Basement Dehumidifiers and Humidity from the Drain

by Dee
(Wi)

Will a dehumidifier take humidity from the drain it sets by ( the drain the water from the dehumidifier is running into)? If so seems logical to keep dehumidifier some distance from drain.




Answer

Hi Dee, thank you for your question.

The most common location for a dehumidifier in the USA is in the basement and it is usual for the condensate to be drained to a floor drain. Like all domestic drains a floor drain incorporates a trap, a U, S or P shape in the pipe below the inlet which retains a small quantity of water after every use of the drain.

This water acts as a seal and prevents sewer gas from entering the building through the drain. Sewer gas introduces unpleasant odors into the house and may cause symptoms such as headaches and nausea.

The water in the trap will evaporate over time. That time depends on several factors but the most important are the temperature and relative humidity in the room in which the drain is located. Warmer air and/or lower relative humidity will increase the evaporation rate while cooler or wetter air will reduce the evaporation rate.

Because it is essential to prevent the ingress of sewer gas a drain that is not used frequently may be fitted with a "trap primer". A trap primer releases a small volume of water into the drain from time to time to replenish the water in the trap and counteract the effects of evaporation. A floor drain in a basement may well be equipped with a trap primer since the purpose of the drain is to provide drainage following flooding of the basement which, hopefully, does not happen every day!

How does a dehumidifier affect a floor drain? A dehumidifier lowers humidity (there's nothing like stating the obvious :) ) and raises air temperature a few degrees. This obviously increases the evaporation rate of water in the trap and any other liquid water, in your fish tank or flower vase for example. The effect on the floor drain will be a little greater if the dehumidifier is close to the drain but it will still have a significant effect wherever it is located.

If, as in your case, the dehumidifier is draining continuously to the floor drain the accelerated evaporation of water from the trap is countered by the constant drip of the condensate into the floor drain from the dehumidifier. In other words the dehumidifier, while operating, acts like a trap primer. It has the added advantage that the water has been cooled by the dehumidifier which reduces the rate of evaporation of the water in the trap.

Those who rely on the water collection container, the pan or bucket, to collect the water do not have this convenience and would be wise to empty the contents of the pan, or a portion of them, into the floor drain to replenish the water in the trap once or twice a week.

If you were also concerned about the extra work load on the dehumidifier my view is that it is too small to worry about. The trap may contain ounces, maybe up to a pint or two, of water but this is a minor amount compared with the tens of pints a dehumidifier may extract from the air every day. Moving the dehumidifier a greater distance from the drain will only slow, not eliminate, the evaporation from the drain and may not be worth the effort and potential expense.

If you wish to site your dehumidifier a worthwhile distance from the floor drain you are using you will almost certainly need a condensate pump to force the water to the drain; gravity is unlikely to be sufficient. This is the potential expense I mentioned. In addition the condensate will be a little warmer by the time it reaches the drain, reducing the benefit of the cooling effect of the dehumidifier.

I hope I have dealt with the concerns behind your question but, if not, please get back to me.

Tom (Webmaster)

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Dehumidifier model WDH 851/871 50 pints - "Bucket full" light stays on.

by Claudia
(Lebanon, Pa. USA)

The "bucket full" light will not go off even though I have emptied the bucket and the bucket isn't in place. So the appliance cannot run. What can I do besides return to the store?




Answer

Hi Claudia, thank you for your question

If I have understood your question correctly the "bucket full" light is on when the bucket is not in place; i.e. when the bucket has not been re-inserted into the dehumidifier.

This is quite normal. The "bucket full" indicator on most dehumidifiers will not go off until the bucket is correctly replaced inside the dehumidifier. Try replacing the bucket into the dehumidifier. Ensure that it is properly in place and see if this solves the problem.

If the "bucket full" light does not go off remove the bucket and look inside it. The "trigger" for the bucket full light is a hinged float which rises with the level of water in the bucket and, when it is fully raised, operates a switch that stops the dehumidifier to prevent water from the bucket overflowing. When this switch is operated the "bucket full" indicator comes on.

Occasionally the float may jam in the "up" position, remaining there after the bucket has been emptied and causing the dehumidifier to "think" the bucket is full. Gently, with one finger, try to lift the float toward the top of the bucket. If it does not move easily try a gentle downward pressure and see if it drops back into place.

If this works you have the choice of keeping the dehumidifier and simply releasing the float each time you empty it or of seeking a replacement bucket. If this does not solve your problem either then, as you say, the unit should be returned to the store for replacement, repair or a refund.

I hope this is helpful.

Tom (Webmaster)

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ECO 20LDK

by Steven Elder
(Glenrothes, Fife)

Does the water tank have a handle to carry when emptying?




Answer

The EcoAir ECO 20LDK does not have a carrying handle for the water collection tank.

The manual for the ECO 20LDK includes a drawing of the dehumidifier with the tank partially removed (page 13). You may download a copy by following this link.

The manual is in PDF format and to read it you need to have Adobe Reader installed on your computer. If you do not have Adobe Reader you should install this first by visiting Adobe.com. The download and installation are simple and Adobe is an entirely reputable company from which you may dowload with confidence.

Tom (Webmaster)

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Frigidaire Dehumidifier Drainage Problem

by Anon

Frigidaire FAD704TDP works great but automatic drain quit working, why? Hose is not clogged.




Answer

Hello, thank you for your question.

I assume that the water is dripping into the bucket. If so the dehumidifier is still operating normally and the problem is solely with the drainage.

If the hose is not clogged the most likely explanation is that the hose connector is clogged. With the dehumidifier off and disconnected from the power supply remove the hose. You need something to probe the hose connector that is narrow enough to pass inside, flexible yet rigid enough to be able to work inside the connector. An 18 inch cable tie ( also known as a zip tie or tie wrap) would be suitable.

Care is needed to work the tie into the connector to avoid damage to the dehumidifier so take your time. When the tie is in as far as it will go withdraw it slowly while twisting it. This should loosen any clogged material. If you are successful some water may follow as the tie is withdrawn so be prepared.

Reconnect the hose, power up and, hopefully, the problem will be solved. I can think of no other explanation for the drainage failure but perhaps other visitors to the site would care to add their comments and ideas.

Tom (Webmaster)

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GE 40 Pint Dehumidifier

by Dale
(Clear Lake MN)

Why does the bucket still fill up when I have the hose connected?




Answer


Hello Dale, thank you for your question.

The drain hose is supposed to by-pass the bucket and direct the water to a suitable drain. If the water is not flowing through the hose it is either unable to do so or it is escaping in some way. If the water is unable to drain through the hose it will be deposited in the bucket.

The possible explanations are:


  • The hose is not securely attached onto the nozzle that is just under the drain cover.


  • There is a blockage inside the hose or the hose has a kink in it, either of which will prevent the water from flowing.


  • The drainage is by gravity feed. The hose must be sloping downwards over the entire distance from outlet port to drain. The water will not flow horizontally over any great distance.


  • There is a fault in the dehumidifier.


When you have checked the hose connection, cleared any kink or blockage and ensured that the hose is going "down-hill" all the way you may find the problem is solved. If not try mounting the dehumidifier a foot or two above the floor.

If none of this works the most probable explanation is that there is a fault in the dehumidifier. If the unit is still under warranty you may contact the retailer or GE for help, depending on the terms of that warranty.

Tom (Webmaster)

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Hose not draining tank

by Bob
(Weston, MA)

What do I do next after I have followed your instructions but the tank does not drain into the hose for my Frigidaire FAD704TDP 70 Pint Dehumidifier?




Answer

Continuous drainage diverts the water dripping from the cold coils through the hose before it reaches the tank. If water is appearing in the tank after the hose has been attached there is a problem.

If you have set up your dehumidifier for continuous drainage in line with the instructions given in the manual I can only assume that there is a problem with the individual unit you have purchased. Problems with the continuous drainage feature on this model are uncommon and most users have experienced little difficulty.

Problems have been reported with the newer "DUD" range, partciularly the FAD504DUD, which we have covered in our review.

The next step would be to speak to the store from which you purchased your dehumidifier and/or Frigidaire Customer Service and describe your problem to them. If the dehumidifier is faulty and was recently purchased you should be able to return or replace it.

Tom (Webmaster)

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LG LD650EAL Dehumidifier

by Paul Kahanic
(Ashville NY)

I have one of these dehumidifiers and it works well EXCEPT I cannot get the unit to drain from the hose attachment. I have it connected properly as far as I can tell anyway. However, it continues to drain into the bucket and I need to empty it up to twice per day. Any suggestions? The guy at Home Depot is stumped. Thanks!




Answer

Hi Paul, thank you for your question.

I will begin by saying You Are Not Alone! Problems with continuous drainage are commonly reported with LG Dehumidifiers and the user's manual is not very helpful.

I guess the guy at Home Depot has been through all the obvious solutions but I'll mention them anyway just to make sure. Drainage is by gravity feed so the drain hose must be angled downwards throughout its length from dehumidifier to drain. There must be no "kinks" in the hose and the hose must have no internal obstruction throughout its length. It helps to mount the dehumidifier above floor level.

If you have checked all these, and I am sure you have, the only other possibility is that the water dripping from the evaporator coils is bypassing the hose. There is an outlet inside the dehumidifier above the bucket from which the water drips. Unless the model has been altered this should be black in color and on the upper inside right of the dehumidifier in the cavity where the bucket rests. The hose connector must be secured over this outlet for the drainage to work.

I hope this will help you to solve the problem. If it does not I'm afraid I'm stumped too!

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Basement dehumidifier and the drainage hose. Help!

by Theresa
(CT)

I just received my Danby dehumidifier for the basement and have set up the drainage hose. Help! I have a sump pump with two hole openings, does it matter which whole I put the hose in?




Answer

Hi Theresa and thank you for your question.

Your sump pump draws water from a sump basin, a reservoir in which unwanted basement water collects. This is a shallow hole in the floor, usually enclosed beneath a lid or cover. The pump may be either a "pedastel" or a "submersible" type.

The pedastel type has the pump mounted, typically on a slim column, above the sump basin whereas the submersible type is located in the sump basin itself. Despite this difference both types draw the water from the sump basin so you need to direct the dehumidifier drain hose into the sump basin.

The two openings you describe are, I assume, in the lid/cover which is located on top of the sump basin. In that case either should lead the drain hose to empty into the sump basin.

If my description fits your sump pump set-up your problem should be solved. Pictures are sometimes more understandable than words so I'll give you this address for a page which illustrates a dehumidifier set up to drain into a sump pump basin:

http://www.drymich.com/services/crawl-space-encapsulation/crawlspace-dehumidifier.html

You can either copy and paste this url into the address bar of your browser to go directly to the page or into the search box and click on the first result to go to the page.

The picture I want you to see is the second image on the page and the dehumidifier in the picture is pale blue. Click on the image for a larger view.

This picture will show you clearly the correct set-up for continuous drainage from a dehumidifier to a sump pump.

I hope this helps.

Tom (Webmaster)

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Internal dehumidifier pumps - Why don't they last?

Your review of DeLonghi dehumidifiers includes a statement that built in pumps in portable units do not last that long. Yet your review of Winix says that the built in pump justifies the higher price.

What is the basis for your statement that they do not last long, how long might one actually last, and what makes them stop working? Thank you.




Answer

Hello and thank you for your question.

My comment about the short life of internal condensate pumps in portable units is based, in part, on the frequency with which this issue is raised in consumer reviews.

The failures occur mostly within the first year after purchase although there are instances where the pump was faulty at the point of purchase and has never worked. There are also repeated references in reviews to failures occurring in a series of units as one unit is replaced by another (under warranty) and the pump on the replacement unit fails, and so on.

The incorporation of a pump in Winix models justifies the additional cost of those models because if an external pump was purchased for use with a model in which there is no internal pump the total cost, dehumidifier plus external pump, would be equal to or greater than the cost of a Winix with an internal pump.

What makes them stop working? One word, quality, or rather two words, poor quality.

The price most consumers are prepared to pay for a portable model is insufficient to cover the cost of production of a high quality, long lasting appliance, even when it's made in Asia where wages are much lower than in the USA. You have only to look at the price that must be paid for a basement model, a Santa Fe for example, to see what a well engineered unit, made in the USA, might cost.

In general I recommend buyers to purchase a model without an internal pump and to buy a separate pump, of decent quality, if needed. If the dehumidifier fails in a relatively short time at least you still have the pump!

I hope that has covered all your points.

Tom (Webmaster)

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GE 65 pint dehumidifier continuous drainage

by R Gray
(Clifton Park, NY)

When connecting a hose to discharge water, how to cause water to exit hose?




Answer

I assume you have connected the hose to the unit but, if not, the procedure is as follows:

1) Take the bucket out of the unit.

2) Open the drain cover, a small rectangular flap on the side of the casing.

3) Thread one end of the hose over the nozzle.

4) Lead the other end of the hose to a floor level drain.


If this is not working possible issues include:

1) The hose is too long; it should not exceed five feet in length.

2) The hose is not following a consistent, downward path to the drain. The drainage is by gravity feed so this is essential. You can assist drainage by raising the unit a few inches above the floor to steepen the angle at which the hose descends.

3) There is a kink in the drain hose or a blockage inside it. With a hose of only five feet it should be possible to see an internal blockage by holding the hose straight (with help of course) and peering through it.

4) There is a blockage inside the drainage pipe; that is the pipe which terminates at the nozzle to which the hose is connected. Attempting to unblock this yourself may invalidate any guarantee you may have.

If you choose to ignore this risk the best thing to use is a zip-tie. Work it into the pipe. You will reach a bend in the pipe which you will have to work past. When it stops again you have gone as far as you can go. Now withdraw it slowly, twisting it as you go. With a little luck this will remove, or loosen, any obstruction and allow the water to run out.

5) If none of these solutions works there is a fault in the unit which should be corrected under the warranty if you still have one.

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Basement dehumidifier with internal pump

by Richard
(Minnesota)

I need an affordable basement dehumidifier that will cover up to 1,000 SF, and has a pump for continuous operation with a shut off function once it reaches programmed humidity level.

However, I need the pump to be strong enough to be able to pump the water up 8 feet, across the room (14 feet) before it starts flowing downward into the lower basement room and laundry sink. So, it needs to have about 36 feet of tubing included.

Might you have a suggestion?




Answer

I assume that you are looking for a portable unit, such as a Frigidaire or Danby, rather than a much more expensive "basement" model, such as a Santa Fe. Such a model will be effective if you do not need to use the unit in ambient temperatures below 60-65 degrees.

Few portable models are equipped with an internal pump. One such model is the Winix 50 Pint WDH851 which has a pump with a 15 foot vertical lift capacity which would probably be effective for the combination of vertical and horizontal movement you describe. This model comes with a hose only 18 feet long and I am not aware of any other portable model which includes a hose of greater length.

I would strongly urge you to consider an alternative solution which is to purchase a unit without an internal pump and to buy a separate pump and hose. I say this for three reasons.

1) The experience of users is that the internal pumps in portable units do not last long.

2) Portable units with internal pumps cost more than models without a pump and the cost of buying the two items separately is scarcely different from that of buying a dehumidifier with an internal pump.

3) With two separate items if one of the two should fail you still have the other which will continue to operate with the replacement for whichever part of the combination has failed.

With regard to your other requirement all popular portable models have a humidistat with which you may set the level of humidity you wish to maintain. The unit will simply cycle on and off as required to maintain that level.

As for models there is, to be frank, little to choose between them. The most popular brands are Alen, Danby, Frigidaire and GE which, like pretty much all portables sold in the US, are made in China. I would recommend a 70 pint unit for your basement as 1000 square feet is the upper limit for a 50 pint model and it is always desirable to have a margin of extra power.

I hope this is helpful.

Tom.

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