Desiccant Breather – FAQs

Drum Desiccant Breather

How often do I need to change the desiccant in a drum desiccant breather?

This depends on several factors, such as: how often the drum is emptied, the rate at which the contents of the drum are emptied, the environmental conditions (temperature, relative humidity, and pressure) and changes in those conditions, exposure to sunlight, and the contents of the drum.

What kind of desiccant can I use?

The most commonly used desiccant in drum desiccant breathers is blue silica gel, which allows for an easy visual indication as to when the desiccant needs to be replaced. The units can also be filled with orange silica gel, molecular sieve, activated alumina, or activated carbon.

AGM also sells the aforementioned desiccant in bulk form, including prepackaged replacement amounts of the blue silica gel.

What if my drum is more than 55 gallons?

A heavy duty industrial model that holds twice the amount of silica gel is available for larger drums or use in harsh environmental conditions (e.g. tropical).

What is the temperature range under which the drum desiccant breathers can operate?

The units will work in temperatures from -4°F to 131°F.

I have a tank that holds several thousand gallons of material. What do I use?

We recommend a tank desiccant breather.

Tank Desiccant Breather

How do I know which size desiccant breather to use for my tank?

The primary factor is the maximum emptying rate. Of secondary importance is the fluid capacity (volume) of the tank. Use our Selection Guide and be sure to select a size with a flow rate greater than the maximum emptying rate of the tank.

How do I mount the tank desiccant breather?

Easy installation instructions are provided on our website.

How often do I need to change the desiccant?

This depends on several factors, such as: how often the drum is emptied, the rate at which the contents of the drum are emptied, the environmental conditions (temperature, relative humidity, and pressure) and changes in those conditions, exposure to sunlight, and the contents of the tank. The breathers can easily be refilled without any special tools.

What kind of desiccant can I use?

The most commonly used desiccant in tank desiccant breathers is blue silica gel, which allows for an easy visual indication as to when the desiccant needs to be replaced. The units can also be filled with orange silica gel, molecular sieve, activated alumina, or activated carbon.

I have a 55 gallon drum instead of a tank. What do I use?

We recommend a drum desiccant breather.

Transformer Desiccant Breather

What is the difference between a transformer desiccant breather and a vent dryer, tank and drum?

Transformer desiccant breathers are designed to protect transformer reservoirs and rectifiers from the effects of moisture. Transformer reservoirs have little oil movement, whereas vent dryers are designed for drums and tanks which are being emptied and filled continuously, requiring higher flow rate capacity.

Why use an AGM desiccant breather over a competitor’s product?

AGM transformer desiccant breathers are constructed of very durable materials. The small units are made from a tough UV stabilized glass loaded polycarbonate. The larger units are constructed from aluminum. All units are fitted with a two-way relief valve mechanism that eliminates all maintenance except for replacing the desiccant once it is saturated. All the breathers have a viewing window (there is 180 degree visibility on the small units) to easily determine when the desiccant needs to be replaced.

How do I know which size desiccant breather to use for my transformer desiccant breather?

This can be established by looking at the maximum oil contents of the transformer or the MVA rating.

How often do I need to change the desiccant?

This will depend on the size of desiccant breather you fit to the transformer, as determined by our Selection Guide. To increase the time between desiccant change outs, you can always select a unit that is larger than that which is called for in the selection guide.

Do I have to purchase a new desiccant breather every time the desiccant is saturated?

No. All AGM desiccant breathers are refillable. We provide refill packages of the blue, or orange, silica gel 2-5 mm beads starting at the smallest individual breather size of 1.32 lbs., and other repackaged amounts up to the standard packaging for both the blue silica gel and orange silica gel 2-5 mm beads (25 kg containers). The breathers can easily be refilled without any special tools.