Dehumidifier Not Collecting Water, Here’s How to Fix It

Dehumidifier not collecting water

With the rise of the internet, homeowners have been able to fix various things around their homes that would typically have to go to the repair shop. The money you can save by going the DIY route can be substantial. Before you can solve the issue at hand, you need to diagnose it first, which can be difficult when you are dealing with a dehumidifier.

Dehumidifiers are relatively simple machines with one purpose. Despite that, there are several issues that can arise, including a dehumidifier not collecting water. When you have humidity issues in your home, a faulty unit can become a serious issue. It’s also a problem we’ll help you address in our how to fix in this guide.

What type of dehumidifier do you have?

The first step in finding out why your dehumidifier is not collecting water is to know a little more about the system itself. Do you have a dehumidifier with a compressor and refrigerant, or is it a desiccant dehumidifier?

Dehumidifiers with a compressor use refrigerant and are designed for homeowners that live in warmer climates. A desiccant dehumidifier is ideal for areas that tend to stay cool year-round. They have less moving parts, which means they are easier to deal with when issues like a dehumidifier not working arises. 

Common Dehumidifier Problems 

Dehumidifier not working or collecting water? Here are a few quick things you can consider before it’s time to break out your tools. These apply to both compressor and desiccant-based systems of any size and from any brand.

  • Moisture Levels – A dehumidifier is designed to draw and collect excess moisture from the air as needed. That means during certain times; the dehumidifier may stop collecting water because there simply isn’t enough moisture in the air. That could be because it’s doing its job properly or due to temperature fluctuation in your area.
  • Capacity – One common problem homeowners face with dehumidifiers not collecting water has nothing to do with parts failures or moisture levels. If you don’t choose the right size system for your home, it won’t be able to handle the humidity. If you’re not sure what size you need, check out our guide on dehumidifier capacities.
  • Placement – Improper placement can also have an impact on water collection from a dehumidifier. While you will need to consult your user manual, systems need enough clearance to work properly in your home. Moving a dehumidifier can have a significant impact on how well it works if it wasn’t installed correctly.
  • Maintenance – If you want to ensure your system is working at optimum efficiency, you need to perform routine maintenance. It’s easy to forget, but dust and clogged drains will have an effect on water collection in a dehumidifier. Make sure nothing is clogged or blocked on your system, and change any filters as required by the manufacturer.

Refrigerant Dehumidifier Not Collecting Water

If you know you have a dehumidifier with a condenser and refrigerant, you may encounter a unique set of problems. Below are some of the top reasons your dehumidifier will stop collecting water with these types of systems.

  • Frozen Coils – Have you ever seen ice on the coils of an AC unit in the summer? Well, that can happen with dehumidifiers as well. When the temperature becomes too low, moisture will freeze on the coils, which can decrease or stop water collection. It’s an issue that’s usually solved by an auto-defrost feature on most machines. If you have that feature and see ice on your coils, the defrost feature could be malfunctioning.
  • Low Refrigerant – If a dehumidifier has coils, a compressor, and a fan, it also uses refrigerant. In most cases, it’s something you’ll never have to deal with, although these units can develop leaks. Leaks can be fixed, and refrigerant can be refilled, but the repair job may not be worth it compared to the cost of another dehumidifier.
  • Fan Motor – When the humidity level is where it should be, and your filters are clean, but you don’t feel any air coming from the unit, it could be an issue with the fan. It may be blocked or restricted, although a hum with no movement typically means the fan is defective or that there is an issue with one of these next two areas.
  • Capacitor – Simply put, if you have a bad capacitor in the system or if it fails, the compressor won’t run, and your system can’t collect water– if you have been having issues with the overload tripping recently, there’s a good chance there could be an issue with the capacitor in your dehumidifier… if not, it’s time to think about overload protection itself.
  • Overload – If a unit has overload protection and it fails, the compressor won’t start or collect water. Extension cords can be the source of this problem, and while you can test it out yourself with a multimeter, it’s usually best to call in a professional when you are tinkering with circuits or wiring inside a dehumidifier.
  • Control Board – When all else fails, and nothing on our checklist has solved your problem, the issue could come from the control board or PCB assembly. Unfortunately, this is another area where you’ll want to call in a professional, which may not be worth it if it’s a budget-friendly or midrange dehumidifier.

Finding Replacement Parts 

As you can see, there are some issues better left to professionals unless you have experience working with circuit boards, refrigerants or electricity. There are a number of parts you can replace yourself, however, whether you need an OEM part or a cheaper third-party solution.

It can be difficult to find which companies offer replacement parts, given the amount of system currently available, both new and old. The easiest way to learn about dehumidifier replacement parts is to search by manufacturer or machine, which can also be easier said than done. With that in mind, our team took a look at the best dehumidifier brands to give you a better idea of what’s available.

Danby is one of the best companies to deal with when it comes to replacement parts. They have well over 400 parts listed online across 60 models with affordable options compared to other brands. From drainage pipes and float switches to control boards, they have a variety of parts available. Things aren’t quite as impressive with GE or Frigidaire, however, as it all boils down to the age of the model you have.

While both Frigidaire has more dehumidifier parts for sale, it’s hit or miss with these brands depending on your needs. Frigidaire has parts for around a half-dozen systems, including water buckets, filters, and drain adapters. Aprilaire is another popular option, although they do not have a wealth of OEM replacement parts available compared to similar brands at this time.

Written by

Rene has worked 10 years in the HVAC field and now is the Senior Comfort Specialist for PICKHVAC. He holds an HVAC associate degree and EPA & R-410A Certifications.

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