Runaway humidifier

Hi all, I was hoping someone could help me with a runaway humidifier...

I have the humi-care blue rectangular humidifier that had been keeping my cigars at between 70-74% RH in a 70 degree F setting. However, after calibrating my hygrometer through a salt test, I find now that it's holding at 78-80% RH! What can I do to bring this back down to proper levels?

Now, I'm game to try anything as I have my humidor on my desk at work, so I'm with it all day. I've tried pulling the humidifier out for a day to try to let it dry out a little then return it overnight, but so far I see no change.

Complicating matters is the fact that I'm in Afghanistan, so any "common household" solutions may not work; I'll have to MacGyver something together if necessary. About all I do have is a CCom ziploc bag, my smoking "tools" and plenty of office supplies. I hesitate to expose the cigars themselves to the dry (32% RH) air, not to mention the omnipresent dust by leaving the humidor open. Thankfully this humidor is indoors in an air conditioned office, so at least that's a positive.

Any help I can get would be greatly appreciated. I have an ISOM Cohiba Siglo VI in there that a British soldier gave me that I've been eyeing every day- I would hate for that to go to waste as a soggy smoke!
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Comments

  • i used to have this problem when using that type of humidifier so i was constantly taking the thing out. eventually i gave in and got some heartfelt beads. they work really well, however the last time i recharged them i used a bit too much water and ended up with my humidor holding 75% so last night i put a wedge of paper in the seal of the humidor holding the lid slightly open so that some of the humidity would escape. this morning the humidor was at 65% so i closed the lid and now its been up to 70% for the last 4 hours. you could try slightly opening the lid just enough to allow the humidity to escape but not enough for it to full with dust. if not maybe invest in some beads. just my opinion but experience of lowering my humidity im sure someone else will be along with some better ideas soon enough.
  • Russ55Russ55 Posts: 2,765
    I think I own the humidifier you are talking about, and it always gets the rh up to about 80%. It just sits on my shelf now. I'd try some Boveda packs.
  • JZJZ Posts: 827
    Kenny, PM sent
  • ejenne87ejenne87 Posts: 1,925
    I have been having the same problem with that same humidifier. I just recently ordered some heartfelt beads. hopefully they do the trick.
  • Thanks everyone for the tips! Sounds like it's an equipment problem rather than something I'm doing wrong at least. I'll try the paper method and I'll just have to keep removing the humidifier and adding it to manage the humidity myself. Plus that gives me an excuse to check out my stash every couple of hours! This shouldn't be too hard to manage until I can get a new humidity source in.

    Thanks again
    Ken
  • stephen_hannibalstephen_hannibal Posts: 4,317
    weird I just wrote on another post about this same problem with this same humidifier...
  • Matt MarvelMatt Marvel Posts: 930
    I just let the same humidifier activate for two hours. I pulled it out and set it on a towel to drain the water. It's popped open a little on one side, apparently some of the crystals burst or something. Should I just let it sit and dry out for a bit?


    Nevermind, it just exploded it on me, and I have gooey gel all over the place. This sucks.
  • aggieaggie Posts: 2
    I had that happen when the instructions said to soak it for 12 hours. I came back 12 hours later and had a container FULL of goo.

    My humidor has been running wet too. Thanks for all the advise, I'm trying it now. I've got a Gurhka Beast that I've been aging since 2007 that I really don't want to mold out on me.

    Ken, I'm in Iraq right now, stay safe Brother! Stogies make a deployment bearable....
  • Matt Marvel:
    I just let the same humidifier activate for two hours. I pulled it out and set it on a towel to drain the water. It's popped open a little on one side, apparently some of the crystals burst or something. Should I just let it sit and dry out for a bit?


    Nevermind, it just exploded it on me, and I have gooey gel all over the place. This sucks.
    same thing happpened to me. luckily i was sent a new one to replace it. The instructions need to be rewrote so they say to soak for 1 hour (if that). The company I bought from was going to work with Humi-Care to have the instructions re wrote but i guess it hasn't happened yet........
  • JKTexJKTex Posts: 92
    I think the beads are the only way to go.  It's hard to get it wrong.
  • jsnakejsnake Kansas CityPosts: 5,796 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hey guys I do not have beads as of now and need some advice. My humidity was always consistent until I started using Humi-Care. I had it shoot up extremely high so I removed the humidifier that came with my humidor. Didn't really help so I cracked the lid for a day or 2 and it stabilized. Now it has dropped way low. I refilled the Humi-Care although it looked as if it still had plenty of life to it.

    Went from the extreme of 85 to a low of 62 and I cannot for the life of me figure it out. I check my levels daily and quickly and I use a digital hygrometer. My temperature only fluctuates by +/- 1 or 2 degrees so it isn't temp or placement.
  • ironhorseironhorse Posts: 469
    Me too. I was using some drymistat tubes and for a while it was a little too high 72% or so and now it has started crashing and I can't seem to turn it around. Going down to like 60%. I have recharged the drymistat tubes and threw in a recharged humicare pillow and it's holding 63 or so, but doesn't seem to want to get up higher.....

    I ordered beads yesterday. Cold weather affecting changes I am guessing?
  • stephen_hannibalstephen_hannibal Posts: 4,317
    Yeah both the Humis I have humi-care products in have gone f'n haywire. My 100ct with the jar is at 84% rh and the 40ct with the big blue is at 76% rh. It was good what happened... I think I might need to get some beads.
  • jsnakejsnake Kansas CityPosts: 5,796 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I bought that Springfield digital hygrometer at WalMart today and of course both digitals read differently after several hours in there. IDK what the heck is going on.
  • One2gofstOne2gofst Posts: 583
    jsnake:
    I bought that Springfield digital hygrometer at WalMart today and of course both digitals read differently after several hours in there. IDK what the heck is going on.
    Have you calibrated them?
  • jsnakejsnake Kansas CityPosts: 5,796 ✭✭✭✭✭
    IDK how I would do that since neither one allows for any adjustment. One is the Springfield one that everyone here seems to like. The other is a Fluckers that was used for egg incubation to breed reptiles so it is a better quality.

    I am open to any suggestions. I need to make sure my humidor is right.
  • One2gofstOne2gofst Posts: 583
    Just do the salt test and see what it reads out.

    For instance, if, after the salt test it reads 70%, you'll know it is reading 5% low.

    I don't know about incubating eggs, but as far as hygrometers go, unless you have an extremely high end one, they are made to be most accurate within a certain humidity range. This is why those made for cigars aren't that great for guitars, etc.

    I figure you probably know how to do a salt test, but if you need any help just let me know and I'd be happy to help ya out :)
  • jsnakejsnake Kansas CityPosts: 5,796 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yeah I will set it up tonight. I need to double check them both. The humidifier that came with my little 20 count humidor looked like it had mold on it. I use distilled water so does anyone know what the deal is with that? I wiped it down before I refilled it but this has me a little worried.
  • One2gofstOne2gofst Posts: 583
    How long ago did you wipe it down/fill it? If it is pretty recent, I'd doubt you would have mold so soon.
  • jsnakejsnake Kansas CityPosts: 5,796 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Pretty new just 2 weeks ago. The humidifier had fuzzy stuff on it that wasn't there before so I assumed it was mold. Don't know what else it could be.
  • One2gofstOne2gofst Posts: 583
    2 Weeks is enough time for mold to grow. Why not wipe the whole thing down with a bleach solution and let air out in the sun for a day or so then start from scratch. I know it is a pain in the ass, but I'd be afraid to put anything in something like you describe.

    Shoot me a PM if you'd like to discuss it further and see if we can't get it all figured out for you.
  • jsnakejsnake Kansas CityPosts: 5,796 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Well I did the salt test with the result of my Springfield being off by -10 and my Thermo Fluckers being off -2. I am kind of disappointed with how off the Springfield is.
  • One2gofstOne2gofst Posts: 583
    It can be disapointing, but realistically, once you know what it is off it does give you an accurate reading. I use a Caiber III digital hygrometer. They are very inexpensive and mine reads just 1% low, which is basically on the money. So now that you know what your hygrometers are telling you, what is the RH in your humidor? Is it staying constant? What type of humidor are you running?
  • jsnakejsnake Kansas CityPosts: 5,796 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I am at 69 to 70 RH in both. Temp is usually around 70-72 but here lately it is around 75. The temps read very accurately on them but the RH is off. I have a 150 count and 20 count. 150 had Humi-Care crystal gel and 20 count has the humidifier that came with it. My wife said this Fluckers Thermo Hygrometer was cheaper then the Springfield so I am gonna get another.
  • One2gofstOne2gofst Posts: 583
    Cool. At that humidity you should be good to go. I don't know how much the Fluckers goes for, but the hygrometer I have runs about $15 on Amazon and is quite accurate and small.

    Don't know much about your method of humidification. I use Heartfelt beads, which are, IMO, the easiest. But if you are maintaining that RH constantly you should be good to go.
  • HaysHays Costa del Sol, SpainPosts: 2,338 ✭✭✭
    jsnake:
    Well I did the salt test with the result of my Springfield being off by -10 and my Thermo Fluckers being off -2. I am kind of disappointed with how off the Springfield is.
    Wow Jake...I'm actually surprised to hear that, despite how cheap these Springfields are. How long did you run the salt test for? I've had mine for about 3 months, and I'm re-salt-testing it right now just to be sure, but all indications are that it's been spot on since the get-go. I know a lot of the other guys who've picked em up have been pretty happy with them as well - biggest inaccuracy I've heard of before was 4%, and that was 1 guy.
    ¨The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea¨ - Isak Dinesen

    ¨Only two people walk around in this world beardless - boys and women - and I am neither one.¨
  • jsnakejsnake Kansas CityPosts: 5,796 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I did it overnight for 8 hours. If my humidor is set up right it is reading right. I aim for 70RH and it is reading 60RH which equals 70RH based on the salt test being -10. The temp matches my thermo hygrometer and when I put that one in there it reads 68RH which also equals 70RH for it based on the salt test being -2. If I didn't have 2 to check against the other I would be concerned. I don't know if this is the same one but it says Springfield and is white with a funky kick stand on the back. I found it in the hardware department.
  • BTJR99BTJR99 Posts: 97
    jsnake:
    I did it overnight for 8 hours. If my humidor is set up right it is reading right. I aim for 70RH and it is reading 60RH which equals 70RH based on the salt test being -10. The temp matches my thermo hygrometer and when I put that one in there it reads 68RH which also equals 70RH for it based on the salt test being -2. If I didn't have 2 to check against the other I would be concerned. I don't know if this is the same one but it says Springfield and is white with a funky kick stand on the back. I found it in the hardware department.
    How did you do the salt test? I first did the salt test with a zip lock and wet salt in a soda cap. I found that to be quite unreliable. Humidity would go up and down within the bag. I now use a tupperware with a shot glass half filled with salt and just enough water that it just start to pool slightly on the suface of the salt. I have 2 of the springfields. One is off -2rh and the other is off +6. My other digital is adjustable. (Humicare)
  • jsnakejsnake Kansas CityPosts: 5,796 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I did 1 measured cup of distilled water and added salt until it was pasty. Placed it inside large freezer bag with both hygrometers. Left overnight for 8 hours. Prior to going to bed though I had checked it several times. They peaked after just 2 hours maybe and stayed the same until morning. there was no fluctuation. When I switch them in my humidors they both give me the same reading for temp and humidity given their - adjustment from the salt test. I feel confident in there readings since they will read the same in the same humidor i.e. thermo digital reads 69RH which equals 71RH. The Springfield will read 61RH which equals 71RH also.
  • jsnakejsnake Kansas CityPosts: 5,796 ✭✭✭✭✭
    How can you bring the temp of your humidor down if you do not have a cooler or anything like that? My temps keep rising since my wife is running the heat now. I am getting around 74 and 75 degrees and you all have me freaked out about tobacco beetles. I want to get it and keep it down around 70 degrees.
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