Aprilaire 500 - Everything works, but humidity will not increase!
I've got a brand new home (2 months old). Had the 500 model installed about a month ago. I am not using the controller supplied by Aprilaire. I am using a white-rodgers thermostat that has the ability to control humidifiers.
Originally, my contractor wired it in a way that the water solenoid would only be powered with a heating call from the t-stat. I thought everything was working fine as the RH was more or less hovering around my humidity setting of 38%. It would fluctuate 30-39% daily. Now thatthe outside temps have dropped to about 20 degrees fahrenheit (-7 celsius) my RH is around 21-26%. I suspected that the furnace was just too efficient and didn't give the humidifier enough time during cycles to make a significant impact. So I had my contractor re-wire the system so that the humidifier could run indepedant from the heat call. The white-rodgers t-stat has a feature in which it can trigger the water solenoid AND the blower together on a separate call. With the setting still at 38%, and the ambient being 25%, I had it run for a good week with no significant increase.
I then contacted Aprilaire. They suggested that I switch the water source from the cold line it was currently connected to, to the hot water line. The rep I spoke to said that the system needs heat (despite what the owners manual states). Whether from the furnace or the water, it needs heat. Had the water lines switched the other day and still no change.
So as it stands right now, the t-stat has the fan and the water going 24/7 since the humidity level is not being reached. I have verified that the t-stat does works, the blower fan and humidifier are being triggered, the solenoid is powered and running the water, the water is entering the water panel, and the water is also draining. Just can't get the humidity level up! My house is brand spanking new. 2170 sq.ft and from what I understand the 500 should have no problems with a house this size.
Can anyone help me out with this? I am all out of ideas.
Thanks in advance!
Re: Aprilaire 500 - Everything works, but humidity will...
You should take out that aprilaire and throw it in the garbage or return it to who you got it from. Ask them why they didn't offer you the best humidifiers available. The only way to truly control humidity in your home without running your heat is a steam humidifier. Autoflo makes a good one also honeywell makes a new one. I have installed a honeywell tru steam in my own home and a few customers it hasn't lived up to its advertising. The auto flo has never given me any problems with customers.
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AprilaireAprilaire Model 6303 Control Panel ... with the Model 6504 Intelligent Zoned Comfort system, we have the right control for your ... A control panel coordinates the operation of the equipment with the ..... Proper control of the fan (G-terminal) for either electric.... Auxiliary output relays available to control humidifiers, electronic.
AprilaireModel 6404. Zoned Comfort ... Do not mount the control panel on any part of the heating/cooling equipment or ... allowing for control of a humidifier. b. HUM LEDlights when the relay is closed. .... on the fan (G output terminal) with a heat call (W1output ..... Run wire between the HVAC equipment and the control panel. 3.Missing: 6303
Your plumber is correct your unit should be plumbed with cold water.
Easy fix if you need to do it yourself.
More than likely they have a 1/4 inch line taped into a 1/2 inch copper line near your furnace.
Simply shut off the tap on the undesired line and disconnect the 1/4 inch line.
Install a new tap on the cold water side and reintall supply line to the unit.
Do not remove the old tap on the hot water line simply shut it off because it puctures the line, hence the tap.
Hopefully it was installed properly. It should only allow water to run when the furnaces blower is on. The outdoor probe can only be properly checked with an ohm meter. When you replace the evaporative panel, it is very important to have the dark painted mark on the "top" of the panel when it is installed. They do not give these instructions to a homeowner, only a contractor. So i am betting that your new water panel is installed upside down.
if it is set up right, you should be able to run your fan 100% of the time and the humidifier will come on when there is a need for humidity. you can experiment with leaving the fan on and see if this helps. it will run your electric bill up a little and also you will have a lot of waste water. that is a drawback to the bypass type humidifiers. also a factor is if the water supply is hooked up to the hot or cold side. it will humidify better on the hot side, but you tend to get more deposits that plug the solenoid over time and you will be running your water heater quite a bit. 1600 sqft may be pushing the limit of this humidifier.
These units have simple configurations They have a water supply similar to a ice making referigerator, an enclosure connected to your supply duct that houses a prop fan and media, a seperate humidistat and a drain for excess water. Your unit may also include fancy controls including an outside thermometer & humidistat to avoid over humidification that can cause problems during freezing weather. The humidistat looks a lot like a thermostat and is located in your living space or in the return duct. The prop fan in the box pulls air from the duct, through evaporation media and back to the duct. An electric solenoid valve releases water that pours over the media.
If the humidiy is below the humidistat seting and the AC/heater is running, the Aprilaire fan starts and the solenoid valve opens. I suspect the facier controls include the flashing warning light.
The warning light spells problem. Aprilaire's customer service should be able to provide guidance for the homeowner in the form of simple checks. I suspect your contractor is avoiding a warentee call and the trip it requires.
A word of caution. These humidifiers can be powered directly from your air conditioning unit control board from an auxiliary connection. If the control board isn't rated to carry the current required by the Aprilaire fan, valve and controls or the Aprilaire encounters and electrical problem, the board can be damaged. This can be avoided by using a relay. The AC board switches a low energy relay. 120 volt house power is connected to load side of the relay and runs the Aprilaire.
My board cooked at a location near this connection, but I can't be sure that the load from the humidifier caused it since four of our neighbors also lost their board. It failed the evening of a snow storm and required a costly emergency after hours service call. The next day a new board required a three hour drive. Fortunately a fan powered propane heater kept our pipes from freezing.