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Author Topic: Anybody using a HUMIDIFIER in their printer room?  (Read 858 times)
uintaangler
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« on: August 18, 2014, 08:20:09 PM »
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I keep reading horror stories about large format Epson printers with clogged heads
Apparently low humidity is a serious contributor to this problem
I wouldn't be surprised to find out that during the winter months the humidity inside my house struggles to reach 10% 
Can anybody recommend a humidifier that should work well in a room approximately 14' x 14' ?
Thanks,
Bob
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hugowolf
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« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2014, 11:02:09 PM »
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I use something like this. My print room is 15' x 15' x 12', and has doors that cut it off from the rest of the studio. I fill it once every 2-3 days, and first thing on Monday morning and at close on Saturday. The printer (9890) was fine the first year, but started gettting more missed nozzle print lines the second. I wished I had bought one from the start.

The price of them seems to rise, here on the east coast, as winter sets in. I think I may have paid $199 for it or a similar model.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Essick-Air-Products-AIRCARE-Decor-Series-5-gal-Evaporative-Humidifier-for-2900-sq-ft-HD1409/204364015?N=5yc1vZc4lvZ1z0u4xj

I would strongly advise against electrostatic humidifiers, they throw out white dust which is more detrimental than the lack of humidity. I would also avoid those that use heat to evaporate.

Brian A
« Last Edit: August 18, 2014, 11:05:35 PM by hugowolf » Logged
Some Guy
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« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2014, 11:33:33 PM »
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I made a vinyl 5-sided cover to cover the thing all the way to the bottom.  Glued and seamed sealed all the corners.  Then took about a tablespoon of those water-gel granules for plant moisture, sewed it into a sock, and put it in a soap dish under the cover.  Good so far, knock on wood.  Now it takes about 10-12 days to clog a nozzle, usually black followed by magenta.

I tried a couple of humidifiers in the room, but too many doors and hallways lead off so they really don't make much of a difference, maybe 3 points on the humidity scale.  Poured several gallons in them every day with little effect.  The A/C here runs a lot and the evaporator pulls what moisture we have out of the air and goes down the drain.  Sometimes it might get as low as 5% humidity and the printers would clog in 2-3 days if not covered.  The power bills hit $500 per month in this desert and 95% of that is probably the A/C unit that runs maybe 16 hours a day.

SG
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Benny Profane
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« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2014, 07:56:09 AM »
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I made a vinyl 5-sided cover to cover the thing all the way to the bottom.  Glued and seamed sealed all the corners.  Then took about a tablespoon of those water-gel granules for plant moisture, sewed it into a sock, and put it in a soap dish under the cover.  Good so far, knock on wood.  Now it takes about 10-12 days to clog a nozzle, usually black followed by magenta.

I tried a couple of humidifiers in the room, but too many doors and hallways lead off so they really don't make much of a difference, maybe 3 points on the humidity scale.  Poured several gallons in them every day with little effect.  The A/C here runs a lot and the evaporator pulls what moisture we have out of the air and goes down the drain.  Sometimes it might get as low as 5% humidity and the printers would clog in 2-3 days if not covered.  The power bills hit $500 per month in this desert and 95% of that is probably the A/C unit that runs maybe 16 hours a day.

SG


Whoa! 5%? Jeez, you're the extreme example. What printer do you own and for how long have you owned it?
« Last Edit: August 19, 2014, 11:55:40 AM by Benny Profane » Logged
JayWPage
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« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2014, 09:37:53 AM »
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I made a vinyl 5-sided cover to cover the thing all the way to the bottom.  Glued and seamed sealed all the corners.  Then took about a tablespoon of those water-gel granules for plant moisture, sewed it into a sock, and put it in a soap dish under the cover.  Good so far, knock on wood.  Now it takes about 10-12 days to clog a nozzle, usually black followed by magenta.

SG


Although I have a much smaller desktop printer (an Epson 3880), I use a similar concept. I have a clear plastic tub which I invert over the printer when the printer is not in use. Inside I have a hydrometer and a small plastic dish with a wet sponge in it. The tub has some notches cut out of the rear edge for the printer cables. This set up works well at keeping dust off the printer and maintaining a higher local relative humidity around the printer. I can read the hydrometer through the plastic tub to see what the humidity is inside. I have left the printer like this for up to 3 weeks at a time without any problems.

I live in a semi-arid location which is normally pretty hot and dry in the summer, and I do have a heat pump which keeps my house at 26C when we are away.
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PeterAit
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« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2014, 09:40:03 AM »
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Just as an FYI, there are 2 basic types of humidifiers. One type blasts a fine mist of water into the air, where it evaporates. Humidifies well, but any minerals in the water end up as fine particles in the air, and particularly if you have hard water this can result in a fine white dust over everything. The second type blows air over moist pads which are kept wet from a reservoir. The minerals in the water end up on the pads, which need to be replaced once in a while, but there's no white dust. Guess which one you want!
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2014, 12:39:05 PM »
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I think I have the best of all solutions. Whole house air conditioning and dehumidification in summer and whole house humidification in winter. Relative humidity never gets below 30% or above 50%. My printer and I are both happy.

My almost six-year-old Epson 3800 gets sporadic use, often going a month or more with no prints. Since I have owned it I have had about one very minor clog per year, easily fixed with one cleaning.
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2014, 12:50:51 PM »
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dry air is the enemy of all printers, not just Epsons.  Even users of Canon printers can extend their head life considerably by keeping the printer in an environment of 45% humidity.  Epsons clogs are in your face kind of things, with Canon your really donít know when they clog because it consumes nozzles, but eventually the head dies. Humidity can extend the Canonís head life substantially - not talking months  but more like a year or more.

Even though clogs/missing nozzles were manageable in my case (9900), I bought an Essick air humidifier and it runs 24/7.  I have a small float device installed in it and it connects directly to the water line so I donít have to worry about refilling it.  I replace the pads about every 4 to 6 months, and dump a small amount of Bacteriostatic treatment in it about once a week (when I remember).  The room is about 16 by 16 with 9.5 foot ceilings and a 4 foot open hallway to the rest of the house. The unit has 4 settings on the fan, but I find I only need to keep it on the lowest setting which is pretty quiet.  It runs more in the summer than the winter, partially because I have in floor heating so no forced air furnace, but I think air conditioning sucks water out of the air more heat.

I still get the occasional missing nozzle, mainly when the printer hasnít been used for a few weeks, but rarely does it take more than a quick clean of a couple of channels.  I think Iíve had to to this 3 or 4 times in the past year.  Iíve had the printer 2 years now, and my maintenance tanks still show the same level as when I first setup the machine after the initial fill cycle.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2014, 02:31:00 PM »
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Not totally sure about humidly and Epson clogging. I live in a very dry area, rare to get above the teens. I never had an issue with my 3880, even going months without printing. The 4900 a few feet away clogged nearly every other day if not used regularly. Not saying not to use a humidifier, but it didnít help a lick with the 4900.
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2014, 03:25:21 PM »
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Not totally sure about humidly and Epson clogging. I live in a very dry area, rare to get above the teens. I never had an issue with my 3880, even going months without printing. The 4900 a few feet away clogged nearly every other day if not used regularly. Not saying not to use a humidifier, but it didnít help a lick with the 4900.
yeah, thereís something more going on.  The 3880 design seems to be almost perfect, and the 4900 is one of the worst as far as ďcloggingĒ. I donít think the 4900ís clog as much as they just canít keep the lines pressurized and air out of the system - they are more challenging than the 79/99xx series to keep running well.  I had a 4900 and a 9900 sitting next to each other.  I put the humidifier in because the 4900 was such a problem and it did help quite a bit. But if I didnít use it for a couple of weeks missing nozzles were more common than printed ones, something Iíve never seen with the 9900, and the number of missing nozzles seem to correlate with how long the printer sat.

Wish epson was really interested in solving this, but guessing the majority of the printers are in places that work them pretty hard, so they donít see this as a ďcommonĒ issue.  People like us arenít representative of their overall customer base.
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Some Guy
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« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2014, 05:12:38 PM »
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Whoa! 5%? Jeez, you're the extreme example. What printer do you own and for how long have you owned it?

I have 6 printers: 3 Epsons, two Canons, and a Brother.

We have some forest fires running near here and the humidity is very dry at 5%.  The AC has a drip pan for the evaporator and it fills and dumps the moisture off the coils out a drain into the yard.  Sort of pointless on the humidifier here.  At one point, the duct work beneath us filled with water and we were using a 10 gallon shop vac to suck the water out of the duct work and it took multiple dumps of its tank to keep the duct work somewhat dry.  The condensation pan in the central air had rusted through and not going out the drain so the duct work was filling with condensate water off the AC.   You could see it through the floor registers.  They had to change out the entire condenser system and duct work so the A/C spent a lot of time sucking out the moisture here and then took down the duct work too.  What the humidifiers added to the air, ended up getting blown out the drain - or duct work - so basically worthless in a large open unsealed area.

SG
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hugowolf
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« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2014, 11:30:49 PM »
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Not totally sure about humidly and Epson clogging. I live in a very dry area, rare to get above the teens. I never had an issue with my 3880, even going months without printing. The 4900 a few feet away clogged nearly every other day if not used regularly. Not saying not to use a humidifier, but it didnít help a lick with the 4900.

Yep, I run an Epson 3880 and 9890. I think I may have run a couple or three nozzle checks on the 3880, never had a problem. I run nozzle check prints on the 9890 at open and close of business every day.

With the 9890 I have had a clear nozzle check after a morning print run, only to find missing nozzles after lunch.

I came back from the beach (one week) yesterday to find most of the MK nozzles out. A pairs cleaning left one missing cyan out, that was not out before. I left it over night and the nozzle check was totally clean in the morning.

There is an option in the menu for a nozzle check print before every print Ė really not a good omen.

Brian A
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Stefan Ohlsson
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« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2014, 01:38:53 AM »
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The second type blows air over moist pads which are kept wet from a reservoir. The minerals in the water end up on the pads, which need to be replaced once in a while, but there's no white dust. Guess which one you want!
We are using this type of humidifier in a room that is about 30 square meters. During winter time we can have a humidity of 40-50%. If we don't use them it will drop to below 20%. When we use the humidifier the problems with clogged nozzles are minor. And it's not only the printers that work better, also the papers are softer and we avoid a lot of the head scratches that we got when we didn't have enough humidity. We can now print to the end of a roll. Before we couldn't use the last meter of a roll with some papers.
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pfigen
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« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2014, 02:46:14 AM »
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After five years my 9900 needed the dreaded print head, pump and cap station, and wiper assembly service. I put a Honeywell humidifier in the print room of my studio, which is also closed off from the main AC. The two reservoirs can usually go a couple of weeks before refilling, and the "humidistat" is taped to a place that keeps it around fifty percent. It's been about eight months since the service and I think I've had one or two individual nozzles clogged in all that time. I can't credit the Honeywell without a blind test comparison, but it sure hasn't hurt. Here's the model and it's even less now then when I bought mine:

http://www.amazon.com/Honeywell-QuietCare-Humidifier-Technology-HCM-6009/dp/B000G0LDRI/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1408520301&sr=8-3&keywords=honeywell+humidifier

I also bought this hygrometer for under $20 and bought a five dollar calibration kit that lets you verify that the thing is actually working as expected, and then adjust it to spec if needed. The hygrometer has a magnet on the back and sticks to the top cover of the printer.

http://www.amazon.com/Quality-Importers-HygroSet-Hygrometer-Humidors/dp/B000H6CZQE/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&qid=1408520618&sr=8-14&keywords=humidor
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uintaangler
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« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2014, 07:41:26 AM »
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After five years my 9900 needed the dreaded print head, pump and cap station, and wiper assembly service. I put a Honeywell humidifier in the print room of my studio, which is also closed off from the main AC. The two reservoirs can usually go a couple of weeks before refilling, and the "humidistat" is taped to a place that keeps it around fifty percent. It's been about eight months since the service and I think I've had one or two individual nozzles clogged in all that time. I can't credit the Honeywell without a blind test comparison, but it sure hasn't hurt. Here's the model and it's even less now then when I bought mine:

http://www.amazon.com/Honeywell-QuietCare-Humidifier-Technology-HCM-6009/dp/B000G0LDRI/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1408520301&sr=8-3&keywords=honeywell+humidifier

I also bought this hygrometer for under $20 and bought a five dollar calibration kit that lets you verify that the thing is actually working as expected, and then adjust it to spec if needed. The hygrometer has a magnet on the back and sticks to the top cover of the printer.

http://www.amazon.com/Quality-Importers-HygroSet-Hygrometer-Humidors/dp/B000H6CZQE/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&qid=1408520618&sr=8-14&keywords=humidor


I like the price and size of this Honeywell unit, anybody else have experience with it?
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TylerB
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« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2014, 12:23:07 PM »
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For years I used a large 3 tank clunky old humidifier near the printers. It had to be filled, filters cleaned, on a regular basis, and mold growth has to be inhibited. So there is some maintanence. Even in Seattle, where humidity is rarely low, it definitely made a difference, particularly with my 9900. The last weeks before I sold it I was doing a very high quantity of prints with it every day, and of course the usual 9900 nozzle performance issues plagued. Finally I moved the humidifier close to it and ran it 24 hours a day, performance definitely improved. I kept humidity up over 50%.
I would advise using one, particularly during cold dry winter periods exacerbated by the heat always being on further drying out the air.
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