Moisture in the tool box - again!

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Thanks Paul. I bookmarked it for reference when I have more time, like after my wife goes to work.
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On Sat, 12 Jan 2008 04:39:39 GMT, "JoeSpareBedroom"

So you are saying to run the dehumidifier even though we are running a humidifier on the first and second floor?
The dehumidifier is normally run near the washer, the drier and the floor drain. Do I need to run it near the tool boxes at the opposite end of the basement?
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"Grandpa Chuck" wrote in message

Is there actually a heat duct feeding *into* your workroom AND a cold-air return duct (which is available even with the door closed) so that there is air movement through that room? Try leaving open the door to that room and put in a floor-standing fan pointed at the top of the door to keep the air circulating through that room. We had a similar problem: running a dehumidifier at one end of the basement did not help to keep a storage room at the other end from getting damp until we put a fan in the doorway to keep the air moving through that far room.
If you are using a standing dehumidifier (i.e., not built into your furnace/vent system), have you connected a hose to its drain pan to continually let any collected water get drained (into a floor drain)? Until we did that so the humidifier would keep running, it would fill up the drain pan inside and then stop after which the humidity went back up. It would run a few hours and then be off for a week so it really wasn't doing much. I then punched a hole in the bottom side of the drain pan and connected a garden hose that ran to the floor drain.
Although it is winter, do you ever hear the dehumidifier turn on that is down in the basement? Have you checked its pan is drained and that the floater is free to move? Tried turning it on at full reduction (but not in a constant-on mode) and moved the floater to check the unit does indeed turn on and off?
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On Sat, 12 Jan 2008 13:30:53 -0600, "VanguardLH"

Yes, kind of.

There are no doors. Our basement is all open with the furnace near the center and the washer and drier at the other end of the basement.

A quiet slow running fan either on the floor or ceiling might be a good idea. Gee whiz, we just donated two ceiling fans to the Salvation Army, but they would have hung to low for anyone over 5'8".

It is into our sump pump pit. That makes sure there is enough water in the pit to keep it from drying out during the dry months.

No and it does have a PVC pipe hooked to the bottom of the pan.

Yes. Thanks for the suggestions.
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Kind of? Does that mean you have leave the door at the head of the basement stairs open to get any heat into the basement?

There is probably a cold-air grill at a vent that leads into the furnace to pickup from near the basement floor. But you would still need a warm-air feed into the room to get some circulation in that big one-room basement. If the warm-air inlet is close to the cold-air return, there won't be much circulation through the rest of the room.
Do you only heat the room when you are using the workroom?
If it is just one big room, a table fan pointing at one wall in the corner might be enough to draw air across that corner. It would probably help even at lowest speed.
Do the toolboxes sit directly on the concrete floor, or are they atop a wood plank or shelf to get them off the concrete floor?
What is the type of construction for the basement walls? Concrete blocks? Stones with mortar? Concrete plaster over stones and mortar? I'm wondering if ground moisture is getting wicked into the basement.
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On Sat, 12 Jan 2008 14:45:31 -0600, "VanguardLH"

Not at all. There are two registers in the main duct in the basement that we normally leave open only a little or not at all.
Since you asked there is a cat door in the door between the main floor and the basement.

Not really, but I did leave one open at chest height where I took out the whole house humidifier after it stopped working. The heating/air conditioning contractor that installed the furnace said the just throw it away and leave an opening as an added cold air return.

It is 25' X 27'' or close to it.

Usually we have them part way open. However, when the outdoor temperature gets below 10 we open both all the way. It's quite cozy down there.

The large one is on wheels. The smaller one is on a plastic shelf. The problem is the same in both.

Stone City stone covered with mortar and paint. We are at the top of a hill and it takes one hell of a lot of rain for us to get any water. Even then it comes in under the cement slab 3 1/2" thick I poured for the washer and drier to set on. When I do see it there is only a trickle and it lasts for no more than two days.
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"Grandpa Chuck" wrote in message
A chest-high opening means there is no cold-air return. That would be a return but with warmed air. From the furnaces that I've seen, the basement cold-air return is at ankle height in the return duct to the furnace just before the bend in the duct where it goes into the furnace. Sounds like you are warming the air (with the humidity added by the flame) which makes it comfy for you but might not have adequate air flow. Without an adequate cold-air return to also act as a combustion air opening for the furnace, carbon monoxide could be a problem. Hopefully there are combustion openings in the furnace to direct air under the burners that you aren't aware off. Might not be a problem now but restricted air flow over the burners can get them dirty and burn less efficiently which will raise the CO level. In one house, I fainted (just once but that was enough) because of CO, I put in an electronic CO detector and found the level somewhat high, and found the cold-air return had been plugged by a severe accumulation of dust over the grill. Once cleaned, the CO level went down. The furnace needs a cold-air return or combustion opening near floor level.
My mother had the stone & mortar construction for the basement. We had to run the dehumidifier and a fan down there to keep mold from growing on the walls, even in winter. The dehumidifier did run less during the winter but it did run. Another problem with her, though, was that the backyard sloped toward her house instead of away from it. Her basement extends further than the frostline which means ground water is not frozen and can still wick through the mortar. For many years she couldn't use her basement because of the mold and her asthma and she even took her laundry to her sister's until I repeatedly bleached & vinegared the walls and then put the fan and dehumidifier down there. If you see water trickling on the walls during heavy rainfall, it is also wicking the ground water below the frostline but you probably won't see the damp spots. From my mother's experience, I would never buy a house with that basement construction. One house tried to hide it by layering concrete over the stone & mortar but after years the concrete started crumbling away and it didn't stop the seepage, anyway.
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[...]
I'm not familiar with the way north-Americans heat their houses, so I can't comment on that (beyond agreeing that getting a properly qualified heating engineer to install, maintain, and check the efficiency and safety, is a Very Good Idea - particularly if the heating system involves combustion; 'handymen' and DIYers lack the training to spot and correct potentially troublesome or dangerous mistakes or failures).
As for damp leaky basements, here in the UK I think it's a legal requirement that any part of a dwelling that's below ground level must be 'tanked', ie given a water-proof shell or lining. Of course that does nothing to prevent condensation, which is down to the way the heating, ventilation, and insulation, are managed. We do know a bit about damp, in these islands :))
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On Sun, 13 Jan 2008 13:47:27 +0000, Whiskers

We do not have a leaky or wet basement. Our oldest son is licensed in heating/air conditioning and checks it for us every fall.
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On Sun, 13 Jan 2008 05:29:01 -0600, "VanguardLH"

I have a good CO detector on every floor of the house. I know it is good quality because it save the lives of my daughter, her husband and their two daughters.

There are and I am. The contractor that installed our high efficiency furnace/AC was one of the most sought after contractors in this area. Unfortunately he died at age 56 from pancreatic cancer and his son was not interested in taking over the business. What a loss.

I may consider putting one in at a low level. It's and easy job and I can even build it so it accepts a filter.

Never. Our house is at the high point of our lot. Water drains to the south and east on those sides of the house and to the west and north on those sides. The only place I ever get any water is on the west side and is a very small trickle if we have had rains for days. A small part of our dog pen is flat and allows water to collect in that area. Come spring I need to pick up the patio blocks there, add some dirt and then replace them so the water will flow away to the east. We have never had a mold problem in our basement. My wife has lived in this house for over fifty years and the only time she has seen water down there was a couple of times when the sewer plugged and backed up. If that isn't a fun job to take care of with the 100' sewer snake we have. The last time I called RotoRooter.

Our house was built in 1909 and is where her parents lived when she was born. I doubt if I could pry her out of here unless it was to move to a warmer climate. However, we have never seen one that could hold a candle to the beauty we have here in Iowa with the changing seasons.
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No, there is no odor.
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This is sounding more like a condensation problem to me. Do you keep the basement conditioned? I suspect the box and the basement are allowed to get fairly cold and then you open or turn on a register that warms the box on one end while you are down there or there is a fresh air intake or draft causing a cold end on the box.
Circulation, dehumidification, moving the box out of the path of the register could all help.
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