Dehumidifiers?

This is a discussion on Dehumidifiers? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I am looking around for a good plug-in dehumidifier. It seems most of the ones I have come across are either desiccant gel (either in ...

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    Member Array gun1's Avatar
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    Dehumidifiers?

    I am looking around for a good plug-in dehumidifier. It seems most of the ones I have come across are either desiccant gel (either in a clam type enclosure or a can), or it is a rod that is nothing more than a heating element.

    Is there any kind of dehumidifier that I can get that plugs in so I don't have to maintain it much that isn't simply a heater? I'd rather have something that sits on a shelf in the safe, but if it requires a side wall mount or something I'm sure I can figure it out too.

    Ideas?

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    I've used three different types:

    • Desiccant "cans" -- Periodically need to be stuck into the oven to dry out the granules. But these work fairly well. Can add more if more power is needed. Sits on the shelf in the safe. 750gm can.

    • Desiccant units that plug-in to renew -- When the color changes, simply plug in overnight to dry out the contents, then reinstall on the shelf in the safe. A bit on the small side, the unit I got. EvaDry 333.

    • Golden rod -- Plugs in and stays plugged in, but it is "just" a heater. Keeps the air moving a bit, and keeps it warmer. Effective, easy to use. Requires a power outlet next to the safe, of course, and a hole for the cord out the back. Sits at the base/back of the safe, out of the way of the shelves, and stays there.


    I've never had numerous guns with older wooden stocks, so I haven't been overly worried about having too much dehumidifying power. In a ~60x30x30 safe, I've had 1x large desiccant gel can, 1x plug-in variety desiccant, and 1x golden rod. Together, I've never noticed any condensation or evidence of the beginnings of rust. Overkill, almost certainly, using all three. Uncertain what the "right" amount of drying power is, but this combination has worked for me.
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    VIP Member Array Jaeger's Avatar
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    In the safe a big desiccant bag is pretty much the best thing going. A coffee can of hard rice is a close second. My safes are in my boiler room, which is noticeably dry even in the summer, and downright desert like in the winter. I think placement of your safes in the driest place in your house is more important than anything else.
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    The problem with dessicants is that they require maintenance; otherwise, you may as well put a wet sponge in your safe. If you can pay enough attention to your container of dessicant so that it's never saturated, that's fine. Otherwise, a heater (e.g., Golden Rod) mounted low in the safe is your set-it-and-forget-it solution. The atmosphere inside your safe just has to be a few degrees warmer than the surrounding environment to prevent condensation from occurring.
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    Member Array woodrow's Avatar
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    I bought a Remington brand unit that you plug in about once a month to dry it out. No complaints, and it's much more convenient than heating up one of the can units in your oven. It's a good option for around $20. Never tried the can of rice like Jaeger suggested, but it makes sense and probably wouldn't be a bad idea to combine both methods.
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    VIP Member Array OutWestSystems's Avatar
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    Get a portable AC. They all have a dehumidify mode, also most of them when running in AC mode vent the water out through the exhaust hose.

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    VIP Member Array NC Bullseye's Avatar
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    Just remember, if you end up with a true dehumidifier you will also need to figure out how to plumb a drain line out of the safe and somewhere to have it connect to a drain or bucket. You don't want to have it collect in a bucket inside the safe or you have just defeated the purpose of drawing it out of the air in the safe.

    I've heard nothing but good about goldenrods and unless your encountering extreme humidity it should do what you want.
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    Member Array gun1's Avatar
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    The safe is 60x30x25 and has built-in power, so outlets aren't a problem.

    My main concern is general humidity in the air, not necessarily "condensation" on the contents. I'd like to keep it as dry as I can inside to keep ammo "fresh", as best I can. I was just thinking there would be a better alternative than the desiccant gel/granules but it looks like that may be the way to go. The humidity has to go somewhere - what is in there from the door opening or what seeps in through the cracks. I suppose having something soak it up is about the only option.

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    New Member Array 808daddy's Avatar
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    Aloha gang. I have little knowledge in many areas this being one of them. I have read a bunch of replies in regards to this topic and in other treads all having good information.

    It seems as if a golden rod may be the way to go.

    Where I live our annual humidity is about 78%. Please jump in and share any feedback! I do have local friends that I have spoke to about this, too. But I don't think getting a bit more feedback would hurt.

    Mahalo!

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    New Member Array 808daddy's Avatar
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    I'll look into that. Mahalo!

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    Senior Member Array Fizban's Avatar
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    I have used a desiccant can for about 30 years with good results and I live in a very humid climate. I dont over think it, just recharge the crystals every now and then and replace the whole thing ever few years. Never a spot of rust on anything so I am not going to change my routine... it works for me.
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    New Member Array 808daddy's Avatar
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    I'm not really wanting to drill a hole in my safe unless I really had to. Makes sence to try that 1st.

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    What percentage of humidity do you have now, inside the safe and ambient humidity? What are you trying to accomplish? I am in Georgia, where 95% humidity and 90+ degree air temps are not uncommon. I have found out, from hard experience, that sometimes folks fight the wrong enemy when it comes to humidity, rust, mildew, etc.

    With humidity, it is all about "dew point", that is the temp at which the air releases it humidity.When the humidity drops below 25% or so, then stocks start cracking. The humidity levels greater than 55% are not really a big deal until the air reaches "dew point" then the guns start to sweat. I would suggest, getting one of these little boogers. The work very well. I have these on my safes.The little probes will, fit through the tapped holes, in the top used for lifting eyes.

    445815 - Hygro-Thermometer Humidity Alert with Dew Point

    Goldenrod type heaters are nice. THEY DO NOT REMOVE HUMIDITY. Heat raises the temp of the air, thus lowereing the dew point. They also provide circulation, IF the shelves and contents do not block the currents created by the goldenrod. Air circulation is a necessity to prevent mildew and the spread of mildew, but mildew and mold need heat to grow. Those little testers really showed me how much "dead air" space was inside my safes.

    Dessicants remove humidity. They work well, however Sometimes it will take weeks to remove the humidy from the safes with soft interiors and drywall that is used for, so called, fireproofing. Dessicants must be checked often, if not, they lose their effectiveness and the soft interiors will soak up humidity again and you have to start over.

    Mildew is a common problem. Mildew can infest a safe, QUICKLY. Once, I purchased an M1 Carbine. The gun was clean and appeared almost new. 2 months after I placed it in the safe, I noticed mildew on the stock. Come to find out, the oil on older military stocks is great mildew food. Springfield Armory, had a problem with mildew in thier perfectly controlled storage areas. The mildew was on, or in, the wood when the oil was applied. 50 years later, the mildew was still alive and infesting their climate controlled storage areas. All of guns, in that area, were disassembled and the stocks were cleaned with a bleach solution to kill the mildew. Generally, mildew does not grow if the guns are taken outside often. Sunlight kills surface mildew.

    Ambient air (Room air) is everything. If the ambient air humidity level is high, it does not matter what you do to the inside of the safe. You are fighting a losing battle. A good room dehumidifier will aid, tremendously, in dropping the safe interior humidity level. In my case, I tried to put off the expense of a good basement dehumidifier, by trying everything else first. Don't waste money on other things if the ambient, room, humidity is high.

    Air circulation, around the safe, will make a world of difference in the humidity and temp inside the safe. My safes are in a basement with poured, reinforced, 10" concrete walls. There is a small "bump out" on one end of the house that is 8' X 8' I have 2 safes in one corner. They are both bolted to the wall and floor with 3/4" plywood strips used as spacers so there would be no direct safe to concrete contact. The humidity was 15% higher in one safe than the other. A simple ceiling fan took care of that issue. With no more dead air space, in the room, the 2 safes run the same temp and humidity levels of about 45%.

    Again, don't shotgun the issue, attack the problems one at a time. I had to learn the hard and expensive way.
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    Senior Member Array DocT65's Avatar
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    You did not really describe the area you are trying to dehumidify.......but I'll assume you store your guns in a safe . For this application, the Goldenrod is hard to beat. I live in a humid coastal area and have used them for years. No issues with rust, pitting or other moisture-related storage problems.
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