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Dehumidifier Question


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I am curious as to something. For those members who use dehumidifiers to protect their collections from moisture, how much water do you normally pull out of the air in a day? How many gallons? I am just curious. Thanks!

Always looking for US and foreign militaria from the Central American wars circa 1970-1990

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Completely varies by time of year and state. In SC, I had to dump the thing daily, twice in the summer. Not so bad here in NC

-Brig
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Thanks, Brig. My experiences are quite similar to yours. In the summer here, I am emptying twice daily. I have three dehumidifiers that can each pull 50 pints of water in a 24 hour period. If you do the math on that, there are 8 pints in a gallon. 150 pints is equal to 18.75 gallons. Obviously, no machine will ever work at optimum efficiency, so I'd figure around fifteen gallons a day. That seems like an awful lot of water to be pulling from the air. The basement area has been water prooded and such. I was just wondering if anyone else was pulling that much moisture out of the air. Relative humidity level stays between 35% and 40% in the war rooms.

Always looking for US and foreign militaria from the Central American wars circa 1970-1990

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Optimal humidity levels also depend on what you are storing in the war room. There is such a thing as not enough humidity and in many cases different types of materials require different levels of humidity for optimal storage conditions. I have a breakdown in my office I will pull it and post the different levels tomorrow.

 

 

You may also consider buying a humidity gauge just to see how effective your dehumidifiers are doing throughout the room. Also if you have something displayed inside a display case, especially with lights, often will have its own micro climate. So that is a whole other issue.

 

 

More tomorrow

 

Ryan

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Optimal humidity levels also depend on what you are storing in the war room. There is such a thing as not enough humidity and in many cases different types of materials require different levels of humidity for optimal storage conditions. I have a breakdown in my office I will pull it and post the different levels tomorrow.

 

 

You may also consider buying a humidity gauge just to see how effective your dehumidifiers are doing throughout the room. Also if you have something displayed inside a display case, especially with lights, often will have its own micro climate. So that is a whole other issue.

 

 

More tomorrow

 

Ryan

Thanks, Ryan. 90% of my collection is comprised of cloth (uniforms, gear, and flags). The other ten percent is 5% knives and the other 5% is helmets. I have very few paper artifacts as they seem to deteriorate more quickly.

 

I have three humidity gauges placed in the rooms. The readings on those gauges are pretty close to the readings on the dehumidifiers.

 

I also have a fan running in the rooms to help ciculate the air.

 

Looking forward to your post tomorrow.

Always looking for US and foreign militaria from the Central American wars circa 1970-1990

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and then there is the stuff that was stored up in the rafters in some old lady's leaky garage that is still absolutely fine.

unless your room is a humidity-bucket I would think you will be fine. It is fairly humid here and I only run dehumidifiers in the basement.. which keeps the upstairs dry enough.

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In humid times, I can pull up to four gallons a day. I got tired of dumping, so I finally attached a hose to my bucket and now dumps directly into the sewer line.

Hmmm....my war rooms are too far from our drain to run a hose.

Always looking for US and foreign militaria from the Central American wars circa 1970-1990

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and then there is the stuff that was stored up in the rafters in some old lady's leaky garage that is still absolutely fine.

unless your room is a humidity-bucket I would think you will be fine. It is fairly humid here and I only run dehumidifiers in the basement.. which keeps the upstairs dry enough.

That is very true.

Always looking for US and foreign militaria from the Central American wars circa 1970-1990

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Brian I'm not far south of you and I empty approx. 4 gal every couple three days, but do try to keep the humidity to under 60% year round and do not have problems.

Thanks for the comment.

Always looking for US and foreign militaria from the Central American wars circa 1970-1990

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That is why the hardware store sells tubing by the foot on a spool. My hose is about 25 feet. You could run it to any floor drain.

Good to know. I am not a handyman at all, but will ask my wife or dad to go with me to the hardware store to take a look.

Always looking for US and foreign militaria from the Central American wars circa 1970-1990

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Here is my set-up. First, here is my humidity gauge, it is a clock/temp/humidity. It has been doing it's job for over six years on the same two AA batteries. Reminds me that I should go ahead and change them out. Found these at Lowe's home store.

 

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When you hook up to the dehumidifier with a hose, you have to put a air relief into it so that doesn't create a suction. I taped it to the top of the machine. I sat the the dehumidifier on top of a box so there was some gravity effect.

 

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I did run the hose across my floor to a drain, but got tired of stepping it, so I tapped it into a water drain. This set-up allows me to run my system for weeks on end with little or no attention.

 

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Mine has dipped down to %38, I typically keep mine between %45 and %55


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Brian I'm not far south of you and I empty approx. 4 gal every couple three days, but do try to keep the humidity to under 60% year round and do not have problems.

I'd believe it, George!

 

When the humidity is high I have the AC on... so that keeps the air dryer in the house as well.

If I had the windows open or AC off it could easily pull that much... mine pulls out about 2 gallons a day in the thick of summer... even with the AC on!

 

I also keep re-usable dessicant in my gunsafes.

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Thanks for all the comments.

 

@ Hawk - That is a pretty neat set up you have there. Going to show that to my wife and dad. Maybe I can get something like that too.

Always looking for US and foreign militaria from the Central American wars circa 1970-1990

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Here's a little article on museum humidity level. http://www.collectioncare.org/cci/ccier.html - Below 25% can affect paper and leather and above 65% can cause mold growth and metal corrosion. Cooler temperatures also help preservation.

 

Here in Southern California indoor humidity is not a big concern, but recently I was called by someone who had some WWII German knives and daggers they wanted to sell. The family was from Florida and these items had been wrapped in paper or cloth and stashed away in a Florida closet for decades. The rust damage was just incredible to behold. They probably would have survived better buried in the ground.

 

Close to the beach in any area you face not only humidity but also lots of salt in the air. Another family living on the strand separating San Diego Bay from the Pacific Ocean had some old US and Japanese swords that were stored wrapped in towels. They had all developed rust and were at the point where if they weren't treated soon, the problem would get to be quite severe. The family had no idea what the items were worth but turned down my generous offer and returned them to their resting place. I am sure the next time they get dug out of storage they will all be a nice even shade of rust brown and worth a lot less than what I offered.

 

The lesson from these stories is that if you have anything stored away out-of-sight it's always a good idea to dig it out once in a while to ensure it's surviving well in its hideout.


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Nkomo,

 

I did not get a chance to pull my list today, but will try to find it tomorrow, that being said Bob posted a great site that explains a lot of this stuff, and since you have a lot of uniforms, you main concerns need to be stopping mold growth, and as expressed in this thread several times now, you want to keep you RH below 65%.

 

Take care

Ryan

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