The DampRid FG50T 4 lb. moisture absorber tub is one of several moisture absorbent products made and distributed by DampRid. The FG50T is unique compared to every other dehumidifier product we’ve reviewed thus far in that it’s non-electric, non-renewable and non-refillable. Once it reaches capacity it’s simply thrown away. It’s not plugged in like a compressor based, thermo-electric, or full size desiccant dehumidifier. It can’t be “renewed” like a renewable moisture absorber (the Eva-Dry E-333 is a good example) and it also can’t be refilled like its sister product, the DampRid FG01K, for example. To start using it, you simply remove the tub’s plastic lid and place it in the area you need to dehumidify. That’s it. When the FG50T reaches capacity (when it can no longer remove moisture from the air) you simply throw it in the trash.
Disadvantages of Using A Disposable Moisture Absorber
The FG50T is a great product but only if it’s used for the correct applications. To flesh out our review for this product we take a look at some of the disadvantages as well as advantages of using it below.
In surveying consumer reviews for the FG50T we found several reports of the tub leaking and/or spilling its contents. This can happen in two different ways. It can either get knocked over and spill its contents over time or, as some consumers have reported, the plastic container holding the tub’s contents can crack, in which case the contents can leak from the bottom or side of the container.
Let’s tackle the first issue first – the tub getting knocked over onto its side or upside down. First, it’s important to realize that when you remove the plastic lid from the tub to activate the FG50T there’s still an additional cover in place over the tub’s moisture absorbent contents. Thus, should you briefly knock over the tub the contents will not spill. However, should the tub be knocked over and remain knocked over for an extended period of time, the protective cover will not be able to prevent the contents from leaking through. This makes it difficult for us to recommend using the DampRid FG50T in a car, RV, etc. – any environment in which it can be knocked over easily. That’s not to say that it cannot be used in this type of environment at all. You’ll just need to take the proper precautions to either keep it from getting knocked over and/or place something underneath it so that in the event that it does get knocked over that it doesn’t cause any damage.
The second way in which the FG50T can leak is the container holding its contents can crack. There were several reports among the consumer reviews we surveyed that involved horror stories describing how this product was used to dehumidify photographs and/or important documents, things which it ruined after leaking its contents. In response to these reports our advice is that you do NOT use this product to dehumidify safes or similar spaces that hold important and/or sentimental documents. We would suggest that you instead use a compressor based or full size desiccant dehumidifier placed outside of the safe. The stronger dehumidifying power of these devices will be able to not only dehumidify the air outside the safe, but also the air inside the safe where you may be storing important documents, jewelry, etc. This leads us into our second warning regarding using this type of disposable moisture absorber…
2. Dehumidifying Capacity
The DampRid FG50T does NOT serve as a replacement for much more expensive compressor based, even thermo-electric or full size desiccant dehumidifiers. It should NOT be used for any space suffering from perpetual humidity. It should also NOT be used for any space with a substantial humidity problem. This product should only be used for areas with very slight humidity or areas that are mostly dry but only suffer from occasional humidity. The reason why we make these recommendations is this. The FG50T, relative to more expensive “dehumidifier” alternatives, has a very limited moisture removal capacity. DampRid advertises the FG50T has being a “Hi-Capacity” moisture absorber but consider the fact that it can only remove several ounces of moisture over a period of several weeks and months. Even the lowest capacity compressor based dehumidifier (a 30 pint dehumidifier) can remove over 400 ounces of moisture per day. We cannot stress enough that you cannot substitute this (approx.) $10 disposable moisture absorber for a $200 compressor based dehumidifier. This type of moisture absorber does have its uses, but realize that it has a very limited capacity for moisture removal. As such, it should only be used in very small spaces and/or spaces with extremely mild humidity. For any severe humidity problem you WILL need a full size dehumidifier.
3. Area of Coverage
DampRid specifies that the FG50T can be used in spaces up to 1000 square feet in size. They also specify that the FG50T’s longevity will vary depending on the area of the space you’re trying to dehumidify. Should you use this moisture absorber in an area as large as 1000 sq ft the manufacturer specifies that it will last up to 60 days. Should you use the FG50T in a smaller 250 sq ft area, the manufacturer specifies that it will last as long as 6 months.
It’s very important to realize that these manufacturer specifications should only be seen as guidelines. The longevity of the FG50T will also very much depend on the humidity and temperature of the space you’re trying to dehumidify. If the space is extremely humid, this moisture absorber won’t last close to the manufacturer specified 60 days, regardless of the size and volume of the space you’re dehumidifying. Speaking of volume, DampRid’s square foot guidelines definitely don’t take into account the height of the room you’re trying to dehumidify. A 250 square foot crawl space or attic has a much different volume of air than a 250 square foot living room with cathedral ceilings. The greater the volume of air that needs to be dehumidified, the lower the longevity of the FG50T will be. Thus, it will last much longer in a 250 sq ft attic or crawl space than it will last in a 250 sq ft garage or storage unit with high ceilings.
Another thing to consider is whether the space you need to dehumidify has non-moving stagnant air or moving humid air. Theoretically, the FG50T can dehumidify all of the air in a 1000 sq ft space but this type of moisture absorber has absolutely no way of moving air within that same space. If you place the FG50T in any particular space it will dehumidify the air in close proximity to it but its effectiveness will drop off dramatically as you move away from it. Thus, a fan (or some other device that can move/circulate air) will be required to have the FG50T dehumidify all of the air in a space as large as even 250 square feet.
Our recommendation is that you do NOT use this type of moisture absorber in any space larger than approximately 50 to 100 square feet. We make this recommendation for two reasons. Both reasons have already been outlined above – you’ll need to purchase and/or implement a fan or some other “air moving” device for the FG50T to dehumidify all of the air in even an average sized space. The second reason is its extremely low moisture removal capacity.
Advantages of Using A Disposable Moisture Absorber
The most obvious advantage of using a disposable moisture absorber is price. At (approx.) $10, the FG50T is over 20 times less expensive than our top rated compressor based dehumidifier, the Frigidaire FFAD7033R1. The caveat here is of course that this type of moisture absorber has a very limited capacity. Thus, it is only recommended for very mild humidity problems in small confined spaces. If the space you need dehumidified fits these criteria then by all means buy the FG50T instead of a full size dehumidifier.
2. Ease of Use
The fact that the FG50T is disposable makes it very easy to use. You don’t need to worry about plugging it in or inputting any settings like you do for a compressor based dehumidifier. Just remove its plastic lid and set it in the place you need dehumidified. After it reaches capacity you simply toss it in the trash.
The fact that this type of moisture absorber doesn’t need to be plugged in also makes it very versatile. It can be a great option for a car or truck, for example. Note that you do need to be careful in using it in this type of environment as we discuss under the “Leakage” section above.
The FG50T is a great product but only if it’s used in the right way and under the right conditions. If you need minimal moisture removal and you don’t moisture removed fast then the FG50T and similar products are a great choice. They give you the option of saving a ton of money if you don’t need the heavy duty performance of a full size compressor based dehumidifier.