Recharging desiccant


May 28, 2003, 01:29 PM
I was reading in another thread about humidity levels in gun safes and I had a thought;
my wife and I bought a new house about four years ago and it came with a gas stove. I've not had to recharge my desiccant yet, but did it before in my old houses electric stove. I know that gas stoves produce alot of moisture as the gas burns- so can I recharge my desiccant in a gas stove?

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Greg L
May 28, 2003, 01:40 PM
No idea about the gas stove but do you have a toaster oven?


AJ Dual
May 28, 2003, 01:48 PM
I think as long as the dessicant gets hot enough, and for long enough, the moisture from natural gas combustion won't be a significant factor. It's really just the silica gel getting hot enough that it can't hold onto the bound water that's in it anymore.

And any moisture coming off the gas jets under your broiler will quickly be carried away with the heat rising out of the stove top anyway.

May 28, 2003, 01:50 PM
And this is why I like this board so much.

Thanks guys.

Chuck Dye
May 28, 2003, 02:03 PM
I do not have any numbers for you, though I'd bet they can be had in a good search or from a phonecall to a manufacturer. I can tell you that the cans containing my silica gel are stamped recharge 3 hours at 300 degrees F. What you are doing is allowing the gel to reach an equilibrium with the humidity in the oven at that temperature. Even with the added humidity of the gas combustion products, that equilibrium leaves relatively little water in the gel. Sure, the combustion products will reduce the drying capacity, but that reduction will still leave considerable drying power. If the gel you have does not contain the indicator dye that signals the need to recharge, spring for a single drier that does. Using the indicator package as a rough meter, put it in the safe along with your main drier and get an idea of how long it takes for the dye to go pink. This time may be seasonally variable depending on where you live and how you heat and cool your house. Recharge the whole lot twice as often as the indicator tells you should (drying power and rate taper off as the gel approaches equilibrium with the air in the safe) and your guns will be well protected. FWIW, I use double the mass of gel recommended for the volume of my safe-the stuff is too cheap not to.

Now, does anyone know if you can over dry a safe???

May 28, 2003, 02:06 PM
The microwave works too. Do it all of the time at work.

Chuck Dye
May 28, 2003, 02:08 PM
Hoo HOO!

I can just see my aluminum gel packs in the micro wave!

May 28, 2003, 02:18 PM
The canisters I use have the standard indicator 'when middle dot turns pink' thingy.

Microwave? I never thought of that. Usually I just take the silica bags out of the cardboard boxes, sit them in a pie tin and bake away with the oven door open a crack to vent as that's what the instructions say to do.

Time to put on my Mister Science hat and give the microwave a try.

May 28, 2003, 03:38 PM
I'd guess that wood stocks wouldn't like being overdried, but most of the safes I've seen aren't airtight and I live in a high humidity area.

After reading what GoldenRod had to say about it, I put 2 GRs in my 35cu.ft. Liberty. And the door does not completely seal.

"Since you can't overprotect your valuables, we strongly recommend using the longest GoldenRodĀ® which will fit, also, use multiple units where necessary."


May 28, 2003, 05:16 PM
I've thought about the GoldenRods and like the idea of just plugging it in and letting it go; now I have to think about drilling a hole through the safe wall.

Mmm. Maybe not. Drilling sounds like a gigantic hassle.

May 28, 2003, 05:18 PM
"use multiple units where necessary"

Imagine a salesman saying that. Or this...

"You really should have one GoldenRod for each firearm in the safe" ;)

May 28, 2003, 07:00 PM
I just cooked mine a few weeks ago in a gas stove for 3 hours and all was fine...


May 28, 2003, 08:00 PM
How do you do it in a microwave and for how long?

May 29, 2003, 06:27 AM
We use Anhydrous Calcium Sulfate that changes color as it absorbs moisture. We just dump it in a glass bowl and nuke it until it's blue again.

May 29, 2003, 08:56 AM
For the heck of it I checked the temp and humidity in my basement last night with a $20 digital gizmo from Radio Shack. I'd run the dehumidifier the night before...the entire night and dumped about 3.5 gallons. Hey, it's been raining here for a week it seems.

68*F and 69% humidity in the basement.

Inside the safe with the 2 GoldenRods...72*F and 53%.

Outdoors it was 71*F and 95% humidity.

Things are looking good.


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