidifier. All paper and materials stay at a constant range of 50-70% year round.

     
  10. davido

    davido Subscriber

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    bob, I do have an RH meter, what I was referring to was a humidifier which you could set to a specific humidity. we do have a really old cold humidifier which you can't set and probably isn't very efficient.
    I would love to eventually get a system for our house but for the time being I just need something for the coating area in our basement (to go from about 35% RH to 60%. the old cool humifier seems to take forever to do anything and I plug in a vaporizer which is much better but a pain to monitor.
    Recently, I have been coating prints at the co-op darkroom, where I belong, in the film loading room. it only about 4x4 feet, so i'm guessing that a cold humidifier would work fairly quickly going from about 35% RH to 60% in a room that small?
    I tried just using a kettle but, while trying to do too much at once, I forgot about the boiling kettle. I came back to the room to find water dripping from the walls and my poor little RH meter off the scale!

    thanks everyone,
    david
     
  11. nze

    nze Member

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    ultrasonic are the best
     
  12. donbga

    donbga Member

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    The Holmes unit mentioned earlier allows the RH to be set and the unit will turn on and off automatically.