Dehumidifier Repair Guide
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1. Why won't the dehumidifier turn on?
2. Why don't I feel any air flow from the dehumidifier?
3. Why doesn't the reservoir fill?
4. Why is the reservoir filling so fast?
5. Is it expensive to run a dehumidifier?
6. How often do I need to empty the dehumidifier?
7. Why are the evaporator coils freezing up?
8. Can I run it year round?
9. What is relative humidity?
10. Why does the dehumidifier run so much?
WARNING: To avoid personal injury or death, disconnect your appliance from its power source before you start any troubleshooting or repair work. Use caution working inside any appliance.
Plug something else into the same outlet. If it works, you know you have power to the Dehumidifier. If it doesn't work, you’ll need to check for any blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers. If you have power, it could be one of several problems that are keeping it from running.
Another reason that the dehumidifier won't turn on may be that the humidity level you set your unit for has been reached. If you need or desire a lower level of humidity, adjust the humidistat to reflect this.
Many dehumidifiers have a safety device which senses when the reservoir is full. The tank either presses against a switch, or there may be a sensor connected to the tank that triggers a switch when the tank is full. This is to prevent any water damage to your property. Always remember water and electricity do not mix well. Empty the tank. This should solve the problem if the tank was full. If you empty it, and the unit still doesn't run, look around the tank to see if there's a switch or other device that controls the dehumidifier. Look for a bucket switch. You may be able to throw a switch by hand.
The circulating fan controls the air flow over the coils. If there's no air flow, your fan motor may be seized or burned out.
There is a humidity selector on most models. The first thing to check is the setting of this control. If it is set too high, the humidity level may have been achieved and the dehumidifier doesn't need to run. Set it to a lower humidity level and it should start working.
If the unit is running regularly, but the reservoir remains empty, then there is probably a problem with the refrigeration system of the dehumidifier. Get all the dust and dirt out of the inside of the dehumidifier and if there is a filter make sure that it is clean. If it is still not working, contact a professional appliance repair person for help.
If you don't like emptying the reservoir manually, there are drain hose attachments for most models. If the reservoir is filling too fast, it usually means that there is a lot of water in the air. If this continues to happen, there is a source of moisture near the dehumidifier. Finding and controlling the source will reduce the expense of continually running the dehumidifier.
Dehumidifiers can be expensive to run. Since the refrigeration components are similar to a small air conditioner, it costs about the same to operate. Like all refrigeration products, if you look for Energy Star certified dehumidifiers, it should cost less to operate.
As long as your unit has a safety shut off control, you don’t have to worry, it won’t overflow, it will just stop running until the reservoir is emptied. Most units also have attachments for a drain hose either in the reservoir or before it. Check your owners manual for how it works on your model.
A well running dehumidifier will have really cold evaporator coils on the back of the machine. When moist air is drawn across these coils, the moisture condenses. Occasionally, the air over the coils is too cold, and the condensing water can freeze. Turn off the unit for a little while and let everything thaw out. Some temporary frosting can occur during the first 10 to 15 minutes of operation. If frost or ice remains, the room temperature may be too low for your model. Many non-basement models can not operate below 65 F. They become too efficient and cause the evaporator to freeze up. Some basement models operate well down to 38 F by using a de-icing mechanism.
You can run it all you want, or as needed. Once you get it set for the humidity level you like, you can let it cycle itself as needed.
Relative humidity is the percentage of how much water vapor is in the air compared to how much water vapor could be present at that particular air temperature and pressure.
What it boils down to is this: 100% relative humidity is the maximum amount of water vapor that a certain volume of air can hold at a certain pressure and temperature. When air is warmer, it can hold more water vapor. When air gets colder, it can hold less water vapor. So, in effect, when the warm air goes past the cold coils, the air can hold less water vapor, and the excess condenses on the coils, removing it from the air and lowering the relative humidity of the air in the room or home.
There are several reasons why the unit may appear to run too much. The humidistat may be set to the highest setting. If that's the case, the unit will not stop running unless the full bucket sensor shuts it off or you lower the setting. Open doors or windows near the dehumidifier may keep the humidity level too high for the unit to turn off. Also, the grill on the front of the unit may be blocked with dust and does not allow for proper airflow. The coils on back may be dirty and will not transfer heat or cool the air sufficiently. Lastly, the area may just be too large for the unit to operate efficiently.