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Honeywell HE-300 Humidifier problems...

Hello,

I have recently installed a honeywell HE300 humidifier in my house in Anchorage, Alaska. The climate is dry, dry, dry and HUM is definitely a huge plus. Most older houses in AK have hydronic base board systems (no ducts). I have mounted the HE-300 on a custom made hydronic fan coil/plenum which is set up as zone 1 (biggest zone) of my hydronic base board system. The house is approx 3000sqft.

The installation is fine, and is controlled by an Ecobee smart stat. Overall the system functions as designed with the exception of generating humidity. The ecobee website logs all the temp and HUM data, which also documents the problem over time.

I have noticed that the DC powered solenoid valve on the HE-300 modulates with some form of on-off cycle/time. I cannot find any technical manual or trouble shooting information from Honeywell that explains the operation of the water circuit, modulation and control. This is a mystery because I would have thought the water solenoid should be on constantly with a call for HUM? Is their a inbuilt sensor in the HE300 that shuts down the water on some form of high limit?

Honeywell do not provide any water flow information which could help troubleshoot the lack of humidity. It is possible to place a 16oz cup or catcher beneath the water injector nozzle (with the media pad removed). How much water flow should I be getting in a minute, or 3, 5 minut minute period? This can be fine tuned by the needle valve (supply pressure dependent) but no guidance is available.

If the unit is started and stopped frequently (zone turned on and off) their can be a reasonable puff of HUM visible on the ecobee log, timed with the solenoid cycle. If the zone is on for a long time (recovering from setback etc) the HUM does not work that well and usually stops completely.

I have tried turning up the water rate using the needle valve to the point the discharge line is overwhelmed, then turned it back a little....plenty of water going through when the valve is on.

I am currently thinking of "hacking" the unit, put in a hard wired 100% on time solenoid valve wired to the fancoil, or rip the HE300 out, junk it and try an Aprilaire 400.

Do any of the forum members have any documentation/test guidance on the HE300 beyond the walmart type information available from their website?

Thanks Ryan
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Comments

  • EmpireEmpire Member Posts: 2,343 ✭✭✭
    Honeywell Humidifiers

    There is no easy response to your Q;, but I would call Honeywell and ask to talk to humidification design engineer.  They can point you towards literature that can answer most of your questions.  Now, having said that, each unit model # is rated to add humidity to the envelope at a given rate of water flow over time.  There are countless variables in play that are constantly changing, effecting the absorption of water vapor into the air.  Evaporative humidification (which most buildings use) is not something that is done over the course of an hour or 2.  Days and weeks are where the effectiveness is measured. "Heat is the train on which water vapor or humidity rides".  Warmer air is able to hold more moisture than cooler air.  Generally during the cold days of winter, it is not unlikely to see RH% at 12 to 20% RH.  Homes that have means to humidify the air can expect to see 45% to 55% RH during normal operation inside the envelope. 

         Example:  10,000 cu/ft of air at 70*f will hold 10.95 pints of water,... No more.  This means the air in a home 25 x 50' with 8' ceilings (10,000 sq/ft) could hold nearly 11 pints of water when the temp inside is 70*f.  This would represent 100% RH conditions.  If there is only 2 pints of water in the same home at 70*f,. the relative humidity would be 2/11 or 18% RH. Quoted from Audel library. 

         I am merely trying to give you some idea of what and how the humidity is measured and at what conditions it will exist.  As far as modulation of water due to waste, I would be more concerned with the full output of the humidifier.  17 gal per day does not seem like a waste to me.  I hope this helped a little bit.  Remember it takes time to accomplish humidification in the home using evaporative humidification.



    Mike T.
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  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Member Posts: 11
    Honeywell customer service were not helpful!

    Thanks for your reply,



    At this stage I would like to eliminate any problems with the HE-300 unit, and getting good documentation on it's off/on solenoid cycles would be a great start. Understanding the design water flow rate range through the pad is also needed. I suspect the evaporative pad has a pretty low efficiency so to evaporate 18 gallons in 24hrs into the house atmosphere, it will probably need 2-4 x the water through the pad...i.e 40-80 gallons.



    Any technical info from Honeywell would be much appreciated. I did not mention it at first but because this unit is "tagged" contractor install, they (Honeywell customer service/tech support) will not offer any help at all. They basically want to know if the green light is on, and water supply turned on..thats about it. When I told them the solenoid appears to be controlled/modulated with a duty cycle(not always on) they did not understand and had no information whatsoever.



    I have attached a PDF file with some of the HUM versus time graphs to illustrate the poor response, and changes over time depending on whether the zone is run continuously or is cycled fairly quickly.



    Do you know anygood Honeywell Tech reps out there on the wall?



    Thanks Ryan
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  • BillWBillW Member Posts: 155 ✭✭
    HE300

    The HE300 is a fan-powered unit.  That means it moves ambient air thru the pad with its own fan. The solenoid valves are 2 position, on or off.  The units use about 18GPD, and usually are controlled by a humidistat, or by a home control system, or a thermostat with a humidity sensor included.  Check out the following website for tech sheets and info. www.customer.honeywell.com go to "homes" and type in HE300, and you should be able to download any info you need. 

    If it is not meeting your needs, it may be undersized, the building may be "leaky", letting in outside air, or the air it is putting thru may be too cold to allow evaporation.  Possibly, using hot water instead of cold to supply the unit might help.  I imagine incoming cold water in Alaska is about 40 degrees, and moving 50 degree basement air thru the pad isn't terribly conducive to evaporation.  Humidity is effected by ordinary activities like showers. cooking and laundry.  If you use a setback thermostat, and the house is vacant during the day, it may not be possible for the unit to "catch up".  You might want to consider a steam humidifier, if tight humidity control is what you need.
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  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Member Posts: 11
    Still need better Honeywell Technical information on HE300...

    BillW,



    The web link provided does not appear to bring up anything to help troubleshoot the HE300. Actually I got no hits from either the "home" or "business" search on that site.



    I have hooked the HE300 up to hot water so the incoming stream is 100+ degf. The HE300 is mounted on a fan coil plenum which is heated by 140- 160DEGF water or hotter depending on the outdoor reset etc. The HUM is slaved to the coil meaning that the HUM only turns on when the coil is heating.



    At this point, without some better trouble shooting information from Honeywell I am about to toss the HE300 on the scrap heap and install an Aprilaire 400.



    From what I can observe the water pad retains very little moisture when the solenoid is actually on, but as it spends more than half its time off the unit barely humidifies. A direct duct humidity reading downstream on the HUM and fan coil shows negligible HUM gain prior to the exhaust grille and mixing.



    Does anyone on this Forum have any technical/professional contacts with Honeywell that can provide more detailed information such as:



    1) Design on/off time cycle of 24VDC solenoid, based on heat calls from HVAC



    2) Max flow rate of water at design conditions (for 18 gpd HUM absorbed into the air stream) as measured with the pad out directly under the nozzle. I guess this is approx double...32 GPD...equivalent for the solenoid on time?



    3) Should I change the solenoid control board on this new machine?



    4) Should I change the water pad for better water distribution and retention?



    Thanks Ryan
    ·
  • EmpireEmpire Member Posts: 2,343 ✭✭✭
    Suggestion

    April air is too small for your 3000sq/ft. You'd be better off with the 600M bypass humidifier.



    Mike T.
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  • BillWBillW Member Posts: 155 ✭✭
    Humidifier issues

    Did you try the Honeywell tech line at 1-800-468-1502? Try contacting the distributor you bought the unit from, and ask them for technical help, or ask them for the local Honeywell rep's name and phone number. If you are a member of Honeywell's ContractorPro program, you have an exclusive technical support number to call.  I don't know if the site is still active, but www.hbctechlit.honeywell.com used to connect you with PDF versions of all the tech sheets. 
    ·
  • BillWBillW Member Posts: 155 ✭✭
    some more info

    Here is another website www.eanswer.honeywell.com.  I haven't used that before.
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  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Member Posts: 150
    Another thing...

    I agree with items others have mentioned, but I wanted to share an issue I had. I had a customer that we installed a Honeywell True Steam Humidifier with an Ecobee. Discovered that it was short cycling. After some troubleshooting and finding no obvious issues, I suspected the Ecobee didn't have enough humidity differential. So I contacted Ecobee and the tech. informed me that it had been an issue and they added a diff. setting to the t-stat. So the tech. accessed the Ecobee via the web and updated the logic. Problem solved! Along with some other features. Best part it was free!
    ·
  • BusterBuster Member Posts: 22 ✭✭
    edited May 2014
    INFO

    I can't find the actual info on paper but I know that unit uses a timer function for the solenoid to "Save Water" In my opinion the unit is working properly but just wont give you the output you require. If you are thinking of replacing it I would suggest an Aprilaire 800 steam unit that will give you much better results! A steam humidifier can produce much more humidity no matter if you have hot air (heat on) or just air moving.





    Look on page 3, very little info but does say about saving water



    https://customer.honeywell.com/resources/Techlit/TechLitDocuments/50-0000s/50-1762.pdf
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  • mhobbsmhobbs Member Posts: 2
    I too have a HE300 and am experiencing issues. The unit is installed per instructions (HUM on Supply Duct, humidistat on Return duct) and plumbed to a line coming out of the water heater. Water is flowing thru the unit as evidenced by the amount of water in the discharge line. It is wired and DIP switches set such that the HUM runs when the gas furnace heat & blower runs. The unit was installed almost 8 weeks ago. Per the humidistat, the install humidity level was 13%. I'm now maxed out at 17 - 19% and it will not go any higher, set point is 35%. I recently spent a couple hours on the phone with the distributor and with Honeywell. Neither have an answer. My house is 3,000 sq ft.

    My next alternative is to rewire it to the HUM to the furnace board such that the humidistat will engage the furnace blower and run it and the HUM until the desired humidity level is reached. Then change it back to the way it's configured now and hope that the HUM will produce enough humidity to maintain the desired level. Long term allowing the humidstat to control the furnance blower is not a viable solution becuase one wants to hot air from the furnace going thru the HUM.

    Open to other suggestions / ideas / similar issues.....

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  • AbracadabraAbracadabra Member Posts: 1,535 ✭✭✭
    mhobbs said:

    I too have a HE300 and am experiencing issues. The unit is installed per instructions (HUM on Supply Duct, humidistat on Return duct) and plumbed to a line coming out of the water heater. Water is flowing thru the unit as evidenced by the amount of water in the discharge line. It is wired and DIP switches set such that the HUM runs when the gas furnace heat & blower runs. The unit was installed almost 8 weeks ago. Per the humidistat, the install humidity level was 13%. I'm now maxed out at 17 - 19% and it will not go any higher, set point is 35%. I recently spent a couple hours on the phone with the distributor and with Honeywell. Neither have an answer. My house is 3,000 sq ft.

    My next alternative is to rewire it to the HUM to the furnace board such that the humidistat will engage the furnace blower and run it and the HUM until the desired humidity level is reached. Then change it back to the way it's configured now and hope that the HUM will produce enough humidity to maintain the desired level. Long term allowing the humidstat to control the furnance blower is not a viable solution becuase one wants to hot air from the furnace going thru the HUM.

    Open to other suggestions / ideas / similar issues.....

    How long have you had the humidifier installed? I installed 2 Honeywell TruSteam humidifiers for a customer with a 5500 sq.ft. home and it took them about ~3 weeks to achieve a stable humidity of about 28-30%. All hardwood floors and tons of woodwork, which was probably very dry since previous humidifers were crap. I'm guessing all the woodwork was just sucking up all the humidity in the air.

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  • EmpireEmpire Member Posts: 2,343 ✭✭✭
    Tis post is so old and needs to terminate!!!
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  • mhobbsmhobbs Member Posts: 2
    Regarding other posts about Honeywell Customer Service, yes, they are not helpful at all. If your problem cannot be solved by reading the install guide or operating manual yourself don't waste your time calling. And yes, don't tell them you did the install yourself (quite easy, even for a girl -lol).

    I solved my issue (previous post) by rewiring the HUM to the thermostat board and set the DIP switches such that the humidistat forces the furnace blower on when humidity is needed. My house is well insulated with good windows, the heat wasn't running enough to allow the HUM to make a real difference. After rewiring it, it ran almost non-stop for two weeks (a few hours a day I would manually turn it off to give the system a rest). Finally, the house is maintaining 30%+/-. The 4.5 year old 3,000+ sq ft house with lots of hardwood flooring had never had a HUM so the humidity being produced was being sucked away.
    ·
  • eloyeugeneeloyeugene Member Posts: 0
    I have bought Honeywell Replacement Humidifier Filter HAC504AWC from here - http://www.grandcrayon.ca/hwlhac504awc-honeywell-replacement-humidifier-filter.html, i would like to know is there any type of guarantee honeywell provide if i bought directly from their site.
    ·
  • eloyeugeneeloyeugene Member Posts: 0
    I have bought Honeywell Replacement Humidifier Filter HAC504AWC from here - http://www.grandcrayon.ca/hwlhac504awc-honeywell-replacement-humidifier-filter.html, i would like to know is there any type of guarantee honeywell provide if i bought directly from their site.
    ·
  • walker447walker447 Member Posts: 1
    I have similar setup with baseboard hydro heat. The HE300 is mounted in a DIY supply plenum, 8"x 16", going from basement area to toe kick register in living room on 1st floor and some 4" ducts to basement rooms. Use 140 degree water from indirect water heater to supply HE300.

    Had some old tube fin, about 12' mounted in supply plenum zoned to manifold for boiler with out side reset temperature control of 130 to 160 degree. Wife was complaining about cold air from register. Supply temperature now is about 75 degrees.

    Use hot wired blower fan from existing dehumidifier mounted below supply plenum to help blow basement air into supply plenum. Using RH control mounted in living too that came with the HE300 with outside temperature device connected.

    At first, did get enough humidity output. He300's solenoid opened for about 120 seconds to wet pad and then off for about 5 minutes. Never got to RH set point.

    Not wanting to admit defeat, I added a second water pad that is mounted in spare parts housing for water pad used in an Aprilaire humidifier with the same water pad part number, Aprilaire #35. It is between an inlet filter grill and the intake to the dehumidifier fan. All of the return air passes thru the second water pad assembly before going into the system and the HE300.

    To reduce the amount of water and the water heating cost, the water to the second pad is reheated waste water from the HE300. It passes thru a homemade tube in tube heat exchanger. The remaining waste water goes to a condensate pump and then to basement sink.

    Now get plenty of humidity. Enough to reach set point.

    RH in living room is set for slight band of moisture on old double hung windows with triple track storm windows. RH in other parts of the old house maintain at RH set point in living minus about 5%. Other rooms humidity is usually 30% RH.

    Is it worth the effort doing it this way? Seems to work and wife calls it "RH Contraption Comfort System". She hates it and would rather be dry. To me, much better that constantly adding water to room humidifiers.









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  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 5,085 ✭✭✭✭
    Since this came up again... a few thoughts.

    The most important one is the humidity set point. If you do NOT have solid vapour barrier on the inside of the outside walls -- inside the insulation -- you may have real difficulty in reaching anything over 20% on a cold day. That said, you may not want to. What is happening is that nice water vapour from inside is migrating through your insulation and condensing at whatever depth in the insulation it reaches the dewpoint. Typically a little more than half way through. Thus it is happily soaking your insulation and outside framing and sheathing. This worries some people -- me included -- who aren't all that wild about rot and mould and suchlike nuisances.

    The next comment is on infiltration -- any infiltrating air will be dry. Very dry. To get it up to your set point, you will have to add a good deal of humidity to it.

    So... if you want to get up to perhaps 40%, you should have a really vapour tight vapour barrier -- no gaps at all -- and really tight draught. You will need a heat exchanger and ventilation to maintain your air changes per hour to maintain indoor air quality at a safe level.
    Jamie



    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.



    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-McClain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
    ·
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