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Originally happy with purchase; unit died after 18 months.

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Review by Elizabeth posted 926 days ago 2435 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Originally happy with purchase; unit died after 18 months. Originally happy with purchase; unit died after 18 months. No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I live in humid western Oregon, and my shop has been pretty sealed off for most of the winter. I also obtained a load of green western red cedar at the start of winter which is stickered for drying. These two facts together led me to feel that a dehumidifier might be a good investment for my shop.

After researching reviews on the different models out there, I decided on the rectangular 45 pint model by Soleusair. I chose this one because of a number of features:

Timer mode, to shut it off in either two or four hours
Auto shut off when the collection tank is full
Three fan settings
Low temperature (41 degrees) functioning
Casters and a handle to move it around easily
Range of humidity settings – in five % increments from about 35% to 80%, or continuous mode that never stops. In the non-continuous mode it will run until the tank fills or until the desired humidity is reached.

The unit also contains a humidistat which tells you (in 5% increments) the current humidity level. If this part is accurate, I am very glad that I bought a dehumidifier, because my shop was reading at 90%! I ran it for the first 24 hours continuously (as per the operating instructions) and the reading dropped from 90% to between 75% and 80%. The tank nearly completely filled, as well – you can just see the water line on the top right of the second photo.

I like this dehumidifier. On the low setting it is quieter than my air filtration unit, so I didn’t really notice that it was on. I got it for about $170 shipped from a company called Savinglots.com, which I have never used before but it seemed to get decent reviews online. Part of the casing is a bit warped on one side (things didn’t align correctly in factory assembly I think) but it doesn’t appear to affect performance at all. I was a bit nervous about leaving it running and unattended overnight but I checked on it that evening after having it on for 9 hours straight and there was no heat buildup or other indications of potential trouble.

I was surprised to find no reviews of dehumidifiers on LJ, and very few conversations about them in the forums…it seems like a useful tool for anyone who is drying wood in their shop and can’t keep the shop open to the outdoors for air circulation.

An update – when I first starting running this dehumidifier, my shop was reading at 90% humidity on the little display window. After running it for about four or five days over the course of a week (often overnight) it’s now reading 70%. I’ve no idea what level I should be shooting for, but I’m definitely impressed with this little machine.

Further update August 2013 – after 18 months of ownership, the dehumidifier died. The company took it back (even after the 12 month warranty period), which was great, and they are refunding my money, but they cannot replace it or apply it toward an upgrade to a bigger unit. And they’re not refunding this shipping I paid to the third party company I bought it from, which is fair enough.

So…I’m out $30 and am back to the drawing board for a dehumidifier. The unit itself gets 2 stars for only lasting 18 months, and it wasn’t even in use all the time. The company gets 5 stars for taking it back after warranty but minus a star for not helping me with getting a replacement. So average rating now is 3 stars.

If you get one of these, keep your receipt as warranty proof!




View Elizabeth's profile

Elizabeth

797 posts in 1775 days



8 comments so far

View ToddTurner's profile

ToddTurner

144 posts in 1955 days


#1 posted 926 days ago

You are so right. These are an essential for the shop. I ran a hose outside so it never fills up and shuts off. It also keeps the cast iron from rusting and conditions the lumber stack. If mine quits, it would be replaced immdeiately!

View Fallon's profile

Fallon

80 posts in 1759 days


#2 posted 925 days ago

If you have a drain of some kind handy, you can put a hole in the collection bucket & run it to the drain. I know a few people with indoor pools & they do that in their pool rooms, drain just goes right back into the pool.

I miss Oregon climate. The whole house humidifier I have here in Colorado barely makes it liveable during the winter.

View Elizabeth's profile

Elizabeth

797 posts in 1775 days


#3 posted 925 days ago

Oh, I forgot to say, this model does have a hose hookup port, so I could attach a hose if I wanted. But there is no drain in my shop, so it would involve either elevating the unit and draining into a bucket on the floor, or leaving the door open for the hose; as the tank is filling only every 24 hours it’s easier to stop and empty it manually when needed.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112015 posts in 2209 days


#4 posted 925 days ago

Thanks for the review Elizabeth,very informative and helpful.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View StumpyNubs's profile

StumpyNubs

6173 posts in 1432 days


#5 posted 925 days ago

WOW that was great review! Thanks for posting!

-Jim; aka “Stumpy Nubs”

Blue Collar Woodworking? That's the best show since Hawaii 5-0! ” -The Podunk Journal

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

View Elizabeth's profile

Elizabeth

797 posts in 1775 days


#6 posted 916 days ago

Does anyone know what the ideal humidity range for a detached shop should be? I’ve gotten it down to 70% now and am wondering how far I should try to go.

View MaroonGoon's profile

MaroonGoon

280 posts in 590 days


#7 posted 406 days ago

Elizabeth, what humidity range did you get your shop down to? I am looking at a dehumidifier and am curious about what level the humidity needs to be in the shop.

-- "Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone." -- Pablo Picasso

View Elizabeth's profile

Elizabeth

797 posts in 1775 days


#8 posted 406 days ago

I don’t run it constantly, but when I’m in there and my humidity gauge says it’s over, say 80% or so, I will put the dehumidifier on for a while to pull it back down to 70% ish.

Funny you should mention this now, though – last time I ran it, I came back into the shop the next day and there was a faint burned smell and no water in the dehumidifier collection tray. I haven’t had time to play with it but I think it might have gone wrong and need to contact the manufacturer to see what I can do.

I used to have a page bookmarked that gave relations between the relative humidity in the air and the moisture content of the wood, and used that as a guideline. Can’t find it now, but here’s one with a simplified chart:

http://www.thisiscarpentry.com/2010/09/03/moisture-content-wood-movement/

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