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Contrabombarde

Interesting way to humidify an organ

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I recently came across this account of what might be an unusual way of humidifying an organ:

 

http://www.gesuparish.org/ministry/music/organ.html

 

"To counteract the drying effect of winter’s low humidity, Kurt Mangel—curator of the Wanamaker pipe organ—devised a method of humidifying the organ space using the organ’s own windlines as a conduit for bringing humidity to the instrument. A large humidifier is installed in the blower room. When the organ is not in use, and humidity levels drop, an HVAC control system signals the humidifier to run, and the organ’s main blower to turn at low speed. This pushes humidified air into the organ. “Dump valves” located on the windchests open when the blower is not running at full speed, providing an outlet for the treated air. (When the organ blower is at full speed, air pressure inside the windchests pushes these valves closed.) Thus, there is a single place for humidifier maintenance, and a plumbed water supply."

 

So when the organ isn't being used, the blower continues to spin at low speed and pumps humidified air around the windchests. I wonder if this has been tried elsewhere and how helpful it would be at preventing organs from drying out at this time of year?

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It sounds similar to a unit that we got from a UK organ supply company (other supply companies are available) :P Except instead of using the main blower to blow the humidified air though the winding system and chests, the humidifier has its own blower that puts out about 1/2" wind.

We've used them in a few jobs. The first one was put in in Christ Church Anglican Cathedral Christchurch - however I think humidity is the least of its worries at the moment.

The dump valves were fun to put in - 'fun' being used advisedly. The valves need to be at the end of winding runs so that usually meant chests in the far corners of the chamber that were not the most user friendly to put in situ.

 

CTT

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I recently came across this account of what might be an unusual way of humidifying an organ:

 

http://www.gesuparis...usic/organ.html

 

"To counteract the drying effect of winter’s low humidity, Kurt Mangel—curator of the Wanamaker pipe organ—devised a method of humidifying the organ space using the organ’s own windlines as a conduit for bringing humidity to the instrument. A large humidifier is installed in the blower room. When the organ is not in use, and humidity levels drop, an HVAC control system signals the humidifier to run, and the organ’s main blower to turn at low speed. This pushes humidified air into the organ. “Dump valves” located on the windchests open when the blower is not running at full speed, providing an outlet for the treated air. (When the organ blower is at full speed, air pressure inside the windchests pushes these valves closed.) Thus, there is a single place for humidifier maintenance, and a plumbed water supply."

 

So when the organ isn't being used, the blower continues to spin at low speed and pumps humidified air around the windchests. I wonder if this has been tried elsewhere and how helpful it would be at preventing organs from drying out at this time of year?

 

=======================

 

 

Ah! B) You've just answered the question which puzzled me for years.

 

I could never understand why that harpsichord soundboard was so moist that it was visibly bowed at the start of the fall season, but that the maker stated that it would be flat again within the month ie: the onset of winter.

 

I think, in NE America, the winter weather system brings very cold, very dry air from Canada, across the Great Lakes, and of course, the chilling effect would, (like a fridge), dry out the timber.

 

In our temperate climate, we just don't get those abrupt changes in humidity.

 

I know that when I first drove on an American freeway, I almost killed myself. It was warm and humid and I switched on the air-conditioning, with the result that I got instant fog INSIDE the vehicle, and a screen so steamed-up, I couldn't see through it at 60mph!

 

I had to open the driver's side window and stick my head out, while coping for the first time with left-hand-drive and a borrowed Cadillac De Ville, which was like riding on a bouncy-castle devoid of proper brakes. :huh:

 

MM

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