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Old 02-11-2012, 03:15 PM   #1
Dougcole's Avatar
City: Carrabelle, FL
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Digital dehumidifier

My new dehumidifier has digital controls, nice, but the power at our slip goes off frequently and the dehumidifier doesn't turn back on when the power comes back on meaning if I'm gone from the boat it goes a long time without working.

Any ideas how I can get around this?
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:15 PM   #2
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RE: Digital dehumidifier

Two ideas come to mind. You could buy an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) from the computer store and run the dehumidifier through that. The second idea is to run it off an inverter hooked to your house batteries and keep the batteries charged with a good size charger. That should work for short power failures.
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:37 PM   #3
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RE: Digital dehumidifier

Interesting problem.* High Tech answer one:* Your inverter should switch on automatically thru a power transfer relay whenever shorepower is unavailable.* This is easy with the right hardware.* But, I doubt that the inverter could answer the need for power in time, before the dehu reset due to a power shut deown.* The first answer to that is a UPC as used for computer backup.* But the problem with that is that a dehu is very close to a small air conditioner in operation and power consumption, so that might not be practical.* It takes a lot of energy to run a dehu.

That brings us to answer two:* Buy an older low tech dehu with analog controls.* This is the easiest practical answer except that these are getting harder to find.* I had a similar issue with a microwave.* My inverter would automatically switch on if it sensed a load, but the always on digital controls of a digital controled microwave wouldn't let the inverter go to sleep.

Praise the old days when things turned on when you turned them on.
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Old 02-12-2012, 05:03 PM   #4
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RE: Digital dehumidifier

Yeah, I liked the good old days myself.* We have two air conditioner units on the boat.* A 6,000 btu cruise air with analog controls and a 16,000 btu ocean breeze with digital controls.

The digital controls have a ton of features, none of which I ever use.* But to turn the unit on takes me a good 2 minutes of cycling through screens.* The analog....turn it on and walk away.* I prefer the analog.*

I'll try the UPS, can I get that from Radio Shack maybe?
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Old 02-18-2012, 09:48 AM   #5
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RE: Digital dehumidifier

Dougcole wrote:

I'll try the UPS, can I get that from Radio Shack maybe?
No doubt you can get one there, but realize your trying to run a compressor motor off a little battery, it won't last more than a few minutes unless it's a very large one.* Better to hook up an inverter to your house batteries, but beware that some digital controls won't like anything but a true sine wave inverter.* Our modified sine wave inverter cooked two control boards on our de-humidifier before I realized the problem.* Now I just run it off shore power and check on it as often as possible.*

If you install a true sine wave inverter things should be fine, but if the power is off for a long time, it will completely discharge the batteries.* When power is restored the inverter will recharge the batteries, but it may draw enough current on the AC side that additional other loads (like the de-humidifier) will blow the shore power circuit breaker.* The ability to regulate the charging current will allow you to reduce the AC draw though.

Ultimately, there's no substitute for checking on the boat as often as possible........Arctic Traveller

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Old 02-18-2012, 10:44 AM   #6
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RE: Digital dehumidifier

What Arctic Traveller said plus...

Leaving an inverter turned on unattended is a good way to kill a perfectly good battery bank.* Even when we're onboard we never leave the inverter turned on while on shorepower.* Our inverter will come online without us ever noticing it when shorepower goes down.* It switches so quickly that the TV doesn't even flicker.* That's OK as long as we notice it before it kills the batteries but that happens surprisingly fast if you use power like you were on a shore connection when you're really pulling it out of the batteries.* Leave that unattended on a dock known for power failures and you're liable to come back to a very expensive mess.
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