In early 2014, Dri-Eaz produced a new style LGR (low grain refrigerant) dehumidifier for use in the water damage industry, the Revolution. And it is revolutionary. It’s not only about half the size as other dehumidifiers (about the size of a large suitcase), the Revolution delivers more cubic feet of airflow and removes more moisture per day than most of the competition’s comparable dehumidifiers.
For the last 20 years my wife and I have owned and operated a water damage restoration company in Southwest Ohio. My IICRC certifications include water damage restoration, fire & smoke restoration, commercial carpet maintenance, applied microbial remediation, and applied structural drying. Most of those years I spent “down in the trenches” along side my technicians. I have also attended Chuck Dewald’s Structural Drying Academy in Morristown, Tennessee more than once.
I don’t always jump on the next, big, new thing that comes along, but in this case I decided to purchase one unit and try it out on an actual water loss. My technicians loved it. It’s small size made it easy to carry and place in a room that was somewhat crowded with furnishings. The Revolution gave us great performance. The dehumidifier dried that first water damage job with no loss of time or efficiency. It’s small in stature but big in performance. I soon added several more of the Dri-Eaz Revolutions to my inventory.
Two Revolution dehumidifiers stack easily on a hand truck and are not too heavy for my technicians to handle. Where I used to carry three larger dehumidifiers on each of my work trucks, I can now carry six of the Revolutions. One of my trucks is an extended van, so having a smaller sized dehumidifier is a huge bonus. Another thing I like about the Revolution dehumidifier is the amount of electric amperage it requires. Electric load is always a concern when setting up large amounts of equipment on a job. My old dehumidifiers required between nine and eleven amps each; the Revolution requires just over six. That sounds like a small thing but it really helps out on jobs requiring a lot of equipment.
Another feature that I like is the drain hose. It’s forty feet long and it wraps up on the side of the dehumidifier and is easily visible. I can’t count the number of times that I got a call from one of my techs saying that they forgot to bring a drain hose and could I run one out to them. With the Revolution, it’s hard to leave the warehouse and not see that there’s a drain hose on every dehumidifier that gets loaded. The dehumidifier doesn’t have to be located near a drain or toilet; it can be placed in the center of an affected area and has enough drain line length to reach a floor drain or toilet that is down the hall and around the corner from the dehumidifier’s location.
We deal with a lot of flooded crawlspaces in my area of the Midwest. The Revolution is the right size to fit into the openings of many crawl spaces. If the crawlspace’s only entry point is on the outside of the home, it has always been a problem venting the dehumidifier’s output out a window or through an access in the floor and into the crawlspace. I have never been too keen on leaving a $2000 piece of equipment outside where it could “mysteriously” disappear before the job is completed. The Revolution fits through many of the crawl space access doors that I have to work in. The Revolution’s size also makes it ideal for other tight spaces like bathrooms and walk-in closets.
Price is always an issue. There are several commercial-grade dehumidifiers on the market that are less expensive that the Revolution. These less expensive models start around $1200; the Revolution comes in at just under $2000 apiece. But it’s extra money well spent in my opinion.
Unlike almost every other LGR dehumidifier, the Revolution does not have its own set of wheels. It can’t be rolled into and out of a water-damaged building without being hand-carried or placed on a hand truck. It does fit nicely on a hand truck, but if you don’t want to bring a hand truck to every job, moving it’s 65 pounds out of your vehicle and into the building could be a challenge, especially for a one-man operation. Sixty-five pounds is not all that heavy, but it can be awkward to maneuver down narrow hallways, down steps, around furniture, and into and out of crawlspaces.
A little thing that I don’t particularly care for with the Revolution dehumidifier is the type of air filter it uses. The Revolution’s air filter is a stiffer, more solid filter. I prefer the pleated, less expensive to replace filters that are standard with the competition’s models.
Because the Revolution is rated at eighty pints of water removal per day, Xactimate classifies it as large dehumidifier. That means that you are able to charge a higher per day fee for the Revolution than many other dehumidifiers. And that helps your bottom line.
The control panel on the Revolution allows you to see the actual number of hours that the unit has run on a job as well as the total number of hours that it has run during it’s lifetime. Also, the panel will display the temperature and humidity of air entering the unit as well as the outgoing temperature and humidity. You no longer have to use a thermal hygrometer and waste time letting the meter “acclimate” before you can get accurate, real time, drying condition readings.
Another feature built into the control board on the dehumidifier is that the machine has the ability to adapt to changes in drying conditions as a job progresses. It will adjust blower speeds automatically to increase or decrease as needed, improving the overall efficiency of the machine.
Even though the Revolution is small, there always seems to come the time when you need to vent the dehumidifier’s output into a small, restricted space. Dri-Eaz sells a vent kit accessory that only takes about one minute, a screwdriver, and four screws to install to the front of the machine.
The Dri-Eaz Revolution truly is a revolution in technology and size. Its 80-pint rating at AHAM is better that most of its competition. The fact that it draws just 6.2 amps of electricity is another great plus. Having been in the water damage industry for 20 plus years, I can say I wish that these dehumidifiers were available when I first started my business. If they had, I probably wouldn’t have so many older dehumidifiers sitting around my warehouse collecting dust. My techs will walk past any number of my older dehumidifiers if they spot a Revolution sitting in the back of the warehouse, not being currently used.
Follow this link to get more information on the performance, price, and availability of Dri-Eaz Revolution dehumidifiers on Amazon.com.
Written by Mark Huey.