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Old 11-07-2010, 05:28 AM
markerbeacon markerbeacon is offline
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Default Getting more out of your Humidipak system...

I purchased a Humidipak System when I took home my new 414ce Fall Ltd 2009 a year ago this month (an incredible instrument that I grow more fond of daily). The visit I had with the store owner about the importance of proper humidity levels with higher-end instruments left my very paranoid. I live in an older home where humidity is almost impossible to regulate to safely leave the guitar out of the case. After a couple of months of use in the dead of Winter, the Humidipaks were hard as a brick. Depleted. The humidity level in the case was starting to fall. I could see using Humidipaks was going to cost a little to keep things in line humidity wise, only getting 2 months out of them. So, being the cheap guy I am, and that it was about 2 hours on the road to buy new Humidipaks, I finished out the harsh Iowa winter with a couple wet sponges inside a soap case with holes drilled in it, monitoring of course, with a calibrated hygrometer. But, I never did completely dispose of the old Humidipaks. Come summer, I noticed them laying on the table right where I had removed them from my guitar case several months previous. When I picked them up to carry them to the waste basket I noticed they had swollen since the last time I had held them and they were very squishy, like they were filled with very runny jelly or something. At first I thought this must be the next level of degradation. But after closer examination and a little more thought I realized that “Hey, this is Summer in Iowa. The humidity is high!” It dawned on me that these once moisture depleted Humidipaks had been absorbing moisture from the humid air surrounding them. Then I started to wonder if these things might be reusable.

Experiment time! I borrowed some desiccant packs from work. These particular packs say "HUMISORB" on them. They are 2 unit packs, Type II. These desiccant packs are made to be reactivated by placing in an oven at 245-260 degrees F for 16-20 hrs. So, after reactivating the desiccant packs, about 5 of them, I placed them in a Ziploc freezer baggie with one of the swollen Humidipaks and my hygrometer. Sure enough, after 2 weeks in the baggie, the humidity reading inside the baggie had dropped to twenty-something percent and the Humidipak was once again hard as a brick. Ok, next step is to see if I can add moisture to the Humidipak the same way. So I stuck the Humidipak back in the freezer baggie, only this time instead of desiccant packs, I added a couple of smaller, hole-laden, Ziploc baggies. with wet sponges placed inside them. It took a month, and I had to service the sponges a couple of times, but the Humidipak is now swollen and squishy again. Good to go for Winter in Iowa.

I have since ordered another set of Humidipaks to have on hand as needed, knowing that I can have them ready to go in what ever state the situation demands, arid or humid. Just store them in a Ziploc baggie until needed. Same with the desiccant bags. Reactivate them, place them in a baggie until needed.

I know some of you have had problems with Humidipaks. But I have found them to be very durable, as I have handled them quite a bit during these experiments. No leaks so far. And changing them out regularly will give me ample opportunity to examine them closely for damage.

Your mileage may very, after all I am going against manufactures instructions of 'Throwing them away'. However, they are advertised as 2-way protection, so.... why not use that to your advantage?

-Mark
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Old 11-07-2010, 08:13 AM
gloeben gloeben is offline
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Hi Mark,

I posted a similar thread some moths ago and am glad to see someone else doing essentially the same thing. I currently have humidipaks in 9 acoustics in Phoenix, AZ. I actually have two full sets for each guitar. As they harden I switch the dry set out with a charged set and then I recharge the dry ones by placing them in a plastic container (just a storage box from Target) with a cup of water in it. In order to allow for space and moisture circulation I stand the humidipaks on their side in plastic letter holders (cheap from Staples), one in each slot. They actually recharge quite quickly and then I take them out and lay them on top of each other in a smaller plastic container (no water) for storage until I reuse them.

I agree that they are quite tough. I have had no leaks.

There are two issues I am concerned about. One is whether they can be overcharged and release too much moisture when used again. The second is the possible deterioration over time of their ability to absorb and release moisture at the appropriate rate. I think it is possible to overcharge them and then they may release too much moisture. If you leave them in the moisture rich environment, they will absorb so much that they become quite liquid inside. At this point, I'm not certain about how much moisture they release when you put them in a drier environment. I have tried to test this with some hygrometers I own, but they are unreliable and I am getting mixed results. For now, I charge them less time (I judge them by feel, but in my system it takes about 2-3 days at most) and they seem to work fine. As for deterioration over time, I don't have any obvious evidence of this yet, but it seems possible. I'd be very interested if you or anyone else wanted to test whether the consistency of their performance is affected by either too much moisture in them or degradation over time.

For now, this system works very well and saves me a ton of money over buying new packs--something I probably wouldn't do because of cost.

Greg
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  #3  
Old 11-07-2010, 09:38 AM
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Blueser100 Blueser100 is offline
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Here is why I don't use them anymore. This leak happened a couple of months ago. PW replaced my Martin Geib case ($300) and refunded 4 humipak systems.


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Old 11-07-2010, 09:59 AM
gloeben gloeben is offline
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Tayorgyrl,

That sucks! I assume this was one of the new humidipaks, is that right?

Haven't heard of many problems with the new ones and haven't had any myself and I have been using them extensively for a while now. But this does make me worry.

Greg
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Old 11-07-2010, 09:59 AM
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riorider riorider is offline
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Hey Taylorgyrl - do you know if these were 1st generation, 2nd generation, or 3rd generation?

1st generation had leak problems; 2nd generation had "gas" leak problems (discolored some green-interior cases but no leakage); 3rd generation supposedly addressed those problems (had "New and Improved" red sticker on the outside; had a two sided card with one side several paragraphs from Bob Taylor and the other side several paragraphs from Jim D'Addario).

If this was 3rd generation, it's the first leakage report I've heard.

Let us know if you would...

Thanks,

Phil

ps Marker and Gloeb... great ideas, if D'Ad has fixed any leakage risk in their 3rd generation paks...
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Old 11-07-2010, 10:01 AM
gloeben gloeben is offline
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Riorider,

I wondered the same thing. Haven't heard of problems with the new generation, though it pays to be careful for now.

Greg
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Old 11-07-2010, 11:01 AM
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Blueser100 Blueser100 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gloeben View Post
Tayorgyrl,

That sucks! I assume this was one of the new humidipaks, is that right?
Yeah. In fact, the one that leaked was one of several replacements that I received directly from Planet Waves after they took them off the market to address the problem. In addition, I was wary at first to put the "new and improved" packettes in my cases so I waited a while. The leak appeared at the top of one of the packettes that goes into the soundhole. Because of its location, it pressed against the inside lid of the case and made a discolored impression (as you can see from the photo).

I'm now using dampits and sponges in plastic bags with holes cut out.
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Old 11-07-2010, 12:38 PM
markerbeacon markerbeacon is offline
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Hey Greg (gloeben)

Thanks for the reply. I've searched many times for a post like the one you made, but always came up empty. I'm going to give that letter holder thing a try. A little cleaner than the way I'm doing it.

I figured this post might bring out the 'Humidipak Nazi's'. This forum is full of posts regarding like or dis-like. No, this post was intended for those who find the Humidipak system useful and want to extend the useful life of same, and of course to share ideas on how to achieve this, like Greg has. Thanks!
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So I said to my instructor at my first lesson, "I want to play like Angus Young, even if it takes the whole half hour".

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Old 11-07-2010, 01:15 PM
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riorider riorider is offline
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Thanks again for the re-humidification ideas, mb. And I do hope D'Ad has solved their leakage problems.

Phil

Last edited by riorider; 11-07-2010 at 01:50 PM. Reason: Clarification!
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Old 11-07-2010, 01:24 PM
markerbeacon markerbeacon is offline
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Sorry, I guess I could have worded that a little better. My apologies. As I said, I was hoping to share ideas on how to get more life out of the Humidipaks.
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So I said to my instructor at my first lesson, "I want to play like Angus Young, even if it takes the whole half hour".

2009 Taylor 414CE-LTD-R Fall limited
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Old 11-07-2010, 03:54 PM
gloeben gloeben is offline
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Here's hoping the humidipaks remain useful and safe Mark & Phil. Taylorgyrl, I'm very sorry to hear about your bad experience. It is important to hear if anyone has problems so we can all take the necessary precautions--so thanks for that. For now, I'm going to keep using them, but I'll let it be known if I have problems.

Good luck with them everybody.

Greg
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Old 11-07-2010, 05:08 PM
diablo2112 diablo2112 is offline
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Great post, thanks for taking the time to experiment and documenting the results.
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Old 11-07-2010, 08:12 PM
Cindy Cindy is offline
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I used the humidipaks last winter and found most of the sets were so dry to start with that they only worked for one month. One of their reps said to add an additional packet to the case, which I did, but it still didn't raise the humidity to the correct amount.

Most of them I threw away except for one set. It stayed soft all winter long and humidified perfectly from November until May. Once the humidity started coming in, the packs remained soft, and the humidity in the case rose to 60+%. That set is still in the case (now one year later). After reading this, I decided to wait and see if the set works now that the humidity is dropping.
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Old 11-08-2010, 05:32 PM
markerbeacon markerbeacon is offline
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There are a lot of posts on here discussing the state of the humidipak upon on opening the foil package. Seems to be quite a variance. From soft to already hard. They are designed to maintain a constant humidity level of 45%. I would assume that the packs, when shipped from the manufacturer, are in a state where they could either release some moisture, or take on some moisture, depending on the conditions found at their final destination. Knowing what I know now after playing around with them, it would seem that PW could sell them either completely swollen or dried out, and market them to take care of geographical or seasonal needs. In other words, one to take care of dry conditions, and one to take care of humid conditions. And the end user would probably get several weeks more use out of either them. Just a thought...

Anyway, Cindy, please let us know how your paks work out this winter.

-Mark
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So I said to my instructor at my first lesson, "I want to play like Angus Young, even if it takes the whole half hour".

2009 Taylor 414CE-LTD-R Fall limited
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Old 11-08-2010, 05:36 PM
coreyman97 coreyman97 is offline
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was talking to a luthier today who said he highly recommends using a dampit ALONG with the humidipak system during the winter months. he said the dampit's add moisture and prolong the life of the humidipak packettes. anyone else hear of this?
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