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Reply to "Extremely low basement humidity"

There's a DIY approach to wine room humidity.

First you'll need to limit the size of the space to humidify - both because its resource intensive to humidify everything and because not everything in your basement will appreciate being as humid as your wine corks demand.  Plastic sheeting can do that, either on the outside of the walls of the wine room (outside the insulation), or if no wine room, just use caulk to attach the sheeting where needed. A door can be made with a roll of magnetic tape.

Then, you'll need to rig a humidifier.  I used a programmable humidity meter ($40) to control power on a very simple humidifier (Vicks Warm Steam Vaporizer ($18)).  For water, I attached a saddle valve to the cold water line with a long tube (i.e. like you'd use to a fridge) and ran it to the humidifier.  To prevent overflow, I put a little mechanical float regulator ($5) inside the humidifier.  Here's how it works:

When the humidity drops below my programmed range (~8% pts range), the humidifier gets power and kicks in.  When the water level gets too low inside the humidifier, the float allows water to fill the humidifier.  When the humidity goes above the programmed range, the power cuts off.  If the humidifier reservoir fills too much, the float cuts the flow of water.  As a safe guard, I put the humidifier in a small tub with an overflow to a french drain and a moisture sensor in the tub that screams if there's a problem.  If the humidifier somehow runs dry, most cut off on their own.

I have a DIY for cooling the wine room, too, which ensures a warm steam vaporizer doesn't up the temperature.  That may not be a factor for you, depending on the size of the space and basement temperature.

Note, you can't easily use a Cool-Mist humidifier; it'll have a sealed reservoir to avoid dumping all of its water, which isn't practical for running a line into.

Good luck!

- JoshDrinksPort