The stainless-steel canister is filled with a desiccant media. What's that? A desiccant is a substance that attracts water molecules, and binds those molecules, so that the nearby area becomes more dry. A common example is rice, which is often used to keep table salt flowing smoothly.
The desiccant that we use at H2Out has tiny round beads are made of silica gel, which is a type of glass.
The small beads of glass used in our Space Dryers have a colorant that changes when they collect enough moisture. The beads are a dark cobalt blue when dry, and change through clear to bright pink when totally saturated with water.
Each bead bonds with water at the molecular level. In fact, the beads actually attract water molecules, pulling them in from the surrounding area.
The stainless-steel canister is perforated with round holes to allow air to flow through. This is why the Space Dryers work best in an enclosed area (such as a cabinet or trunk of a car), so that the regular humidity from the atmosphere doesn't interfere with the area that you may want to dry out and keep dry.
Choose the properly- sized unit and place in the moist area that you wish to dry.
Enclosed spaces work best, such as a cabinet, car trunk, or RV in storage.
The outside layers of beads begin to turn pink within a few days, before water vapor reaches the inner layers. Don't worry, the dryer still has lots of capacity to adsorb water from your belongings.
The desiccant beads are deep blue when dry and turn a pale pink as they pull moisture from the air. To see the color, simply shine a flashlight directly into the holes.
It is not necessary to look at the color, however
These units will protect for 4-6 weeks between before recharging is necessary.
These are just estimates for the average amount of time that the dryer will keep soaking up moisture, until it is saturated. Your results will vary depending on your conditions.
The cabinet under a leaky sink is very damp, so the first time you place the Space Dryer in that cabinet, it will become saturated more quickly. You may want to regenerate it in a week or two.
Once the enclosed space is stable, and only exposed to regular atmospheric humidity (rather than a leak), then the Dryer will not need regeneration as often, perhaps every 4-6 weeks.
A tightly enclosed space that stays closed most of the time, such as a gun safe, will last much longer before needing regeneration.
Once the unit is saturated, nothing more will happen. Don't worry if you have left the unit for a long time; it simply stays stable until it is regenerated once again.
Space dryer regeneration is easy and simple.
DO NOT MICROWAVE.
Electrically heated oven:
Place the unit in the oven for 2 to 3 hours at 250°F to 300°F (149°C).
*Electric oven (3 hours) and Convection and Toaster ovens (2 hours)
Don't use a higher temperature as that would affect the beads.
CAREFUL: UNIT WILL BE HOT WHEN REMOVED FROM OVEN
The pink will disappear and turn blue again.
After the unit has cooled, it is ready for re-use.
Propane/Natural Gas Oven:
Using a propane/natural gas oven is not ideal, but that is what is available in most boats and RVs.
When Propane/Natural Gas heats up the oven, it also creates water vapor, which the Space Dryer will try to soak up!
The best way to accomplish the task is to use a heavy pot with a lid on the stove top.
Put the Space Dryer in the pot, and leave the lid slightly ajar so that the steam can escape.
Be sure to keep the temperature low, and check frequently
Alternative sources of heat:
We have successfully regenerated our own space dryers on our woodstove.
The stainless steel canister can sit directly on the warming rack.
DON'T put the unit on the hottest surface of the stovetop; a warm temperature around 250 F is plenty.