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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2011
I had my furnace replaced in Dec-2009), and the installer recommended a Honeywell TruSteam humidifier. It worked OK the first two heating seasons; I cleaned it when I shut it off in spring per the manual. This heating season (2011-2012) I started getting alarms that it needed to be cleaned or I needed to call service. I cleaned it multiple times, including cleaning the water sensor assembly, to no avail. Per the troubleshooting guide I am now supposed to replace the sensor and/or valve. I do not intend to work on it any further. Even if I get it working again, I will be needing to spend far more time cleaning it than is reasonable.

Note that the water used is not particularly high in mineral content, coming from Lake Michigan. My previous unit was an AprilAire, which was only cleaned every year or two and worked flawlessly for the 25 year life of the furnace.

The other thing to keep in mind is that this unit uses electricity to boil the water. There is a warning in the installation manual about your electricity costs rising. It seems ironic to have put in a highly efficient furnace but now have a humidifier that counters the improvement. The unit is also somewhat noisy, bothering guests in the nearby bedroom.

Update 3/6/12: I managed to get the humidifier working again so I could run a couple quick tests. With outside air in the 30's, my 2000 sq ft house (pretty well insulated and sealed) was running around 33% humidity with no humidifier. I ran it for about day, humidity set for 50%, and it went up to around 42% before it died. Based on my quick tests and measurement of kw usage, my electricity cost would be between $200 and $400 for my 5-month heating season with electricity at 13c/kWh.

Update 1/28/13: A couple updates. Despite my 3/6/12 comment about it dying, I managed to get it working again, and have finally figured out why it was failing repeatedly for the last 2 heating seasons. Honeywell has released a service bulletin regarding cracks on the water level sensor assembly. The cracks apparently cause water to be wicked up the sensor legs which triggers the overflow alarm. If you turn the humidifier off for a couple days it will dry out and work again, which is what I've been doing the past couple years without knowing why it was recovering. I just installed a new water sensor assembly ($45 - covered under warranty). It appears to be made of a different material, which I hope will last longer than the two years the first one lasted.

Regarding energy usage, my short term test mentioned in the 3/6/12 comment is not indicative of season long energy usage. For the 1000 hours I've run it this year I've averaged around 100W, so that works out to more like $10/month, although this has been a very mild winter with minimal humidification demands.
Based on the updates, I've raised the rating from one to two stars, but remain disappointed overall with the performance and would not recommend it.

Update 4/20/13: After the above mentioned sensor replacement I have had no further issues. Today I turned it off for the season and am in the process of cleaning it - soaking everything in vinegar. I captured energy usage for the period 12/24/12 through 4/20/13. Average power consumed was 131w - total cost of electricity for the period (14c/kWh) was $71. I'm a little more satisfied with it and have begrudgingly raised the rating to 3 stars.

Update 2/1/14: The clean tank alarm went off about a month ago. The drain was clogged with sediment, so I rinsed it out and re-installed the tank. Unfortunately the alarm went off another three times over the next week, so I also cleaned the sensor area which is more difficult to reach. The last time the alarm went off I noticed that the tank had not drained completely, so I'm wondering if the solenoid drain valve is starting to fail. No more failures over the past three weeks. Energy usage to date (Chicago area, RH set to 40%) has been 601 kWhr ($66).

Update 3/4/14: The "clean tank" alarm went off again. This time I figured out what was going on. I believe the "clean tank" alarm goes off when it takes too long to drain the tank. The problem was not just the tank needed cleaning, the solenoid valve assembly was plugged up and also needed to be cleaned. I pulled the unit down, removed the solenoid valve assembly, corked the ends of the valve, poured CLR into the valve, then powered the solenoid via a wiring harness I built. The CLR bubbled mightily, so there must have been a lot of sediment in the valve. In the future I will drain the tank with CLR through the valve, which should clean it nicely.

Update 5/5/14: Humidifying season is over. Chicago area had a colder than normal winter so humidifying needs were likely higher than normal. Total energy usage for the period 11/15/13 through 5/5/14 was 999 kWhrs, which for me is $112 of electricity. I have seen other reviews that mention the tank cracking, but so far mine is fine, although the plastic has become discolored.

Update 1/9/15: The end has come. Today the humidifier's "Call Service" light came on. The error code was 11 flashes, meaning something wrong with the "backup weld monitor input", whatever that is. Steps to fix is "replace unit". I can't believe it is truly unifixable, but I could find not any help on-line, so after 5 years it will be removed and replaced with something other than a Honeywell TrueSteam unit. Reduced rating to 2 stars.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2011
Contractor warned me that he was having issues with the Honeywell steam humidifier. Claimed I would be lucky if it lasted 3 years. Thinking I could live with 3 years, I had him install it. I really wanted a steam humidifier. Well, it last a little longer than 3 weeks. Contractor brought me a new one, and same thing. I am now in process of installing an Aprilaire which cost a few hundred more. Honeywell, you should pull this product from the market.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2013
I had no option but to buy this product. My new furnace was in such a tight space that they could not install a conventional humidifier unless it voided it's warranty.
SOooo it's Truesteam or nothing. Let me say that it humidifies better than any other humidifier but it is NOT a set it and forget it product. First, it has to be installed correctly (esp.the wiring). If you have the chops do it fine , but otherwise get an HVAC dealer to do it for you. Second, get a Honeywell Reverse Osmosis Filter System (about $200 & easy to install)to go with it. This will save you time and $$ down the line. I went 2yrs without one and the scaling and cleaning and replacement of the water sensor unit ($60) each year was a pain...and my softened water is not that bad. Third, an probably most important, get to know your troubleshooting manual (Honeywell has a video that's pretty good as well - [Google: Truesteam Tuneup]). If you don't you will have endless service calls because the warning lights go on and the unit stops working 2-4 times a season and you have to diagnose the problem. The blinking warning light system will tell you 95% of the time what the issue is by the # of blinks. Since I'm now an expert it's easy to get it going again.

Bottom line..I love the way it humidifies. Very even and efficient since my fan is on all the time. Better than Aprilaires I've owned. BUT.. you have to get to know the unit. If you don't you WILL get frustrated. I don't look forward to selling my house and explaining this to the new buyer.

UPDATE: I inquired about the APRILAIRE 800 Steam Humidifier (Hey..if it works better I'll try it) and was told by their #1 dealer in the area that the Aprilaire rep has told them to stay away from the unit...too many unresolved problems. Translation: endless service calls. Like with Truesteam the fixes are probably not difficult but the average homeowner doesn't want all the maintenance issues.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2013
I know a lot of folks are having issues with these but ours have worked very well for us over the last two seasons. I think it's a sophisticated unit and proper installation is essential. We have two 12 gallon units and they keep our house at a steady 40% humidity in the winter. Before these we had Aprilaire evaporative units and they were, at least for us, useless - the humidity rarely got above the teens.

I recently cleaned the units - reasonably easy to do but there was a lot of scale so I installed phosphate filters in the line, hopefully that helps with the scale. I struggled with the 'Cleaning Required' light not going off after the cleaning. Finally figured out that you need to push and hold the 'Go' button to reset he light.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 18, 2012
I thought Honeywell was a good name to buy. However, that was not the case with this humidifier. It lasted one year and the heat element died on it. You would think the heat element (being the core of the system) would be a replaceable part, but it is not. Honeywell designed the system that you have to replace the entire unit when it goes bad. My service guy said he has nothing but problems with these units and replaced it with an April Air. They best part was Honeywell gave me nothing but problems regarding the so called 5 year warranty, so much so that I simply game up and chucked it in the garbage. Buyers beware.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2012
I bought this unit on the advice of my HVAC man in 2008. To be fair, and this is the only good thing I will say about this unit, it does a good job of humidifying the house - WHEN IT WORKS! The damn thing is made of plastic and is CONSTANTLY splitting (water tank) and or cracking (senders) after every heating season. Something is always broken on this piece of s _ _ t. I have had 2 brand new units replace successive faulty units but they all end up falling apart again. What the hell was Honeywell thinking of when they made this thing out of plastic?

It is November and time to start humidifying in the house and the unit water sender is once again cracked and broken. So I have a truesteam unit mounted on the ducting - doing nothing. My HVAC man is bringing another water sender which will likely be junk at the end of the season.

My advice to anyone thinking about buying the Honeywell Truesteam - STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM IT! Save your money and look for something that is NOT made of plastic. I don't know about the Aprilaire units, but I think it's time to look at them. Honeywell should be ashamed of building this kind of garbage. I hope this review prevents at least one person from wasting their money on this product.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2012
I had this for 3rd season. I installed it on my new house. The contractor just don't read manual and installed it wrong. They didn't follow the spacing required 3" around and 24" downstream. So I had them fix it. They change the location, but again, still not as required. They didn't had the 24" downsteam. It's more like 8" I have a horizontal duct and it needs to be about 24" clear. So for 2 years the humidifier was working hard to get the humidity level i set. Last night, I relocated the unit myself to the required spacing. Now, it works great. It gets to the humidity level i set a lot faster. So far, the plastic canister is holding up the heat. I don't see why it's a problem to some. A lot of coffee maker are made of plastic. Anyways, i'm happy with it now that I properly installed it. Now it works great.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 2011
Replaced a reliable Aprilaire humidifier (had worked well for 20 years) when a new geothermal heatpump was installed. Have had only trouble with the Honeywell through two seasons. Will be going back to Aprilaire soon. First it leaked and didn't humidify the house. Water all over the basement floor. When it comes time to clean it out (which MUST be done at least every year), the instructions are so bad that you are pretty much on your own. It's impossibly difficult. First you have to push a button to flush it out -- but they don't tell you that you must push the button with a screwdriver or pencil, NOT your finger, or it won't engage. Then you fight with various fittings (again, not well described) to disconnect the tank. When you attempt to reinstall the tank after cleaning, you find that the gasket around the tank has nothing to attach to -- it just flops there and you can't get the tank sealed. It's NOT worth the money or the Honeywell brand name. Buy from somebody else.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2011
This is total junk. I have had it for the past 3 years. It has been a constant source of problems. Leaks...cracks....replacement sensors........replacement solenoids....everything goes bad in it.

I have replaced many parts in it and it still malfunctions. The water valve eventually malfunctions due to deposits.....and I DO NOT have really hard water. It has a flush function. The boiling tank cracks [eventually] because ...hey Boiling water + plastic = disaster. I have had my basement flooded by this thing at least twice...stuck valve...it was so unpredictable that I installed a catch pan underneath it.

Water level sensors go bad because various plastic parts just crack...due to heat I presume.

STAY AWAY from this at all costs.

And I do replace the hard water in-line filter every year. Heck...I have tried replacing it twice a year too....no improvement.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 17, 2013
A contractor friend recommended the Truesteam 506. I had it installed 2 years ago. It has not operated properly since it was installed. I have tried all of the fixes and still no changes in the humidity. I can see steam coming out of the system when it works, but it is not enough to make a difference in the house. I have all new windows and insulation.
I got 4 blinks on the trouble light indicating that the water sensor is bad. I changed that out, and now have a new code blinking on the trouble light. I talked to the supplier that sold this to me and he said that he has heard nothing but negative complaints about this junk. He said that Honeywell will not talk to him anymore about what to do to resolve the problems. He has pulled it from his shelves.
I am going to pull it off and get a different one for next season. The supplier is a good enough guy that he will work with me and give me a discount towards a new humidifier. Not sure what kind to get but will go back to the waterfall type that worked great for years.
I am going to contact Honeywell and let them know what I think about their product.
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