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  1. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by brewyourown View Post
    So who installs these things? Any HVAC contractor? If you were me and didn't know an HVAC contractor, how would you go about choosing?
    Every region has a couple good a/c contractors that deliver value. Referrals from friends and nieghbors are good reference. The competitive bidding process is an opportunity to meet the contractors. I prefer doing bussiness with the contractor that installed your current system if possible. These dehus are simple systems that are reasonable to install.

    I read your later post. In the final analysis, you will need many hours of dehumidification without any cooling. Blowing away a lot cooling for short term humidity control is not very practical. As a last resort, operating a free standing Santa Fe in your basement with a single duct connect to you cold air return is short term fix for this problen. The graphs I have posted using the Santa Fe no duct connects. I keep the finished basement at 48%RH. I operate the fan "on" mode. this blends the dry air throughout the home. Chech the uniform temps and %RH. Santa Fe Compact is less than a thousand dollars. It is capable of removing 5 gals. or 50 lbs. of moisture a day. The amount of electricity is comparable to the residential dehus. You could do this yourself. This idea is better than blowing a large of cold air into the basement. Regards TB
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  2. #15
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    Jun 2003
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    120
    Quote Originally Posted by teddy bear View Post
    Every region has a couple good a/c contractors that deliver value. Referrals from friends and nieghbors are good reference. The competitive bidding process is an opportunity to meet the contractors. I prefer doing bussiness with the contractor that installed your current system if possible. These dehus are simple systems that are reasonable to install.

    I read your later post. In the final analysis, you will need many hours of dehumidification without any cooling. Blowing away a lot cooling for short term humidity control is not very practical. As a last resort, operating a free standing Santa Fe in your basement with a single duct connect to you cold air return is short term fix for this problen. The graphs I have posted using the Santa Fe no duct connects. I keep the finished basement at 48%RH. I operate the fan "on" mode. this blends the dry air throughout the home. Chech the uniform temps and %RH. Santa Fe Compact is less than a thousand dollars. It is capable of removing 5 gals. or 50 lbs. of moisture a day. The amount of electricity is comparable to the residential dehus. You could do this yourself. This idea is better than blowing a large of cold air into the basement. Regards TB


    Thanks, I went to Aprilair's website and looked up some local contractors. There was a company called Encon out of Connecticut that looked pretty good, at least they had a good website design and said all the right things on the website. Says they do load calculations, taylor's systems to client needs, has a senior staff of career HVAC techs, etc...

    Has anyone heard of them? I may give them a call and ask their opinion.

  3. #16
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    Jun 2008
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    100
    Quote Originally Posted by brewyourown View Post
    I know there are good HVAC contractors out there, but I have to find one in southern NY.
    Where do you live exactly? I live in Ithaca NY. I don't know the HVAC contractors here but I'm likely to be hiring one soon.
    Laura

  4. #17
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    Jul 2008
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    Ga.
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    5

    Thumbs up The Santa Fe is nice but,

    Laura,
    I am in Ga. so I am "a neutral party". I am a liscensed contractor here and not a salesperson for Aprilaire. I have used the Santa Fe products in the past and liked them but the new Aprilaire 1750 dehu can be wired to control your furnace fan as well as its own. What I would recomend is to go on the aprilaire website at www.aprilaire.com and look at the "dealer locator". Insert your zip code and they will give you a few dealers to choose from. I recently pu a 1750 in my own home and it works great! We have a little humidity in Georgia-lol! Good luck-David
    Quote Originally Posted by plarian View Post
    Where do you live exactly? I live in Ithaca NY. I don't know the HVAC contractors here but I'm likely to be hiring one soon.
    Laura

  5. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by comfortableguy View Post
    Laura,
    I am in Ga. so I am "a neutral party". I am a liscensed contractor here and not a salesperson for Aprilaire. I have used the Santa Fe products in the past and liked them but the new Aprilaire 1750 dehu can be wired to control your furnace fan as well as its own. What I would recomend is to go on the aprilaire website at www.aprilaire.com and look at the "dealer locator". Insert your zip code and they will give you a few dealers to choose from. I recently pu a 1750 in my own home and it works great! We have a little humidity in Georgia-lol! Good luck-David
    Aprilaire ok but do not operate your furnace fan when you dehumidify. Furnace fan operation rapidly evaporates the 2-3 lbs. of moisture on the cooling coil. Also a 65 pint whole house dehu is big enough for your home. Ultra-Aire dehus have been developed over the last 15 years. This is fourth generation of the design. It makes a difference in reliability, efficiency, and function. Regards TB
    Last edited by teddy bear; 07-16-2008 at 10:39 AM. Reason: missed a sentence
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    4H: Hot, Humid Houston H.O.
    Posts
    3,304
    As a customer, I see a couple of trade-offs between the brands (I own a Thermastor Santa Fe RX and two small Soleus dehus, all have been good purchases). If you intend to connect to the central air system in any possible way, the Aprilaire models have stronger fans that will allow the more difficult setups. For example, pulling air from the central return plenum and pushing it into the supply plenum means when the AC is running, the dehu blower must push against the entire static pressure of your central duct system at that airflow. How much back pressure would that be? It all depends on your house but static pressures of 0.8 are not uncommon (Units are inches of water in a manometer. Mine was measured at 0.7 before some duct work helped that). Myself I would look for ways to avoid the dehu blower doing that much work, but you will need to consult with your professional to decide how to install.

    On the other hand, if you look at the wattage of models with similar capacities, the Thermastor models generally have an energy efficiency advantage. I have a larger house and am seeing a 150 pint/day unit available that draws only 6.9 amps (828 watts), of course that would not fit your house but it shows what kind of efficiency can be in that 4th generation of product. This replaces an earler generation of the same size that drew 12 amps, and compares with the Aprilaire counterpart that draws 14 amps.

    It would be entirely reasonable for a person to estimate the running cost of a dehu and conclude there's not much payoff for energy efficiency, especially if the initial install costs more. A 5.0 amp unit, if it ran 100&#37; of the time at that load would result in 440 KWH monthly on your bill -- but it will surely run a lesser fraction and under part load so I think 100-150 KWH would be more realistic. If your electricity costs 12 cents/kwh that would be $12-18 per month. You *can* expect to be more comfortable, and you *might* raise your thermostat setting enough to offset that cost.

    Another smart poster has posed the question of energy usage at part loads. All the Thermastor ratings I have seen have been at the standard of 80F degrees, 60% RH. Most but not all manufacturers rate their products according to this standard. I am told Aprilaire publishes more detailed info, using different temperature and humidity levels too. I have not seen that but would like to. The hypothesis here is perhaps Aprilaire is less of an energy user than standard conditions ratings would suggest -- it is a rational hypothesis but my opinion is it will probably be disproved if we can obtain detailed info for the Thermastor products.

    I just am a nut for efficiency, like a Prius owner who is so proud of getting 60 mpg, so my emotions favor the Thermastor line. But I have tried to present the argument objectively for not worrying about that.

    Hope this helps -- Pstu

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by pstu View Post
    As a customer,
    , the Aprilaire models have stronger fans that will allow the more difficult setups. For example, pulling air from the central return plenum and pushing it into the supply plenum means when the AC is running, the dehu blower must push against the entire static pressure of your central duct system at that airflow. How much back pressure would that be? It all depends on your house but static pressures of 0.8 are not uncommon (Units are inches of water in a manometer. Mine was measured at 0.7 before some duct work helped that). Myself I would look for ways to avoid the dehu blower doing that much work, but you will need to consult with your professional to decide how to install.

    Another smart poster has posed the question of energy usage at part loads. All the Thermastor ratings I have seen have been at the standard of 80F degrees, 60% RH. Most but not all manufacturers rate their products according to this standard. I am told Aprilaire publishes more detailed info, using different temperature and humidity levels too. I have not seen that but would like to. The hypothesis here is perhaps Aprilaire is less of an energy user than standard conditions ratings would suggest -- it is a rational hypothesis but my opinion is it will probably be disproved if we can obtain detailed info for the Thermastor products.

    I just am a nut for efficiency, like a Prius owner who is so proud of getting 60 mpg, so my emotions favor the Thermastor line. But I have tried to present the argument objectively for not worrying about that.

    Hope this helps -- Pstu
    All of the newer Therma-Stor ducted dehus have fans that handle +.5" WG duct pressure. The Ultra-Aire XT150 handles +.7" WG. Regarding operation is lower temps/%RHs, the SF/UA are stronger than most. All dehus use less energy at lower temps/%RHs but remove much less moisture. Regards TB
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  8. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    1

    understanding the information out there

    Well, if you were actually reviewing the latest ThermaStor brochures on their latest product line, all of the units are rated at 0.0"WC, and their performance drops off greater than that, which testing, and an insider from ThermaStor, has confirmed...it is validated by their recommended installation instructions, which also tells you to duct a separate return for the all the units...kind of defeats the "whole-home" dehumidification statement, unless you are a firm believer in a migration strategy inside the home, and have an open, single-level floorplan...

    as far as power consumption, it is correct that the ThermaStor units do draw less power - which is only possible via their core, it was verified by other posts that the power consumption difference adds up to about $10-$15 max per month...what I don't see people commenting about is that if you try to take the unit appart, you ruin the seal around that core...which over time, will lead to moisture buildup inside the core and some nasty black mold buildup...I have seen some actual pictures from installations of this, none myself...

    What I found out is that the new Aprilaire unit, like the 1750 mentioned earlier, is designed to extreme durability & reliability standards, far superior to anything else out there at the moment, probably why they have a 5 year warranty and are touting a 15 year service life with the new improvements...

    Also, because I do see a lot of misunderstandings of ducting, the Aprilaire unit can be zoned, nobody elses does...it can be zoned to do a basement or separate living space as well as run in whole home mode...the only way you can possible do it with another system is a more complicated installation of relays to trick dampers into zoning...

    The biggest difference is that the Aprilaire unit has a patented ventilation control. First, because the Aprilaire ducted units have an internal humidity control, it can dehumidify the ventilation air at the point it enters the home...from what I understand, and things may have changed, competitive units would not dehumidify the air until the living space control registers the added load...loading the whole home first before dehumidification...again, controls may have changed since my last update...

    Second, and more importantly, the Aprilaire vent control system in their dehumid is smart in that it, when wired to the HVAC equipment, can track HVAC run time, vent when the HVAC is running, and make up the ventilation requirement difference, if needed, at the end of the set period...just for example, if you need 30 minutes of ventilation in one hour, and the HVAC runs for 20 minutes during that hour, the Aprilaire dehumid will run the ventilation during those 20 minutes, dehumidifying that air if necessary...if at the end of that hour, the last 10 minutes required doesn't come from another cooling call, it makes up the last 10 minutes...

    That's why the HVAC tied to the dehumid is a great option in some installations, especially in tighter, foam-seal, icynene homes.

    Running the dehumid & HVAC at the same time is not an issue in most cases...however I have seen issues in running the HVAC fan when the HVAC is NG or LP powered...the coil is on the supply side. In some instances I have seen the blower re-evap some of that HVAC coil moisture...in those cases you simply disconnect the HVAC-Dehumid connection

    However, anytime you run the dehumid separate from the HVAC, you have to be careful of the distribution of warmer, dry air to "the path of least resistance"

    At the end of the day, it comes down to brand preference...if you like the ThermaStor, they make good units...if you like the Aprilaire units, they make good ones as well...the question is more about what features you value...the only one I have seen in favor of the ThermaStor is the power consumption...the Aprilaire is more bang from the buck...If you were to read the Honeywell comparison brochure, you need to realize they spent a lot of time and money on a separate marketing piece that doesn't have the facts straight...maybe they should spend more time designing their own than re-labeling a ThermaStor unit and calling it magically better somehow...

    I've got to go, this is getting to be too much and I think some of you may have already gone to sleep reading this...good luck...

    oh yeah, before I forget, remember that the new ThermaStor manuals & brochures tell you that the units are not suppose to be run above ambients above 100F, which elimates the south for the most part...at least if you actually spend time with contractors in the south...100F in an attic is an every day occurence...I guess the units would work in the midwest for most of the year, and and the north...

    MG

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Ga.
    Posts
    5

    Thumbs up Thank You for the "Back-up"

    As I said before in a previous post, I am in Ga. So down here we may not be as hot as nevada but we get our fair share of 90+ degree days and 90&#37; humidity days. Building codes are somewhat of a joke. Therefore, humidity is a big issue down here. Buit Attic ventalation is one as well. We Have NONE! This is why I push power attic ventalators and Aprilaire 1750's. They handle "warm" attics with no problem. Also, as far as consumption of power, they are on a 15 amp 120v circuit-is this really a concern? I have seen dorm refrigerators pull more amps. Yes they may pull more than the Honeywell, but you just read in a previous post-they also have stronger motors. Can't have both unless they start putting ECM motors in there(Then watch the cost spike!). I have an 1850 sq. ft. single story ranch style home with a 1750 and can pull the humidity down below 20% any time I want-I don't but can regardless of outdoor ambient conditions(in ga. remmeber) so up north should never be a problem. I am orig. from chicago so I can speak for both sides. I also have a customer I put one in a 2 story garage with no ducts and it handles both floors due to the open floorplan and the "migration theory"-which does work. If you want to pay for a name, buy honeywell. if you want a product that has been thought out and properly designed for ANY SITUATION-buy aprilaire. No I am not a salesman for Aprilaire but I sell alot of it in my company. Boz

    Quote Originally Posted by Gotto View Post
    Well, if you were actually reviewing the latest ThermaStor brochures on their latest product line, all of the units are rated at 0.0"WC, and their performance drops off greater than that, which testing, and an insider from ThermaStor, has confirmed...it is validated by their recommended installation instructions, which also tells you to duct a separate return for the all the units...kind of defeats the "whole-home" dehumidification statement, unless you are a firm believer in a migration strategy inside the home, and have an open, single-level floorplan...

    as far as power consumption, it is correct that the ThermaStor units do draw less power - which is only possible via their core, it was verified by other posts that the power consumption difference adds up to about $10-$15 max per month...what I don't see people commenting about is that if you try to take the unit appart, you ruin the seal around that core...which over time, will lead to moisture buildup inside the core and some nasty black mold buildup...I have seen some actual pictures from installations of this, none myself...

    What I found out is that the new Aprilaire unit, like the 1750 mentioned earlier, is designed to extreme durability & reliability standards, far superior to anything else out there at the moment, probably why they have a 5 year warranty and are touting a 15 year service life with the new improvements...

    Also, because I do see a lot of misunderstandings of ducting, the Aprilaire unit can be zoned, nobody elses does...it can be zoned to do a basement or separate living space as well as run in whole home mode...the only way you can possible do it with another system is a more complicated installation of relays to trick dampers into zoning...

    The biggest difference is that the Aprilaire unit has a patented ventilation control. First, because the Aprilaire ducted units have an internal humidity control, it can dehumidify the ventilation air at the point it enters the home...from what I understand, and things may have changed, competitive units would not dehumidify the air until the living space control registers the added load...loading the whole home first before dehumidification...again, controls may have changed since my last update...

    Second, and more importantly, the Aprilaire vent control system in their dehumid is smart in that it, when wired to the HVAC equipment, can track HVAC run time, vent when the HVAC is running, and make up the ventilation requirement difference, if needed, at the end of the set period...just for example, if you need 30 minutes of ventilation in one hour, and the HVAC runs for 20 minutes during that hour, the Aprilaire dehumid will run the ventilation during those 20 minutes, dehumidifying that air if necessary...if at the end of that hour, the last 10 minutes required doesn't come from another cooling call, it makes up the last 10 minutes...

    That's why the HVAC tied to the dehumid is a great option in some installations, especially in tighter, foam-seal, icynene homes.

    Running the dehumid & HVAC at the same time is not an issue in most cases...however I have seen issues in running the HVAC fan when the HVAC is NG or LP powered...the coil is on the supply side. In some instances I have seen the blower re-evap some of that HVAC coil moisture...in those cases you simply disconnect the HVAC-Dehumid connection

    However, anytime you run the dehumid separate from the HVAC, you have to be careful of the distribution of warmer, dry air to "the path of least resistance"

    At the end of the day, it comes down to brand preference...if you like the ThermaStor, they make good units...if you like the Aprilaire units, they make good ones as well...the question is more about what features you value...the only one I have seen in favor of the ThermaStor is the power consumption...the Aprilaire is more bang from the buck...If you were to read the Honeywell comparison brochure, you need to realize they spent a lot of time and money on a separate marketing piece that doesn't have the facts straight...maybe they should spend more time designing their own than re-labeling a ThermaStor unit and calling it magically better somehow...

    I've got to go, this is getting to be too much and I think some of you may have already gone to sleep reading this...good luck...

    oh yeah, before I forget, remember that the new ThermaStor manuals & brochures tell you that the units are not suppose to be run above ambients above 100F, which elimates the south for the most part...at least if you actually spend time with contractors in the south...100F in an attic is an every day occurence...I guess the units would work in the midwest for most of the year, and and the north...

    MG
    Last edited by comfortableguy; 07-19-2008 at 10:01 AM.

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gotto View Post
    Well, if you were actually reviewing the latest ThermaStor brochures on their latest product line, all of the units are rated at 0.0"WC, and their performance drops off greater than that, which testing, and an insider from ThermaStor, has confirmed...it is south..

    .100F in an attic is an every day occurence...I guess the units would work in the midwest for most of the year, and and the north...

    MG
    Welcome to our forum. Your posting will lead to some lively discussion. Probably the best since Aprilaire invented whole house dehumidification a couple years ago. I will be glad to address your points during next week. I have tried to focus on the benefits of whole house humidity control vs trying to control with the a/c. As opposed to attacking the competitors and mis-information from specs/literature. More to follow next week. Regards TB
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  11. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    4H: Hot, Humid Houston H.O.
    Posts
    3,304
    Quote Originally Posted by Gotto View Post
    ThermaStor... recommended installation instructions, which also tells you to duct a separate return for the all the units...kind of defeats the "whole-home" dehumidification statement, unless you ... have an open, single-level floorplan...

    ...the Aprilaire vent control system in their dehumid is smart in that it, when wired to the HVAC equipment, can track HVAC run time, vent when the HVAC is running, and make up the ventilation requirement difference, if needed, at the end of the set period...just for example, if you need 30 minutes of ventilation in one hour, and the HVAC runs for 20 minutes during that hour, the Aprilaire dehumid will run the ventilation during those 20 minutes, dehumidifying that air if necessary...if at the end of that hour, the last 10 minutes required doesn't come from another cooling call, it makes up the last 10 minutes...

    ...However, anytime you run the dehumid separate from the HVAC, you have to be careful of the distribution of warmer, dry air to "the path of least resistance"
    ...

    MG
    With one single post to your name, I have to wonder if you are willing to post any answers to my questions, but here goes:

    >>the Aprilaire vent control system in their dehumid is smart in that it, when wired to the HVAC equipment, can track HVAC run time, vent when the HVAC is running, and make up the ventilation requirement difference...

    As I read your sentence, it sounds like the dehu is going to ventilate the entire time the AC runs, and then some more is optional if the desired time is not reached. Is there any ability to stop ventilation while the AC is running? Because the longest runtimes could be over an hour non-stop and that seems to me just when you want all the sensible capacity available. In other words over-ventilating in such a period is undesirable. Do I understand right?

    I'll just say this once and then let it drop: when the Aprilaire was new, its marketing material did claim Aprilaire was soooo brilliant because it had just made something to DEhumidiy. They said that as if nobody had heard the idea before. As a customer I found that very off-putting. But I realize that was a marketing guy and it would be unfair to be too harsh on Aprilaire for that.


    Regards -- Pstu

  12. #25
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    Jun 2003
    Location
    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gotto View Post
    Well, if you were actually reviewing the latest ThermaStor brochures on their latest product line, all of the units are rated at 0.0"WC, and their performance drops off greater than that, which testing, and an insider from ThermaStor, has confirmed...it is validated by their recommended installation instructions, which also tells you to duct a separate return for the all the units...kind of defeats the "whole-home" dehumidification statement, unless you are a firm believer in a migration strategy inside the home, and have an open, single-level floorplan...

    MG
    Yes we rate our units at 0 in. of WG. Many people use them at that condition. There is a minimal decline in capacity as the duct pressure increases. Is the inference that Aprilaire's preformance not decline as presures and conditions decline. Your early literature stated that your dehu removed the same amount of moisture regardless of temperature and %RH. I can not find that literature any more. But be my guest with your claims.
    Yes, duct the dehu in the best method possible to maximise preformance and extend the life of the equipment. You can duct your unit anyway you want but please ducts ours as recommended if possible. I am a firm believer in our basic recommendation for the circulation of air and moisture control throughout the home. More to follow later. Regards TB
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  13. #26
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    Jun 2004
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    4H: Hot, Humid Houston H.O.
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    3,304
    Is there anything about the Aprilaire that makes it more able to handle zoning? I admired the pictures in the Aprilaire literature but always figured those creative ideas could be applied to any dehu.. with the exception of the bypass configuration (hope I am using the terminology right).

    Best wishes -- Pstu

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