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Old November 7, 2011, 07:32 AM   #1
joepa150
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How to keep moisture out of safe?

I finally bought a gun safe. It is a Centurion by Liberty. Not the greatest but for the price, it can't be beat.

I was wondering about keeping the moisture out of the safe so my guns will not rust.

What is a good way to do this without breaking the bank?


In the hunting section at Walmart, they sell Silica packets for $5 that are marketed to put in your gun safes. Would these be as effective as the more expensive fancy canister filled silica you see online?

There is a cutout in the back of my safe so I can run a cord through. Are those electric dehumidifer rod thingys worth it?
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Old November 7, 2011, 12:03 PM   #2
Pahoo
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I use Hot rods or Golden rods

Quote:
Are those electric dehumidifer rod thingys worth it?
I have been using one of these thingys not for about 20yrs. and have had now problems. I live in the midwest, so we experience temp. swings. I find that as long as I have some heat being generated, it will stay dry. I also have a humidistat in the safe as a monitor. I still have to recheck my guns about every six months, just to play it safe. ....


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Old November 7, 2011, 01:45 PM   #3
BRE346
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Keep dry with heat

And it doesn't take much in a closed space.

One or two 7-watt night lights will do it.
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Old November 7, 2011, 01:58 PM   #4
chack
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1) Keep the safe in an air conditioned room
2) golden rods work, so does a light, so does a large bag of desicant, which can be baked at low temp for a couple hours to reactivate about once a year.
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Old November 7, 2011, 02:26 PM   #5
Skadoosh
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I went down that road a long time ago. I thought that living in a coastal community would reek havoc on the blued surfaces of my firearms. So the first thing I did was run power into my safe and I hooked up a 7-watt night light to run continuously. The 7-watt bulb creates more than enough heat to create a convective air current. Then I placed a container of Damp Rid at the bottom on my safe and began collecting water.

Then several years ago I happened to get the chance to speak with a associate curator for the medieval arms and armor collection at a large metropilitan museum. I was very interested to find out that the "industry standard" for arms and armor collections which ranges from 63-72 degrees at 45-50% humidity. I was surprised to learn that some humidity is a good thing. Keeping the humidity too low can cause the wood components to actually dry out, risking splitting and cracking.

IEven in my coastal enviornment (I live less than 5 miles from the coast line), the interior of my safe rarely ranges outside those recommended humidity levels. The lowest I have ever recorded with my humidistat has been 35% and the highest was 53%. Even without the Damp-Rid and light bulb, the humidity level inside my safe normally hovers around 45%. I recommend you purchase a humidistat and monitor the humidity levels inside your safe to see if any kind of control is even needed before drilling holes or purchasing a golden rod.

I've have also read somewhere that the NRA Firearms Museum recommendation is 70 degrees F, and 45 or 50% humidity.
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Old November 7, 2011, 03:23 PM   #6
saands
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Lots of good info here ... one of the advantages of adding just a little heat, however, has been neglected. While too little absolute humidity is going to be a bad thing for wood, etc., it is RELATIVE humidity that is the key for corrosion. You can have a lot of moisture in the air when it is warm and then if it cools suddenly, the moisture condenses into a liquid on whatever cold surface that is handy. This liquid is the real killer. Desiccants work by removing moisture from the air, decreasing both absolute and relative humidity. By adding just a tad of heat to the safe (e.g. Goldenrod, 7W night light, etc) you raise the temperature so that the relative humidity drops (warm air can hold more moisture than cold air), but the actual moisture in the air doesn't change. Since (unless you have a puddle in your safe) all the moisture that gets in will come in the air, having your safe internals just a couple of degrees warmer than the external air will prevent the moisture in your safe from ever condensing and causing corrosion.

Sorry for the long-winded explanation, but it might help you decide on what you want to do ... I use just the goldenrod myself and have never had an issue in my safe. I also have never had mold grow on things, like I have in unheated safes.

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Old November 8, 2011, 07:08 PM   #7
joepa150
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I bought a thermometer that also tells the humidity. I don't know how accurate it is but so far my safe is hovering around 70 degrees and 54 humidity.
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Old November 9, 2011, 09:21 AM   #8
johnbt
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"a large bag of desicant, which can be baked at low temp for a couple hours to reactivate about once a year. "

Once a year? I wish.

I have a safe in a damp unfinished basement. Really damp. I tried using a big box of crystals made for gun safes AND a quart or so of flower drying crystals from the hobby shop. It was the same stuff in a different package. Used them both together.

I had to recharge them both in less than a week. Gun safes aren't air tight. Yes, central Virginia is humid. After a month of that nonsense I tossed them.

It's been at least 20 years now and I firmly believe in Golden Rods.
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Old November 9, 2011, 09:27 AM   #9
oneounceload
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When I lived in the arid West, the safe was outside in the garage with nothing and no issues. Now in the humid South, I have a goldenrod and 3 boxes of dessicant in a small safe and it is working. I also keep the long guns in silicone socks - but that is more for ding protection but it also helps. The electric dessicant device needs recharging about every 6 weeks, the dry packs about every two months; and this safe is inside under HVAC
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Old November 9, 2011, 11:22 AM   #10
chack
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I salvaged seceral large (2 pound) bags of desicant that was in some industrial equipment I installed years ago. I keep 1 in each of my 2 large safes, which I keep in my air conditioned home. I recharge them about once every year or two and can't measure the difference in weight after any water is evaporated out of it.

I have a friend that used damprid for the same purpose and found out the hard way that it is very corrosive when some spilled on the bottom of his overcrowded safe and he ended up with several heavily pitted buttplates and muzzles.
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Old November 9, 2011, 12:33 PM   #11
joehorner
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I also purchased a Centurion by Liberty. It is in my basement bolted to a concrete floor. Installed an outlet behind the safe and made one plug constant on (for the dry rod) and the other switched so when the overhead light goes on two small under the counter flouresent lights mounted on velcro go on inside the safe. So far so good. I monitered the temp inside the safe and outside for a while. The safe seemed to be about 2 to 3 degrees warmer inside with this setup....................joe

Last edited by joehorner; November 9, 2011 at 11:13 PM.
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Old November 9, 2011, 01:05 PM   #12
saands
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Quote:
The safe seemed to be about 2 to 3 degrees warmer inside with this setup.
Joe ... THIS is the key ... you will be thrilled to not have corrosion and not have to recharge ... mine has been going for over 10 years in the musty basement with no issues. $20 a year for the electricity seems like a great value when you get corrosion insurance and the convenience of zero maintenance.

Saands (who has no connection whatsoever with any company that makes dehumidifiers or night lights )
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Old November 9, 2011, 02:23 PM   #13
Te Anau
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Get one of these.

http://www.academy.com/webapp/wcs/st...cid=CSE-Amazon
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Old November 10, 2011, 09:01 PM   #14
joepa150
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joehorner,

I think I saw a plastic cutout on the back of our Centurion safes but from the inside it is carpeted and no hole. Did you just cut or drill a hole through the carpet?


Thanks you everyone for your help. I think I am going to go with some sort of goldener rod type devise.
Is Goldenrod the best bet or I think my local Dicks has a Lockdown brand rod?

Also can't I just get a really low what florescent tube light bulb?
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Old November 10, 2011, 09:08 PM   #15
saands
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You may have to cut a hole in the carpet ... I don't recall having to drill a hole in my safe, but I do seem to recall assembling the plug for the Goldenrod ... I think that they do that so that you can thread the cord through a hole as small as 1/4".

You can put anything in there that you want, as long as it consumes ~12-15 watts. The nice thing about the goldenrods is that they are not going to get broken by being bumped up against a rifle in the safe and they are not likely to burn out like a light bulb (especially a fluorescent one) would.

I have no idea about the other brands ... since the traditional (Goldenrod) only costs $30, that is what I chose. If it had been $130 and the others were $20, I probably would have given the copies some thought.

Saands
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Old November 11, 2011, 07:40 AM   #16
joepa150
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saands,

Thanks for the info. I just can't seem to find the goldenrods locally and would have to order online but I can find the lockdown brand locally.

I guess ordering online is fine. I shop online for many other things anyway.
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Old November 11, 2011, 10:36 AM   #17
joehorner
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Centuion by Liberty

There is a knock out in the back of the safe for cords. I just slowly drilled a hole big enough to push two cords thru the hole with out the plugs on. Less chance of critters getting in . I ordered my golden rod online. Could not find any locally. Centurion sells a piece that attaches to the door inside to hang stuff on. Well worth the money for the extra room. I added extra short self tapping screws to attach it to the door. Keeps it nice and flush.....Joe
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Old November 12, 2011, 11:07 PM   #18
joepa150
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joehorner,

That accessory door attachment looks really useful BUT man is it expensive (as far as list price). Maybe I can find it cheaper somewhere else.
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Old November 13, 2011, 12:00 AM   #19
joehorner
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Accessory

I purchased the safe from Lowes and the door panel from a local Liberty dealer. The panel is not too bad,price wise but it does fit nice. I got a good deal on the safe so I figured the door panel price and safe added together turned out to be an OK combo price...............Joe
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