Dampp Chaser Humidity Control System Install


Solutions for pianos that are subject to inconsistent humidity

The piano pictured is a 5′ Baldwin baby grand from 1925. The piano is located in a New Jersey church and was not holding its tuning well. Many churches in the New York / New Jersey area have difficulty with pianos maintaining their tuning because of drastic changes in humidity. Churches in particular tend to only turn on the heat or air conditioning at the time of service thus causing drastic humidity changes in the piano’s environment. In order to create a consistent humidity for the piano, I installed a humidity control system.

Step 1: Cutting the undercover to the shape of the piano lid

Here I have cut the undercover to outline the shape of the piano lid. The undercover is put underneath the piano to seal the environment.3

Step 2: Installing the humidifier & humidistat

Next I installed the humidifier (the water tank hanging down) and 2 dehumidifying rods.4

Now I install the humidistat. The humidistat is the brains of the piano humidifier system. It senses the humidity at the soundboard and humidifies and dehumidifies as needed.

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Customizing the installation of the humidistat for optimal performance

On the right is the humidifier suspended by metal rods. The humidistat is to be positioned in the neighboring bay on the other side of the beam. The only problem is the humidistat is supposed to be located about 6 inches from the humidifier. But in that position the soundboard rib (the wooden ribs that provide support to the soundboard) blocks the air hole. The air hole senses the humidity. Moving it further away gives us a distance greater then 6 inches giving us a system that does not perform to its optimal capacity.

I had to get pretty creative here to get the right positioning.6 I decided to mount the humidistat to the vertical board, up slightly above the bottom board so the wires can fit underneath. It is angled to follow the soundboard ribs. The bottom board will be mounted to ledges underneath the tail (back) and belly rail (front) of the underside of the piano.7 Now we have achieved the proper distance of the humidistat to the humidifier. The soundboard rib is no longer blocking the air hole sensor. Holes have been drilled underneath for all wires connecting the rest of the system.

Now this 1925 baby grand will hold it’s tune between regular servicing

For pianos kept in locations with changes in humidity, the best solution is the installation of humidity control system.