Help! Why Is My Dehumidifier Not Collecting Water?

So you have heard about all the great benefits to owning a dehumidifier, and you went out and bought one. It worked fine for a while, clearing up your allergies and keeping your house cool and dry. However, all of a sudden you noticed that your dehumidifier runs, but doesn’t collect water.

What might be wrong with it? I know this can be a frustrating issue, and you are asking yourself ‘why is my dehumidifier not collecting water?’ A few possible causes can be found in the article below, and I hope they help you find the answer that you are looking for.

What’s Going on with My Dehumidifier?

Dehumidifiers are machines that have the capability of taking the humidity from the air and leaving the home dry and easier to live in. There are two main types of dehumidifiers; refrigerant and desiccant. Refrigerant dehumidifiers have refrigerated coils inside them, which work to remove the humidity. When the humid air runs through the dehumidifier, the moisture is trapped on the coils. As a result, the air that is blown back into the room is warm, but dry.

Desiccants vs. Refrigerant Dehumidifiers

Desiccant dehumidifiers utilize a chemical called desiccant to remove the humidity from the air. The chemical will absorb the moisture from the air, and then release the dehumidified air back into the room afterwards. Below are a few reasons as to why a dehumidifier might not be collecting water.

Not Enough Moisture in the Air to Collect

If there is not a high level of relative humidity in the house, the dehumidifier will have no moisture to collect. The relative humidity of a house depends on the air temperature inside and outside. If the temperature is too low compared to the humidity level, there will be little to no excess moisture for the dehumidifier to collect.

For the first little while after the dehumidifier has been in operation, it probably collected a great deal of moisture. This is because it was collecting all the excess water from the walls, ceilings, and items in the general area. After that was done, all that is left for the dehumidifier to do is maintain and regulate the level of humidity. There will not be much humidity left in the air, so the dehumidifier might stop collecting water at some points.

Temperatures are Too Low

Certain types of dehumidifiers need to be at a higher enough temperature, or they will stop operating properly. When the temperature is at approximately 65 degrees Fahrenheit, the coils on the inside of the machines will freeze and ice will form on them. As well, if the temperature in the room is too low, it is more difficult for the dehumidifier to remove humidity from the air. If the temperature is set to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, the humidity will likely not become lower than 60%.

For basements and other areas that are expected to have lower temperatures, there are different types of dehumidifiers that you can purchase. These machines are able to function in temperatures that are approximately as low as 30 degrees Fahrenheit.

Wrong Sized Dehumidifier

It may be the case that you have bought a dehumidifier that has a higher water removal capability than you need. Some of the machines are designed to work for only a single room and some function for the entire house. If you have a smaller dehumidifier, it can remove about 30 pints of water every day. If you have a larger one, it can remove more than 90 pints of water per day. Placing a large dehumidifier in a small room may result in less water collection than you were expecting. It is vice versa for small dehumidifiers in large spaces; these will likely collect way more water than was expected.

Sometime, the dehumidifier runs but doesn’t collect water, even. And that’s a sure sign you have the wrong size. If you are having trouble determining what size dehumidifier is right for you, there are helpful charts online which can guide you. They are based on the size of the area that you want the dehumidifier for. As an alternative, you can go to the store and ask a sales representative if you are unsure. It is always better to ask than to buy the wrong product.

Parts are Malfunctioning

There are many different parts on a dehumidifier that all come together to achieve an end result. This means that there are many parts that could break down and stop the operation of the entire machine. Below is a list of a few examples of parts that can break down and will need to be replaced if you want to keep using your dehumidifier.

If the compressor has failed, you will likely hear a buzzing noise every once in awhile. When the compressor stops running, the humidity will rise, and moisture will not be collected.

When the coils start leaking refrigerant out, it means you have a leak in the refrigeration system. The coils will stop trapping the moisture when air flows through the machine.

The condenser or filters may be clogged. Check to see if you can clean out any of the filters to free the air flow in the dehumidifier.

If the humidistat is not functioning properly, it will show the incorrect humidity level of the area. Or it will not signal the dehumidifier to operate at a set humidity level. You can try and troubleshoot this issue, or record the number of the part and get a replacement.

Conclusion


When your dehumidifier stops collecting water, it may not necessarily be a bad thing. The best case scenario is that there is just not enough humidity in the air at that particular time. To determine whether this is the case, you could wait for a day that brings more humidity than usual. Check if the dehumidifier starts operating normally again. If it doesn’t you will likely have to troubleshoot the issue and replace a part.

If you have further questions about this article, or about dehumidifiers in general, leave a comment below!

About the Author Gavin Wilson

Gavin Wilson has been reviewing humidifier products online and strives to provide the best information on the internet.

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2 comments
terry whittle says April 19, 2017

I have a ge dehumidifier. at first when I turned it on it would shut off. I unplugged it and cleaned the back of the machine. know it just keeps running and not collecting water. \I didn’t need to use it for the winter so it was off. the humidity shows 65 I have it set at 50. the model # ADEH50LNL1.
Looking forward to a response. I very seldom use it. but because of rain and temperature of thermostat turned down. I started to use it. I live in a basement apartment. the moisture isn’t bad but just like to have it when moisture is high. thank you kindly

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Sandra L Henley says June 13, 2017

I totally cleaned the inside and outside of the humidifier when I turn it on I set it at 35 but it immediately goes to 75. It runs and runs but collects no water.

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