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Tobacco drying green - need help with humidifier

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SmokeStack

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I primed some of my tobacco leaf and hung it in the garage that I was going to use for curing. However, it must be dry in there since some of my tobacco is drying green. I cannot leave the garage door open to allow the outside humidity in since I don't live there. I looked online at humidifiers, but they must be filled daily with a low capacity and I cannot make it there everyday to fill them.

So I had an idea. I was thinking of buying a FULLY submersible heating element hooked up to a variable voltage regulator (like a variac) and then submersing the heating element into a 55 gallon drum of water - maybe 150 F to 180 F. I have several drums so I could probably get by with this method. The only problem I have is trying to find a submersible heating element. There are several heating elements for hot water tanks but I am not sure if I can FULLY submerse the element as the wire connections are not protected and I fear this may cause an electrical short. Does anyone have any ideas or recommend a submersible heating element? I would be most grateful.
 

Chicken

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some people will hang a towel, with the end of it, in a bucket of water, to create humidity,

and also, place 5 gallon buckets of water around the area,

evaporation, may become your friend,
 

johnlee1933

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Chickens idea + yours might work well. Take a 55 gal drum and hang several bath towels on a rack so they are parallel and a couple of inches apart. Hang the towels so that 12 to 18 inches (or whatever suits you) are in the barrel. Then set a fan to blow air across the surface of the water and between the towels. Personally I'd use half a drum because that's what I have. That's 20+ gallons of water and should last a few days. If the floor is earth or concrete you might want to consider soaking it. The large surface will evaporate quickly and humidify the entire space. Open cardboard boxes set on a wet floor give off moisture for quite a while but they get messy.

John
 

SmokeStack

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Thanks guys for the input, but the garage is a big 5 car garage so I would need a system that is a little more aggressive. I was thinking about using a hot water tank heating element. They are pretty cheap - about $15 -$20 each and can be found at any hardware store. I have several plastic 55 gal drums, and at first I thought I could find a submersible heater but I have been unable locate one to heat up 55 gallons of water. So the electric hot water tank heating element seems like the best option.

I could submerge the heating element directly into the water, but I would have to cover the area where the wires are connected to the terminal screws of the heating element in order to avoid an electrical short and possibly a fire. I don't know how to seal the wires, maybe with silicone glue or some other sealant that would be able to withstand the heat and water. Is this idea possible?
 

Steve2md

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Why not just drill a hole towards the bottom of the drum and install the wh element like you would in a water heater? just use a nut and an o ring on the back side to seal it?
 

SmokeStack

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Why not just drill a hole towards the bottom of the drum and install the wh element like you would in a water heater? just use a nut and an o ring on the back side to seal it?

I was considering that but I was afraid of water leaking. I think that's my best bet. I will have to make a trip to the hardware store. I'll let you know how it works.
 

Steve2md

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as long as the nut and o ring fit well, it shouldn't leak. otherwise, there are those wh elements that use three bolts through a flange to fasten them to the wh. You'd need to fabricate a rubber gasket and a thin sheetmetal flange for the inside, but that might work well also. you'll basically be building a 55 gal crock pot......
 

wazzappenning

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if its a heated garage (forced air) how about those old school humidifiers that spins a wet foam drum though the airflow?

i could also suggest venting your dryer out to the garage, but it might taste like youre smoking socks (clean of course)
 

SmokeStack

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The sump pump in the basement of my house broke down and the basement was flooded. We had a restoration company clean clean the basement and they had to throwaway a lot of stuff due to contamination. They had to throwaway a perfectly useable electric hot water tank. I saved the hot water tank because I thought I could rig it up as a humidifier. My plan is to fill the tank with water and vent the warm water vapor from the top. I would have to fill the tank periodically to be sure the heating element stays submerged in the water. Or else the heating element will fry.

It has two heating elements - an upper and a lower. I would have disconnect the upper element because it will burn out when the water level drops below it. The tank will stand alone meaning that I will not be hooking up the inlet and outlet water connects. I am basically turning the tank into a huge crock pot.

When I cut off the top of the tank, I realized that there was an inner tank with a thick metal wall. I am a bit ignorant about hot water tanks since I did not realize that there was an inner tank. Should I try to cut off the top of the tank? If so, what sort of tool should I use to cut the thick metal? Any suggestions will be much appreciated.
 

darren1979

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Im not sure if the tanks are the same as yours on this side of the pond bit normally the outer tank works the heating for the radiators and the inner the home hot water. If you have a metal hole saw set I would drill holes in the top to make it look like a pepper pot if you have no metal shears or if you have a jigsaw a new metal blade would work.
 

Whalen

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That inner tank is made of metal clad glass! Not going to work out so well for you! Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
 

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This idea may be too late for Smokestack but it may come in handy for someone in a similar situation. I'm just planning ahead myself for my first grow and I figure if I need to raise humidity for any length of time I can wind around a length of drip tubing on the floor with a few half gallon an hour emitters on them. I would have to play with the number of emitters. Start small and add. My floor is cement but it would work even better on dirt. You can even get a timer that will cut on and off the water for you. Runs on batteries. After a little experimentation you can set it and forget. Would even work in Smokestacks large space.
 
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