Why Pianos Need the Piano Life Saver
The most important part of good piano maintenance is keeping the humidity as constant as possible. Because tuning instability and physical deterioration are the obvious results of continued humidity extremes, the installation of a Piano Life Saver System is the best way to ensure the piano is protected from the devastating effects of humidity changes.
The Piano Life Saver System consists of one or more dehumidifier rods to lower humidity, one or more humidifiers to add humidity, and a humidistat which senses whether the wooden parts of the piano are too moist or too dry. Through a cycling action, the humidistat is calibrated to create a separate environment within the piano, producing a range of humidity which, in turn, provides stable moisture content in the wooden parts. This constant cycling action stabilises pitch and protects the piano from deterioration. Used in conjunction with the system to combat extreme air movement in the room, a grand undercover or vertical backside cover may be mounted on the piano to further stabilize the pitch. In particular, covers are recommended for use with the system when the piano is located in a church, institutional, or commercial building.
The humidistat controls the humidifier and dehumidifier and comes with a 10-ft. power cord. Since 2006, new Dampp-Chaser systems include either a model H-5 humidistat or a model H-D humidistat. Both humidistats may be used in a grand or a vertical piano. The H-5 model is included in systems that both humidify and dehumidify. The H-D model is used in systems which only dehumidify.
All humidistats offered in the U.K. are provided with three different calibrations to maintain pianos at the following levels of relative humidity:
- Standard Humidistat averages 45% RH;
- Wet Humidistat averages 50% RH; Used in highly humid climates, coastal towns, northern England
- Dry Humidistat averages 39% RH; Used in dry climates, homes with under floor heating, residential homes and hospitals
HOW DOES THE SYSTEM WORK?
The Piano Life Saver System is made up of basic components which work together to control the humidity levels within your piano, maintaining the recommended relative humidity, no matter what the external conditions are.
HOW THE COMPONENTS WORK TOGETHER
Through a cycling action, the humidistat is calibrated to create a separate environment within the piano, producing a narrow range of average humidity. When the humidistat, located less than an inch from the soundboard, senses that the wood is dry, it turns the humidifier on. Then, when the humidifier has provided enough moisture to the soundboard, the humidistat turns off the humidifier and turns on the dehumidifier. The dehumidifier carries away moisture from the soundboard on air currents until the humidistat senses that the soundboard is dry. The system again switches to the humidifying function. The cycle continues day after day, year after year, protecting your piano from external conditions.
BENEFITS TO YOUR PIANO
Installed out-of-sight inside the piano, the system combats both dry conditions and highly humid conditions, keeping the humidity level in the piano consistent continuously.
THE PIANO LIFE SAVER SYSTEM . . ..
- Stabilizes pitch and permits tunings to hold much better and longer (the tuning will not go sharp or flat when the weather or room humidity changes)
- Minimizes the expansion and contraction of action parts which provides optimum touch and predictable keyboard control
- Prevents rust on the strings and metal parts
- Minimizes felt deterioration, reducing the harsh tones that come from flattened hammer felt in low humidity or the muffled tones from swollen hammer felt in high humidity
- Minimizes glue failure throughout the piano
- Protects your piano's investment value year after year