Home Cigar 101

Humidor Rh level driving me crazy! Any ideas?

Hello,

I have had the same humidor for 10 years now and I have never had any problems keeping the Rh level using the included sponges.  After my 2 sponges on my 150 ct humidor started to develop a touch of green on them (I only use distilled water btw) I didn't want to take any chances and decided to replace them.  I have heard great things about Xikar crystals so I decided to pick up 2 of the small 2oz containers.  I noticed after several days the Rh level was way too low being around 55.  I live in NM and being a dry climate especially during the summer I decided to "refresh or season" it using distilled water on a new sponge and lightly wet the interior.  I know many would disagree with this method but I thought it had to be done as something was definitely wrong.  I left the seal pieces alone as to not risk warping.  Still after two weeks or so the Rh level was super low around 55. 

Now I checked the seal using the dollar bill test and it's sealing just fine.  The bill is hard to pull out everywhere I could test it.  So then I went down to my local cigar shop and talked to them.  They kept the humidor there for a few days to rehydrate it and I walked out of there with (2) more Xikar 50ct humidor pucks. So now I have to (2) 2oz jars and (2) 50ct pucks and after a month or so the Rh level is saying 55 again! I have calibrated now 2 different hygrometers (and tested them against the cigar shops) and they are reading "accurately" (as much as those will anyway). 

What the hell could be the problem here?  I find it very hard to believe that immediately when I replaced the sponges the seal went bad (in the back by the hinge is the only place I cant really test it), and I also find it hard to believe that now (4) 50ct Xikar crystals wont keep the humidity level correct!  I even went out and bought some new cigars and I always use the Xikar gel solution...

Any ideas?




Comments

  • undulacundulac Posts: 1,129
    I am having the same problem with one of my humidors which happens to be my nicest and best. My three others are holding at 68% - 70% but my main one keeps saying 60%. I have more than enough beads in there along with 6-7 humi pillows and it won't budge. Origianlly I thought the digital hydrometer was off but I went in there last night to grab a stick to smoke which was without cello and the bands slid on and off with ease. Now I'm nervous. I could use some help too. Also, the dollar bill test passed and all 4 humi's are in the same space.
  • crzydimnd68crzydimnd68 Posts: 139 ✭✭
    This time of year the air is dry as hell.I purchased some beads for my humidor that was reading 56% here in Arizona.I have had the beads now for a few weeks and am reading 67% consistently.I would give them a try.You can buy Conservagel or Heartfelt bi directional beads or look into Cigar Mechanic beads in puck or brick containers for smaller humidors. http://www.cigarmechanic.com/default.html
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    undulac:
    I am having the same problem with one of my humidors which happens to be my nicest and best. My three others are holding at 68% - 70% but my main one keeps saying 60%. I have more than enough beads in there along with 6-7 humi pillows and it won't budge. Origianlly I thought the digital hydrometer was off but I went in there last night to grab a stick to smoke which was without cello and the bands slid on and off with ease. Now I'm nervous. I could use some help too. Also, the dollar bill test passed and all 4 humi's are in the same space.
    If you have any room and can safely do it, try placing a small dish of Distilled water in your humi. I do this inside my coolerdor when the beads need some help keeping up. It will help charge your beads at the same time as adding some moisture to the air inside your humi. Might help, it works in a coolerdor.
  • blurrblurr Posts: 962 ✭✭
    laker1963:
    undulac:
    I am having the same problem with one of my humidors which happens to be my nicest and best. My three others are holding at 68% - 70% but my main one keeps saying 60%. I have more than enough beads in there along with 6-7 humi pillows and it won't budge. Origianlly I thought the digital hydrometer was off but I went in there last night to grab a stick to smoke which was without cello and the bands slid on and off with ease. Now I'm nervous. I could use some help too. Also, the dollar bill test passed and all 4 humi's are in the same space.
    If you have any room and can safely do it, try placing a small dish of Distilled water in your humi. I do this inside my coolerdor when the beads need some help keeping up. It will help charge your beads at the same time as adding some moisture to the air inside your humi. Might help, it works in a coolerdor.
    ////

    I've been having the exact same issue as you guys, I'm in the northeast though & its dry as heck this winter. I am reading 60, so I did what the previous poster said except I placed a napkin in a small container and dumped some glycol/distilled solution in it. Gets the humidity up fairly quickly so I just add this in or out as I need to boost my other humidifiers. I'm using crystal gels for my main humidifiers by the way, I guess they just cant keep up and plus my humi is overflowing.
  • JY001JY001 Posts: 49
    I had the same issues until I switched to beads. They work great.
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    JY001:
    I had the same issues until I switched to beads. They work great.
    Not all the time they don't. I use 2 pounds of beads in my coolerdor and still have to add water at certain times of the year. Don't make the mistake of not checking your RH just because you use beads. They are IMO the best solution to RH control, but they are NOT flawless.
  • bigharpoonbigharpoon Posts: 2,963 ✭✭✭
    A lot of people have their beads in a bag, I keep mine in my daughter's old playdough containers with the tops removed. This way I can overcharge them a little bit and have a small pool of distilled water in there too. It works great and I don't have to find extra room in my humi when the RH plummets like it is now.
  • undulacundulac Posts: 1,129
    bigharpoon:
    A lot of people have their beads in a bag, I keep mine in my daughter's old playdough containers with the tops removed. This way I can overcharge them a little bit and have a small pool of distilled water in there too. It works great and I don't have to find extra room in my humi when the RH plummets like it is now.
    I use quite a few old perscription bottle so it's the same idea and they are soaked, but I don't have to fill them that often. For some reason, the sticks just aren't sucking up the water. I'm going to try one with just distilled water and see how that goes and I'll wipe it down a little.
  • letsgowithbobletsgowithbob Posts: 677
    Just a thought to everyone with the super low humidity issues, with a RH of 55, you might want to try to raise the humidity slowly. If you try to rehydrate to quickly you might damage your cigars. Maybe put the water in only for a few hours at a time to bring up the humidity slowly.
  • Garen BGaren B Posts: 977
    Try getting a 1/2 lb bag of Conservagel beads, some nylon stockings and a spray bottle of distilled water. Throw the beads in 2 separate stockings, mist them until they are charged and then place the bead bags in opposite ends of the humi, or if you have a shelf, one on the shelf and one sitting on the bottom. The nylon allows more of the beads humidify the area, more so than the jars or pucks will allow.
  • GarheadGarhead Posts: 41
    My two overflow 20 counts have taken a hit the last few weeks with this cold dry weather in northern VA we've been having. Actually had to take all my cigars out of the 2 and put them in tupperdores and ziplocks. Reseasoned both for about 3-4 days, put a digital in there for 24 hours to make sure it was maintaining the humidity and they were all good. Hopefully they'll stay that way for a while until it warms up and humidity increases.
  • KriegKrieg Posts: 5,092 ✭✭✭
    Dashingmad:
    Hello,

    I have had the same humidor for 10 years now and I have never had any problems keeping the Rh level using the included sponges.  After my 2 sponges on my 150 ct humidor started to develop a touch of green on them (I only use distilled water btw) I didn't want to take any chances and decided to replace them.  I have heard great things about Xikar crystals so I decided to pick up 2 of the small 2oz containers.  I noticed after several days the Rh level was way too low being around 55.  I live in NM and being a dry climate especially during the summer I decided to "refresh or season" it using distilled water on a new sponge and lightly wet the interior.  I know many would disagree with this method but I thought it had to be done as something was definitely wrong.  I left the seal pieces alone as to not risk warping.  Still after two weeks or so the Rh level was super low around 55. 

    Now I checked the seal using the dollar bill test and it's sealing just fine.  The bill is hard to pull out everywhere I could test it.  So then I went down to my local cigar shop and talked to them.  They kept the humidor there for a few days to rehydrate it and I walked out of there with (2) more Xikar 50ct humidor pucks. So now I have to (2) 2oz jars and (2) 50ct pucks and after a month or so the Rh level is saying 55 again! I have calibrated now 2 different hygrometers (and tested them against the cigar shops) and they are reading "accurately" (as much as those will anyway). 

    What the hell could be the problem here?  I find it very hard to believe that immediately when I replaced the sponges the seal went bad (in the back by the hinge is the only place I cant really test it), and I also find it hard to believe that now (4) 50ct Xikar crystals wont keep the humidity level correct!  I even went out and bought some new cigars and I always use the Xikar gel solution...

    Any ideas?




    is your humi glass top? If so, maybe the seal might have cracked around it...or... You could also try adding a humidifier in the room that contains your humidors. This should also help your beads maintain RH.
  • noccanocca Posts: 12
    have you tried to re-season your unit ?
  • Hi guys and thanks for all of the help!

    I did season it lightly twice over the course of a few months while trying to figure all this out.  I have heard a few people state it's not good for the wood (or at least around the seal) so I too extra care and admittedly I did place a small nail in one corner just to make sure it sealed as good as it could get.

    I went ahead and ordered an old school dual sponge unit with a built in reservoir:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001CZH8GG/ref=oss_product
    The first one I received was cracked but the company was great about replacing it. 

    I also purchased an electronic RH guage:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000H6CZQE/ref=oss_product
    It was actually pretty accurate out of the box which I did not expect. 

    I have since put both in the humidor and the good old sponges are working perfectly, the RH level is 65-68% (depending on which of the 3 hygrometers you believe).  Im sure the beads many of you suggested would work just fine but I figured go for what you know and $8.50 is pretty hard to beat and I can mount it on the lid eventually.

    I also sent my issue to Xikar and have heard nothing back so I personally will give my business elsewhere.  Way too many people have been complaining about those things and I value customer service too much. 

    Good luck to those of you whom might be experiencing the same problem I did with the Xikar crystals!


  • Hawk55Hawk55 Posts: 846
    Have either of you ever tried re-seasoning your humidor. Some people recommend doing that especially in the winter.
  • VisionVision Posts: 2,725 ✭✭✭
    Bump... Seeing as I am having some RH issues.
  • catfishbluezzcatfishbluezz Posts: 7,001
    What issues? Nothing a reseasoning and Kitty Litter can't help ;) Proper seasoning for a week is the best advice my friend, along with beads. Season correctly with no wipe down, and you should have no issues.
  • ehehatehehat Posts: 1,536 ✭✭
    Dustin walked me through seasoning and using kitty litter. The seasoning process was a little different than anything I found on the web but it has been rock solid 65-67 since. This man knows what he's doing.
  • VisionVision Posts: 2,725 ✭✭✭
    catfishbluezz:
    What issues? Nothing a reseasoning and Kitty Litter can't help ;) Proper seasoning for a week is the best advice my friend, along with beads. Season correctly with no wipe down, and you should have no issues.

    You mind if I hit you up? I dont have your number anymore tho.
  • *Petey**Petey* Posts: 375
    catfishbluezz:
    What issues? Nothing a reseasoning and Kitty Litter can't help ;) Proper seasoning for a week is the best advice my friend, along with beads. Season correctly with no wipe down, and you should have no issues.
    +1 on the reseasoning. I had some issues last winter after years of stability and all it needed was to be reseasoned.
  • RhamlinRhamlin WVPosts: 7,444 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Sponges work fine. I know lots of people who keep a good supply of the stuff it's real cheap at craft stores. Just keep an eye out for mold. Throw them out at the first hint of mold.id recomend some 50/50 solution with them though it will better regulate your humidity.
  • ZAPZAP Posts: 186 ✭✭
    I live in MN and have serious issues in the winter here.   I usually go to a big plastic sealable baggie with several water pillows in it.   I keep my inventory down this time of the year...I've got 4 right now but just bought ten more and I plan on keeping them in a baggie too.

    Is there any drawback to this....I can usually keep it around 65-68 doing it this way
Sign In or Register to comment.