One minute your dehumidifier is working in improving indoor humidity levels and the next minute, it’s not working anymore. You check its water receptacle and nada. Zilch. Not even a drop of water to assure you that it’s actually functioning in getting rid of excess moisture in the air. What could be wrong with your dehumidifier?
Possible Causes of a Dehumidifier Not Collecting Water
Before anything else, check to see that it’s not the temperature and weather condition. The functions of a dehumidifier are simple – if there is excess moisture in the air to collect, it will collect. If there’s not enough moisture, it won’t run, especially when set to auto settings. The automatic settings will detect when there’s enough moisture for the dehumidifier to work.
You also have to check the settings of your dehumidifier first. Check to see that you have set it to the correct level. It might have already reached the humidity level that you have set. Many dehumidifiers also come with timers, so they automatically stop running at the end of the timer.
Take into consideration the temperature as well. In the winter season, the temperature is too low, causing the dehumidifier coils to freeze up. Most dehumidifiers sold today can only run in high temperature. If you run the dehumidifier when room temperature is at 65 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, its coils will freeze. That will stop the unit from running.
Using the right size of dehumidifier is also important. If you use a small dehumidifier in a basement, that will not be able to keep up with the moisture removal demands of this space. Basements also tend to have a lower temperature, so a regular dehumidifier not intended for basements will become prone to freezing. There are, however, dehumidifiers that have anti-freezing properties. Look for these dehumidifiers if you plan on using it in the basement.
If, after doing all the things above, your dehumidifier is still not working, it’s time to check the parts of the dehumidifier itself. Here are the common parts that wear out overtime:
Dehumidifiers are equipped with compressors. This is the part that allows the refrigerant to circulate in the unit’s evaporator, so that moisture will be extracted from the air. All compressors have a capacitor that is needed to start the compressor. It’s like the trigger for the appliance. Once it gets damaged, the compressor will not run. Only a qualified technician can fix this problem. A capacitor that is compatible with your unit will be used to replace the old one.
Also check the overload of the compressor. This is what protects the motor from wear and tear. Use a multimeter to check if the overload is still working.
The overload often wears out faster when it is overused. If you use an undersized dehumidifier and then run it constantly, the overload will surely wear out. Dehumidifiers are also designed to be connected directly to an electrical source. But if you use extension cords that are undersized or not capable of providing the electricity that the dehumidifier needs, the overload will get damaged.
Dehumidifiers have a motor fan that blows air through the evaporator coils. This is what helps regulate temperature, so the coils don’t buildup frost or ice later. Check the unit’s grille area and see if water is blowing right through it. If you can’t feel anything, it’s most likely because the fan motor isn’t working.
Remove the filter and check to make sure it’s not the culprit. If dirt has collected in the filter, the fan will have a hard time blowing air. Also check the coils. Dirt can also get trapped in the coils, thereby preventing air from circulating.
Try to open the fan area. Turn the dehumidifier in fan setting only. If it doesn’t rotate but you can hear a humming sound, it’s most likely because of a broken fan motor. If it rotates but the motor is silent, a professional might have to come in and check its electrical circuit using a multimeter.
Leaks near the coils could indicate that your machine is losing refrigerant. When this happens, the coils will no longer prevent moisture from escaping when the fan is working. A technician can also help fix this problem.
If you own a more sophisticated model of a dehumidifier, the fan motor and the compressor are most likely controlled by a PCB assembly. It is a kind of electronic control board equipped with sensors that checks for the relative humidity in the room. If the perceived relative humidity is higher compared to what is set, it will automatically activate the fan motor and the compressor to work. But if the electronic control board is not working, that will not happen, hence the inability of the dehumidifier to collect water.
How to Make Your Dehumidifier Run Efficiently All the Time
Taking care of your dehumidifier can prolong its life. You can do the following tips to make sure that you won’t experience the above-mentioned problems any time soon:
Let Your Dehumidifier Rest
Set your dehumidifier to auto setting. It will detect when there is a higher humidity in the air. That is the only time it will function. If you set it to “on” all the time, it will just keep on running even when it has already reached desired humidity. That can wear out the internal parts of the unit.
Keep it Clean
Clean and maintain it every once in a while. Remove the filter, wash it and dry it. Most filters incorporated in dehumidifiers do not have to be cleaned for months but check the specifications to find out when it is time for filter cleaning. Also clean the exterior of the machine to prevent dirt from getting inside in the fan motor or the condenser coils.
Avoid Using It in the Winter
Unless you are using a dehumidifier that has anti-freezing technology, avoid using it in the winter as the low temperature can cause the coils to freeze up.
Take care of your dehumidifier and it will take care of you. Be sure to check out our guide to the best whole house dehumidifiers.