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Sudden dehumidifier death - what can I check for?
Old 08-18-2010, 05:07 PM   #1
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Sudden dehumidifier death - what can I check for?

Our floor-model dehumidifier suddenly quit dehumidifying. The motor was running, but the bucket wasn't filling up.

Are there any parts or places on the appliance that we can check, before consigning it to the landfill?

Thanks!

Amethyst
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Old 08-18-2010, 05:08 PM   #2
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By the motor, do you mean the fan? Is the compressor running?
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Old 08-18-2010, 05:44 PM   #3
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Short answer, get rid of it buy a new one.

My old dehumidifier did the same. Posted it on Craigslist as not working, compressor short cycling, Free. Next day three people wanted it. It was low on refrigerant, was short cycling. Wallymart had a replacement for a tad over $100.

The old one was 5 yrs old. New one works like a charm. I can fix a lot of stuff, this was not worth my effort or time. Most of these are made cheaply, typically the compressor craps out for any number of reasons.

OTOH I Have a 20+ year old Westinghouse, Weighs a ton, unit looks ugly as sin, yet works like a champ.
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Old 08-18-2010, 05:52 PM   #4
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My 4 year old dehumidifier just died after 4.5 years. I always ran it 2 hours ON, 2 hours OFF to allow the motors to cool down.
I called for a warranty reference number, took it to the authorized service shop, and was told I had to suffer a $59.95 bench charge for diagnosis. A non-refundable bench charge, mind you.
The owner was a real SOB about the fact that I had "not bought it here". My favorite Bostonian was with me and ready to flame the guy.

I replaced it with a $150 unit.

Bronx cheer, buddy (appliance shop owner).
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Old 08-18-2010, 05:55 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by freebird5825 View Post
My 4 year old dehumidifier just died after 4.5 years...
Must have something to do with daylight saving time...
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Old 08-18-2010, 05:59 PM   #6
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Must have something to do with daylight saving time...
Did somebody catch me doing bad math?

BRONX CHEER

My 4.5 year old dehumidifer....yadda yadda yadda
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Old 08-18-2010, 08:24 PM   #7
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I agree with the junk it crowd. Dehumidifiers have the lowest satisfaction rating of any home appliance, so if you get one that gives you more than a couple of years of heavy use you should be happy. I'm not sure why they die so fast, but we've had numerous ones over the years and some last and some don't. I tried to go the repair route with a couple of them, but the parts were absurdly expensive and they are not the easiest things to work on. IMO, dump it and move on.
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Old 08-18-2010, 08:40 PM   #8
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If the fan didn't run, then there are a couple of things you could check (internal fuses or circuit breakers? The "bucket full" float switch malfunctioning, etc). But since the fan (?) is running but it's not condensing water, the only quick things I can think of checking would be dust/gunk on the coils (would have produced gradual loss of effectiveness, not sudden). Before throwing it out, I'd try a few sharp smacks and then probably pop it open and jiggle all the wires and look for a fuse connected to the compressor motor, but I wouldn't spend much time trying to fix it.

Because these dehumidiers have refrigerant in them that depletes the ozone layer, I think you are supposed to take it somewhere to have that purged before throwing it away. Our county takes stuff like this a few times per year for free.
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Old 08-19-2010, 07:37 AM   #9
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The defunct dehumidifier is at least 20 years old (Whirlpool). We're grateful to have had that much use out of it. Just wanted to see if we could try anything to bring it back to life, since older models of pretty much everything tend to be sturdier and better than today's cw@p. Thanks, samclem, for the tips - I will try them.

We bought a Chinese (Haier brand) replacement for $162.00, but I won't have much luck convincing retired husband to follow Freebird's advice to cycle it on and off - he won't bother - so I'll just budget to replace it in a year or two.

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Old 08-19-2010, 07:50 AM   #10
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...I won't have much luck convincing retired husband to follow Freebird's advice to cycle it on and off - he won't bother - so I'll just budget to replace it in a year or two.
You can purchase a multi-stage electronic timer you plug the dehumidifier into.

I do that with mine (located in the basement) due to our electric usage (off-peak) charges. The timer I bought many years ago can have multiple off/on cycles, rather than just one. In my case, you can have it turn an appliance off/on seven times in a 24-hour period, or seven different times over a seven day period.

Just a thought...
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Old 08-19-2010, 08:00 AM   #11
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Chinese consumer goods are the new 1950's Japanese consumer goods. I'm sure the Chinese can make things to quality control specs since my Lenovo Thinkpad for work(I use a Macbook Pro at home) seems to just keep chugging along. But in most cases anything I have purchased of consumer grade dies in a couple of of months. I try to avoid things "made in china".

I had my watch fall off my wrist about 6 weeks ago, and I started to use one I found in the house, but while the quartz mechanism was made in Japan, the case was made in China. Whenever I would sweat just a little bit, it would fog up inside and I'd have to take it apart an dry it out. After about the 4th fog up, the moisture corroded the Japanese mechanism and the watch died.

China may be buying our debt. I'm not sure I want to be buying up their debt. But in a couple of decades, japan manufacturing will be in decline, and China will be the new quality control leader. But I probably won't live to see the day.
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Old 08-19-2010, 08:25 AM   #12
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I was about to chime in with a comment related to the old model dehumidifier that was still running, something along the lines of, "They don't build 'em like they used to," but one of the books I've been reading about mutual funds gave me an odd thought. What if they do build them just the same as ever, but we're evaluating older models based on "survivorship bias"?

Heh. Ok, probably not, but still... Funny what occurs to you when you cross-think topics.

Josh
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