Controlling Safe Humidity and Rust

gunlove

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Oct 6, 2007
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Here’s how I killed the Ugly Rust Monster!!

Those of you living in Texas can stop reading now… you don’t have any humidity! Those of us living in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida, know what humidity is. Here in North Carolina I have measured the relative outdoor humidity on average to be between 30-70% and the indoor humidity in my apartment 40-65%. The measurements were taken on an Accu-Rite model 01033, which I would recommend.

My Choices:
Eva-Dry dehumidifiers are definitely the best. I use 2x E500s and an Eva-Dry Peltier EDV-1100 in a Liberty 25 safe. There is a seller on Ebay who sells a package of 2x E500, 2x E333, and one EDV-1100 for $89 shipped and this price really can’t be beat. Silicon Gel needs to be recharged every 1+ months depending on where you live. Boxes and cans are simply very difficult to recharge. Unlike the packages usually say, these need to be poured out and placed in an oven for probably 12 hours or so. The Eva-Dry simply plugs into and outlet, heats up, and dries itself out.
I also have one of Liberty’s golden rods. I think the rod would be great for a garage safe but for a safe inside, where the temperature remains relatively constant, it is pretty useless.

The Numbers:

With 2x E500s the safe humidity decreased to a stead ~42%.
With the 2x E500s and one EDV-1100 it decreased to ~32%.
With the weather proofing strips around the door, 2x E500s, and one EDV-1100 it stayed ~32% or less.
*the changes were measured after 3+ days

My Eva-drys needed to be recharged in 2 months. I shut the peltier off when the humidity goes under 30%.

Humidity Discussion:

From my web research, the goal for humidity is ~35-40%.
Low humidity’s, under 30% can shrink and crack wood and ivory.
Above 50% is probably detrimental.
New Safes are usually extremely wet for months after purchase, due to manufacturing techniques and will dry out over time!

Hopefully this helps some of you web surfers out there beat the Rust Monster! I know the rust monster can be a bitch!
 

turbo54

Mr. 7mm
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Dec 10, 2010
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Re: Controlling Safe Humidity and Rust

I have a dehumidifier in my safe, and have to empry it every few days. I have no wood, so I just go for as dry as possible. It's dry in there - can smell/feel it whenever I open the door.
 

Papagallos

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Nov 5, 2009
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Re: Controlling Safe Humidity and Rust

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: gunlove</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Here’s how I killed the Ugly Rust Monster!!

Those of you living in Texas can stop reading now… you don’t have any humidity!</div></div>

Have you been to Texas? Trust me, it's humid, especially on the east coast (Houston sucks) and South Texas. But, thanks for the information on controlling a safe's humidity.
grin.gif
 

redirt78

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Mar 15, 2011
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Re: Controlling Safe Humidity and Rust

Good info, looking for a deal on a safe now.

One I'm looking at offers an upgrade to an EV-500 dehumidifier for $10 and an additional EV-500 for $25. Or, a free 12 inch plug in and a free EV-333.

Edit: Looks like I'd be better off getting the free ones and buying the package deal you mentioned because the Eva-Dry 1100 is around $60 by itself.
 

VaFarmer1

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Re: Controlling Safe Humidity and Rust

This topic has been coming up a lot.
A cheap way out that really works is (Damp Rid Hanging moisture absorber)
Comes in three pack, Each one will last about 2 months.
Moisture/Mold/Rust.. Gone.

& make sure you have a good seal on the door. a lot of safes let too much air pass thru. Get some thin door weather stripping from H-depot or somewhere. If you here a suction noise when opening your safe your gtg.
 

gunlove

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Re: Controlling Safe Humidity and Rust

Ok... not All of Texas
wink.gif

This topic does come up a lot. I figured I would put some actual numbers to it. I was very surprised how many dehumidifiers I actually needed and how often they needed to be recharged.
One more thing:
I bought 4x of those little digital humidity monitors from China on Ebay. They are cheap and easy.
 

AMM0

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Re: Controlling Safe Humidity and Rust

Awesome info.

I'm saving this thread. I don't yet have a safe, but I'll take a look at the techniques used here when I do.
 

gunlove

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Oct 6, 2007
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Re: Controlling Safe Humidity and Rust

Holding strong with 4x large EVA drys ~28% humidity with ~50% humidity outside the safe. I am rejuvinating them once a month.
I am pretty sure the weather sealing strip is doing nothing.
 

gunlove

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Re: Controlling Safe Humidity and Rust

One more thing, the EVA-Dry 1100 electrical, plug in dehumidifyer has not been working well. It took less than a year to break. Not recommended.
 

bunsen27

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Jan 2, 2011
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Re: Controlling Safe Humidity and Rust

I've reached a similar solution:

Acu-Rite Home Comfort Monitor

900 Gram Silica Gel pouch

Two bags per safe with an extra standing by in a Ziploc bag for when one set needs recharged. My garage is typically 55-65%RH while my safes stay at a comfy 43-46%RH I recharge the bags every 4-5 weeks in the oven for 8-10 hours ie overnight then toss them back in still warm. I did have to put thin weather stripping on both safes to seal them better. Also seal any holes in the back or bottom with packing tape or similar. Oh the joys of having to store firearms in a high humidity environment.
cry.gif
 

mrfudd

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Re: Controlling Safe Humidity and Rust

I have never had a problem with the goldenrod. I have one in each of my safes. 1 is in my laundry room and 1 in the basement, both in the humid SE. I placed a layer of roofing tar paper under the safes before bolting them down.
 

stefan73

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    Re: Controlling Safe Humidity and Rust

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: mrfudd</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I have never had a problem with the goldenrod. I have one in each of my safes. 1 is in my laundry room and 1 in the basement, both in the humid SE. I placed a layer of roofing tar paper under the safes before bolting them down. </div></div>

    I have never had an issue with my golden rod either. I have lived in Georgia (Fort Benning), TN/KY (Campbell), AR, KS, TX and now AK. GA and AR are pretty darn humid and so is KS.
     

    RollingThunder51

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    Re: Controlling Safe Humidity and Rust

    Not what I would recommend.

    I have managed safes on the coast (throw a rock) for decades (lots of them). I have managed raw steel, high carbon, blued steel, wood, leather, park, etc., etc. for 40+ years.

    If you think waiting for anything, anything, that recharges by plugging it into the wall for 10+ hours is the way to go, I would say nope.

    If you think one has to pour out silica gel to get it dry, I have to say, no friggin' way.

    If you think capturing water in any kind of cup or container electrically is the way to go, I would say dangerous and impractical.

    3 hours at 275 or 2 hours at 325 is the only way to recharge a dryer. You buy large silica sealed units and get on with it. Plugging anything in the wall cannot come close to the heat or the mass of silica getl dehydrants. You need an oven, not an outlet to make this all become easy.

    Now it is true that not so long ago, you could by stainless steel 1,500 gram units, or aluminum 1,000 gram units. today we can get to here...

    http://www.silica-gel-source.com/750-Gram-Rechargeable-Silica-Gel-P26C24.aspx

    Or in paper, yes I use them, but reseal the bags differently, with these.

    http://www.silica-gel-source.com/900-Gram-Rechargeable-Silica-Gel-P24C20.aspx

    If you are new to this, run two. When the fireproofing is dried out you can run with one.

    Goldenrod....throw it out. Do not use them. Do not run electricity into your safe and especially not into any heating units. YEs I once owned them, now? Gone.

    Think of it this way, there are two kinds of safes and only two kinds of safes. Closed and open atmospheres.

    Closed atmosphere safes are air tight. You put a golden rod into those and if there is moisture it just circulates it around and around and around. A perfect rain forest. You put in your sealed silica gel canisters and your done.

    Open atmosphere safes circulate outside air into the safe. They are not air tight. Think about it. Heat the air up and....it goes out the top and sucks cold wet air into the bottom. A perfect cycle of replenishment.

    Golden rods are for clothes closets, not gun safes, not for leather, not for wood, not for metal. Get rid of it.

    The great news is that you are keeping track of the numbers. That is the game. You are getting results, but the hard way. Two 750s, recharged every, what? 4 months? Done.

    Get the best hygro meter you can buy, definitely with High Low Memory.

    http://www.amazon.com/Extech-445815-Humi...extech+humidity


    Keep leather out.
    Nothing goes in wet.
    Nothing goes in that is plugged in.
    Nothing goes in that generates heat.
    Nothing goes in that captures raw water.
    Nothing goes in that gasifies.
    Use a light quality oil (Tri-Flo, CLP, etc.)
    Rust bag those long terms that you can.
    Keep ammo powders out.

    After 6 months, things will settle down and you will be on your way.

    Good luck.
     

    Cornholeo

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    Re: Controlling Safe Humidity and Rust

    Great info on moisture control. I have one of the E-500s and was getting ready to get a second. Think I will go with a couple of the 750g cans instead.
     

    finefire

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    Re: Controlling Safe Humidity and Rust

    Get yourself a bottle of T9 Boeshield. Brownell's used to sell it. Developed by Boeing, easily the best rust inhibitor I have used.
     

    Don'tTaseMeBro

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    Re: Controlling Safe Humidity and Rust

    This may sound odd, but my Dad always kept a bowl of rice in his safes along with the typical dehumidifiers and silica packs. Rice soaks up a lot of moisture, believe it or not. He would change it out every six months or so. Not saying that's ALL you need to use. Just a good reinforcement.
     

    Brett_B

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    Re: Controlling Safe Humidity and Rust

    Great info, looks like I need to get an AcuRight on the way.
     

    FALex

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    Re: Controlling Safe Humidity and Rust

    do you guys know about these gold rods:

    <http://www.midwayusa.com/product/1138359...-plug-110v-gold>

    If so, one question is, when or how often do you turn it on? Is it something that just remains on constantly?

    Right now, I use that Remington unit that you can plug in every month or so to "recharge" it...we don't have much humidity in ID, but I am paranoid about it, regardless. I'd rather be safe than sorry.
     

    Mister Ouchie

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    Re: Controlling Safe Humidity and Rust

    It's supposed to just be left on. It's really just a heating element, raising the temperature of the safe has the effect of lowering the humidity. It works. Just keep a humidity meter in the safe so you KNOW it's working.
     

    limamike56

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    Re: Controlling Safe Humidity and Rust

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: finefire</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Get yourself a bottle of T9 Boeshield. Brownell's used to sell it. Developed by Boeing, easily the best rust inhibitor I have used. </div></div>

    Plus one on Boeshield. Excellent product.
     

    tactic-als

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    Re: Controlling Safe Humidity and Rust

    Wow, RollingThunder51 seems to know a bit and I just might go that route. I have an EVA-DRY 333 in my safe and figured, I'm in North Texas and the safe is in an off room but not in the garage, how humid could it be in there? Well, in just over a month, it was pure pink. Perhaps it's because it's a new safe? Just glad I read this the other day and it made me think to check it.
     

    gunlove

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    Re: Controlling Safe Humidity and Rust

    Update:
    I now use 3x E500s
    After a year or so Eva-Dry Peltier EDV-1100 stopped working. It would make the same little buzz "on" sound but no water would be collected.

    The humidity meters are cheap on eBay delivered from china for about $5.

    I tried using weather strips on the door.. With very little success. The fire proof strip wasn't straight and definitely gets in the way of proper fit.
    The same still circulates. I use an EV-300 in a few XXL Pelican cases full of reloading dies ect. The humidity gets down below 25% quickly in those. My 5$ humidity meter will stop reading at 25%.

    yourmothertrebek: I have had rust in a safe with a golden rod and saturated silicon box.
    Tactic-als: new safes take about a year to dry out.
     

    redhooker

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    Re: Controlling Safe Humidity and Rust

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Don'tTaseMeBro</div><div class="ubbcode-body">This may sound odd, but my Dad always kept a bowl of rice in his safes along with the typical dehumidifiers and silica packs. Rice soaks up a lot of moisture, believe it or not. He would change it out every six months or so. Not saying that's ALL you need to use. Just a good reinforcement. </div></div>

    Works great^^, but modified a bit fill a cut piece of woman's pantyhose and hang in the safe. smaller bags (about half the footie) go in my ammo boxes and this works wonders. Cheap and readily available desiccant.
     

    AirborneFO

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    Re: Controlling Safe Humidity and Rust

    Good info thanks. I use damp rid cans in my safe but I have never tested the humidity, maybe I should.