Author Topic: "Recharging" Planet Waves Humidipaks  (Read 2177 times)

Doug W

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"Recharging" Planet Waves Humidipaks
« on: March 22, 2012, 12:33:14 PM »
Hi all -

Just wanted to share a tip that works for me, and ask the more knowledgeable folks on the forum whether they can see anything that might ultimately be harmful with this approach.

To keep my guitars at the right humidity while in the case, I use Planet Wave Humidipaks, which are basically vapor permeable salt packs with an equilibrium vapor pressure equivalent to ~45-50% humidity.  You slide them into a little cloth sleeve, and two packs sit in the soundhole and one in the headstock area of the case.  The idea is that they then either release (if the humidity is low) or absorb (if its high) water vapor to keep a relative humidity of ~45-50%.

In the winter, my experience is that these packs dry out and get crunchy pretty quick (in about six weeks or so, given that I'm opening the cases on a daily basis).  They aren't rock hard yet, but they feel pretty dry.  In order to keep from having to buy refill paks, I've taken to periodically putting the packs in a large Gladware-type container along with a small bowl of hot water, and in about 4-6 hours, they soften up quite nicely and are ready to go back into the case.

Other than Planet Waves being out a couple of bucks, I can't see anything wrong with this approach - but I'd welcome thoughts from chemistry types who know more about desiccants and physical chemistry than I care to try to remember from college.

Thanks

Doug

bjasso

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Re: "Recharging" Planet Waves Humidipaks
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2012, 01:10:56 PM »
Doug,
Good idea. I do a variation on that: I get a towel damp with distilled water, put it in the bottom of a medium sized tupperware container. I then place a small plastic dish on top of the towel and then lay the packs on the plate. They're ready a day later to put back in their zip-lock bags.

CodeBlueEMT

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Re: "Recharging" Planet Waves Humidipaks
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2012, 03:24:14 PM »
 I've noticed my Humidipacks getting rather hard after 6 weeks or so. I started leaving the packs outside of the case whenever I'm playing. That seems to soften them back up a bit and buys me a few more weeks before replacing them.

 Thanks for raising this question.
Shayne

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Steve

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Re: "Recharging" Planet Waves Humidipaks
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2012, 06:37:35 AM »
Other than Planet Waves being out a couple of bucks, I can't see anything wrong with this approach - but I'd welcome thoughts from chemistry types who know more about desiccants and physical chemistry than I care to try to remember from college.

The recommendation for just about every humidifier I'm familiar is that distilled water be used. Given the nature of how the Humidipak works, I don't know whether that would matter or not.

That would really be the only thing I would wonder about...
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cigarfan

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Re: "Recharging" Planet Waves Humidipaks
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2012, 06:47:14 AM »
Man, this a great idea. I have just recently purchased my PW humidification paks so not enough time to see them get hard.

A couple curious questions.

1.  Does the recharge last as long as the original pak?

2.  How many times do you recharge before you figure on having to buy new paks?

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Doug W

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Re: "Recharging" Planet Waves Humidipaks
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2012, 07:31:48 AM »
Other than Planet Waves being out a couple of bucks, I can't see anything wrong with this approach - but I'd welcome thoughts from chemistry types who know more about desiccants and physical chemistry than I care to try to remember from college.

The recommendation for just about every humidifier I'm familiar is that distilled water be used. Given the nature of how the Humidipak works, I don't know whether that would matter or not.

That would really be the only thing I would wonder about...

I thought about that when I was concocting this system, and decided that if I actually had to add liquid water to the humidifier directly, I'd want to use distilled water, but since (absent the prospect of volatile impurities like chlorine) the humipacks are actually absorbing vapor from the air, it is sort of a passive distillation process anyway.

As far as the volatile impurities - assuming the Pur water system on my faucet works as advertised, those should be taken care of - and no, I don't run hot water through the Pur - I put the water in a small bowl and microwave it for about 30 secs before putting it in the container with the paks.

Doug W

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Re: "Recharging" Planet Waves Humidipaks
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2012, 07:36:08 AM »
1.  Does the recharge last as long as the original pak?

Haven't really paid attention.  The paks say 2-6 months on the container, but I don't recall ever getting more than 6 weeks or so in the winter, and it seems like I'm do this every 4-6 weeks or so, so the timing seems pretty consistent

Quote
2.  How many times do you recharge before you figure on having to buy new paks?
Don't know - I'm on the about the third recharge and all seems well.  Just got tired of shelling out for replacement packs this winter.

Cindy

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Re: "Recharging" Planet Waves Humidipaks
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2012, 09:40:49 AM »
I had a set that stayed supple during the winter months without me doing anything to them, but the case hygrometer slowly dropped below 40%. If you recharge them, I'd suggest using a case hygrometer if you aren't already doing so. :)
Cindy

Steve

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Re: "Recharging" Planet Waves Humidipaks
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2012, 10:33:13 AM »
And get a digital, and not an analog, hygrometer...
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Satsuki

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Re: "Recharging" Planet Waves Humidipaks
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2012, 11:59:07 AM »
I put the packs on my belly as I lay in a hot bath.

cigarfan

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Re: "Recharging" Planet Waves Humidipaks
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2012, 08:31:25 PM »
I put the packs on my belly as I lay in a hot bath.

oooh ... oooh ... We need pictures!
Alida, Blackbird, Collings, Galloup, Gibson, Huss & Dalton,
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michaelw

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Re: "Recharging" Planet Waves Humidipaks
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2012, 10:18:55 PM »
I put the packs on my belly as I lay in a hot bath.

oooh ... oooh ... We need pictures!
uh ... no
i really don't think that would be necessary :-X
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it's all about why you play ...