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CamdenRob

Bass gear in room with drying washing... Disaster waiting to happen?

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Posted (edited)

Having set things up as best we can to provide a private space for working from home for both myself and Mrs C, my basses have ended up in a different room. Unfortunately being limited on space (London flat) this room is also where we end up putting the washing whilst it dries... We have no garden so can’t hang stuff outside. Is this a recipe for disaster with humidity etc? I shall have to find somewhere to store them in cases for the duration of lockdown if there is a significant risk of damaging my gear. My rig is in there as well... any risk to that? Speakers etc...?

I‘m likely worrying about nothing but thought I would check with the BC hive mind first 👍 

Edited by CamdenRob

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I'd suggest that while we are in lockdown you stop washing your clothes. No one will notice.

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Posted (edited)

You might be lucky.
Normally one says roughly 50% humidity is good (40 - 60), but I've seen a piano maker demand 65%.

Many living rooms (often used to keep gear) spawn a much varying humidity that might sometimes fall below 20%, which is way too low and actually doing damage (though humidity shifts are the really dangerous part). 

So the question is how moist the drying room gets, and it's my guess you may be pleasantly surprised. Effective drying means exchanging the air, so without calculating or looking it up, I'd be surprised if the room goes above 75%.
A hygrometer shouldn't be too expensive.

What you do not want is an ice-cold room where any moisture condensates on your ice-cold musical gear. Keep it normally warm.

Edited by BassTractor
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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, BassTractor said:

You might be lucky. Many living rooms often spawn a humidity that might sometimes fall below 20%, IME counter-intuitively especially during winters, which just is too low. 
Normally one says roughly 50% humidity is good (40 - 60), but I've seen a piano maker demand 65%.

So the question is how moist the drying room gets, and it's my guess you may be surprised. A hygrometer shouldn't be too expensive. 

That's really useful, thanks. (I've got similar concerns to the OP, although my herd is not in the same league as his! :)). When you say maybe surprised, are you meaning pleasantly surprised at how low the humidity is? 

Edited by Al Krow
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Is a small dehumidifier a practical and fairly inexpensive solution?

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If your basses have poly finish then there's no problem, nitro may be slightly different.

I've played hot, sweaty bar gigs before, very humid, no problem. 👍

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3 minutes ago, bassfan said:

Is a small dehumidifier a practical and fairly inexpensive solution?

Good shout! 

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I’ve kept all my gear in the room where I dry my washing for years as living in a 2 bed flat I don’t have the room/choice to do otherwise, it’s not done any of my gear any harm.

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My bass room has the tumble dryer in and miss RB also on occasions puts the clothes drying rail in there in bad weather, I’ve got 8 basses around with another 6 in cases , and all my equipment, everything has been fine for years , the tumble dryer is a condensing one, so no moisture goes into the air 🙂

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Have you tried putting the wet clothes in the microwave?

 

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Posted (edited)

Hygrometer for £10 

Dehumidifier for £40 (no idea if it's any good, but it's an Amazon best seller) or this one which is a little more compact / effective for a few quid more.

Peace of mind / avoiding a bust up with the missus - priceless 😁

Edited by Al Krow
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1 hour ago, Al Krow said:

When you say maybe surprised, are you meaning pleasantly surprised at how low the humidity is? 

Yup. Sorry for being unclear. I've edited my point several times without noticing that.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, BassTractor said:

Yup. Sorry for being unclear. I've edited my point several times without noticing that.

It was an excellent post, thank you.

You, the OP and @bassfan have just cost me £60 on a meter and dehumidifier.

But have saved me a bunch of unnecessary stress and £several thousand on divorce lawyers 😁

Edited by Al Krow
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Thanks chaps. Think I’ll get myself a hygrometer and assess the extent of the problem... 👍 

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The essential thing about drying clothes (or houses...) is ventilation. If these 'drying rooms' are normally ventilated (open window..?) there won't be any build-up of condensation, as the moist air gets changed for fresh air from outside. If, on the other hand, there is no ventilation, the clothes won't dry, and the room (and its contents...) will start to become mildewed, and eventually rot. A free flow of air is the key element, even more important than heat.

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I have dehumidifiers for drying plaster having done that for years they are now drying clothes so I have data.

When we put the washing out the humidity in the room quickly climbs to 80% the washing is dry when the air in the room reaches 43%. That's quite a range and I wouldn't want my basses going through that cycle too often. I don't think you'd get sudden catastrophic failure but I can only suspect the neck would distort in the end. One of the luthiers might ha ve a better idea. Remember this is with forced dehumidification (wasn't that a RHCP song) natural drying will take longer and the humidity won't go so low, which is good, but the bass will be damp for longer.

Could you leave it in a case or compromise in another room with some wall hangers

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Have you tried moving to a £2M nine bedroom North Yorkshire Dales manor with separate bass room and drying room? Might be an idea. 😐

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3 minutes ago, Phil Starr said:

When we put the washing out the humidity in the room quickly climbs to 80% the washing is dry when the air in the room reaches 43%. That's quite a range and I wouldn't want my basses going through that cycle too often. I don't think you'd get sudden catastrophic failure but I can only suspect the neck would distort in the end. One of the luthiers might ha ve a better idea. Remember this is with forced dehumidification (wasn't that a RHCP song) natural drying will take longer and the humidity won't go so low, which is good, but the bass will be damp for longer.

That's hugely useful Phil - and articulates with figures what my "gut" has been telling me for a while. Well my forking out on a bit of dehumidifying kit as a result of this thread has been very timely - it will hopefully prevent the humidity levels going above 70% or so in the basement.

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Posted (edited)

Lidl and Aldi do them at around £100 every now and then. They are better than the pro ones I used to use. make sure you get one of the ones with decent automatic control, you can set the humidity level and they are pretty accurate. The only other thing to look out for is the size of the tank, they can fill up quite quickly.

The other thing is you will have a supply of endless distilled water. It's pure enough for going into car batteries and great for use in irons and the like, or for watering your acid loving plants.

Edited by Phil Starr
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57 minutes ago, Phil Starr said:

Lidl and Aldi do them at around £100 every now and then. They are better than the pro ones I used to use. make sure you get one of the ones with decent automatic control, you can set the humidity level and they are pretty accurate. The only other thing to look out for is the size of the tank, they can fill up quite quickly.

The other thing is you will have a supply of endless distilled water. It's pure enough for going into car batteries and great for use in irons and the like, or for watering your acid loving plants.

Ah that's a nice side effect of preventing drying laundry moisture penetrating the wood fibres on our basses - we've got distilled water for irons to press the laundry with! 😊

I ended up going for this one which was just under £50 - are you saying Lidl and Aldi ones are better? Are they noisy?

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I'd be very cautious in this situation.

That last thing you want is your P getting into your clean pants.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, BassTractor said:

You look right through me.  😃 
That's the very one I found before wording my post.

A bargain at only 24.7 million NOK

Edited by Nicko
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I've found Tide removes even the toughest stains and leaves my basses smelling fresh. And no need to iron!

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