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Safes and Dehumidifying Them

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by Glen, Oct 11, 2021.

  1. Glen

    Glen Member

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    Aug 14, 2006
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    98
    Location:
    Oregon
    Maybe I'll just start by stating how I'm thinking about this. I've had a gun safe for years. It has a foot long Golden Rod in it. My safe is medium-sized and has a hole on the top. I see the air in the safe moving upward from the dehumidifier at the bottom and venting through the hole at the top. With this system, I've never had a condensation problem. In looking at safes now for my son, I want the same system. I guess. But I don't see many safes with holes at the top for venting. Maybe a buyer will use canisters or other products that collect moisture and don't need to vent. And here is maybe my biggest question: Maybe, even if you use an electric rod for dehumidifying, maybe you don't need a hole in the top for venting? Maybe the safe is not so air-tight that the warm air goes out anyway (carrying moisture or even potentially harmful chemicals used in constructing the safe's interior). I found a Yukon Gold YG12 safe, made by Browning that looks perfect. It has a hole in the bottom for the chord for the Golden Rod, AND it has a hole on top...but when I stuck my finger through that hole, there was a board or something in the way that effectively made the hole not a hole. But maybe the air just goes around the fire protection installation? What are your thoughts about all these comments I just made? Help. Help. Help.
     
  2. bassjam

    bassjam Member

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    Golden Rod type "dehumidifiers" don't need to vent the air, they work by moving warm air around inside the safe to prevent condensation on firearms.
     
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  3. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    Its a good point that if you are allowing humid air in at the bottom then the rod just keeps it circulating. Warmer air warms the firearms in the safe which then raises their temperature well above the point of condensation. But it doesn't necessarily remove humidity. To us the result is the same, less rust.

    All this thinking has made me wonder what I can do to improve things. My safe had an issue with mold - literally growing on the bluing - and I got a gold stick to keep it dried out. But it does beat neglect.
     
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  4. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    Because who would want that?

    A GoldenRod (just a simple electric resistance heater) lowers the relative humidity in the box by raising the temperature a few degrees. Not a single molecule of water is removed from solution in the air (so it's not a dehumidifier). If your permit colder air to enter the box, you're working against yourself.

    A nightlight of the wattage works equally as well, and it's a light to boot!

    So, find a safe, and find an appropriately sized heater. . . or a nightlight.
     
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  5. DukeConnor

    DukeConnor Member

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    Oct 30, 2016
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    745
    Relative humidity is..well...relative to the ambient temperature. In a sealed container, and all things being equal, raise the ambient temperature and RH drops.

    wp-content.jpg

    This is over simplified and I am sure any engineers in here can explain it in more detail. I'm not a engineer, just a retired HVAC guy.
     
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  6. Jack Ryan

    Jack Ryan Member

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    Jan 29, 2019
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    641
    Just get a portable dehumidifier for the whole room. Don't cost much more, problem solve and probably a lot more.
     
  7. Glen

    Glen Member

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    Aug 14, 2006
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    Location:
    Oregon
    You guys are pretty smart. I called a safe store and got the full scoop. It's like you said. The main thing is to keep the temperature in the safe up a little so that warm air keeps the water in the air and not sticking to any metal. There need not be any hole in the top of the safe. The lady I talked to said they used to do that more only in order to make the safe easier for moving. Moisture (or anything else) does not need to be vented. You just want the slightly warmer air a rod provides. She also said to use the rod over any canisters or other water absorbing devices for the safe we bought. Safes, like ours, that use sheetrock for fireproofing, should not use canisters or other true dehumidifying devices because a true dehumidifier can absorb the water from the sheetrock and make it deteriorate. So, we'll use the rod and not worry about holes. As always, thanks for your input!
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2021
  8. JDeere

    JDeere Member

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    May 31, 2020
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    469
    What the lady said is true. I have a safe in my shop with no AC or heat in the deep humid south. I have the right size golden rod and that's it. No rust, mold or the likes and I don't treat my firearms any different than storing them in the AC. The light bulb idea works as well. This is why Military arms rooms and ammo bunkers had their lights burning 24/7...
     
  9. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    6,629
    I double tap tackling moisture. I have a Golden rod knock off, I think it is made by Liberty. And I have enough silica desiccant for a safe 3 times the size of what I have. A couple digital hygrometers allow me to keep an eye on the RH with min and max values so I know how it varies over the course of the year.
     
  10. CodeSection

    CodeSection Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2011
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