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Troubleshooting a Dehumidifier

Troubleshooting a Dehumidifier

Is your dehumidifier fault and not working? Then you need to make repairs as quickly as possible.  But same as other mechanical devices, dehumidifiers contain very compact and complex inner workings with various complex components and parts. So as the user you need to determine: what is the cause of the problem and formulate a means to solve it.

Troubleshooting is the process that is often applied to repair failed products or processes on a system or machine. This process identifies a problem in a machine hence helping through its diagnoses and once repaired the machine becomes operational. Troubleshooting is very important because it helps identify the symptoms of a problem.

Quick guide for troubleshooting the most common dehumidifiers issues

This guide is very important to you assuming the dehumidifier was properly installed following the installation manual and fully met the initial startup procedure.

1. The dehumidifier will not operate at all

When this happens to you there are a few things you should check:

  • Check if the main power panel is attached to the dehumidifier to see if it’s ON.
  • Confirm whether the circuit breaker or the fuse that serves the dehumidifier is not blown or tripped.
  • Confirm to see that the controls are in the ON position.
  • Verify if the dehumidifier is set between 50 and 60 percent relative humidity.

If the dehumidifier still does not work, contact a competent dehumidifier servicer.

2. The dehumidifier will not reach the set point

Assuming the dehumidifier was effectively operating. Then check for simple repairs. If the blower is still running, then the compressor may have stopped working.  Using a separately calibrated hygrometer to determine the relative humidity in the room. If it indicates that the actual humidity is between 50 and 60 percent then it’s possible the humidity sensor o the humidity control is defective. If you find that the room temperature feels cool or is over 5% below then the normal room temperature, it’s possible that the heating source is not operating.

3. Head pressure is too high

If the dehumidification system followed the proper start-up procedure and hence met the expectations previously, this is the cause.
The blower belt may be worn out or stretched. Remedy: Tighten or replace the belt.

4. Frost on coils

If you happen to notice frost on coils above the dehumidifier’s drip tray and bucket, this usually shows that the dehumidifier has recently been turned on. Frost always appears as part of the dehumidifier's usual and normal operations as the refrigerant circulates through the coil. In most instances, frost disappears within an hour. In some cases, frost may signify that the room’s temperature is too low. Dehumidifiers operate most effectively where the room temperature is above 40%.
The following are solutions to frost build-up:

  • Turn off the dehumidifier and allow the room to warm up.
  • Turn on the heat source.
  • Locate the dehumidifier in a higher position because the heat rises and the air on the roof is cooler.

Baseaire dehumidifiers have an automatic defroster system that monitors and protects the compressor by turning it off and starting the fan to melt frost before resuming operation. If you happen to live in cold areas, you may consider buying a Baseaire AirWerx 90X dehumidifier that works in lower temperatures and maintain proper care and maintenance, a dehumidifier is built to control humidity in your home for years providing a conducive healthy, and comfortable environment for you and your family.

5. The wrong sized dehumidifier

You may have bought a dehumidifier that contains a much higher water removal capability than you actually need in your house. Some of the machines in the market are designed to function and operate in single rooms and others are designed for the entire house. For the users who have smaller dehumidifiers, they have the capability to remove about 30% of water per day. The larger dehumidifiers have the capability to remove more than 90% of the water every day. Installing a large dehumidifier in a smaller room will bring about less water collection as expected. Vice versa for small dehumidifiers in large spaces; these will tends to accumulate more water than expected. Sometimes, the dehumidifier runs but no water is collected. This proves to the user that the dehumidifier you are having is the wrong size. In case you having trouble identifying and determining the right size of a dehumidifier you need, there exist helpful charts online which will offer guidance and help you identify the right dehumidifier for your house. These charts are based on the size of the house or area that you need the dehumidifier to work on. Alternatively, if you are not sure, please visit our "What factors should be considered when choosing the capacity of a dehumidifier" page to determine the room size and the required dehumidifier size.

6. Parts are malfunctioning

The dehumidifier has many different parts that together achieve a result. This means that parts prone to break down and can stop the operation of the entire dehumidifier. The following is a list of a few examples of parts that can break down and need replacement if you want to keep using the machine:

  • Compressor fairer- The user will hear a buzzing noise now and then. In case the compressor stops running, Humidity rises, and moisture will not be collected.
  • Coils start leaking refrigerant out- Which means that there is leakage at the refrigeration system. The coils stop trapping moisture when air flows through the system.
  • Clogged filters- When the dehumidifier has run for a while it is advisable to check and clean out any of the filters that are clogged to free the airflow through the dehumidifier.
  • Evaporator- The coil located at the back of the dehumidifier is called the evaporator. Air condenses on the coil when the fan draws moisture from it. When the temperature drops, the coil freezes. When this happens, turn off the dehumidifier and allow the room temperature to increase, which defrosts the coil. This can also be solved by elevating the surface, where the temperature is warmer than the floor.
  • Reservoir- Most dehumidifiers have sectors and systems in various settings. When set too high, the dehumidifier may reach the highest humidity level and cause the unit to malfunction. The dehumidifier will run properly after being set at a lower humidity level. If the reservoir remains empty, clean it of dust and dirt.
  • Capacitor- If you happen to note that the dehumidifier is not collecting water even though the room temperature is over 65 degrees, the capacitor in the compressor circuit has an issue. The compressor circulates the refrigerant through the unit to eliminate moisture from the air, collecting in the bucket. When the capacitor fails, the compressor stops running. Signs that the capacitor is faulty and the overload device trips severally.
  • Fan motor- If your dehumidifier is not collecting water and the room temperature is over 65 degrees, the fan motor might be faulty. The purpose of the fan motor is to keep the air flowing across the evaporator coils preventing them from icing up. Remedy: Check to see if the air coming through the grille. If no air is blowing or very little is, inspect the fan cover and evaporator coils and make sure no blockage is available as a result of dust and debris. Ensure the fan can run and rotate easily and the blower wheel is securely bolted to the motor shaft. Sometimes the fan motor rotates slowly, or hum but no rotation, replacement is needed. Most dehumidifiers have run fan mode, this helps to observe the fan.

How to maintain a functional dehumidifier

Proper use of a dehumidifier and replacement of older parts helps keep a healthy system and a smooth running for many years.

  • Filter Replacement- Air filters in the dehumidifiers are designed to clear allergens and dust from the air protecting the appliance’s inside. This improves the quality of air in the room. The owner’s manual of your dehumidifier clearly advises the owner on how to frequently replace the air filters ensuring the appliance’s best and at most performance.
  • Adjusting Humidistat- This is a device that controls the humidity level in the house. The ideal humidity in a typical environment is between 40 and 50 percent for optimal efficiency.
  • Protect the Compressor- When the dehumidifier is turned off and then on quickly, the compressor overheats. Giving the machine at most 10 minutes after it’s turned off to allow pressure equalization in the system.
  • Placement of the Dehumidifier- Your dehumidifier should be placed closer to 6 inches to any wall to allow swift follow of air intake and exhaust. The temperature in the room or area being dehumidified should be at 65° to avoid freeze-ups or burn up of the motor, however, if the dehumidifier is specifically designed for lower temperatures it is allowed.

When your dehumidifier stops water collection, it may not necessarily raise an alarm that it’s faulty. The best analyses are that there is enough humidity in the air at that particular moment in that house. To verify this case, wait for the day that the humidity is higher than usual and check to see if the dehumidifier starts to operate normally again. If this is not the case you need to troubleshoot the issue and replace the worn-out parts of the dehumidifier.

Reading next

5 Causes of Basement Moisture and How to Fix it?
Warranty on Dehumidifiers


Baseaire Service

Baseaire Service

Hi Janice, Yes, you can call our support at 1-888-641-8862 and email us at Thank you.

Baseaire Service

Baseaire Service

Hello Nia, This is our filter category – For any inquiries, please call our support number 1-888-641-8862 and email us at

Nia Zhang

Nia Zhang

Hello, anyone can help me? I need to buy an air filter product. Thanks.

Janice Farr

Janice Farr

Is your company still in business? We have been unable to reach your company for product support.

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