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Dripping Intake Duct


Sinsemillaplease
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If you are seeing water condensing on the duct that means you have excess moisture in the air. Only way to solve your problem is to dehumidify, or relocate the intake to warmer air.

 

Remember most hygrometers are reading RELATIVE humidity. Which if you want to read and try to fully understand be my guest. Point being that in winter the RH will be lower than the Absolute humidity. Its not just temperature, but also the pressure, that changes RH. If you see condensation you need to dehumidify, or re-route the intake away from the plants, or put a "drip loop" in the vent (basically let the duct hang lower in one spot and the majority of condensation will fall at that point, hopefully away from the plants).

 

Never insulate the intake duct work unless you make darn sure the plastic on the outside is sealed air tight on both ends (which is a pain to do, it may look air tight, but often its not). If its not then the moist air will again condense on the duct, only this time it will be held and absorbed by the fiber glass, which is a nightmare for saftey, and mold issues. Remember duct insulation is meant to keep heat in, not so much cold, so condensation isn't usually a design consideration for the companies making the insulation. Far better to insulate everything PAST the lights, as this air gets hot, and will radiate through your ducts and raise your temp.

 

So maybe, you can try to insulate the hoods and duct work and re-route your intake to take in warmer air. The insulation will probably allow you to keep the temps where you want them. Just a thought.

 

Happy Growing and Good luck in whatever you do!

Edited by CaffeineForAll
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had same problem here. last winter I put a timer on the intake fan. 15 on 30 off.

 

this year I re-routed the intake air. it draws from behind my ballasts, thru my lights, then into my cold air return. it's been heating my house (for 12 hours a day). if you need the cold air to cool room use a sepperate fan on temp controller, bringing in just what you need

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If you insist on using this setup maybe try to pitch the pipe so it drains back outside or pitch it down to drain inside and then punch or drill a hole and attach a tube to a drain or bucket. It should be distilled water pretty much. Then after you contain the condensation problem you might try to insulate it to minimize the effect.

Edited by solabeirtan
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You should not have to pull in outside air just draw your heat out if thats your requirment . I would draw from outside my room on one side and push the heat back into the home from another in winter . As it warms up I would push the heat outside with a flapable power vent which would be full open during peak summer . You can even use a power crawlspace vent there about $120 at supply stores if your coming out of a basement . I may do this myself soon .

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The water is condensing on the outside of the duct but inside the room right? If so this is moisture from the air in your room. Yes you can use an insulated duct coming up to the first light. The heat from the first light will burn off most of that moisture. If it's not completely gone it will be greatly reduced. I went through the same problem as I take exterior air to cool my lights.

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You can inuslate it however u want...it wont fix the problem..the only way to pull outside air over your bulbs at this time of the year, without problems that will lead to pm or worse is to move you intake.in order to use that cold air to cool, you have to move the first few feet of ducting from the window, to the fan, and a few feet after that to elimate the condensation..the air has to heat up or it will cause condensation...your best bet is to use your normal air exhaust, and use a smaller fan on a controller to act as an a/c unit.

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I have two intakes straight from outside, two lights for each one. I found that when I insulated it solved the problem of condensation. My RH could be at forty percent but when that cold outside air hits the warm air then there is your condensation. I heat with those intake lines it warms up my room very well and it allows for that fresh air that the plants need to circulate around the room. Then when the temp. gets up to 78, another exhaust fan kicks in and vents out excessive heat and allows for the fresh air to circulate.

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Thanks for the help everyone. We added a Y connector to the intake side of the fan. Now it pulls air from outside and inside and pumps that through the lights and into the room. Temps are still good. :goodjob:

what I did to stop this problem is diconect the hoods from the intake. the exaust fan pulls air through the hoods and the intake becomes passive, but it pulls air out of the room and the heat runs more so that's not perfect either. but I didn't have lots of options. mines outside it is its own small building (6'x 15'). new update: can you say lung room yes I built on yesterday added a small room with a heater turned down to about 50. the air is pulled into the lung room heats up slightly and then goes into the grow room and it worked no more condensation dripping from the duct and now I have the choice to vent or just vent light hoods and all is well. ask any green house people drips cause disease. pvc and insulated duct just don't hook up to moving hoods in a small space, about two feet in is first hood.

Edited by cujo
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I know someone that grows in a small outside building. Wherever they are venting outside cold winter air into thier hoods they use PVC style pipe because of how poor of a conductor it is for cold air thus developing almost no condensation on the outside of the pipe. Not easy, but far superior to metal or thin dryer style duct when bringing in cold air that will condensate when the temps transfer through to your humid warm grow room.

Also, the condensation forming on your duct is humidity that is already in your grow room anyway. So dont worry thinking its moisture just forming there or coming into your room from somewhere else, its already in your grow rooms air anyway, just try and keep it from falling directly onto your plants once it condensates into solid drops.

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