Dehumidifiers With Pump And Hose

Drainage Options
Drainage Options

3 Dehumidifiers Drainage Options

Drainage Functionality

There are three dehumidifier drainage options.
  1. Dehumidifiers with pumps and hoses (Large)
  2. Self-draining dehumidifiers (Medium)
  3. Dehumidifiers with buckets or tanks (Small)
Drainage and the size of the dehumidifier go hand in hand. A dehumidifier draws in excess moisture from the air. Dehumidifiers use a refrigerant system or the absorption method. Moisture in the air becomes liquid water. Water drips into a water bucket or outlet that comes with the dehumidifier. Each dehumidifier can collect a different amount of moisture per day.
Drainage Types
Drainage Types
Larger Area Larger Capacity Dehumidifier
Larger Area Larger Capacity Dehumidifier

But what happens to the moisture collected by your dehumidifier? Let’s concentrate on two types of drainage. With pumps & hoses and self-draining. Both methods will allow you to drain the dehumidifier without having to watch the tank. 

Let’s determine what draining method works better for you.
Pumps And Hose Drainage
Pumps And Hose Drainage

1. Dehumidifiers With Pumps And Hoses

Larger dehumidifiers come with pumps and hoses. This allows for draining the water they are collecting. They do this through a drain hose outlet.
This means you can switch it on and leave it to pump collected water out. You can direct the hose into a nearby floor drain, laundry utility sink, or out a window.
Does your crawl space, basement, garage, attic, or other location have a nearby drain?
  • If there’s no nearby drain, then you will have to pump water out. A dehumidifier with a pump and hoses is suitable for locations without a floor drain.
  • If there is a nearby drain, then you may be able to consider a self-draining dehumidifier. Consider how far away the drain is.
A dehumidifier with an internal pump and external hose offers continuous operation. Its powerful pump can force water  16 1/2′ away. If there is an obstruction in the hose, the pump control mechanism shuts the unit down. This makes it maintenance-free. 
This continuous operation is ideal for crawl spaces that are not accessible. You can leave it to drain without attempting to empty the tank. You are able to adjust the fan speed to go with your desired level of humidity and get the most moisture removal. You can control all this with the intuitive display.
Larger dehumidifiers remove more pints of moisture per day. The more pints per day removed, the sooner your home will be back to normal humidity. 
If you do not want to be going back and forth to empty your tank, then one with a continuous operation is what you want to buy.
Self Draining Gravity
Self Draining Gravity

2. Self-Draining Dehumidifiers

Medium-sized dehumidifiers come with a bucket and feature a drain hose outlet. The drain hose outlet means that you can connect a hose to the dehumidifier.
Again, does your basement, garage, man-cave, or grow room have a nearby drain?
  • If there is a nearby drain, then you may be able to consider a self-draining dehumidifier. Consider how far away the drain is.
  • If there’s no nearby drain, then you will have to pump water out. A dehumidifier with a pump and hoses is suitable for locations without a floor drain.
Collected water can flow down and out by gravity. Connecting a hose (standard garden hose) to a drain port on the back or side of the dehumidifier allows it to drain. The hose drains the accumulated moisture (water extracted from the air) using gravity.
Consider the location of the dehumidifier’s drain. Whether it’s side or back can affect if you can run the drain line to the drain and how long the hose needs to be. Measure the horizontal distance between the dehumidifier’s drain outlet and the drain. Running a long drain pipe parallel to the ground for a long time prevents proper drainage.
Consider placing your dehumidifier on a level floor. If the floor drain is at ground level. The dehumidifier’s drain exit should still be higher. This drainage method does not use a pump, so the collected condensate must flow downward.
This is because gravity is the only force that can move it. This means the drain must be set below the dehumidifier’s drain output, usually halfway up.
Consider raising your appliance. I placed my two 50 Pint dehumidifiers on level plastic crates. The height helps gravity drain water some ten feet away towards my floor drain.
Smart dehumidifiers usually come with automatic drainage to reach your desired humidity settings. They set the temperature in your home and remove excess humidity. You can get a nice self-draining compact model. [5]
Manual Bucket Or Tank
Manual Bucket Or Tank

3. Dehumidifiers With Buckets or Tanks

The smaller the size or daily water collection capacity, the more likely it will drain into a bucket or tank. Draining into a bucket means you would need to track how full the bucket is and empty it yourself.
Emptying the tank, which can be quite the job, especially in the basement or crawl space. Emptying a dehumidifier daily, by hand is a chore. [1]
A dehumidifier with a bucket or a tank is appropriate for infrequent use. For storage, most people worry about the cables and hoses when the dehumidifier is not in use. Well, most dehumidifiers come with built-in cord storage. You can pack it up when it’s not in use and take it out when you need it.
Dehumidifier Pumps
Dehumidifier Pumps

Dehumidifier Pump Options

You have two choices for dehumidifier pump drainage. Get a dehumidifier with an internal pump or buy an external condensate pump and hosing.
Depending on which option you choose, the way you set up pump drainage will be different. Having a pump function will save you time.
Continuous drainage means that you avoid the hassle of emptying a water tank or bucket. Dehumidifiers that feature continuous drainage are easier to use than emptying a bucket.
So is a dehumidifier with an internal pump or using an external condensate pump better? Both gravity drainage and pumps give you continuous drainage.
Connect an included pump drain hose that comes with a built-in pump dehumidifier. You connect it to the hose connector on the dehumidifier. The drain outlet is NOT designed for gravity drainage. Push the “Pump” button on the dehumidifier’s control panel to start pump drainage.
This is the setup on most dehumidifiers and you no longer need to empty the water tank on a daily basis. The pump and the pump hose will do the job.[3]
With a pump, you can drain to a point above or far away from the dehumidifier without having to raise it. A hose can empty it into a sink or a floor drain that is far away.
There are different fan speeds for handling different levels of humidity. The moisture level settings will also determine how much the pump will work. The digital LED display controls to set up the humidity range.
Or, connect a self-draining dehumidifier to an external condensate pump. Direct the hose into a nearby floor drain, laundry utility sink, or out a window
You don’t need to worry about energy costs. Dehumidifiers with pumps and hoses are energy efficient. Your electricity bill is safe.
Some worry that a dehumidifier that comes with a built-in pump might be too be big to fit anywhere. This is not true. Most dehumidifiers with pumps are compact and look good. A built-in pump feature looks better than connections to an external condensate pump.
Dehumidifiers With Pump And Hose
Dehumidifiers With Pump And Hose

Buying A Condensate Pump

You can still use pump drainage with dehumidifiers that do not have a built-in pump. You only need to buy a condensate pump and hosing.

The external condensate pump works in the same way as the internal pump. The hosing will function like the supplied hosing on a built-in pump unit, with a few differences. This means you are giving yourself a continuous drain option.
Things to remember;
Dehumidifiers with built-in pumps will restrict how far the pump can push water away. The length of the pump drain hose usually adds to this restriction. For years of worry-free operation, I prefer a robust internal pump option.
Usually, drain hoses that come with built-in pumps are about 16 feet. This may be restrictive compared to the pump and hose you buy.
If you buy a heavy-duty condensate pump it can work up to 20 feet or more. This may allow you to be more flexible with where you place your dehumidifier.
Another factor to consider is the longevity of the product. If the pump on a built-in pump dehumidifier fails, you won’t want to repair it unless it’s still under warranty. Parts are costly, and so is service. An external condensate pump is easy to replace and inexpensive.[4]
Now, you might wonder what will happen if there is a power outage. Well, most dehumidifiers come with an auto shut-off and auto-restart feature. When the power comes back on, the dehumidifier will pick up where it left off.
Leaks And Pump Issues
Leaks And Pump Issues

Dehumidifier Leaks And Pump Issues

Internal Pumps

A dehumidifier with a built-in pump will shut down if the pump fails. Your dehumidifier receives a notification when something goes wrong. It will shut off.

Pumps that are specific to a particular brand

Many manufacturers also produce brand-specific pumps that you may connect to your dehumidifier. When a drain pump connects to your dehumidifier, it functions as a purpose-built pump.
If something goes wrong with your dehumidifier, it will shut down. Pumps from Aprilaire and Santa Fe plug into your unit, allowing them to function as a single unit.

Pumps for External Use

If you use a typical external pump, the unit won’t know if the pump fails. There’s no connection between the dehumidifier and the external condensate pump,
If your dehumidifier is in a location you don’t frequent, consider these options:
When you first install it, make sure to check the pump and the dehumidifier. As it runs to the drain, the hose should connect to the pump in ways that prevent any bends. Before leaving the pump for an extended period, make sure it’s in good working order.
Consider purchasing a leak detector. If you’re concerned about leaks, you might want to invest in a low-cost water leak detector. Even if the dehumidifier is in a crawl space, water leak detectors will keep you informed of leaks. For example, the Honeywell WiFi detector will send notifications to your phone.
Many industrial dehumidifiers can connect to an external pump as well. You may need basic wiring and installation to keep the warranty valid. Most condensate pumps are easy to set up.
Capacity From Area Vs Moisture Table
Capacity From Area Vs Moisture Table

Final Thoughts

When buying a dehumidifier, you need to have your checklist. If you need to dehumidify a large area, then the pint capacity is important. If it is a large area, you are going to need to consider whether it has a pump feature or a hose connector. Look at the drain plug to see if you can use a standard garden hose or if the device comes with its own drain tube. Be sure to go for an Energy Star-rated device that will save you on energy costs.