Dehumidifiers – a hot topic

I wanted to share some of the comments I’ve had about the two dehumidifer blogs (written by my husband) that I’ve posted

Dehumidifiers 101 & Dehumidifiers 102:

From Carl Wisniewski:

I have an opinion and suggestions…

Dehumidifiers are just like refrigerators, just not as cold. They cool down the air passing over the coils causing the “dew” in the air to condense and drip into the storage bin or go down a drain. I have a 10 year old, 40-pint unit in my basement.This has been a wet spring/summer and the units are working on overtime. You never hear them running in the fall and winter. The don’t work well when the coils frost over. Operating a frosted unit for an extended period of time can cause premature failure of the compressor. “Frosted coils” happen when the room air temperature gets too cold. Most are not designed to work when the air temp drops below 70 degrees F. My basement is cooler than the rest of the house. I had to elevate the unit (warm air rises) to get it to work better. A small fan moves basement air around to help. I attached a section of garden hose to the drain so it would drain directly to my sump crock.

Some units have a de-ice or defrost control that shuts the compressor down to allow the frost to melt and drip off. These controls fail often and the compressor runs itself to death. A bad on/off switch, a dirty humidistat, a bad compressor relay, or many other reasons could cause your dehumidifier to stop running. If you have it repaired, you then have to decide if the repair is justified versus the cost of a new one. I bought one rated for a larger area than I needed. It does not run as long and can handle heavy “wet” periods. I hope this helps.

From Dave Kennedy:

I’ve had the same dehumidifier for more than 25 years and it runs like a charm. (Westinghouse brand…how’s that for a dinosaur?)  However, several times the circulating fan has slowed or seized thereby allowing the unit to frost up and cease functioning. This is a very common point of failure in a device. There are few other moving parts in a dehumidifier. If your unit’s blade doesn’t spin freely, I suggest removing the fan (likely two screws and a wire harness) and examine it for oil holes. If they exist, place several drops of 20W oil (3 in 1 brand) in the ports and spin the blade to work it in. This may work. Else, you may need to disassemble the motor to clean and lubricate the bushings and bearings. (I’ve done this several times successfully.) Finally, if the motor really has seized up and can’t be freed, consider replacing the motor. I bought a replacement at a parts store over off Mt. Read Blvd. Take the old motor with you and know the direction of the motor’s rotation….A “generic” motor was about $45 versus the “official part” which was close to $100. If you’re somewhat handy, this is an easy repair. It saves more than $100 in replacement costs, it keeps the refrigerant fluorocarbons out of the atmosphere and the hunk of steel out of the landfill.

BTW: I’ve repaired several “curb finds” this way and now have a spare unit.


One thought on “Dehumidifiers – a hot topic

  1. Pingback: Hot & Sticky « How to maximize money for your stuff

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