Asbestos in Hydroceel unit?

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JacobEsau
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Asbestos in Hydroceel unit?

Post by JacobEsau » 10 May 2006, 11:13



Hello All,

I recently bought a 1950s Kemble upright. When the piano tuner came to tune it, he said that the Hydroceel tube inside contained asbestos and because it was completely dried out, it could be dangerous to health (because of the dust).

I've done some research on the internet and can't find any reference to the unit containing asbestos, but it's a worry.

Can anyone offer any advice?

Many thanks.

Gill the Piano
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Post by Gill the Piano » 10 May 2006, 16:03

Should be all right as long as you don't eat it... :lol:
Seriously though, the Health and Safety get hysterical about the least little thing. I've been mucking about with hydroceel units for YEARS and I'm still alive. I think...but then I also eat food that's TWO DAYS past its sell by! I'd be inclined to ignore the scaremongers. You can still buy them, and I hardly think they'd still be available if they had asbestos in.

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Barrie Heaton
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Re: Asbestos in Hydroceel unit?

Post by Barrie Heaton » 10 May 2006, 18:08

JacobEsau wrote:
Hello All,

I recently bought a 1950s Kemble upright. When the piano tuner came to tune it, he said that the Hydroceel tube inside contained asbestos and because it was completely dried out, it could be dangerous to health (because of the dust).

Many thanks.
Why would there be Asbestos in Hydroceel unit they only store water or absorbed it

Are we getting mixed up with a damp chaser which has a sealed electric heater in it and you would only come in contact with the Asbestos if any if you cracked it open
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JacobEsau
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Post by JacobEsau » 11 May 2006, 10:04

Hi there.

Well, I feel more reassured now! I wasn't totally convinced about the asbestos, but I know it was used for all kinds of things in the 1950s and '60s before the dangers were known.

Maybe the piano tuner man was getting confused with damp-chasers, I'm not sure. By the way, he also said the piano was in such good condition, it would outlive me - and that was before he mentioned asbestos!

Warmest,

M.

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Post by JohnEB » 11 May 2006, 19:16

I don't know anything about Hydroceel units but I do know about asbestos and I would be amazed if it was used in anything which was meant to absorb water, as generally it's not very absorbent.

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Barrie Heaton
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Post by Barrie Heaton » 11 May 2006, 19:39

Did the tuner take the Hydroceel unit away :twisted:


Barrie,
Last edited by Barrie Heaton on 15 Dec 2007, 16:48, edited 1 time in total.
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JacobEsau
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Post by JacobEsau » 16 May 2006, 08:44

Hi there,

I don't know much about asbestos, so I didn't realise it wasn't absorbent, yet I can't seem to find out what material IS used in those hydroceel tubes!

Also, the piano tuner didn't take the hydroceel away with him, but he did advise me to remove it. At the moment it's in my garden shed. I was waiting to find out for sure whether there is any asbestos in there before I contact the local council to have it properly disposed of. But I don't want to call someone out to remove it if there's no asbestos in it. If that's the case, I'll just put it in the wheelie bin!

Martin.

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Post by fumbler » 16 May 2006, 10:49

Hi,

There's nothing on Google about asbestos and Hydroceel, so you're probably safe. However I did come across hydrocele, under male genital pathology. Yeeeeuk! The manufacturers (of Hydroceel, that is) should have chosen a less easily confused name.

Rgds.

PS More info at http://mmd.foxtail.com/Archives/Digests ... 24.04.html

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Post by Geminoz » 17 May 2006, 12:52

Well....it is really amazing the things one can learn on this site. :wink:
Who else just had to go take a look??

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Post by Gill the Piano » 17 May 2006, 17:53

Well I didn't....but I shall now! :lol:

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Post by Gill the Piano » 17 May 2006, 17:55

:? I wish I'd looked AFTER the crispy duck fest at the Chinese restaurant...I may cancel.
Naaaaah... :wink:

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Post by Geminoz » 24 May 2006, 05:39

Bit late replying cause I been away on R and R...but I hope you enjoyed your crispy duck. :wink:

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Post by Gill the Piano » 24 May 2006, 18:09

I ALWAYS enjoy crispy duck... :D ...ta!

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Re: Asbestos in Hydroceel unit?

Post by hesaan » 17 Jul 2006, 18:00

JacobEsau wrote:
Hello All,

I recently bought a 1950s Kemble upright. When the piano tuner came to tune it, he said that the Hydroceel tube inside contained asbestos and because it was completely dried out, it could be dangerous to health (because of the dust).

I've done some research on the internet and can't find any reference to the unit containing asbestos, but it's a worry.

Can anyone offer any advice?

Many thanks.
Hi there,

I searched for the word 'Hydroceel' when I found a tube of it in my Grandfather's garaqe, and came across your post.
I then sent a sample of the Hydroceel powder off to be analysed by a UKAS accredited laboratory.
I'm afraid that it does contain asbestos. The asbestos type is ANTHOPHYLITE.
Anthophylite is a coarse white asbestos variety which was produced in Finland until the 1960's. It is not in widespread use and can only be found very occasionally in commercial products or lagging.

It seems that your piano tuner was right, and it also illustrates that Google is NOT all powerful.

All the best,
Hesaan

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Re: Asbestos in Hydroceel unit?

Post by hesaan » 17 Jul 2006, 18:03

Hi there,

I searched for the word 'Hydroceel' when I found a tube of it in my Grandfather's garaqe, and came across your post.
I then sent a sample of the Hydroceel powder off to be analysed by a UKAS accredited laboratory.
I'm afraid that it does contain asbestos. The asbestos type is ANTHOPHYLITE.
Anthophylite is a coarse white asbestos variety which was produced in Finland until the 1960's. It is not in widespread use and can only be found very occasionally in commercial products or lagging.

It seems that your piano tuner was right, and it also illustrates that Google is NOT all powerful.

All the best,
Hesaan

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Barrie Heaton
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Re: Asbestos in Hydroceel unit?

Post by Barrie Heaton » 17 Jul 2006, 19:28

hesaan wrote:Hi there,


It seems that your piano tuner was right, and it also illustrates that Google is NOT all powerful.

All the best,
Hesaan
That is not good news I am really surprised about that over the years I must have handled 100 of them and when they have not been used for a wile dust comes out of them. I will have a word with F&N to see it there version has it in

Thanks for that info

more info on anthophyllite asbestos
http://oem.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/ ... t/51/6/421

http://oem.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/ ... t/51/6/421
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Asbestos and Hydroceel units

Post by longbow » 24 Jul 2006, 12:31

Just a thought. Prompted by Barrie's last post. Was it a real Hydroceel unit found in the garage or one of the copies that used to be sold as genuine Hydroceel units ?

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Post by Martin Heckscher » 24 Jul 2006, 13:09

Hi,

Some users of this site may know that we are the UK distributors of Hydroceel units. We have noted the correspondence regarding the possible presence of asbestos in Hydroceels, and, as far as we are able, we are keen to give an authoritative and accurate response to the questions raised.

We contacted the manufacturers, J. P. Brouwer & Zn in Amsterdam, and asked for their comments, which were as follows:

"Dear Mr Heckscher,
We had a mail from the factory that there is no asbestos of any kind in the filling of the Hydroceel. The first Hydroceels made about 30 years ago perhaps had an other filling. The
man who bought the rights from the inventeror had told us once that the filling had been changed a long time ago but he died about 10 years ago and we bought all the rights from his daughter.
The Hydroceel the man found in his grandfather's garage probably was a very old one. You can put a mail on the pianosite that the Hydroceel is completely harmless.
With kind regards,
Marijke Brouwer"
Martin Heckscher,
Heckscher & Co. Ltd.,
75 Bayham Street,
London,
NW1 0AA.

Phone: 020 7387 1735
Fax: 020 7387 3043
Email: martin@heckscher.co.uk

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Post by Barrie Heaton » 26 Jul 2006, 18:04

Martin Heckscher wrote:Hi,

Some users of this site may know that we are the UK distributors of Hydroceel units. We have noted the correspondence regarding the possible presence of asbestos in Hydroceels, and, as far as we are able, we are keen to give an authoritative and accurate response to the questions raised.
Thanks Martin

We will just have to get clients with very old ones to up grade to new ones to be on the safe side

Barrie,
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Stride
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Post by Stride » 31 Jul 2006, 07:25

Would someone please tell me where these Hydroseel things are in the piano and what on earth they do.

We live in an age where we are frightening our children so much they scream at the slightest sign of movement. They are taken to hospital when they receive a bruise or cut their finger, however slight. Now it's the adults turn to get frightened.

The paranoid overpaid officials in our state and eurozone controllers are making normal life a misery and we pay them to do it!

Forget the asbestos threat it's only a problem when you inhale it as fine dust, like tobacco ash is!

Happy piano playing to all.
ALBOY

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Post by Barrie Heaton » 01 Aug 2006, 17:40

Stride wrote:Would someone please tell me where these Hydroseel things are in the piano and what on earth they do.
They are mainly used to disperse moisture inside the piano in dry environments on uprights they can be found in the top of the piano fixed to the top door on grand they can be fitted just behind the fall were they tend to work very well if kept moist on Grands

They are a long tube about 3 feet long and 3” in diameter they are off white and have Blue end stops and 2 blue stickers

The ones with Yellow end stops are a generic make

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founddevers
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hydroceel unit

Post by founddevers » 29 Feb 2008, 11:57

we have just bought an old baby grand and found the hydroceel unit underneath. after reading through all the discussions, I am a little confused as to what I should do with it. Should I leave it there? Does it need servicing? would be grateful for any advice.

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Re: hydroceel unit

Post by Barrie Heaton » 29 Feb 2008, 18:04

founddevers wrote:we have just bought an old baby grand and found the hydroceel unit underneath. after reading through all the discussions, I am a little confused as to what I should do with it. Should I leave it there? Does it need servicing? would be grateful for any advice.
if the hydroceel label is not faded then it should be a recent one so no problems

Just stick it in the bath till the bubbles have gone dry off the out sited and put it back do that once a week in winter.

if you are unsure about the age then stick in a big bag and take it down to the tip you can buy a new Hydroceel unit here

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Post by markymark » 24 Mar 2008, 19:11

Just as a matter of interest, are Hydroceel units standard installations on brand new instruments or are they optional extras?

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Post by mdw » 24 Mar 2008, 20:23

Add ons.
You shouldnt really need one on a new piano unless you have ignored the makers sugestions for positioning the instrument

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Post by Barrie Heaton » 24 Mar 2008, 21:10

The only time I would fit an Hydroceel unit on a new piano is on a grand under the wrest plank with a piano life saver for the soundboard.

On uprights piano life saver every time new homes tend to be to worm and dry I was in one last week 81F 22% humidity a new U3 and I had to tighten the hammer screws she is killing that piano.


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Post by mdw » 24 Mar 2008, 21:26

She had better check her guarantee cos all the ones ive seen would exclude that sort of damage. Its amazing how low some modern houses can go. Roll on the asthma and breathing problems. :( Bring back draughty sash windows and leaky doors I say!!! Mind you in a few year we wont be able to afford to put the heating on if prices keep going up.

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Re: Asbestos in Hydroceel unit?

Post by mairead.breen » 08 Sep 2020, 10:00

Good morning,

I'm aware this was posted a while ago however I am conducting some research into the use of asbestos in Kemble piano's.

I was wondering whether you managed to gather any further information into your findings of asbestos.

Did you ever get anyone else to look at the asbestos? Did anyone remove it? Did they ever provide any further information into what type of asbestos was found? Did you obtain any pictures?

I would love to discuss this and I would appreciate any help.

Thank you,

Mairead

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