Green / Eco-Friendly

Generalaire Water Savor controller review

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  • Feb 28th, 2019 1:18 pm
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Feb 15, 2005
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Generalaire Water Savor controller review

Everyone knows that central humidifiers waste a lot of water by constantly running water through it as long as the humidistat calls for it to run. So far, only Desert Spring and Generalaire have devices to limit the amount of waste water. Desert Spring uses a controller that takes 24vac and converts it to 24v DC for their DC solenoid. Probably the only ones to use a DC valve. The Generalaire Water Savor (WS) uses a triac to switch the 24vac. Both devices are designed only for bypass humidifiers but a simple wiring switch can make it work with a powered humidifier.

Without the WS device, my Honeywell HE360 would fill up a 6" section of the 1/2" drain hose every 2-3 seconds. By default the WS came with it set at 3. It claims a 50% reduction in water usage at 6 and 83% at 1. It does this by changing the duty cycle of the solenoid based on the dip switch. The on time is (dip +1)*5 and 60-(dip +1)*5 off to allow the pad to dry out.

After hooking up the wires, the water waste decreased significantly. The 6" hose section would only fill twice per 60s cycle. After switching to setting #2, the waste goes down to about 5"/cycle. Right now, I'm running on setting 1. The hose barely gets to 1/4 of the same hose section being filled. After the furnace turned off, an inspection of the pad still shows a bit of moisture.

An inspection of the circuit board shows a very simple device. 24v AC goes in, a small amount of this is siphoned off, rectified and down converted to 5v to power the pic controller. A 6 position dip switch is used instead of a cheaper 3 position dip. The pic switches the power through the triac and capacitor. There's a single green LED to indicate power is being supplied to the solenoid.

The cost of this device is $63. I think this can be replicated with a esp8266 controlled relay that can be purchased for $5. The most difficult part is converting the 24v ac to 5v dc that the esp uses.

TL;DR: everyone should install one. At $4/m3 cost of water, the breakeven is 15.75m3 of water saved. Based on the original flow, this should be around 2 years.
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3 replies
Jr. Member
Feb 19, 2003
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where did you get your unit from?
Deal Addict
May 23, 2009
2176 posts
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Mississauga
Thanks for posting. Out of curiosity how many hours a day does your HE360 run? I've had thesame model for years and I'm trying to do a quick math for mine.

Also what part of the humidifier are you describing in this quote. Sounds like you stopped the drain hose from draining and measured the back flow but just want to confirm.
rf134a wrote:
Jan 6th, 2019 12:13 pm
...my Honeywell HE360 would fill up a 6" section of the 1/2" drain hose every 2-3 seconds...
For other DC humidifiers, Honeywell updated their TrueEASE models(HE150, HE250 and HE300 fan powered) a few years ago and added DC solenoids. Honeywell officially claims the bypass models have 30-50% water saving compared to standard bypass models but have never released the full specs of the comparison. I read somewhere that the on-off cycle/time might be modulated.
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quincy wrote:
Feb 19th, 2019 8:50 am
where did you get your unit from?
I got mine from Amre Supply. Anyone with an account should be able to get 50% off the $63 retail.
bubuski wrote:
Feb 19th, 2019 2:10 pm
Thanks for posting. Out of curiosity how many hours a day does your HE360 run? I've had thesame model for years and I'm trying to do a quick math for mine.

Also what part of the humidifier are you describing in this quote. Sounds like you stopped the drain hose from draining and measured the back flow but just want to confirm.

For other DC humidifiers, Honeywell updated their TrueEASE models(HE150, HE250 and HE300 fan powered) a few years ago and added DC solenoids. Honeywell officially claims the bypass models have 30-50% water saving compared to standard bypass models but have never released the full specs of the comparison. I read somewhere that the on-off cycle/time might be modulated.
I don't know how many hours it runs. My PrestigeHD thermostat controls it. The only reason I added it was because I heard a dripping sound, which was from a solenoid stuck open. It wasted an extra 10m3 of water before I figured it out.

Yes, I just bent the drain hose as a quick and simple way to measure the out flow of water.

The on/off cycle time is what saves water. Through trial and error, setting 1 (10 on/50 off) seems to saturate the panel with a tiny bit of runoff. It's such a simple timer that it can be added to any system for virtually nothing.
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