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Its probably the cleaning light that comes on periodically to remind you to clean the unit. Shut off the unit AND when you do so hold down the power button for several seconds until the flashing red light shuts off. The cleaning light should stay off until the next cleaning is due.
Per the Air-O-Swiss FAQ:
Q: Cleaning light is flashing (AOS U650, AOS 7135, AOS 7142, AOS 7144, AOS 7147)
A: Switch the unit OFF and unplug it. Empty the water in the base. Rinse the base with hot/clean water. Do not submerge the base! Visually inspect the base for dirt or mineral build up. If soft water is used decalcifying the unit every 4 weeks with EZ Cal is suggested. If hard water is used the unit should be decalcified every 2 weeks. Do not forget to reset the clean light after resetting the unit.
Q: Reset cleaning light (AOS U650, AOS 7135, AOS 7142, AOS 7144, AOS 7147)
A: The cleaning light does not automatically reset. Hold down the power button (button A in instruction manual) until the light stops flashing. The light automatically comes on approximately 14 days after plugging in the unit.
Tim, they're are generally not hard wired. At least, by today's standards. They're usually plugged into a receptacle. If that's not the case with yours. Open the lid and lift the float valve and tie it some way that can't lower. That will stop water from entering the humidifier tank and it should stop working. Also, look for the water line shutoff valve and turn it OFF. That way, you can be double sure it will stop running.
Do you feel like looking at the humidifier yourself? You can open the door on the unit, while the furnace is running-- The humidifier is usually installed in the return air duct, so there will be a sucking of air into the open door, when you open it.
There is usually a large wheel, with a wet pad wrapped around the circumference. This wheel rotates slowly, and picks up water from the sump-- does everything look and sound quiet as it runs? -- The float valve has to open and close, to c ontrol the leve of water in the sump-- (The pool of water the wheel runs the mat thru-- Possibly the valve shutting off, could make a plumbing BANG-- you could duplicate that, by lifting the float mechanism and stopping the water-- does that make the noise?
If you can reach and operate the Humidistat control from near the humidifier, do so a few time-- or Have someone cycle the humidistat a few times, and you listen for that sound-- Is it in the humidifier itself, or the duct work nearby?
It might be that the humidistat wheel scrapes against the side of the sheet metal duct work? -- Sounds travel a long ways in metal duct work!
Gererally according to the booklet in the box. If you no longer have those instructions, simply clean out the basin, make sure no mold, dust, hardwater or calcium is deposited. Use a 10% bleach water solution to kill bacteria, and thats is basically it. Just dont miss any spots, but humdifiers should be cleaned every few uses.
I just cleaned mine for the first time, and the instructions are very unclear in the pamphlet on how to do it. What you need: One package of EZ Cal cleaner/descaler for humidifiers ( I got mine at bed bath and beyond) 32 oz of hot water How to clean your unit: Mix the hot water with the EZ Cal cleaner packet in a separate container. Remove the tank from the base. Remove the cleaning brush and the silver stick that is in the base of the unit. Pour the solution in the base of the unit. Let the solution sit in the base of the unit for 1/2 hour. Then take the cleaning brush, and go over the surfaces in the base. Pour out the solution, and rinse with hot water. Put the brush and silver stick back into the base. Put tank back onto the base. Reset the unit by pushing and holding the power button for a few seconds. This will stop the cleaning indicator from blinking. Let the water fill up the filter for a couple minutes, turn on, and your ready to go again. I hope this was helpful.
Clean the unti - and do not add salt. I live in a major hard water city...and was amazed at how much dirt the tank collected. I tried adding salt to to stop the spitting, which did make a lot more steam, but did NOT stop teh water spit. I also noticed, with salt added, water in tank would only last 4-6 hours, not the 18-24 hours it should. I just figured it out, and now mine works great again, and does not spit. I cleaned the water tank throughly, several rinses, then wiped out entire inside. If you want it to work like new, you have to keep your tank as clean as new. I am going to start filtering my water that I put in with a double pantyhose I made simply so there no more dirt ~ a clean tank will fix the problem, it did mine :)