Author Topic: Dehumidifier - fix it or buy new?  (Read 316 times)

Omy

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Dehumidifier - fix it or buy new?
« on: August 31, 2019, 08:01:34 AM »
The 10 year old standalone dehumidifier in my basement recently stopped functioning properly. Does this fall in the fix-it-myself category...or should I buy a new one for $250ish?

Cranky

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Re: Dehumidifier - fix it or buy new?
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2019, 08:48:58 AM »
Do you know how to fix it? 10 years is a good long life for a dehumidifier.

I only last year learned that they have filters, and once I cleaned that off it was amazing what a difference it made.

magnet18

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Re: Dehumidifier - fix it or buy new?
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2019, 09:15:36 AM »
Failure symptom?
Could be a filter, could be some CLR or vinegar to clean up water scale might help, could just be a fuse?

Omy

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Re: Dehumidifier - fix it or buy new?
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2019, 09:40:48 AM »
It runs but doesn't seem to be pulling water very well. The digital display said we had 33% humidity (which seems really low given how humid it feels). I have never cleaned the filter (oops...didn't know that was a thing!) so I will try that first.

Bird In Hand

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Re: Dehumidifier - fix it or buy new?
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2019, 07:36:11 AM »
10 years is a long time for the newer/cheaper dehumidifiers (those in the ~$200 price range that have been sold for the past 10+ years).  In my experience it's common for the cheap compressors to die in 3-5 years with moderate use.

If the dehumidifier indicates a RH of 33%, it is not going to be able to extract much more water from the air.  In this case, you need to ask yourself why the RH is only 33% -- is it due to a faulty hygrometer, or has the dehumidifier actually removed so much moisture from the air that the ambient RH really is 33%, or is the local RH already close to 33% leaving little for the unit to do?

What does weather.com/google weather/etc. say the mid-day RH is compared to the 33% your dehumidifier indicates?  Bear in mind that RH decreases as temperature increases; so if the outdoor RH is 46% @65 deg, a temperature of 75 deg next to your dehumidifier will result in a RH of 33% (assuming same dew point).  Is your house air conditioned such that the indoor RH is already much lower than the outdoor RH?

I'd probably pick up a hygrometer or two to sanity check the dehumidifier's reading.  You can get a 4- or 6-pack of digital hygrometers on Amazon for $9-$13.  They work well and are useful to have.

Omy

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Re: Dehumidifier - fix it or buy new?
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2019, 09:07:36 AM »
Thanks for the input, everybody. We are going out to find a Labor Day sale for a new one.
Cleaning the filter did nothing (shockingly, it wasn't even very dirty after ignoring it for a decade). And the humidity in the basement is much higher than the dehumidifier's display indicates.

I might keep the old one around to see if I can revive it with a cheap enough part if I get inspired...but more likely I will give it to the handyman who canvases our neighborhood for broken "junk" that he fixes and resells.