When your dehumidifier is not removing moisture, there might be a simple repair, or it may be something serious. A quick repair for a dehumidifier might be cleaning the condenser and the evaporator coils.
Basic Repair Steps
Step 1. Check the evaporator function first. The evaporators should be cold. The evaporator works to receive liquid refrigerant which turns into hot gas and dehumidifies the air.
Step 2. Check the condenser function second. The condenser receives the hot refrigerant gas and turns it back into a liquid form
Step 3. Is the dehumidifier repairable? The dehumidifier may be repairable if the evaporator coils go cold.
Step 4. Clean the coils. Spray coil cleaner or warm water with detergent onto the coils. Let the detergent sit for 5 min and remove any debris. Wash away detergent with clean water.
Step 5. Consider options. If the evaporator side of the unit isn’t working consider recharging or replacing. The cost of repair and labor is more than buying a new dehumidifier.
Below you will find more details on how to fix common dehumidifier problems as well as information on dehumidifier maintenance.
Common Dehumidifier Problems
- The dehumidifier has no sign of life at all.
- The dehumidifier is not working well.
- The dehumidifiers overflows or leaks
- The dehumidifier freezes up
- The dehumidifier smells bad
- The dehumidifier is noisy
Is It Worth Repairing My Dehumidifier?
When you are looking into repairing your dehumidifier, consider the type and size you have. You want to make sure that it is worth the money that you are spending to repair. It may end up costing you more to repair your dehumidifier compared to replacing it.
If your dehumidifier is 60 pints and less, it is not cost-effective or advisable to repair it. You should consider replacing it. So our advice to you is No!! Do not bother repairing a dehumidifier that is 60 pints or less.
If you have a dehumidifier that is 60 pints or larger, consider repairing it. You could actually save some money on it.
What Options Do I Have?
Simply replace your dehumidifier if it stops working. Dehumidifiers are designed to last from 3 to 7 years. Your appliance may be reaching the end of its working life.
It will cost you some time and money to get your appliance working. Replacing your dehumidifier is less of a headache and may take less time. This is especially true if you have a dehumidifier smaller than 60 pints size.
Your dehumidifier may be too small for the room it’s in. Check out the Area Moisture table to ensure your dehumidifier is appropriate for the space. Replace your appliance with a larger energy efficient dehumidifier that actually costs less to run.
Recharging your dehumidifier can be another option to get your dehumidifier working again. If your appliance is low on coolant, then it is an easy fix.
Make sure that a lack of refrigerant is the problem. Keep in mind that recharging your dehumidifier won’t solve a gas leak. It can be worth it to recharge your dehumidifier if it has no other issues. You can get advice from a HVAC specialist.
Repair Your Dehumidifier
If you have established that your dehumidifier is 60 points or more then you can give repairing it a go. The next question is: will you have a professional fix it or will you fix it yourself.
Hire A Dehumidifier HVAC Professional
Look for a HVAC specialist near you. Get a free quote. Professional repairs range from $15 and $200. Repair costs depend on what type or dehumidifier you have and what the problem is.
DIY; Do It Yourself Dehumidifier Repair. Take a look at your dehumidifier manual. The good thing is that you can find instructions on how to repair a dehumidifier yourself.
DIY repairs can be cheap and some repairs are fairly simple. You may even find that all you need to do is some cleaning and maintenance.
How To Troubleshoot & Repair Your Dehumidifier
There are different reasons why your dehumidifier might be malfunctioning. Let’s consider how to troubleshoot and repair common problems.
Before dealing with your dehumidifier, start by unplugging it. Safety must always come first when dealing with an electrical appliance. Particularly one that also has water.
1. The dehumidifier has no sign of life at all.
This is when your dehumidifier is not switching on, making any sounds or collecting any water. Make sure you try to power cycle your dehumidifier. Unplug and plug in your dehumidifier.
Perhaps it is not receiving any power. If the outlet has power, try and toggle on & off the power switch. Hold the power switch on for at least 3-5 seconds. If your appliance does not restart check to see if a breaker has tripped or the fuse is open.
If your dehumidifier won’t start it may be time to get a free repair quote. Or, buy a new one if it’s under 60 pints in size.
2. The dehumidifier is not working well.
Clean the condenser and moisture-collecting (evaporator) coils by removing the lid. If the fan motor has oil ports, lubricate the bearings with a few drops of lightweight household oil. Use oil (such as 3-in-One) (some dehumidifiers don’t need oiling).
Ensure the condenser isn’t blocked with dust or dirt while you’re at it.
Ensure that your humidistat is working well. Use a volt-ohm meter if you have one to check for resistance. Connect the leads to the terminals of the humidistat. Turn the humidistat knob in both directions as far as it will go. It’s broken and needs replacing if it registers 0 throughout the range.
If your dehumidifier continues to malfunction, it may be time to get some advice from an appliance repair shop, or get a new dehumidifier.
3. The dehumidifier overflows or leaks.
Inspect the water bucket or reservoir. If necessary, empty it; otherwise, check sure the drain isn’t clogged. Straighten any kinks or bends in the drainage hose.
There is a float switch on many dehumidifiers. Your dehumidifier collects water from the air. A float switch prevents the bucket from overflowing. If your dehumidifier is overflowing, the float switch may be sticking.
Depress the bar or trip lever on the switch. It may free up. Maybe all it needs is a drop or two of oil.
Consider using a volt-ohm meter to check the switch. Check for continuity by toggling or clicking the switch on and off. If there is no continuity the switch is open. So, replacing the switch is your solution.
4. The dehumidifier freezes up.
The dehumidifier will freeze if the room temperature is below 40 degrees. An evaporator coil with frost is evidence of this.
If you think your room is too cold, place the dehumidifier on a table to circulate somewhat warmer air. If it doesn’t work, try directing a tiny fan or heater toward the unit. If that works, attempt to boost the room temperature somewhat.
Ensure the dehumidifier is placed away from a wall and furniture. Anything that inhibits the dehumidifier airflow can cause it to freeze.
The fan should be running when the dehumidifier is working. Check by listening for the fan and feel if air is moving across the coils.
If your dehumidifier has a filter, clean it. Clean it according to the manufacturer’s manual.
Allow all ice to melt and any extra moisture in the coils to evaporate. Low refrigerant or a faulty compressor is likely to blame if only some areas of the coils have iced up.
Remove all dust buildup with a vacuum. Take care not to harm the coils.
If it still doesn’t work, it may be a lack of refrigerant. You may need to recharge the dehumidifier.
Decide whether to call an appliance repair professional or buy a new one. Keep in mind that desiccant dehumidifiers are designed to work at low temperatures.
5. The dehumidifier smells bad.
Stagnant water in a hose and filthy condenser coils are common causes of odors. Consider cleaning your dehumidifier. Some chemicals pose a health and safety risk or may leave residues, so take care.
Turn the power off and keep moisture away from electrical wiring. Pour full-strength white vinegar into one spray container. Then pour full-strength hydrogen peroxide into another spray container.
Clean the drip pan/reservoir. Begin by emptying it and wiping off any damp places. After that, spray the inside of the reservoir/drip pan with vinegar. Then let it stay for 10 minutes before rinsing with clear water. Wipe it out with a clean rag or a new sponge, then rinse and wipe again. Proceed with the hydrogen peroxide using the same procedures.
Clean the coils with water. Take care not to harm the coils. After that, spritz them with vinegar and set them aside for ten minutes. Rinse well with water, dry well, and repeat with hydrogen peroxide. Allow at least 8 hours for the unit to dry in a warm location.
Make sure the filter is clean. Remove the dehumidifier filter and spray it with vinegar to clean it. Allow 10 minutes to pass before rinsing and spraying with hydrogen peroxide. Allow 10 minutes to pass before rinsing and wiping clean with a clean towel or new sponge.
Clean the fan blades with a damp cloth. Remove the cover first, then clean the fan blades and the area around the motor using a moist cloth.
To avoid future mildew and mold odors, add two teaspoons of baking soda to the dehumidifier’s tank. In the future, drain the dehumidifier on a regular basis to prevent mold and germs from growing.
6. The dehumidifier is noisy.
A noisy dehumidifier is often the result of loose, vibrating pieces. Consider safely tightening any loose screws and bolts.
Remove the lid and inspect for loose screws or vibrating parts. As well as whether the rubber compressor mounts have hardened. These harden to the point where they no longer absorb movement. Replace them if they have.
Check to see if the fan is loose on its shaft by gently wiggling it. Tighten the mounting fasteners if this is the case. If your owner’s manual recommends it, lubricate the motor’s bearings. If the noise persists, contact an appliance repair person or take the machine to a repair shop.
7 Steps to Maintain Your Dehumidifier
1.) Go over your owner’s manual with care.
Specific brands and models will have different maintenance recommendations. Check your owner’s manual for details on things like positioning and draining.
2.) Put Your Dehumidifier at the Right Place
Make careful you do the following to get the greatest results from your dehumidifier:
Avoid Obstructions: To guarantee adequate air intake and exhaust. Most models recommend a distance of at least 6-12 inches from walls and furniture. Place your dehumidifier on a level surface with no obstacles in the way of the air intake.
Close All Doors and Windows: Make sure you close all doors and windows in the area where your dehumidifier is functioning. Otherwise, your dehumidifier may have to work extra hard. It will have to remove moisture from outside air. Your electric bill may increase.
Room Temperature: Dehumidifiers function best in rooms with a temperature of 65 degrees F or greater. So if you’re using one in a very hot or very cold environment, look for a specialized dehumidifier.
Get one (such as commercial-grade or desiccant dehumidifier) intended for those conditions. You rely on your dehumidifier to keep the humidity in your home under control. Making it healthier and more pleasant.
3.) Clean the Water Bucket, Tank, or Hose on a Regular Basis
Emptying the water tank and hose does not guarantee a clean water receptacle. Clean your dehumidifier’s water bucket with soap and water or a disinfectant. Cleaning discourages mold and mildew growth.
Keep an eye on your dehumidifier’s water tank and remove any debris that has accumulated. Even if it appears to be clean, give it a once-over with soapy water and let it dry before using it again.
4.) Remove the air intake and exhaust grilles and clean them.
Dehumidifier performance can suffer due to dirty grilles. Using a vacuum brush attachment, clean the grille that takes in the humid air and the grille that releases the dehumidified air.
Do this at least once a year, depending on their condition. Cleaning removes dust and debris-caused obstructions. Good air flow promotes efficient dehumidifier operation.
5.) Get a new air filter
Not all dehumidifiers have air filters. The air filter removes dangerous airborne particles. Particles like dust, bacteria, mold, and other allergens from your interior environment.
A filter removes impurities, resulting in cleaner, healthier drier air. A filter protects your dehumidifier’s interior components.
If the filter isn’t cleaned or replaced on a regular basis, air doesn’t flow efficiently through the dehumidifier, making it work harder. To maintain the best performance, replace your dehumidifier’s air filter according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
6.) Keep moisture away from electronics
Water may not immediately destroy electronics, but moisture leads to corrosion and then electrical failure. So, make sure you don’t get the control panel wet. Wipe it down as needed with a damp towel.
7.) Check for frost or ice build-up on the condenser coils.
Frost or ice can form on the condenser (or cooling) coils, causing it to malfunction. The air in the room is most likely too chilly for the dehumidifier.
Frost Build-Up and How to Avoid It. If you think your dehumidifier isn’t working because of ice or frost, follow these steps:
Look at the coils for any signs of ice or frost accumulation. Check the dehumidifier manual for what steps you may take to remedy it.
Auto-defrosting dehumidifiers. Consider getting a dehumidifier with an automatic defrost mode to avoid this issue. Auto-defrosting models turn off the compressor while the fan continues to run to melt the frost build-up. The dehumidifier immediately resumes operating once the ice has evaporated.
Dehumidifiers need cleaning and maintenance so that they can serve you. These appliances sometimes need to be repaired. Figure out if it’s worth it to repair your appliance. If it’s worth repairing, decide if you are going to do it or hire a professional.
Dehumidifiers are the best things for homes with high humidity. Dehumidifiers help protect your property and improve your home environment. Dehumidifiers let you breathe easier and boost your quality of life. Get your appliance fixed or buy a new one today.