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Dehumidifier Problems

What is a dehumidifier?

A dehumidifier is a household appliance that removes humidity from the air. Since humidity can cause mold and mildew to grow, many households use the dehumidifier for health reasons. However, many times people do not know who to turn to when the dehumidifier stops working, or when there are other dehumidifier problems. Read below where some of the most common questions have been answered by the Experts regarding humidifier problems.

What capacity dehumidifier is required for a 1000 sq. ft. basement?

The amount of dehumidification required is not solely dependent on the size of the basement. The part of the country where it is to be used and the amount of dampness will affect the size. A tightly sealed basement that restricts entry of damp outside air will require less dehumidification. In general it is best to check manufacturer’s specifications for the dehumidification capacity of different models and choose one size larger. If that is not completely effective, add another unit. If there are items that may be damaged by humidity, you can consider using two units so that if one fails there is a backup.

How do I clean the coils of the dehumidifier?

Start by using a narrow brush to remove the accumulated dirt and debris from the front and rear coil surfaces. Use a vertical motion to prevent any damage or distortion of the coils. Compressed air can also be used to blow away the dirt. Once this is done, spray an evaporator or condenser coil cleaner on the coils. If these are not easily available you can use a degreaser or spray detergent. Gently pour water over the fins to wash away the dirt loosened by the spray. Be careful not to allow water to fall on to the electrical component or connections.

My basement is warm and the dehumidifier coils are clean but the dehumidifier stopped working and keeps freezing up. What is the reason and what can I do to fix this?

There are three common causes of dehumidifiers freezing up. The first is blocked coils which restrict the airflow and the second is low ambient temperature Most likely the cause is low refrigerant in the unit. Refrigerant leaks in the sealed system are not uncommon. Repairing this can be expensive – the service call could be in the range of $80, valve replacement could range around $10 and refilling the refrigerant may cost about $80 per pound. Even if you need less, most companies charge by the pound. It may be more economical to buy a new humidifier.

When I turn on my dehumidifier the light goes on but the unit does not start. What should I do? Is there a reset switch that could resolve the problem?

A dehumidifier not working is usually because of either a bad compressor or defective humidistat. Since in this case the light comes on, it appears that the humidistat is working. There is usually an overload and capacitor on the side of the compressor which you can try resetting. But the most likely cause of the problem is that the compressor is damaged. If this is the case, repairing it is not a cost effective option and buying a new one may be better.

The fan on my dehumidifier is not working could the fan motor be burned out?

Before presuming that the fan motor has failed, you need to check if it is getting power. If you have a voltmeter, follow the two wires coming out from the back of the motor to where they end and check, with the compressor on, if 120 volts is being supplied. If there are more than two wires, follow the one that goes to a capacitor (a silver colored cylinder) and check the power supply there. If the power supply is there, that means the motor has gone bad. If there is no power supply, it could mean that a relay is defective and will have to be replaced. If you do not have a voltmeter, there is another option, but this should be done with great care and only if you are comfortable with it. Connect the two fan motor wires to an extension cord and then plug the cord into a wall outlet. If the motor runs, it is fine and the problem lie elsewhere.

My Honeywell model HDH-130 dehumidifier is running, but no water drains into the container. What could be wrong? Does this mean the dehumidifier is not working?

The most likely cause is a dirty condenser which more than likely needs to be cleaned. When a condenser is dirty and clogged it gets warm resulting a rise in the Freon pressure which reduces the evaporator’s ability to remove moisture from the air. Cleaning the condenser can be done by removing the screws around the panel and removing the front and back and then the “U” shaped side panel. You can now wash the dirt from the condenser coils. Check the condition of the removable filter as well, as a clogged filter can affect airflow, before re-assembling the unit. If there is no improvement, the Freon level may be low which is a repair that should be done by professionals. Since the cost of such a repair is high, replacing the unit may be a better option.

These are just some of the questions on humidifiers problems that Experts on JustAnswer have answered. Dehumidifiers are complex devices that operate on 120 volts. If you are not sure of your ability to clean or repair the dehumidifier safely, it is advisable to ask an Expert and get answers before you try to tackle dehumidifier problems in order to prevent injury or damage to the equipment.

Ask a HVAC Technician

gotoman for ac
gotoman for ac, HVAC Technician
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 4766
Experience:  51 years of experience install design and repair of all makes and models of AC
19613070
Type Your HVAC Question Here...
characters left:
6 HVAC Technicians are Online Now

How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
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    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

HVAC Technicians are online & ready to help you now

gotoman for ac
HVAC Technician
Satisfied Customers: 4657
51 years of experience install design and repair of all makes and models of AC
Phil
Mechanical Engineer
Satisfied Customers: 3888
Retired HVAC/ Electrical & Boiler contractor. Industrial
Rick Mather
HVAC Technician
Satisfied Customers: 3132
35 years experience, HVAC

Recent Dehumidifier Questions

  • Bought an 1170 sf ranch house in NJ two months ago. It has

    Bought an 1170 sf ranch house in NJ two months ago. It has a model #92G1UH090CP16-02, serial #5911K33346. Since living in the house, there is awful condensation on windows (with mold now on sills), the underside of the attic wood sheathing is wet and there is new mold everywhere. There is only an exhaust PVC pipe on the furnace, but no intake pipe. There are end vents on the attic peaks, but the insulation has been packed down to the soffits. Could any of this be as a result of the furnace operation? Its only a couple of years old. I cannot find any water leak sources in the house. Is my only answer to open up the soffits and add a continuous attic fan? Seems like an inordinately high amount of moisture/humidity in the house now that its getting cold outside. Thank you.
  • Having some issues with mould occurring in a cellar that's

    Having some issues with mould occurring in a cellar that's just been completed. It's approx 100M2, totally underground with no natural ventilation with a studio directly above it. All the walls and floor have waterproof membranes and show no sign of dampness entering from these. Climate is mediterranean, ie winter varies from 5C - 20C and summer 10C - 35C, access to the cellar is via a concrete staircase with double solid core doors and fire seals.
    Curently examining locating a dehumidifier in this area, but that means emptying excess water by hand or installing a pump to discharge this, plus these units are noisy.
    Have considered a split air conditioning unit, but need to know if if this is effective both in winter and summer to dehimidify the cellar air space.
    Also considered installing an extraction fan into the stair wall and exhausting the cellar air into the studio above which is well ventilated.
    Can you advise on best options and or failings of each, Neil.
  • I have a TrueDry DH65 dehumidifier installed in my crawl space.

    I have a TrueDry DH65 dehumidifier installed in my crawl space. I need a MERV 11 air filter (Part Number 50033205-009) to replace the old one. Where do I obtain it?
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