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DanY
12-11-2017, 10:44 AM
Hello all,

My room usually stays in the 40s for humidity, but recently my Oasis Caliber IV hygrometer is showing LL due to the cold weather. My room humidifier bumps it up to the low 20s for a few hours and then later its back to LL.

All my ukes are in cases with their humidifiers, but my wife wont let me take them out to play because the hygrometer is showing LL.

Is there any concern playing and leaving them out for several hours when the humidity is at very low levels as long as I put it back in the case with a humidifier at the end of the day? How long can they be out for in harsh conditions? Thanks

DownUpDave
12-11-2017, 11:15 AM
Hello all,

My room usually stays in the 40s for humidity, but recently my Oasis Caliber IV hygrometer is showing “LL” due to the cold weather. My room humidifier bumps it up to the low 20s for a few hours and then later it’s back to “LL”.

All my ukes are in cases with their humidifiers, but my wife won’t let me take them out to play because the hygrometer is showing “LL”.

Is there any concern playing and leaving them out for several hours when the humidity is at very low levels as long as I put it back in the case with a humidifier at the end of the day? How long can they be out for in harsh conditions? Thanks


There is no concern in your situation. I have the same hygrometers, the best there are in my opinion. I play my ukes during the LL below 20% humidity level all the time during our cold dry winters. A usual Sunday has me leaving several ukes out on stands for 2-6 hours, then they go back in their cases with Oasis humidifers

Booli
12-11-2017, 07:43 PM
Here's what I'd do...

You can always run a room humidifier with the door closed for an hour before, during and an hour after your uke play time as per the humidity level rising up enough as per one of the Caliber hygrometers once you remove the hygrometer from the uke case.

Just start the humidifier, and then place the hygrometer on the opposite side of the room from the humidifier, and keep the door closed and then check it in an hour.

Once the level is right ~40% min, just keep the door closed while your ukes are out, otherwise the RH will drop.

In a cool-mist ultrasonic humidifier that I have that holds 3 gal of water, on the highest output setting, it will run for 24 hrs before being empty at which point it shuts off. In a 15 ft x15 ft room in my house, it takes about 2 hrs for the RH to rise up to 38% from 20% or less with the door closed, and a smaller room should take less time, but a larger room may take longer.

Peace Train
12-11-2017, 08:32 PM
Tomorrow's afternoon humidity level is forecast at 7% where I live and will fluctuate to 20% Wednesday morning before going back down Wednesday afternoon. This is typical in the desert southwest. I've never humidified my home nor do I have a concern playing ukulele any time of the year. I once had an instructor boasting over 250 solid-wood stringed instruments. The majority were kept on display and none were ever humidified. I've also spoken to a few local luthiers who don't humidify their instruments whether they built the instrument or purchased them "wet" from Hawaii.

I'm using this as an example, and in no way suggest you do the same. I will however echo DownUpDave's remark in saying that leaving a uke out for six plus hours a day in a temperature controlled home with humidity levels below 20% is nothing to be concerned over.

Ukulele Eddie
12-11-2017, 09:05 PM
I live in SoCal where low humdity is generally only a problem in the winter, especially during Santa Ana winds )dry desert air gets blown to coast). It can be well below 20% fo extended period of time. I use a humifier that has two tanks that each hold about 2.5 gallons. I have it set to keep humidty around 45% and both tanks go dry pr nearly dry in 24 hours.

Besides benefitting my instruments without the fuss of case humidifiers, it also benefits the humans and dog.

M3Ukulele
12-12-2017, 03:11 AM
Agreed with Dave’s comments. I’m living in LL himidty area in BC with central feat and AC in summer and I play my ukuleles during these times for a few hours, then back in the case. I’m using Oasis in the sound hole and humidipak pouches in around the next. I also just picked up some humidistat himidifers I’m still testing. Will do report and pics on these when I’ve formed opinion. As long as you humidify you care and keep 45-55% in the case, taking the ukulele out to play is not an issue IMHO and experience.

Booli
12-12-2017, 08:20 AM
Tomorrow's afternoon humidity level is forecast at 7% where I live and will fluctuate to 20% Wednesday morning before going back down Wednesday afternoon. This is typical in the desert southwest. I've never humidified my home nor do I have a concern playing ukulele any time of the year. I once had an instructor boasting over 250 solid-wood stringed instruments. The majority were kept on display and none were ever humidified. I've also spoken to a few local luthiers who don't humidify their instruments whether they built the instrument or purchased them "wet" from Hawaii.

I'm using this as an example, and in no way suggest you do the same. I will however echo DownUpDave's remark in saying that leaving a uke out for six plus hours a day in a temperature controlled home with humidity levels below 20% is nothing to be concerned over.

Are you simply going by the weather report on tv/radio/online?

If so, please keep in mind that this is the OUTSIDE climate, and the climate INSIDE your home, with heat running and windows closed can vary significantly from what the weather-man says for OUTSIDE.

Right now it's 91% RH OUTSIDE, with a 90% chance of rain today and 40 F, but INSIDE it is 51% RH and 68 F.

This is WITH an ultrasonic cool mist humidifier, if I leave it off, the indoor RH will drop down to about 38%.

I do this not only for my ukes (which are all in my bedroom), but also because in winter, with the heat running, I get nose-bleeds when the air is too dry, and often wake up all stuffed up and unable to breath without the humidifier.

I follow the rule that if *I* am having issues, it's likely ALSO not good for the all-solid wood instruments either.

Having said that, many fine luthiers, here on UU and elsewhere recommend maintaining an RH level above ~35% so that cracks do not develop in the wood 'over time'.

Lots of folks think this is hooey and do otherwise, and that's fine by me, but I am not the gambling type and prefer to err on the side of caution. :)

Peace Train
12-12-2017, 08:33 AM
I agree Booli, the inside is always drier than what the weather reports. I am only sharing my experience which in no way has any bearing on what you’ve already said.

Booli
12-12-2017, 08:45 AM
I agree Booli, the inside is always drier than what the weather reports. I am only sharing my experience which in no way has any bearing on what you’ve already said.

Thanks for clarifying. I just wanted to offer some info to help you avoid going down a commonly tread and dark path if/when folks dont realize that the humidity can differ betw inside and outside. :)

Rllink
12-12-2017, 09:22 AM
I'm one that pays attention to humidity, but I think that some people do not realize that the damage comes over time. That it is a process of drying out, and drying out takes some time, depending on several factors. It is not some evil force out there waiting outside to jump on the ukulele the minute it comes out of the case, and destroy it while you are playing it.

DanY
12-12-2017, 09:53 AM
Thanks everyone, excellent tips and advice all the way around.

Ukulele Eddie
12-12-2017, 11:02 AM
As was pointed out, if you're re-casing your instruments with humidifiers when not playing, then you should be okay. This article on guitars mentions that 1-2 days of extreme exposure should generally be okay:

http://www.guitaranswerguy.com/humidity-a-beginners-guide-to-understanding-how-humidity-affects-your-guitar/

Ukuleles are quite a bit thinner, so I would err on the conservative side.

I like to leave a few instruments out and accessible, so I went the large humidifier route (plus as I noted, there's the benefit to humans and pet).