Most people need a dehumidifier in the basement. Can you tell us more about your basement? If you live in Missouri, you could have a walkout. Do you have a sump pump? How often does it run?

I was just looking at this site and these guys list a recommended dehumidifier.

https://www.uswaterproofing.com/

What do you mean about protecting electrical? I have surge protectors on my electrical panels and I am installing a NG generator to keep my sump pumps running.

George

Get a sump pump and direct the water to a sink or outside.  That way you don't have to keep emptying the bucket.   Don't know what brand I have oft hand but it's noisy as hell.   Get one with a energy star rating, maybe check into what Consumer reports recommends.

I live in the northeast, Long Island, I always ran a dehumidifier in the summer months. Nothing in the winter. I switched to a portable AC last year which does a good job. A little more expensive to run but much more comfortable when running trains down there. 

Three Rails Are Better Than None 

If you have a floor drain you can run the drain hose from the dehumidifier into it. Dumping the bucket gets old real quick. Absent a floor drain I use a Little Giant pump to pump the condensate into the laundry tub.

Condensate, 1/50 HP, 1/2 gal, 15 ft., 120VAC

Amazon haz 'em.

Lew

Growing old is so much more fun than the only alternative.

Dehumidifier on a heavy duty mechanical Intermatic timer set to run only during the day. Had a Haier from Target, it lasted about 10 years, a Frigidaire from Abt, lasted about 60 days, now using a Toshiba from Home Depot.

I got a 4-year warranty for the Frigidaire, so I now have second one sitting in a box, not sure what to do with it.

Michael T.

I had a Haier a few years ago, lasted less than one season!  I got a warranty replacement, it made it past the one year total mark and crapped out.  I stopped buying those.

Don't worry, you'll find a use for the Frigidaire soon, they all seem to have a limited life.

I use a Soleus Air dehumidifier which as far outlasted any other brand I have used.  Some others barely made it past one year.  I keep the humidity in my basement at 35% and get moisture out of the air year round.  I figure my investment in my trains is worth the electricity to run the dehumidifier.  I live in Wisconsin, by the way.

RON ARNDT 091718 posted:

I use a Soleus Air dehumidifier which as far outlasted any other brand I have used.  Some others barely made it past one year.  I keep the humidity in my basement at 35% and get moisture out of the air year round.  I figure my investment in my trains is worth the electricity to run the dehumidifier.  I live in Wisconsin, by the way.

Hmm...  I'd be careful...

Soleus Air dehumidifiers pulled from stores and our Ratings

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We installed a Humidex in our home about twenty years ago. It came with a ten year warranty, the motor seized up at nine years, l called the company and they sent a replacement motor, no charge. It is quiet and very economical to run, downside was initial outlay, but twenty years later I am not sorry for this purchase.

RAY

I live outside of Philadelphia.  My small cellar does get humid.  I have one of those radon type fans attached to a humidistat, which helps.  I also cut a vent into the supply duct on the air conditioner.  The cooled dryer air helps a great deal.  I did not cut an opening into the return air duct, however.  

Dan Padova

 

"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill

                                                                                                                                        

I used to have humidity problems in my basement here in Michigan. I bought a "brand x" dehumidifier from Home Depot and the compressor / condenser took a dive in less than 1 year.... When it worked it made a huge difference.

Next time I am hanging on to my receipt. 

TCA Number 16-71884

I'm in Connecticut.  Bought a Hisense from Lowes, crapped out in a month.  Kept the receipt, got a new one, it's been running great for over a year.

We have a large basement/rec-room, with two separate train layouts.  One is overhead, goes around the main room and across the back bar.   The other is an 8X35 table layout through three narrow rooms.  There is a large 50 year old speaker system and a 60 inch TV.  Because of this, we always run a dehumidifier, except during the winter months.  I would guess those things have lasted between 5 and 8 years.  The newer ones have sensors that allow them to shutdown automatically.  I set it at 40% humidity.  We have a bathroom down there, so emptying the bucket into the sink is only a matter of a few steps.

Jerry

My train room is in my basement. My basement is the full foundation of the home and is 72 feet long and 30 feet wide.  One end has a walk out with two windows and a patio door going out to a deck.   I have walled off  25 feet of this end and finished it as a man cave/train room.  The remainder of the basement is typical with a large workcenter for repairing and restoring trains and a large woodworking facility plus the usual utilities such as furnace, water heater and water tank from the incoming well. Also, most important, my beer refrigerator.

I use a dehumidifier in each area. At present I have (2) Keystone dehumidifiers model KSTAD70B.  I will be cranking them up in the next couple of weeks for their fourth season. So far they have worked very well. They are both hooked to drains so I don’t have to worry about emptying the tanks. I try to keep my basement at about 40%.

Jim

 

We run two in our basement here in Meeeeshigan. 

One is 20+ years old....still working perfectly. 

The other is newer.  It's a replacement for the first...for which the manufacturer issued a recall.  It, too, is working well.

Having two at work to control the humidity in the 'warm' season....(Which BTW has yet to arrive in these parts this year!!!!!!!!)...is for redundancy's sake.   De-humidifiers are somewhat notorious for short lives (see above comments from others). 

So, wouldn't you know it?......mine, thankfully and apparently, aren't 'normal'!!

And, YES!......It makes ALL the difference in the basement.

KD

Not to change the subject, but....

A chap at church yesterday, while discussing the seemingly never-ending cold temperatures around here, reminded me that we are but one week and one month away from the longest daylight of the year!  And the wife is STILL walking the dogs in the morning wearing a winter parka!!!!!!  Climate change, indeed?  Good grief, Charlie Brown!

gunrunnerjohn posted:

I'd like to know what dehumidifier you have that has lasted 20 years, I want one of those!

Have this old Admiral unit in the basement for over 30 years.  Before that, it was in the man cave.  Whisper quiet it ain't, but it still works. 

From before the days of drip tray hose connections or internal pumps.  I used to have a hose on the bucket, but it kept clogging.  The rain gutter contraption lets it drain into the sump.

RTH 051319 001RTH 051319 002

Rusty

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Stephen G posted:

I live in O Fallon Missouri.  How quiet  is the Keystone?

 

Hi Stephen, I would say it is quieter than most. Some I have had before had a vibration sound I think from the cooling coil. This one works with a medium hum. The noise level has never been a concern to me.

Jim 

 

Purchased the best one from Lowe's.  Got the extended warrantee.  Saved the receipts in a special warrantee file.  Died within the warrantee period.  Replaced free of charge.

That statement applies to three dehumidifiers and one washer.  Average dehumidifier life, less than 4 years.

(Dehumidifiers in good working order are vital when there is any type of lift out bridge or removable access provision.)

My local Lowe's is very consumer friendly.

Side note:  as a solid wood flooring contractor, our products are guaranteed by the particular manufacture to perform satisfactorily only when the room's humidity is within 35% to 55%.  Otherwise the guarantee is null and void.

Eternity is a long time to have been wrong.

Rusty Traque posted:
gunrunnerjohn posted:

I'd like to know what dehumidifier you have that has lasted 20 years, I want one of those!

Have this old Admiral unit in the basement for over 30 years.  Before that, it was in the man cave.  Whisper quiet it ain't, but it still works. 

From before the days of drip tray hose connections or internal pumps.  I used to have a hose on the bucket, but it kept clogging.  The rain gutter contraption lets it drain into the sump.

RTH 051319 001RTH 051319 002

Rusty

That must be one energy hog?

RON ARNDT 091718 posted:

I use a Soleus Air dehumidifier which as far outlasted any other brand I have used.  Some others barely made it past one year.  I keep the humidity in my basement at 35% and get moisture out of the air year round.  I figure my investment in my trains is worth the electricity to run the dehumidifier.  I live in Wisconsin, by the way.

Had a Soleus and it began to melt the plastic case, after calling and being told no issues reported we discovered they were recalled for starting fires.

I live on Long Island, so a dehumidifier in the basement is a necessity during high relative humidity months. I have one of these pumps in an open container that catches water from the air conditioning system and from the humidifier.

The pump drives the water out of the basement through a hole in the wall to the outside environment via a length of clear flexible plastic tubing. This particular pump has a float switch that turns it on when the water reaches a predetermined level in the containers.

The drain system has been working well for several years without maintenance.

Condensate, 1/50 HP, 1/2 gal, 15 ft., 120VAC

Bobby Ogage

"I hear that train a coming,

it's Long Island No. 39 rolling

around the bend"

 

Stephen G posted:

I live in O Fallon Missouri.  How quiet  is the Keystone?

 

Stephen,  do you know what the moisture level is down there currently?

At my old home (New Hampshire) I had to run two dehumidifiers during the summer just to get it below 60%.  Now I live near you (Sunset Hills).  My basement humidity stays below 40% without the dehumidifiers.  So it could be that you don't need them.

MikeH

I'd want the safety switch wired to shut off the dehumidifier if that pump fails.  I had those pumps for 30 years in my old house for the A/C, and several failed over the years.  Without the switch to shutoff the A/C, I'd have had quite a flood in the basement.  You'd be surprised how much water a decent dehumidifier or A/C unit can pump out in the summer months.  That's especially true if you don't go into the basement area where the pump is.

At my new house, the dehumidifiers and the A/C all drain into the drainage channel around the basement edge and my sump pump and backup pump can deal with them.  Yes, the sump has an alarm if there's high water in the case of multiple failures, it goes through my security system so I get an alert anywhere I am.  I've seen too many flooded basements to want that here!

I've gone through a few. Just read the lowes or Home dumpo reviews and buy the best 70 pint/day unit. Then buy the warranty. Its a guarantee that it wont make it. 

I had one last about 5 years, it was a Sunpentown, then had a frigidaire that was junk, now I have a GE and it does alright. 

Also make sure it has a connection to thread a garden hose on and run it out of the case. The dump bucket is for the birds. 

 

"Of course we know its O-gauge or no gauge." -- Sheldon Cooper

superwarp1 posted:
Rusty Traque posted:
gunrunnerjohn posted:

I'd like to know what dehumidifier you have that has lasted 20 years, I want one of those!

Have this old Admiral unit in the basement for over 30 years.  Before that, it was in the man cave.  Whisper quiet it ain't, but it still works. 

From before the days of drip tray hose connections or internal pumps.  I used to have a hose on the bucket, but it kept clogging.  The rain gutter contraption lets it drain into the sump.

RTH 051319 001RTH 051319 002

Rusty

That must be one energy hog?

Probably, but it's outlasted 3 different dehumidifiers used in the man cave over the same period of time.

Rusty

FireOne posted:

You guys are killin' me, here in Vegas we can't get our layout rooms (even unconditioned ones) above about 7% humidity.  We have to ADD humidity.

Chris S.

I was visiting some friends in Las Vegas once about 30 years ago.  It was the first time I had ever been to the desert southwest.  On the 10 pm newscast that evening, the weatherman was reporting that Las Vegans had been sweltering that day under 2% humidity!  Of course, me being from the Midwest, was laughing my posterior off - I don't think I'd ever experienced humidity that low!

Paul  

Ship Rock Island ROCKET FREIGHT

 

2 Rails?  3 Rails?  Doesn't matter, I can't count that high anyway.

I love the smell of fresh-brewed creosote first thing in the morning.

The humidity level for three weeks has been between 43% and 53%.  Here in St Charles County Mo the humidity is very intolerable in the summer.  My concerns mostly has to do with moisture my locomotives and  other electronics attract.  Does anyone know the best humidity level.

IBM Corporation sets all it servers and comptering rooms at a constant 70% humidity, along with a 70 Degree temperature.  I try to keep my basement at tose levels.  My layout is seven years now.  All my electronics, locos, are in excellent operating condition. No rust, or deterioration that I can find.  Some of my earlier scratch buildings/structures, in spots where paper was glued to foam board has become separated in spots. But again nothing major.  And that could be from not using enough glue on the surface of some of the builds...

 

 Quarter Gauger 48'

 

Gred 

 Image result for us army insigniaColors Don't Run Decal

Stephen G posted:

The humidity level for three weeks has been between 43% and 53%.  Here in St Charles County Mo the humidity is very intolerable in the summer.  My concerns mostly has to do with moisture my locomotives and  other electronics attract.  Does anyone know the best humidity level.

Stephen, I'm 20 min. south of you in St. Louis County so I know the drill.  If your basement is climate controlled (like I presume your house is), then the humidity in the basement should remain relatively low anyway.  However, sometimes if the basement is not climate controlled and your foundation has a lot of hydrostatic pressure, then dehumidifiers are necessary.  But again, it would be helpful if you knew the humidity now.  It may not be necessary to do a thing.  FWIW, I like to keep it at 45% or lower due to trains and other things .

MikeH

Quarter Gauger 48 posted:

IBM Corporation sets all it servers and comptering rooms at a constant 70% humidity, along with a 70 Degree temperature.  I try to keep my basement at tose levels.  My layout is seven years now.  All my electronics, locos, are in excellent operating condition. No rust, or deterioration that I can find.  Some of my earlier scratch buildings/structures, in spots where paper was glued to foam board has become separated in spots. But again nothing major.  And that could be from not using enough glue on the surface of some of the builds...

 

I'd have to question that figure.  I worked for IBM back in the days of big iron, and we certainly never wanted to see anything like 70% humidity!

One of many articles on equipment room humidity...

Recommended Computer Room Humidity

Relative humidity (RH) is defined as the amount of moisture in the air at a given temperature in relation to the maximum amount of moisture the air could hold at the same temperature. In a data center or computer room, maintaining ambient relative humidity levels between 45% and 55% is recommended for optimal performance and reliability.

When relative humidity levels are too high, water condensation can occur which results in hardware corrosion and early system and component failure. If the relative humidity is too low, computer equipment becomes susceptible to electrostatic discharge (ESD) which can cause damage to sensitive components. When monitoring the relative humidity in the data center, we recommend early warning alerts at 40% and 60% relative humidity, with critical alerts at 30% and 70% relative humidity. It is important to remember that the relative humidity is directly related to the current temperature, so monitoring temperature and humidity together is critical. As the value of IT equipment increases, the risk and associated costs can increase exponentially.

Another site recommendation, a little looser, but still not 70%

Finally, a recommendation from Cisco from a white paper they published for server room standards.

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Here is another data point.  I live in southern Maryland and my Kenmore 70 is starting its 4th summer.  Basement size around 1,400SF with a humidity sensor on the other side of the basement from the dehumidifier.  The dehumidifier drains into the sump.

I plugged it in, set it at 50% and it runs 24/7.  The basement is between 45-55% humidity, sometimes lower in the winter.

Ron

 

TCA, TTOS, NCT, LCCA, PRRT&HS

 

Volunteers don't get paid, not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless!  Author Sherry Anderson

gunrunnerjohn posted:

I'd like to know what dehumidifier you have that has lasted 20 years, I want one of those!

Since you asked...I checked.

It's a Whirlpool 25-pint dehumidifier purchased in July 1998...nearly 21 years, in fact!  We bought it from Home Depot.  Set it at 60%.  Right now not running because....

The other dehumidifier says the basement is currently at 53% RH (Unlike the old Whirlpoot, this one has a digital readout for setting/reporting).   That dehumidifier was purchased about 5 years ago.  It's a 70 pint Soleus purchased from Menards.  

As I mentioned, the original Soleus had a manufacturers recall.  It was working fine at the time, but the mfr wanted us to pull the plug and send us a replacement...which we did.  

The Soleus replaced an old Sears 25-pint job.  It must have been part of the majority population of room dehumidifiers.....it lived not quite as long as most pooches.  

But it got me thinking...  Basically a dehumidifier has a refrigeration unit/coil, and that's what gives up after a while.  I'm no appliance repairman, so I don't know the nitty-gritties about the forensics of deceased dehumidifiers.  But, I do know that back in the mid-1930's General Electric sure knew how to make a refrigerator that lasted!!  Mom & Dad bought a GE refrigerator that was similar to this one...

4609 fridge

It worked quietly and without a single problem for all its life.  When we kids sold the family home, it was in the basement....moved there from the kitchen after the family's daily needs outgrew its capacity.  It dutifully was cooling Mom's dampened laundry (she said it helped make the ironing easier (???). and kept Dad's beer supply at the ready....among other things!  We sold the house in 1985.  It was still working 50 years later.  So GE, apparently, back then knew how to make a refrigeration unit that lasted!!!  It would seem for the popular reputation of small dehumidifiers that something was lost in the translation through the years?

FWIW, always.

KD

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dkdkrd posted:
gunrunnerjohn posted:

I'd like to know what dehumidifier you have that has lasted 20 years, I want one of those!

Since you asked...I checked.

It's a Whirlpool 25-pint dehumidifier purchased in July 1998...nearly 21 years, in fact!  We bought it from Home Depot.  Set it at 60%.  Right now not running because....

Well, the Whirlpool of yesteryear isn't the same as the Whirlpool of today, their stuff does not last nowadays!

dkdkrd posted:
But it got me thinking...  Basically a dehumidifier has a refrigeration unit/coil, and that's what gives up after a while.  I'm no appliance repairman, so I don't know the nitty-gritties about the forensics of deceased dehumidifiers.  But, I do know that back in the mid-1930's General Electric sure knew how to make a refrigerator that lasted!!  Mom & Dad bought a GE refrigerator that was similar to this one...

I think all the appliances are made as throw-away products nowadays.  We had a fridge that we bought new in 1973, and it moved with us twice and finally croaked around 2006.  Maybe not 50 years, but that old GE got over 30 years of continuous use, around 11 of them in the garage, an environment that's supposed to be pretty hard on refrigerators.  Then we went through two that lasted around five years, a Whirlpool and a Maytag.  Both of those cost way more than the old GE, but they barely made it past the 5 year sealed unit warranty. 

The telling part of the story is the 1 year warranty most dehumidifiers have.

Stephen G posted:

Does anyone know the best humidity level.

For our purposes (model railroading), you pretty much can't go wrong with a relative humidity that is maintained between 45% and 55%. Keep in mind that your personal comfort may seek something a bit higher or lower. 50% is what I keep my three basement dehumidifiers set at (two of which evacuate water directly into drains).

 

My Sears Cold spot 25cu ft. refrigerator from 1971 died last summer.   Forty seven years of continuous service and the last year or two the door seal was leaking bad I bought a universal seal kit that sealed OK if you pushed it in just a bit but the magnet inside was not strong enough to hold it tight. So the compressor ran nearly continuously.  Part of the problem with new AC, refrigerators and dehumidifiers is to meet fed efficiency mandates the evaporator coil and the condensing coil walls have been made thinner and thinner as this raises efficiency and they use a smaller compressor that runs longer.  Thus the compressor has a shorter life and the paper thin walls of the coils develop leaks both from vibrations and the resulting fatigue and from corrosion, which may have something to do with the quality of the aluminum used.   Aluminum Rot,  is that a word ?          j

In upstate NY, I run a Frigidaire 70 pint dehumidifier set at 45% humidity from May thru October in my 800 sq ft basement, with a drain hose to the sump crock.  Basement is constructed of Superior walls (5000+ PSI pre cast concrete, pre insulated).  The rest of the year I run a fan to circulate air. This setup has worked great for 20+ years in 2 houses  (albeit with multiple dehumidifiers). Over the years I have found that most dehumidifiers die right after the compressor warranty runs out, although the last one died just before then and I got a brand new $200 one for no charge from local Frigidaire dealer. 

Jim

 

Genesee Valley & Lake Ontario RR

. . .in the beautiful Bristol Hills area of the NY Finger Lakes region . . .

Sounds about right, only a couple of times have I got more than two or three seasons out of a dehumidifier.  I have also noticed that the new A/C stuff is way more fragile, A/C used to easily last 20-30 years, now you're lucky to get 10-12 years out of a new system.

I live in SW Pa. and I too have sump pumps that have a tendency to run often. My old dehumidifier, cant recall the name, bit the dust after 4 years and we purchased a Hisense from Lowes last November. I tried doing various settings but hav found that on auto cycle, the humidity is between 48% and 50%. My basement is about 570 sq. ft. and I am happy with it so far. Actually, since I have been running a dehumidifier I have not noticed anything being rusty, electrical stuff works good too. 

Like GRJ I have about 1,000 sq ft walkout basement (majority is layout room); the dehumidifier shut off after about a year at 50%; hasn't run since (about 6-7 years ago). I believe the walkout nature of the basement structure contributes to the dryness. Also, the basement is open to the first floor. Comfy and no rust here.

Wally

"Reflecting on four score, mostly with trains"

I must be very lucky here, because my basement doesn't have a humidity problem. It stays around 65 degrees year round. In the summer, the central air keeps it dry, and the winter is never a problem.

Ron_S posted:

I am so glad I moved from the 4 seasons, the humidity here in AZ is seldom above 20-30%, and rust is a non issue here.

I visit my sister in law in LV, and the low humidity is a real issue, I'll take the four seasons, thanks.

When we bought our 1950 cottage overlooking the Pacific Ocean on the Oregon Coast, it was headed to foreclosure and had been vacant for quite some time.  It had been left in heated for much of the winter to the point where the hardwood flooring was starting to warp, and both the main floor and the basement/garage smelled damp and musty.  Although there was no black mold to be found, there was mildew in some dark corners.

And, of course, anything metal that is not stainless steel or similarly protected will rust very quickly at the coast.

I installed a programmable thermostat and set it to keep the heat at least at 62 degrees at all times.  That took care of the dampness and smell in the main living area, and even the flooring flattened back out.

After insulating, adding a vapor barrier and sealing off the crawl space from the basement/garage area and installing new garage doors that were designed for use in coastal conditions, I was ready to tackle the basement humidity.

I bought a portable dehumidifier from Ace Hardware.  It filled its reservoir in less than a day.  Since we are not there all the time, I needed a way to have the water drain out.  The laundry facilities, such as they were, were in an alcove in the garage.  I bought an old microwave cart from a local Thrift store and set the dehumidifier up on it to drain into the laundry tub.  Later when we turned the area into a second bath and laundry, I had a dedicated drain for the dehumidifier put in just outside the new bath/laundry.

The dehumidifier now sits on the floor just outside the bath/laundry and empties into the drainpipe shown sticking up by the new wall in the pictures.  I cut the pipe down to near floor level, and only a couple of inches of the collar now show above the floor.

The basement/garage and laundry now remain at 50% humidity (unless I have the garage doors open for a while) and dry and free of smells and mildew.  No sign or rust found on the garage doors, my tools, the car that is kept there or anything else that we store in there.

Cheers!

Alan

PS: The wet floor in the last picture is from cleaning up after cutting and setting tile in the new shower, not from any leak or trouble with the drain or the dehumidifier.  :-)

B7217687-E36F-4521-88CF-CD6E9CE4D741D00AB619-39B3-4818-B7B4-2A366E8A3E9C0C91B085-BF43-468E-8A47-767646F9BCB7CBBE41B8-329E-48DC-B09D-44DC687E61CDE6A7DBB8-A59C-4355-8B3A-0B03DA29DDE0

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