There are a number of different ways in which a humidor might be broken. However, the most important and frequent problem is a malfunction in the humidor’s hygrometer. Below are two different methods you can use to troubleshoot your hygrometer based on the type you’re using, either analog or digital.
ANALOG HYGROMETERS: To check analog hygrometers, simply soak a hand towel and wrap it around your hygrometer. Let it sit this way for 30 minutes and then check the reading. If the hygrometer should register anything other than 100% humidity, it’ll need to be re-calibrated.
As a note, it’s important to use distilled water, or else the residual water will cause damage once you replace your hygrometer in your humidor.
DIGITAL HYGROMETERS: For digital hygrometers, you’ll need to place your hydrometer in a plastic bag for 24 hours along with a container full of salt water (the salt water needs to be particularly thick for this to work). After this, the hygrometer should read at 75%. If not, then, like the analogue version, it’ll need to be re-calibrated.
As you can see, the process of identifying a malfunction in your hygrometer’s different depending on what type of technologies involved, either digital or analog. Be familiar with the type of hygrometer your humidor’s using and it’ll save you time in the long run and keep your cigars lasting longer too.
The most likely issue is a loss of calibration. You’ll need to re-calibrate the device to match the exact specifications of your humidor. Loss of calibration can affect both analog and digital humidors but, thankfully, once you’ve identified the problem, the method for fixing it is the same in both cases. Again, simply manually set your hygrometer to 100% for analog and 75% for digital. The soaking technique you used should have set a standard base line for the device, allowing it the recalibrate automatically.
An uncalibrated hygrometer is the most common malfunction in a humidor, so now that you know how to fix the problem, it’ll save you a lot of time and money on cigars in the future.