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Had steam humidifier installed. Noxious fumes filled my home.

I hired my local HVAC company to install an Aprilaire 865 ventless humidifier. It has a steam generator with a hose to a fan pack.

The unit comes with 6 feet of hose and instructions say to couple it with insulated copper for longer runs.

The HVAC people decided to get some NBH coolant hose from NAPA auto parts without me knowing. They installed it and left. 30 minutes later my house is full of this strong rubber smell. I got lightheaded and my chest tightened and now hurts.

I called and they told me they got an upgrade hose for me at no charge and that the smell should subside in 30 minutes. I didn’t wait 30 minutes and turned the unit off. It’s been hours and my chest still hurts.

Does anyone know if this hose is suitable for interior use? I understand it’s wuality for coolant, but this is interior air we’re using it for. Where would I contact to find the standards of types of hose suitable for interior steam applications?

Any advice at all is appreciated.


    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,790
    You can buy steam rated hose so I would get rid of the napa stuff.

    You could probably find a local hose supplier or

    Someone else on here may chime in or

    Look on line in the "McMaster Carr" catalog they have pretty much anything

    The alternative would be finish the run in copper and use a stainless steel flex connector where it connects to the humidifier
  • funnybunny
    funnybunny Member Posts: 3
    Thank you for the input. A user in a different forum site suggested they were just trying to save time and avoid sweating copper.

    I haven’t paid the second half of the quote yet, so I’ll suggest they do as you mentioned before I pay.

    I’m 100% ignorant on chemicals in hose manufacturing, but I have to think that hoses for auto coolant would not be manufactured with same concerns for air quality as he ones you mentioned. I can understand if there was a faint smell from being new, but it was thick fumes. Took me about 8 hours to finally stop feeling dizzy. And that’s from maybe 10 minutes of exposure.

    Anyway, thank you for the input.
  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 1,940
    I don't understand it. I think it would be faster and less expensive to solder some copper together rather than running out to the auto parts store and buying the hose.
  • ice4me
    ice4me Member Posts: 21
    What happened to the hose that came with the unit? I have this same humidifier and even with the stock hose you will get a mild smell from it - nothing like you describe though.

    I ran mine with 1" rigid copper and connected each end using a short length of the supplied hose. If I remember correctly, I sweated 3/4" reducing couplings to each end after swaging them out slightly in a press for a tighter fit to the hose. Insulate the copper well and it should work great. I used this: https://www.buyinsulationproductstore.com/Fiberglass-Pipe-Insulation-SSL-ASJ/

    Also don't forget to use the copper P-trap that comes with it if you are doing an extended run.
  • funnybunny
    funnybunny Member Posts: 3
    They did use the p-trap, at least they told me they did. They said the wall cavity from the basement to the wall upstairs, took a bend around the floor and this made it easier to install. The bidding agent stopped by and explained what they did.

    They ran the 6 foot hose from fan unit, down the first floor plaster wall to the basement. They coupled THREE feet of NBH hose to the Aprilaire hose with copper. Then attached the NBH hose to the humidifier. So it was a 9 foot run. They said this was the only way they could do it without removing extra plaster.

    I wish they would have just bought an extra length of Aprilaire hose and used that. The bidding agent sat there for 39 minutes while we fired it up. He agreed there was a substantial amount of fumes. He’s going to contact the manufacturer if NBH hose (Gates Corporation) and ask if this hose is safe to use after it off-gasses. He did say he’ll do whatever it takes to make it right, so that’s a reassuring sign.

    Thank you for the information. This forum is excellent!
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,790

    In this day and age just getting what you paid for and the right job is an issue. Your fortunate to have a company that will make this right.......so many don't care.

    Hopefully they will step up and fix you up
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,790
    Ed, the key to this is that he has only paid 50% of the job, IMO.

    Funnybunny, hold on to that other half until you are satisfied, this is what gets their attention.
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,790
    @JUGHNE ,
    Your right I forgot about that little tidbit. It's called leverage and it's a good thing to keep on your side at all times
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,790
    And don't cave in and pay when they say they fixed everything, just say "I'll send you a check within a week....I'll get my pay check etc, next week and pay you then".....if I am happy.
    I have been on both sides of this table BTW.
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 1,468
    Should never have come to this.
    A long time ago an old boss of mine said, and I have repeated often: "If you have time to do it wrong, you have time to do it right. So do it right!"