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Need a Good Basement Dehumidifier

05/04/2013 5:24 PM

I recently bought a 1970's home with a full basement. The basement is partially but poorly finished. I need a good reliable 50 to 70 pint dehumidifier to keep humidity down. I have looked at some at the local big box stores and am appalled at how poorly they are designed and fabricated. Any good ones on the market?

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#1

Re: Need a good basement dehumidifier

05/04/2013 5:38 PM

You get what you pay,,,,,if you're lucky....

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/dehumidifiers.htm

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#2

Re: Need a good basement dehumidifier

05/04/2013 5:48 PM

50 to 70 pints is a lot of liquid. Maybe you should invest in a pump to drain the pan.

Ours drains into the basement drain so it's on 24/7 for many months when we aren't there.

The one we have used for the last 4 years came from a big box (wm) and works well.

Without it we'd have 2 inches of water in the basement during the wet season.

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Need a good basement dehumidifier

05/04/2013 6:06 PM

What brand did you buy?

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Need a good basement dehumidifier

05/04/2013 6:14 PM

No clue. Middle of the line capacity, about $150.00 USD as I recall.

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#30
In reply to #3

Re: Need a good basement dehumidifier

06/09/2013 11:17 AM

It's an LG brand, with remote control.

Bought it at Walmart.

It just chugs away.

The optional hose drain feature does not lock securely in place, but if the hose comes undone, the pan fills and the unit shuts off, till serviced.

I have to recommend it based on its unmonitored use over 4 years.

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#5

Re: Need a Good Basement Dehumidifier

05/05/2013 8:29 AM

Perhaps a simple Silica gel system that has to be de-humidified by heating and allowing the water vapour to get out of the basement through some plastic piping would be satisfactory. Other de-humidifiers have a cooling compressor and other paraphernalia, which will be rather uneconomical to maintain.

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#6

Re: Need a Good Basement Dehumidifier

05/05/2013 10:40 AM

When I was a kid, my Dad built a 2 x 4 frame with a piece of plywood on top. The dehumidifier sat on top of it, and he drilled a small hole through the basement wall for the drainage line that he ran off the bottom of the collection pan to the outside. It worked great. Zero maintenance.

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#7
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Re: Need a Good Basement Dehumidifier

05/05/2013 11:39 AM

I'm sitting here thinking just how clever/intelligent that was!

The machine doesn't care where it is, and on a stand, gravity does the work of disposing of the condensate.

Fortunately for me, that wasn't necessary, mine just sits on the floor and drains into the drain.

Handy, I'm going to Minn. on the 31st. I'll let you know what brand mine is then.

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#8
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Re: Need a Good Basement Dehumidifier

05/05/2013 11:57 AM

I think a certain degree of laziness is required to truly be a good engineer.

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#9
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Re: Need a Good Basement Dehumidifier

05/05/2013 4:58 PM

I am incredibly lazy so is that why I have above average engineering skills?

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#11
In reply to #9

Re: Need a Good Basement Dehumidifier

05/05/2013 5:12 PM

No, you just have an inflated ego.

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#13
In reply to #11

Re: Need a Good Basement Dehumidifier

05/05/2013 5:33 PM

Hey now. My ego is the only thing driving me to do anything most days. That and my wife.

(But her motivation comes in a different form which is usually simplified as to which is worse. Doing what she wants or listening to her whine about it.)

It's amazing what a guy will do to get some peace and quiet sometimes.

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#12
In reply to #9

Re: Need a Good Basement Dehumidifier

05/05/2013 5:21 PM

Probably explains it. Most of us come up with things in our attempt to find the easy way out.

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#21
In reply to #12

Re: Need a Good Basement Dehumidifier

05/06/2013 12:49 PM

Finding the easy way out, laziness, etc, doesn't that just translate to a more positive phrase such as increased efficiency? After all, if you can do something easier and with less effort, why not find a way to do it and make better use of your time.

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#29
In reply to #21

Re: Need a Good Basement Dehumidifier

05/08/2013 1:21 PM

Absolutely!

I didn't mean it in a negative way.

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#10

Re: Need a Good Basement Dehumidifier

05/05/2013 5:04 PM

A very effective dehumidifier is simply a common window type air conditioner with a hole drilled in the condensate pan so that it can drip out.

We had a old 8000 BTU window AC unit when I was a kid that had a hole in the pan and that thing could easily produce 10+ gallons (80+ pints) of condensate water in a good day.

Good chance if you went around to rummage sales or garage sales you could pick up a good medium sized window AC unit cheap and turn that into a super capacity dehumidifier.

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#23
In reply to #10

Re: Need a Good Basement Dehumidifier

05/06/2013 9:03 PM

" A very effective dehumidifier is simply a common window type air conditioner with a hole drilled in the condensate pan so that it can drip out."

Good Answer

This approach is usually overlooked - but it works great - and can be cheap with a used window unit assuming noise isn't an issue.............

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#14

Re: Need a Good Basement Dehumidifier

05/05/2013 10:30 PM

Consider a heat pump water heater- dehumidifies your basement and uses the energy to heat your water. You can find them at Lowes, Home Depot, Sears, etc..

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#16
In reply to #14

Re: Need a Good Basement Dehumidifier

05/05/2013 11:12 PM

Can you explain how a "heat pump water heater" dehumidifies the air?

Also, how do you justify the $2,000.00 USD cost, compared to $250.00 USD for a dehumidifier?

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#19
In reply to #16

Re: Need a Good Basement Dehumidifier

05/06/2013 6:51 AM

It operates the same as a dehumidifier except instead of putting the energy back in the air it puts it in the hot water. Cost is more like $1000 minus 30% Federal Tax credit. Payback is good from savings in operating cost in both water heating and dehumidification.

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#20
In reply to #19

Re: Need a Good Basement Dehumidifier

05/06/2013 9:18 AM

Thanks. Might be worth a look.

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#15

Re: Need a Good Basement Dehumidifier

05/05/2013 10:36 PM

I was looking for a large capacity dehumidifier as well then I realized I could just hook up a hose and drain it through the washing machine drain or the basement sink. Now I don't have to ever empty it again plus I saved a lot of money on my unit.

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#17

Re: Need a Good Basement Dehumidifier

05/05/2013 11:45 PM

Don't know if this is pertinent, but we have used a company for many years in drying out large buildings that have had major water damage, either by flood, collapsing roofs due to heavy rain, fire department damage (Lots of water put in with hoses), and they have used every Commercial dehumidifier known, to get water out before the mold starts. They say that they are now using high volume FANS, with adequate ventilation, in and out, as ambient air, moving with enough velocity is more efficient at drying air out, and is more economical. I don't know if this works in theory, but they sure get their job done. For small areas, maybe smaller fans, or less velocity. Like we used to leave a light bulb on, in closets, with high humidity , to keep leather goods , clothes, etc, dry. Anyone have any experience in this field?

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#18
In reply to #17

Re: Need a Good Basement Dehumidifier

05/06/2013 12:45 AM

They didn't say what part of the continent they lived in and that would assist in finding a solution. Reason I say that is I have had a lot of experience with heat recovery ventilation units. The premise is to remove stale air from the building while drawing fresh air in. The two streams pass over each other with a thin membrane to separate them. Many of the commercial units have poor efficiency in the northern climes as they have to cycle to avoid freeze up but this can be solved with a pre-heater on the fresh air in side. What is important here is that we installed 12 units in a row of test homes. Every month I went to record the data logger stats. In one of the homes the owner had a dozen or more cats, and on entering I did not smell them, though I had to be careful where I stepped in the basement. another had a diaper laundering service starting up in her basement with soak tubs and 8 washing machines and no humidity problems. Another larger unit was placed in a hog barn where high humidity is commonplace and therefore so is the incidence of pneumonia in the hogs. After three days there was a dramatic reduction in the humidity levels and after 5 months the farmer had logged greater than 5% increase in average weight gain, and not one of the new hogs had contracted pneumonia which meant a huge reduction in the need to administer antibiotics. HRV's work! A home version can be installed for around $1000.00 which is recoverable over a period of about 5 years when improved health is factored in with reduced heating/cooling requirements. I suffered from very bad sinus headaches until I installed an HRV in my home. After much testing I found that the HRV moderated humidity and evened out the more drastic changes in the weather within the home - result, I only got the headaches when I was at work. An HRV will certainly rid you of your humidity problem and with the benefit of drying out fast enough to limit the chance of mould forming. An HRV is about four times the cost of a dehumidifier but the benefits are 15 times greater. Check out http://ecomfort.com/heat-recovery-ventilators-100/ for their Fantech units

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#22

Re: Need a Good Basement Dehumidifier

05/06/2013 12:51 PM

I own a 1973 home that previous owner(s) had partially but poorly finished the basement. Rip the itshay out.

Save yourself a lot of headaches (literally) from mold. Mine is a cinderblock foundation on well drained, sandy soil. The only time water came into my basement was when a gutter failed during a deluge. Otherwise, my sump stays bone dry except when the condensate line from the A/C drips into it.

What happened in my basement is that moisture laden air gets trapped between the paneling and the foundation. This higher humidity air does a wonderful job supporting all kinds of molds and mildews. The woods and particle board laminates provide the nutrition and the moisture keeps them alive. The paper backing of drywall is also a favorite of molds and mildews.

A de-humidifier only tempers the problem, it does not eliminate it. My wife cannot go into our basement without a respirator or she will get a migraine within 24 hours of exposure. I am fortunately immune, but I can smell the 'mustiness'. I am in the process of tearing out every pit of paneling, drop ceiling and any framework up against the foundation walls.

Tyically, the clueless homeowner slaps up framing and some sort of paneling or drywall without ever thinking about a vapor barrier. Without a vapor barrier your de-humidifier is trying to desiccate a virtual ocean. And even then, poorly done vapor barriers themselves can harbor molds and mildews between the barrier and the wall.

Basements by their very nature are the essence of man-caves, they should be full of machines and raw creativity and never should be defiled by 'finishing'. The Mrs. get the upstairs and has my full support of 'Yes, dears.' The basement and garage are MINE.

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#24
In reply to #22

Re: Need a Good Basement Dehumidifier

05/07/2013 8:24 PM

Would it be possible to keep the moisture out by installing ~2 inches of shotcrete over a 12" x 12" grid of #3 rebar over a 6 mil PE vapor barrier over the cinder block wall, then pour ~2" of new concrete floor over a vapor barrier?

Or how about excavating a trench around the outside walls to a depth of ~1' below the foundation, then installing the 2" of shotcrete over the #3 rebar grid over a vapor barrier, at a say ~30º slope away from the house, and installing a ~3" french drain with 12" of 1" dia gravel on top and sides?

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#25
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Re: Need a Good Basement Dehumidifier

05/07/2013 8:31 PM

Nope, that wouldn't do it either.

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#28
In reply to #24

Re: Need a Good Basement Dehumidifier

05/08/2013 1:17 PM

Sounds expensive. Instead of spending that money on foundation enhancements, you can buy an awful lot of electricity for a de-humidifier, air exchange system and so on to keep the comfort level where you want it. I am inclined to paint the foundation walls to present something akin to a vapor retarder and improve the 'look', but I would stay away from any kind layering that might trap moist air.

What you suggest certainly sounds like it would improve the situation, but I couldn't recommend it on the cost aspects.

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#26

Re: Need a Good Basement Dehumidifier

05/07/2013 8:44 PM

Thanks folks for all of the great ideas. I may need them all in the future. For now, I purchased a Danby DDR70A1GP 70 Pint Dehumidifier. Will post later to give an update on experience with the unit. Do not have my hands on it yet as it was a web purchase. Thanks again for helping

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#27

Re: Need a Good Basement Dehumidifier

05/07/2013 10:33 PM

Except for actual water intrusion, from seeping walls, ceilings or floors, (we install sump pits, pipes, pumps and evacuation routes for this type of moisture), The only other moisture that you can receive is by Air transmission. Walls hold "dampness-----Not enough to drip, but enough to contaminate the air with water. Now that we can remove Physical, old fashioned "wet" water with containment and redirecting the water with pumps, buckets , or whatever, we can remove the AIR contained moisture by, Removing the moisture laden air. Some think that by Heating the Air, and blowing it out, it is more efficient. Some would use air conditioners, which by design , extract moisture out, and all of these and other methods are fine. One other factor that comes into play is efficiency, and that rides shotgun with cost. How much are you willing to pay?? By just blowing air, with a lower humidity, over the surface, with a proper Velocity, is probably the most efficient method possible. That being said, Ambient air humidity must be taken into consideration as you must use this air to absorb the "wet air", and replace it with "dry" air. Doesn't work well if raining, but you would be surprised what has been accomplished-

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