Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 13 of 21
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    156

    Portable Dehumidifier for unfinishted basement????

    Hi Gents,

    My 70 pint Frigidaire portable dehumidifier just died at the ripe old age of 20 months. I use it in an unfinished basement: approx 1000 feet, poured concrete floor, block with dirt against it on one wall... half buried wall brick on block..... air exposed wall: brick on block, and fourth wall is stick studs sheetrock, conditioned space. Is there a better product or solution, short of digging 8 feet down to the footings in front of the house and seriously sealing up the outside of the block foundartion, which I am just not going to do?

    During heavy rains i have had some seepage under the front subterranean wall... and have sealed it with the chalky mudlike product... don't recall the name. Under the finished portion of the basement, I had an expensive channel drain installed, moisture barrier behind the stud walls.. and that has protected that part of the basement. I wish I had the money to do that to the rest of it when I had that done.

    These things are lasting barely 2 years, at $200 a pop, and are probably darn inefficient. Is there a better product, longer life, better overall cost performance out there? Thanks, Paul

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    354
    Quote Originally Posted by shovel99 View Post
    Hi Gents,

    My 70 pint Frigidaire portable dehumidifier just died at the ripe old age of 20 months. I use it in an unfinished basement: approx 1000 feet, poured concrete floor, block with dirt against it on one wall... half buried wall brick on block..... air exposed wall: brick on block, and fourth wall is stick studs sheetrock, conditioned space. Is there a better product or solution, short of digging 8 feet down to the footings in front of the house and seriously sealing up the outside of the block foundartion, which I am just not going to do?

    During heavy rains i have had some seepage under the front subterranean wall... and have sealed it with the chalky mudlike product... don't recall the name. Under the finished portion of the basement, I had an expensive channel drain installed, moisture barrier behind the stud walls.. and that has protected that part of the basement. I wish I had the money to do that to the rest of it when I had that done.

    These things are lasting barely 2 years, at $200 a pop, and are probably darn inefficient. Is there a better product, longer life, better overall cost performance out there? Thanks, Paul
    yeah a april air whole house humidifier,it's contractor grade, will eliminate your humidity problem,but it more$ than the cost of the one you had. you get what you pay for!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
    Posts
    6,545
    There are several levels of humidity control in spaces with masonary earth contact in green grass climates.
    You are at a middle level with a large residiential dehu that is short lifed and low efficiency.
    AA dehus are a move up in capacity and and efficiency.
    The Santa Fe dehus are on top of the efficiency, durability, and capacity range for free standing dehus. Energy Star lists the dehus for efficiency. Check it out.
    A Santa Fe Compact will handle upto 1500 sqft.
    The ultimate is the Ultra-Aire dehus which ductable, whole house dehus with remote control.
    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"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    156

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by teddy bear View Post
    There are several levels of humidity control in spaces with masonary earth contact in green grass climates.
    You are at a middle level with a large residiential dehu that is short lifed and low efficiency.
    AA dehus are a move up in capacity and and efficiency.
    The Santa Fe dehus are on top of the efficiency, durability, and capacity range for free standing dehus. Energy Star lists the dehus for efficiency. Check it out.
    A Santa Fe Compact will handle upto 1500 sqft.
    The ultimate is the Ultra-Aire dehus which ductable, whole house dehus with remote control.
    Regards TB
    Thanks TB for the info. How long can I expect the Sante Fe ($1100 at IAQ.com) to last, any quick ballpark difference in energy savings over the cheaper one? If I am averaging 2-3 years on a $200 cheapo, I would need 20 years life from the Sante Fe or significant energy savings. I don't plan on being in this house that long, and doubt a 20 year anything any more.

    Three choices: get screwed now, get screwed later.... or both!

    Paul

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
    Posts
    6,545
    Quote Originally Posted by shovel99 View Post
    Thanks TB for the info. How long can I expect the Sante Fe ($1100 at IAQ.com) to last, any quick ballpark difference in energy savings over the cheaper one? If I am averaging 2-3 years on a $200 cheapo, I would need 20 years life from the Sante Fe or significant energy savings. I don't plan on being in this house that long, and doubt a 20 year anything any more.

    Three choices: get screwed now, get screwed later.... or both!

    Paul
    10 years may be typical. The main difference is better control of the %RH and 20%-40% in electrical use. If the 70 pint/day was operating 24/7 at 7-8 amps X 115 volts @ $.10 /kw could be $50/month of use. The Santa Fe could be $25 per month. Depending location could sve +$100 per year??
    You will get you money in less than 10 years with better humidity control.
    Most users buy for better humidity control.
    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"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    156

    Smile Frigidaire is going to replace my 2 yr old unit free!

    Thanks, TB, for the additional info. I just got off the phone to Frigidaire, who is going to replace my 23 month old unit, free. Just take it back to the Lowes where I bought it. The key word was "Lowes" who apparently has encouraged FA to do that, no questions asked. That means that I will likely get at least another couple of years, maybe more, out of the $255 investment. So this one is going to last at least 4 years... equipment cost of $64/yr.

    Guessing that my units runs 33% of the time, $.15 per kWh:

    7 A(mine) x 115V x 8 hrs x 30 days/mo x $.15/kWH = $29 per month, $348 per year.

    10 year cost of (4 year) Frigidaire: 10 ( $64+ 348) = $4,120 (Yikes!)

    10 year cost of Sante Fe, if it lasts 10 years, and is 50% more efficient:

    $1100 + 10x12x$14.50 = $2840. Maybe $1280 of total savings... if all assumptions are correct.

    This does not take into account the net present value of $1100 spent today vs. $255 now and $255 spent later.... assuming 4 years for one, 10 for the other. My basement doesn't care if the humid varies a bit. That's a hard purchase for me.

    But thanks for the understanding.

    Paul



    Assuming 50% savings: $14.50/month, $


    I keep pretty good tabs on Dehumidifiers because they are so mostly unreliable.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
    Posts
    6,545
    Well if someone gave me a new 70 pint dehu and it kept my basement 50%RH, I would keep going the same way.
    Keep us posted. It is a miricle if it keeps your basement dry for $220 investment and $30 a month.
    My whirlpool never kept my basement dry and ran all the time. Now my basement is the nicest space in my home.
    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. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    156

    Will attempt to quantify run times... tx.

    Quote Originally Posted by teddy bear View Post
    Well if someone gave me a new 70 pint dehu and it kept my basement 50%RH, I would keep going the same way.
    Keep us posted. It is a miricle if it keeps your basement dry for $220 investment and $30 a month.
    My whirlpool never kept my basement dry and ran all the time. Now my basement is the nicest space in my home.
    Regards TB
    TB,
    I will make a better effort to estimate run times/cycle times. All the assumptions affect the outcomes, of course.
    Paul

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    117
    Quote Originally Posted by teddy bear View Post
    Well if someone gave me a new 70 pint dehu and it kept my basement 50%RH, I would keep going the same way.
    Keep us posted. It is a miricle if it keeps your basement dry for $220 investment and $30 a month.
    My whirlpool never kept my basement dry and ran all the time. Now my basement is the nicest space in my home.
    Regards TB

    I just went through this same thing earlier this summer. I live in SE WI and have always used 2 portable dehumidifiers in my unfinished basement. Boiler room, and 2 adjacent rooms (800 sq ft) were served by a 30 pint Whirlpool from the early 80's. Rec Room (500 sq ft) was served by a 38 pint Oasis "Low Temperature" also from the early 80's. They kept the basement around 50% or so, but ran almost continuously. I wanted to get something with a bit more capacity to quickly dry out the boiler room when water came in (1800's farmhouse with a rather porous foundation on the Milwaukee River), and a unit with higher efficiency.

    I monitored electricity usage with a Kill-A-Watt and measured condensate levels for a few days to come up with some data.

    30p Whirlpool - 455 watts, 66F, 64% start, 50% end, 21pints/day, 1.95pints/KWH, no frost and ran continuously.

    38p Oasis - 585 watts, 68F, 52%, 23 pints/day, 1.6 pints/KWH, this unit does still frost up over time so I've had a timer set for 5 hrs on, 1 hr off for the past few years. It doesn't have a finned coil, but rather an aluminum tube evaporator running R-500.


    I bought a Perfect Aire 65 pint unit at ACE Hardware for $250. I put it in the boiler room in place of the 30p unit.
    The first 2 days it was barely collecting any water. 585watts, 66F, 62%, 12 pints/day, 1.25 pints/KWH.
    The evaporator froze up immediately and took quite a while for the defrost cycle to kick in. (must be on some sort of a long delay). While the evap was solid ice, there was still full airflow out of the top of the unit. Something not right about that, so I took the housing apart and found the glaring problem. There was a 1.5 inch gap between the condenser and evaporator, and 1.5 inches on the sides of the evaporator. This allowed much of the air to bypass the evaporator and caused it to freeze up immediately. I blocked the gap with some thin pink foam, and the unit has performed amazingly for the past 6 weeks (new development 3 days ago that puzzles me though).

    After modification, 571 watts, 69, 56% start 43% end, 46.45 pints/day, 3.36 pints/KWH

    After running for the past month, it's been keeping my boiler room at 70F, 38%, the rec room dehumidifier has been turned off because even that room is staying at 45% without any forced circulation between the two parts of the basement. Current numbers are 71F, 38%, 32 pints/day, 2.34 pints/KWH.

    I need to further modify the unit to remote-mount the humidity sensor because as it is now, as soon as the unit cycles off, the moisture on the coil re-evaporates and tricks the sensor into turning on again within 3 minutes. Then the dry room air is picked up by the sensor and the unit cycles off right away - the efficiency really drops off then. That's why I have it running continuously right now and getting down to 37%.

    The problem I had a couple days ago was the evaporator started freezing up again. Nothing in the room had changed - still 71F, 40%. It did that for 2 1/2 days, and now its back to normal again. Sometimes the whole coil frosted up, sometimes it was just the copper u-bends, but mainly it was just the top 2/3rds of the copper u-bends. I'm rather confused by that, but until it happens again, I'll let it slide.


    I've been looking at data for whole-house dehumidifiers for comparison and to decide if it is worth the extra money for one. I don't have any expanded data for the Santa Fe units (Teddy Bear I sent you a private message about this a few weeks ago and never heard back from you). Using the Honeywell units that provide minimal expanded data as a reference for the Santa Fe (since they appear to be basically the same)

    The 65p Honeywell/Santa Fe Compact at 70F 60% would be doing about 3.2 pints/KWH which is the same as the portable unit that cost a quarter of the price. I just don't see the benefit of spending quadruple for the Santa Fe unit.

    The only wild card would be longevity. Most likely the Honeywell/Santa Fe units would outlast the portable units, but no guarantees about that. My 2 old units are 30 years old and still working great. The most likely thing to fail on the new portable unit would be the electronics, and that's easy to wire around and turn it into a mechanical unit just like the 30 year old units.

    Michael

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
    Posts
    6,545
    Quote Originally Posted by aemeeich View Post
    I I monitored electricity usage with a Kill-A-Watt and measured condensate levels for a few days to come up with some data.

    30p Whirlpool - 455 watts, 66F, 64% start, 50% end, 21pints/day, 1.95pints/KWH, no frost and ran continuously.

    38p Oasis - 585 watts, 68F, 52%, 23 pints/day, 1.6 pints/KWH, this unit does still frost up over time so I've had a timer set for 5 hrs on, 1 hr off for the past few years. It doesn't have a finned coil, but rather an aluminum tube evaporator running R-500.


    I bought a Perfect Aire 65 pint unit at ACE Hardware for $250. I put it in the boiler room in place of the 30p unit.
    The first 2 days it was barely collecting any water. 585watts, 66F, 62%, 12 pints/day, 1.25 pints/KWH.
    The evaporator froze up immediately and took quite a while for the defrost cycle to kick in. (must be on some sort of a long delay). While the evap was solid ice, there was still full airflow out of the top of the unit. Something not right about that, so I took the housing apart and found the glaring problem. There was a 1.5 inch gap between the condenser and evaporator, and 1.5 inches on the sides of the evaporator. This allowed much of the air to bypass the evaporator and caused it to freeze up immediately. I blocked the gap with some thin pink foam, and the unit has performed amazingly for the past 6 weeks (new development 3 days ago that puzzles me though).

    After modification, 571 watts, 69, 56% start 43% end, 46.45 pints/day, 3.36 pints/KWH

    After running for the past month, it's been keeping my boiler room at 70F, 38%, the rec room dehumidifier has been turned off because even that room is staying at 45% without any forced circulation between the two parts of the basement. Current numbers are 71F, 38%, 32 pints/day, 2.34 pints/KWH.

    I need to further modify the unit to remote-mount the humidity sensor because as it is now, as soon as the unit cycles off, the moisture on the coil re-evaporates and tricks the sensor into turning on again within 3 minutes. Then the dry room air is picked up by the sensor and the unit cycles off right away - the efficiency really drops off then. That's why I have it running continuously right now and getting down to 37%.

    The problem I had a couple days ago was the evaporator started freezing up again. Nothing in the room had changed - still 71F, 40%. It did that for 2 1/2 days, and now its back to normal again. Sometimes the whole coil frosted up, sometimes it was just the copper u-bends, but mainly it was just the top 2/3rds of the copper u-bends. I'm rather confused by that, but until it happens again, I'll let it slide.


    I've been looking at data for whole-house dehumidifiers for comparison and to decide if it is worth the extra money for one. I don't have any expanded data for the Santa Fe units (Teddy Bear I sent you a private message about this a few weeks ago and never heard back from you). Using the Honeywell units that provide minimal expanded data as a reference for the Santa Fe (since they appear to be basically the same)

    The 65p Honeywell/Santa Fe Compact at 70F 60% would be doing about 3.2 pints/KWH which is the same as the portable unit that cost a quarter of the price. I just don't see the benefit of spending quadruple for the Santa Fe unit.

    The only wild card would be longevity. Most likely the Honeywell/Santa Fe units would outlast the portable units, but no guarantees about that. My 2 old units are 30 years old and still working great. The most likely thing to fail on the new portable unit would be the electronics, and that's easy to wire around and turn it into a mechanical unit just like the 30 year old units.

    Michael
    http://www.questprotect.com/images/H...R410a_spec.pdf
    You can use these specs for a comparison to the Santa Fe Classic or the SF Advance. The SF Compact is not as efficient as the other SF units. It's claim to fame is compact, durable, and ductable. It is moderately more efficient than most portable residiential dehus.
    I might suggest pluging your dehu into a timer to run the unit enough to attain the humidity levels you want without a dehumidistat. Operating 4 hours per cycle 3X a day should be enough. Dehus are more prone to freezeup when the humidity goes below 45%RH.
    Keep going until your dehus fail. Then get a SF Advance and duct to isolated areas. You can also incorporate the rest of the home when the windows are cloased.
    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. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    156

    Smile Thanks TG and Ameeich!.. and Frigidaire replaced my 5 yr wty unit with a 1 yr wty!

    Thats TB... not TG. The keyboard gremlin got me! ;-)

    Thanks to both of you for a wealth of info. I just ordered a Kill A Watt.... thanks specifically Mike for tipping me that they existed... and to both of you for all this good info. My new replacement 70 pt Frigidaire is now operating. I will track electrical usage and water removal as Mike did.

    I plan to review TB's link on performance specs for the SF equipment, although "somewhat more efficient" for the compact, at $1100... with unknown life expectancy still sounds hard to swallow, as Mike said.

    I like TB's suggestion of timed cycles. Where can I get a power timer that will do 3 cycles at 4 hours each, or some equivalent? Will try amazon to see if that pops up.

    It sounds like no one wants the basement humidifier business. Crap quality and now 1 year warranties... failure in 2-3 years. And the SF compact at $1100 (apparently noisy from reviews), not much more efficient.. but will last an unknown longer life cycle, and is a bit of a bastard non install if used in a basement. I am guessing that the SF Advance upgrade is even more expensive... is intended to be used in the conditioned air stream which is not a need we have.. for the kind of money it takes.

    The last chapter in my Frigidaire saga was that Frigidaire authorized a return of my money through lowes... $255 paid 2 years ago for a 5 year warranty dehumid. That's pretty darn good. The bad news is that the new one I got for $245... had only a 1 year warranty... so my original device at $255/5 year was truncated at 3 years of warranty. Knowing these are all dogs, I broke my consumer rule of not paying for warranty and bought a 2 year extension. Supposed to be in home. So I had to pay $20 net extra just to keep the warranty I had.

    So for now, it appears that I will limp with poor quality basement units.. hopefully to try controlling my own cycles. Hopefully longer cycles will be more efficient and stretch the product life.

    Thanks again, gents for the help.

    Paul
    Last edited by shovel99; 07-23-2011 at 09:21 AM. Reason: Title Boo Boo

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    156

    Not impressed with specs on either SF Advance or Hi E DRy!

    Hi guys,

    This gets uglier by the minute. I took a moment to look at the specs on the SF advance and Hi Dry 100, and was about to assume that I was going to get much more efficiency with the $1244 price for SF and $2100 for the HI E Dri 100, maybe even enough to pay for the huge investment. And then to see if they gave a reasonable warranty for x 5 to 7 times price point. Comparing the two ratings, I discovered that the SF and Hi Dri quote pints per kwh and the lowly Frigidaire portable... which is required by law to quote ratings EEV rating in Litres/kwh! So take new Frigidaire at 1.8 L/kwh x 2.11 pints per liter : 3.8 pints per KWH.

    Further, on the Frigidaire website, model number 70 xxxx DUD has the same 1year all parts and labor.... 5 years sealed cooling system warranty that both the high $ systems have... except the Hi DRi is 2/5yrs. Which means, in all likelihood, you will be hauling it somewhere and paying for service to keep it running for 5 years. My Lowes FD unit stock number is 70xxxx LUD... ("made for Lowes, apparently)... and had stickers all over it "1 year warranty."... and paid for extra 2 years, but that is supposed to be "in home." Maybe Lowes did this because they know how poor the units are and want the customer to get at least 3 years life from them.

    The Immoral of this story is the industry.

    No big dollar dehumid likely in my future. Will limp along in combat with the dehumid industry, I guess.

    SF Advance: $1244 delivered, 5.3 pints/kwh (just 1.4 times efficient as my cheapo), 4.7 times as expensive.

    http://www.thermastor.com/HI-E-DRY-100/

    Lowest price about $2100. 6.8 pionts/kwh, or 1.8 times as efficient as my cheapo. Same warranty, 5.75 times as expensive.

    Paul

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Central New Jersey
    Posts
    253
    Five years ago this month I bought a Sears Kenmore 70 pint dehumidifer with the 5 year warranty. Sears has given me two replacements. I picked up the second replacement in June. I just extended the warranty for two years for the replacement unit.

    I was seriously considering buying the Santa Fe unit, but it very expensive compared what I can get from Sears. I think I will continue replacing the Kenmore unit every two years under the warranty.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Comfortech Show Promo Image

Related Forums

Plumbing Talks | Contractor Magazine
Forums | Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M) Magazine
Comfortech365 Virtual Event