Dehumidifier Troubleshooting Tips

Dehumidifier Trouble Shooting

Common Dehumidifier Problems

White Fral FDK5 Low Temperature Dehumidifier
Fral FDK5 Low Temperature Dehumidifier

Dehumidifiers will work only down to the temperature for which they are designed. If there is no operating temperature stated, then it is a 65 degree model, and it will freeze when temperatures are below 65 degrees. In some models this will cause the compressor to shut off, allow the ice to melt (could be an hour or so), restart, refreeze, and the cycle continues with no water being removed and the electrical costs mounting.

Unfortunately, in some units, the compressor does not shut off and stays on and the frost on the coils becomes ice that blocks the airflow and eventually burns out the motor. This is why we recommend a low temp dehumidifier for areas of the country where the temperature can fluctuate down to 40 degrees at night.

There is Little or No Water in the Bucket

If your dehumidifier doesn’t seem to run frequently and the humidity in the room remains high, adjust the humidistat control to a drier setting. If the dehumidifier seems to run constantly, but there’s little or no water in the container, there is possibly a problem with the refrigeration system.

Try cleaning or replacing the air filter in the unit itself, but if that doesn’t work, you will need a qualified appliance repair person or facility.

Dehumidifier Trouble Shooting Filter
Dehumidifier Filter, size and filter location vary by make, model, and year

The Indicator Light is On, but the Unit Won’t Run

If your indicator light is on, then the water tank may be completely filled. Most dehumidifiers have a safety switch to turn the dehumidifier off when the water tank is full. It is usually a float inside the tank to trigger this switch and prevent the tank from overflowing. If the tank is empty and the unit doesn’t run, look at the inside wall against which the tank pushes to see if there’s a switch or mechanism present.

    • Sometimes just pushing in the bucket a little differently will press the switch. Also, you may be able to activate or bend the switch slightly with your finger to solve the problem.

The Dehumidifier Runs, but No Air is Coming Out of the Machine

Your dehumidifier has a fan that draws the room air over the coils. If there is no air movement from the unit, it is possible that the fan motor may have burned out. If so, the fan motor may need to be replaced.

There is Frost on the Coils

The coils you see on the back of your dehumidifier are called the evaporator. When the unit is running, these coils turn ice cold. As the fan draws the moist air over the coils, the humidity in the air condenses on these coils. And if the temperature of the air blowing over the coils is too cool, this condensation will freeze on the coils. Possible solutions to this problem include:

  • Add heat to the room in which the dehumidifier is located.
  • Turn the unit off to allow the temperature in the room to rise.
  • Place the dehumidifier on a shelf or table (the air is coolest near the ground).

The Container Seems to Fill Up too Quickly

Condensate Pump and Tubing
Condensate Pump and Tubing

When the container seems to fill up too often, it means your dehumidifier is working properly. However, if the container fills quickly day after day, there may be additional moisture in the air due to a pipe or water leak or an open crawl space. If so, it would be best to correct this problem by stopping the leak or closing off the crawl space. If a leak is not the problem, you can add an external condensate pump (if your dehumidifier does not have one) so you do not have to empty the bucket at all.

Alternative Solution

While it can be upsetting to try and troubleshoot a dehumidifier, often times its worth it. If replacing it makes the most sense however, please see our range of Dehumidifiers to select one that’s right for you and your home