Why Is My Dehumidifier Not Working? How To Fix Your Dehumidifier Easily!

Dehumidifiers keep the house free from molds, mushy odors, and excess humidity and make us feel more comfortable.


In fact, dehumidifiers are among the few home appliances that do not require much maintenance. However, proper care and cleaning must be done in order to prolong its life.


If you are experiencing issues with your dehumidifiers, it could be due to a lot of underlying causes. We cannot just fix all these issues with the same methods.


Usually, these issues could be triggered by dehumidifier parts, user errors and a lot more. Today, we will break down the common problems dehumidifiers experience together with the right troubleshooting measures.


What are the Common

 Dehumidifier Issues?

what are the common dehumidifier issues

One of the things that every mommy must know is how to fix appliances at home, or at least learn the basics! It is not all the time we got men around to do it so it’s a good thing to learn a few quick fixes.


Each dehumidifier may differ from each other depending on the brand and model. However, the device principle remains the same, so it is best to first understand how dehumidifiers work.


Dehumidifiers work by drawing in the room air and remove excess moisture until the desired humidity level is achieved or as per your device settings.


Main Parts of a Dehumidifier:

  • Condenser
  • Evaporator
  • Thermistor
  • Fan
  • Control boards (electronic/user display)


Now, if you notice, most of the issues we encounter evolve in these major parts, but there is nothing good troubleshooting can’t fix!


How To Repair Your Dehumidifier That’s Not Collecting Water

Repair Your Dehumidifier That's Not Collecting Water

Usually, a dehumidifier stops absorbing extra air moisture when the humidistat shows there is low humidity. Most dehumidifiers do not turn on when it’s 60 °F and below.


However, we cannot just simply assume that the issue is triggered by one problem. First, we need to determine the root cause.


Try to do the following:


  1. Make sure the device is on
  2. Check if the water bucket is full
  3. Ensure room humidity is above 60%


What to Do with a Malfunctioning Sensor Assembly

Fix malfunctioning sensor assembly

If the water reservoir is empty or half full and the humidity level is above 60℉, then there could be an issue with the sensor assembly.


The sensor assembly holds the humidistat, evaporator thermistor; wire harness and the connectors that connect to the water reservoir float switch and the electronic control board.


When the sensor assembly is malfunctioning, it will send a wrong signal to the rest of the parts and won’t collect water at all. What you need to do is to clean or replace the sensor assembly with the manufacturer-approved parts.

  • 1
    Disconnect the dehumidifier from the power outlet. At this point, you may refer to the user’s manual to locate the sensor assembly.
  • 2
    Unscrew and remove the front panel case
  • 3
    Once you see the main control panel, carefully disconnect the sensor assembly
  • 4
    Dampen a cotton cloth with alcohol and wipe the sensor clean
  • 5
    Replace the sensor assembly as it is. Make sure to fasten all the screws in place.
  • 6
    Put all the parts back and turn on the dehumidifier.
  • 7
    Monitor its performance. If it works, then you only had to clean the sensor assembly. If the issue persists, you might need to contact the manufacturer is under warranty. Otherwise, you may need to replace it.

How to Fix Compressor Overload

fix compressor overload

Another possible failure as to why your dehumidifier is not collecting water is due to compressor overload. The overload is a part of the compressor which holds the motor from getting damaged. So once the overload is not working, the compressor won’t work as well.


Usually, the overload fails to function properly when the device is powered through extension cords which may not fit the unit perfectly. It might be too long or too short for the dehumidifier.


In order to see if the compressor overload is still working, you need a multimeter to test. If the meter does not move or stays at 0 Ω, the compressor overload has failed. But, if the meter moves from 0 Ω to infinite resistance, then the compressor is working fine.

Tip

When you turn a dehumidifier on and off too quickly, the compressor may experience overheating and may cause a lot of unwanted issues such as not collecting water or not turning on at all.


To avoid this, give the device at least 10 minutes rest after it is turned off. This is to allow the pressure in the unit to be balanced.

Is Your Dehumidifier Fan Not Working?

dehumidifier fan not working

Turned on your dehumidifier and it’s suddenly all so quiet? Your fan might have been burnt out and needed troubleshooting.


Another common issue most users encounter is the fan not working at all. When we say, not working, it could be the fan motor, blower wheel or the fan blade. Again, we need to get down to the root cause.

  • 1
    Carefully take all the parts out after powering off the device
  • 2
    Remove the fan out and check for any bents or blade damages
  • 3
    Try spinning the fan by hand. Make sure that the fan does not rub against its housing.
  • 4
    Next, wiggle the fan motor shaft to see if it is loose.
  • 5
    If the shaft motor is loose, tighten the screws and test again. If this does not solve the problem and the blades are bent and rubbing against its housing, then you can replace the fan.
  • 6
    To check the fan motor, use a multimeter to see if it is getting power. It should make the fan working or rotating once tested. Otherwise, you have a defective fan motor which needs replacement.

Your dehumidifier needs to have a sufficient amount of air blowing across the evaporator coils to work properly.

How To Fix A 

Dehumidifier That Does

Not Turn Off

dehumidifier does not turn off

This is perhaps the most common question I got and I would like to break down the scenarios so it will be clear to everyone. A dehumidifier that does not turn off can be normal and can also be caused by an issue.


You simply need to determine which one is happening to your device. If this is the first time you use a dehumidifier and your house has high humidity, the machine will continue to run until the relative humidity is balanced.


So, you might think it does not turn off at all, but in fact, it is still working hard to achieve the right room humidity. Some dehumidifier models also feature a “Continuous Mode” where it operates until you change the settings.


During this time, the compressor will switch off once it reaches the set relative humidity (RH) level and the fan will also turn off at about 3 minutes following the compressor.


However, in some cases, there are dehumidifiers that may experience issues like the fan is not turning off at all even after the compressor did. Some users also reported that their dehumidifiers did not shut off and still collects water.


Here are the factors that you need to consider:


  • There is frost on the coils which cause the fan to stay on and work hard to defrost the unit. The compressor shuts off and the fan stays on until the coils are defrosted. This usually happens when the humidity is below 40 °F.
  • Air filter might be clogged with dirt
  • The room humidity rises again and the dehumidifier needs to work out to lower it down during the “Continuous mode”


How to Fix my Dehumidifier That Is Stuck At 60% Humidity Level

dehumidifier stuck at 60 % humidity

As I went along with my research, I came across another issue regarding dehumidifiers which stay stuck at 60% humidity level. I found out that this issue can either be a technical problem or user errors.


There are many possible reasons why your dehumidifier does not come down from 60 % humidity level and the first thing you need to do is to test the device in another area at home.


Usually, there is nothing wrong with the device, the fault is more on us because we think that any dehumidifier will work for any room type and considerations.


However, as most manufacturers advise, dehumidifiers vary in size and a lot of factors. This is why we need to right fit the machine with our needs.

Here are common user errors:

  • Dehumidifier size is either too small or too large for the room
  • Type of room (e.g open space or enclosed)
  • Dehumidifier controls are not set properly


For newly installed dehumidifiers, give it at least 3-4 days maximum to remove the moisture completely and achieve a comfortable dryness. Remember that dehumidifiers don’t just dehumidify a room but as well as the walls and floors.


Dehumidifier Location Matters


Perhaps you have placed the dehumidifier on the cold floor or near a wall that may have caused it to stick around 60% humidity level. This is because dehumidifiers work based on relative humidity (RH). The colder the air surrounding the machine, its ability to hold moisture also decreases.


For best results, place the dehumidifier at least a few inches above the floor or you can put it on a table at the center of the room, far from walls, and windows.


Also, avoid placing it near the dryer in the laundry room.


What to do with a Dehumidifier Not Turning on at all

dehumidifier not turning on at all

This may be the worst issue you might experience, your dehumidifier finally gave up and won’t turn on at all.


Before you proceed, you need to consider if this is a brand new device, then there is no need to repair or troubleshoot the issue, you may go ahead and file for a replacement or warranty claim.


If you have been using this machine for a period of time and it suddenly stopped working, then you can run some tests to determine what part is having issues with.


Dehumidifiers not turning on at all signals a problem with the electricals such as wiring failures.


Again, you need to diagnose the problem first.


We are talking about the major electrical parts such as:

  • Sensor
  • Electronic Control board
  • Humidistat
  • Bucket level switch
  • Float Assembly

These parts are essential in order to keep your dehumidifier running smoothly. If one of these parts are not performing well, the overall ability is greatly affected.

How to Fix this Issue:

  • 1
    Before opening your dehumidifier, test the power source first by plugging other appliances to the same outlet you are using. Otherwise, you can also try to plug in the dehumidifier in other power sources at home.
  • 2
    To test the Float assembly, make sure that it is not blocked and that it can move around freely. Also, check if it comes in contact with the float switch.
  • 3
    For testing the humidistat, turn the dial on and listen for the click sound. ( this indicates a working humidistat). Otherwise, you can test the contacts using a multimeter to check if it is functioning.
  • 4
    Sensor connections must be well-attached to the control board in order to work smoothly. If the harness is loose or not connecting, try replacing the sensor
  • 5
    The electronic control board powers the compressor and the fan system. To troubleshoot this, you need to test the compressor and the fan system separately. If both worked, the electronic control board needs to be replaced.
  • 6
    Using a multimeter to test the bucket level switch is the easiest thing to do in order to see if it is still in good condition. Make sure that bucket is not full of water, and the float assembly is correctly set and able to come in contact with the switch properly.


Ideal Operating Conditions of Dehumidifiers

ideal operating conditions of dehumidifiers

To achieve the optimum performance of your dehumidifier, make sure you are well familiar with how it operates. Ordinary dehumidifiers may not work well when the temperature is below 40°F. Check with your device manual if necessary.

There is a huge tendency that the evaporator coils will freeze under this temperature or at extremely low humidity. Once the coils freeze, you need to defrost the coil by turning it off at least an hour or two.


Some modern models have auto-defrost features but this does not eliminate the ice buildups when the temperature is below 40°F.


For best results, follow these best practices for ideal operating conditions of dehumidifiers and of course prolong its life.


  • Place your dehumidifier near the center of the room that you wish to dehumidify. Put the dehumidifier on a stable object that is at least 10 inches above the floor 5 ft away from any surrounding obstructions.
  • Regularly clean and monitor the filter
  • Avoid using extension cords to avoid fire hazards due to overheating. Plug the device directly to a power outlet.
  • Always turn off the dehumidifier when no one is at home.
  • Close the windows and doors in the specific room you wish to dehumidify.
  • Empty the water bucket regularly to avoid spillage and electrical failures


Conclusion


There you go mommies, I have listed the common dehumidifier issues that may hinder us from achieving a comfortable humidity at home.


You don’t need to quickly replace your dehumidifier once it’s not working, diagnose the problem and fix the root cause! If you think you can’t handle this technical stuff, ask for assistance from your dear husbands, surely they can’t resist your charms.


At the end of the day, how you treat every appliance at home will determine its lifespan. With proper care and maintenance, your dehumidifier can provide a healthy and comfortable environment for your family.