Question about Vicks Warm Steam Vaporizer 1.5 Gallon Humidifier

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Humidifier leaves a crusty dark substance in water

Looks almost like metallic, but very flaky, and crumbles between fingers with a little pressure

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  • Rezgirl505 Dec 23, 2008

    I'm getting a dark film on the bottom. It will not wash off with water, but I can rub it off easily with my hand. It smells slighty smokey.

  • TheDust Jan 14, 2009

    I have the same problem. It is not minerals. It looks like the carbon electrodes are falling appart.

  • Anonymous Jan 14, 2009

    i think it might be the salt with the inhalant solution

  • mikeoramy Jan 16, 2009

    I've had this problem with or without using the inhalant solution.  It appears the black flecks that look like pieces of shale are coming out of the bottom part of the heating apparatus. I don't know what it is.

  • Anonymous Mar 27, 2009

    can't the vicks company make one that does not rop black flakes in the water?

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"A Vaporizer produces moisture by heating small amounts of the minerals in the water using tiny electrodes in the shaft of the unit. The minerals then heat the water to a boil and release steam into the air. The minerals will then settle to the bottom of the tank, possibly becoming small black flakes. These flakes are normal and should be rinsed out when you refill the tank. Any bacteria or mold in the water will be killed by the temperature of the water."

How-to clean out the black flakes:
http://www.ehow.com/how_4759733_clean-vicks-vaporizer.html

More info on the black particles and cleaning from the user manual (pdf):
http://www.kaz.com/kaz/support/manual/?ProductManualAction=renderProductManualById&ProductManualId=5faaee9ab20669a0a26a9fb6e6bb99f8

Manual QuickView in your browser:
http://www.google.com/url?q=http://docs.google.com/viewer%3Fa%3Dv%26q%3Dcache:pbhjzMo9E3sJ:www.kaz.com/kaz/support/manual/%253FProductManualAction%253DrenderProductManualById%2526ProductManualId%253D5faaee9ab20669a0a26a9fb6e6bb99f8%2Bvicks%2Bvaporizer%2Bblack%2Bparticles%26hl%3Den%26gl%3Dus%26pid%3Dbl%26srcid%3DADGEEShoMFRd7NbKZtGZM-qKr0_rmMQA7bQYO-r4VBGXLFKF1WnqeeQZDdU6pMTOMcxsZMFqdAfWvECyUPTLsoW2KBMr3QBWzicSiUPyG1F8iW4Wmil0atnkfBT1ulKofnvo5HX1DBdR%26sig%3DAHIEtbS-BI2SvXCl3TTlcQduwYAGXqORQg&ei=nuZFS7_EPMiVtgf65bDrAQ&sa=X&oi=gview&resnum=2&ct=other&ved=0CBEQxQEwAQ&usg=AFQjCNEy621XrVb7OUDqCLtdP4nNjsO9mg

Posted on Jan 07, 2010

  • robertswww Jan 15, 2010

    I have done a little more investigating of the black particles created by the Vick's Warm Steam Vaporizer by Kaz...

    The amount of black particles present is related to the mineral content of your water, so if you have hard water, which is naturally high in mineral content, then you will see more black particles as opposed to soft water.

    I have also tried varying the amount of salt used as a catalyst for soft water that is low in mineral content. By using less salt, the black particles produced by my unit is minimal.


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SPECIAL NOTES
Discoloration/Black Particles
After use, the water residue in the bottom of the container may contain black particles, and, in
some areas the water and the bottom of container may discolor. These conditions are normal and
do not effect the purity of the steam or medicine. The container is easily cleaned with soap and
water. Rinse and dry the container after cleaning.

This was taken from the manual that comes with the humidifier...

Posted on Jan 16, 2009

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No its chemistry people...the minerals in your tap are dissolved when it comes through your faucet. when the humidifier boils the water for vapor. the minerals become a precipitate and settle at the bottom of the container. it is not vicks fault, just the way it goes!

Posted on Nov 02, 2010

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Clean it, it's minerals.

Posted on Jan 13, 2009

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1 Answer

My vicks 1.5 vaporizer doesnt put out steam after using 5 times, flaky brown/grey things are in water , why? cant it be fixed


Is it limed up?-- in other words, the Hardness (Lime and Calcium) in your tap water has clogged up the heating coil..) Possibly the little grey things floating in the water, could be the residue from the water, left behind in the process of evaporation.
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Hi, I flushed out the round mister after it sat


If you have hard water and theres scale present you will need to clean the heater in the bottom.when you remove the heater the scale will sometimes crumble by just squeezing it although a few times Ive had to use a descaler like CLR and a pick to get it off.

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I used to see mist coming out of the humidifer. Just set up for this year, changed the filter, etc. and there's no mist coming out. Is this ok?


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It's a little unusual to add a humidifier in Florida. The ambient humidity is usually high enough.

But anyway, if you want to do this and assuming you have central air with forced air heating, you could install the humdifier in a standard configuration, then use a sail switch or differential pressure switch in the supply air duct to turn the humidifier off or on when you are in the heating mode only. The sail or differential switch will ensure that the unit can't run unless air is moving and you can tie the humidistat in to the first heat stage.

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When operational, there is a clicking sound every few seconds and the housing lifts up??


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Build up or busted?


more and likely it is calcium build up on the unit. especially if your using tap water. even if you cleaned it before putting it away for the season the build up can happen. if it's on the heating coil you need to get like a toothbrush and some vinegar water and lightly scrub the coils. now as far as the tank. let the tank soak in vinegar and water for about a half hour and then wash thoroughly. the portions is one cap full of vinegar per gallon of water.

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How can I clean the metal grid in the humidifier?


the most practical solution is install a new evaporative pad every year. But if you would like to squeeze "a little" extra life out of the pad . Try soaking it in a solution of 1 part white vinegar to 2 parts water.

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