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Ronnie Aloha
01-25-2011, 11:31 AM
So there has been a bunch of talk on the board about the effectiveness of the Herco clay humidifier. I decided to test them out myself since I use them during periods of low humidity.

First off, I live within one mile of the ocean so my humidity level is generally in the 50-60% range. Normally, I would not need a humidifier. However, there are periods, like now, when the winds change direction and blow from east to west picking up dry desert air along the way. These conditions are called "Santa Ana" winds in So. Cal. This would be comparable to "Kona" winds in Hawaii. The current Intellicast humidity level for my area is 44% at the current time. During these periods I will fill up my Hercos and put them in most of my uke cases (I have more ukes than Hercos at the current time.)

Since there was a thread the other day where the Hercos were dismissed as being ineffective, I decided to run a quick test. I submerged three Hercos in 400ml of tap water for two hours. The Hercos were bone dry at that time. After two hours I removed the Hercos, shook of excess water into the cup and remeasured the remaining water. 375ml remained meaning each Herco absorbed about 8.3ml of water (roughly 35/100ths of an ounce, or one third of a shot glass for most of us.)

I then took two identical Koolau tenor cases (empty so that the wood in individual ukes would not cause variations in humidity levels) and placed one Herco in each. I placed a hygrometer in each one and shut the cases for 24 hours. After 24 hours I opened the cases as quickly as I could and got the initial readings. I then closed the cases and placed the hygrometers on top of the cases for an ambient reading. After 30 minutes, each hygrometer measured 5% LOWER (not percentage lower but actual humidity level lower.)

These findings are identical to a test I ran when I first received the hygrometers. Even with a uke in the case the levels increased 5% versus the ambient room levels.

In conclusion, for areas where humidity levels are in the high 30's to low 40's, the Hercos do raise the humidity level in hard cases by 5% (again, actual humidity increase and not percentage. I have no idea if two Hercos in a case will raise it higher. In areas of very low humidity a Herco might be worthless since a 5% increase will still be too low for those conditions.

I am too lazy to run a test with two or more Hercos to see if the raw humidity level could increase over 5%.

Hope this helps.

didgeridoo2
01-25-2011, 11:48 AM
I keep 2 in my KoAloha tenor case. I don't live far from you, Ronnie. In the sfv (san fernando valley). And throughout the year, I get a 55% reading. Lately, I've seen it drop closer to 50 and should check to see if the Santa Ana's are affecting it. Usually, it keeps at 55% for two weeks. Surprisingly, since I live in what is technically a desert, I think the rh is 60%, or so I've read. It sure doesn't feel like it. I'll keep an eye on it and check back in to this thread. I'm pretty happy with my hercs.

ukeeku
01-25-2011, 11:50 AM
That is all I have used for 10+ years here in IL. when the humidity is 20% in the room, they keep my ukes and guitars at 40%+ with a refresh of every 3 days. that is my experience.

cb56
01-25-2011, 01:18 PM
Also in illinois. I run a small room humidifier in the room where my instruments are. Try to keep it at (or slightly above) 40% Then have 2 hercos in my tenor case (refilled once a week) and an oasis in my ubass case. both cases stay at or a bit above 50%.

Gmoney
01-25-2011, 03:40 PM
My KoAloha Super Concert came w/a Herco in the case - I added an Oasis that hangs from the strings. I think I'll be in pretty good shape. I just bought 4 more to put in other cases & this weekend will be making up a bunch of the do-it-yourself film-can versions. I live in Alabama & the cold outside means that the wife has the inside heat cranked up high, so I figure that I'll over humidify for now. (I bought a couple of humidistats from MGM w/analog "gauge" so I know am in the right "ball park" - much better than w/o. As a side note, I bought a vintage Kamaka-Keiki that has a small crack from the base of the fretboard on the G side to the soundhole - but after about a month of sitting in a case w/a herco & an oasis, the crack has closed up such that you can't even see it! (I am still going to have a local luthier cleat it)

pdxuke
01-25-2011, 05:47 PM
So there has been a bunch of talk on the board about the effectiveness of the Herco clay humidifier. I decided to test them out myself since I use them during periods of low humidity.

First off, I live within one mile of the ocean so my humidity level is generally in the 50-60% range. Normally, I would not need a humidifier. However, there are periods, like now, when the winds change direction and blow from east to west picking up dry desert air along the way. These conditions are called "Santa Ana" winds in So. Cal. This would be comparable to "Kona" winds in Hawaii. The current Intellicast humidity level for my area is 44% at the current time. During these periods I will fill up my Hercos and put them in most of my uke cases (I have more ukes than Hercos at the current time.)

Since there was a thread the other day where the Hercos were dismissed as being ineffective, I decided to run a quick test. I submerged three Hercos in 400ml of tap water for two hours. The Hercos were bone dry at that time. After two hours I removed the Hercos, shook of excess water into the cup and remeasured the remaining water. 375ml remained meaning each Herco absorbed about 8.3ml of water (roughly 35/100ths of an ounce, or one third of a shot glass for most of us.)

I then took two identical Koolau tenor cases (empty so that the wood in individual ukes would not cause variations in humidity levels) and placed one Herco in each. I placed a hygrometer in each one and shut the cases for 24 hours. After 24 hours I opened the cases as quickly as I could and got the initial readings. I then closed the cases and placed the hygrometers on top of the cases for an ambient reading. After 30 minutes, each hygrometer measured 5% LOWER (not percentage lower but actual humidity level lower.)

These findings are identical to a test I ran when I first received the hygrometers. Even with a uke in the case the levels increased 5% versus the ambient room levels.

In conclusion, for areas where humidity levels are in the high 30's to low 40's, the Hercos do raise the humidity level in hard cases by 5% (again, actual humidity increase and not percentage. I have no idea if two Hercos in a case will raise it higher. In areas of very low humidity a Herco might be worthless since a 5% increase will still be too low for those conditions.

I am too lazy to run a test with two or more Hercos to see if the raw humidity level could increase over 5%.

Hope this helps.

Thank you for this Ronnie. It helps.