Portable Dehumidifier Repair Guide

Troubleshooting dehumidifiers for home use - step by step guide. Portable dehumidifier repair when it is leaking or there is water on the floor, ice build-up, has the bad smell, does not start or dry.

The purpose of this article is to inform and help you, the owner of the portable dehumidifier, with the troubleshooting and fixing the unit's problems, humidity level and decreased comfort.

Dehumidifier repair guide is for those who want to avoid expensive service repairs and fix the unit by themselves. The guide will provide useful info and lead you through the process of identifying the problems and how to fix them, and should compliment the unit's manual.

What you should know before repairing the dehumidifier

You should be familiar with the instructions given in the manual before you do any repairs. To avoid frequent problems and dehumidifier repairs, choose the location as directed and install the unit properly.

Portable dehumidifiers are designed to shut OFF when the water bucket is full of water. If the unit is equipped with the alarm it will beep and the "bucket full indicator" will light up. Dehumidifier will resume its operation only when the water bucket is emptied and placed back. In a case of continuous drainage, your portable dehumidifier will work non-stop and there will be no need to empty the water bucket.

It is normal to have the frost build-up on the evaporator coils. In this case, the compressor will cycle off and fan will continue working until the frost is gone. See what the minimum operating temperature is and try to keep the room temperature higher.

Troubleshooting and dehumidifier repair

Here is the list of the most common problems and steps you should take for successful dehumidifier repair. This troubleshooting guide applies on almost all brands; Danby, Kenmore, Haier, LG, Frigidaire...:

Portable dehumidifier won't start

When talking about dehumidifier repair, it will be assumed that the unit has a power, is plugged correctly and the fuse didn't trip. Keep in mind that after the power failure, there is a time delay of few minutes, as the safety mechanism to protect the compressor.

One of the main reasons why the portable dehumidifier does not start is if the water bucket is not positioned properly. Another reason is when the room humidity is lower than the selected humidity level - set the humidity to lower level.

The unit does not dry the air

This problem is one of the most common complaints for the first-time users. Per manufacturer's directions, let the dehumidifier run at least 24 hours before checking the dryness. It just needs some time to remove the moisture to the desired level.

Maintain the air filter and if it is too dirty the filter indicator will light up. It is indicated in your manual when the filter needs to be replaced. Clean the filter once a month with warm water and mild detergent.

Dryness of the air is directly related to the humidity level and how did you set the value. Lower the humidity if prefer drier air, but keep in mind that if the room temperature is lower, it will take more time to remove the moisture.

Another factor that affects the efficiency of your portable dehumidifier is how you install the unit. This location should allow an unobstructed air flow, nothing to block the front and back of the unit and where the louvers are. Also, doors and windows should be closed.

Leaking dehumidifier and water on the floor

Puddle of water is most of the time referred to as a leaking dehumidifier. Check the drain hose connection and if it is loose make sure to tighten. If the bucket was removed water will continue to drip from the coils (condensate). The drain hose should be clean, not clogged or kinked and with the downward slope to the suitable drain.

Other problems

If for any reason your dehumidifier is working for a long time, the area where it is located is too big, or the windows and doors are open and the capacity is not adequate. Dehumidifier operates continuously when the room humidity is high.

It is recommended to wash the water bucket once a month or per directions. Otherwise, if the bucket is dirty and water is left for a long time, the bacteria will form, which will cause a bad smell. Bad odor comes from mold also that develops on the evaporator and condenser coils.

Dehumidifier has to be placed on a level surface. Vibrating noise happens if the unit is tilted.


One is for sure; regular maintenance reduces the frequency of dehumidifier repair. If cleaning the water bucket, air filter, coils and vents regularly you will reduce mold and mildew growth and bad odor from developed bacteria. If for any reason you cannot repair dehumidifier, call a technician.

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