We all know how annoying it can be to have your dehumidifier shut off, especially when you need it the most. When this happens it can be highly frustrating and leave you scratching your head for answers.

If you can relate, you are probably wondering why it happens in the first place. And, perhaps most importantly, asking yourself what can you do to stop it. 

Thankfully, I have good news for you. There are several common reasons your dehumidifier could be shutting off unexpectedly or won’t stay running and most of them can be easily resolved. 

By understanding these potential culprits and implementing some troubleshooting techniques, you can get your dehumidifier to work smoothly again. So,

Why Does Your Dehumidifier Keep Shutting Off?

The most common reasons why your dehumidifier keeps shutting off unexpectedly are a full or incorrectly installed water tank, a malfunctioning humidistat or sensor, or a clogged air filter.

Since high humidity can be a real nuisance, especially during hot and muggy days, your humidifier must work effectively to extract excess moisture from the air in your home quickly and reliably.

So, whether you’re struggling with excessive moisture at home or battling humidity at work during a scorching summer, follow me below to learn more about this common and frustrating issue.

How Does A Dehumidifier Work, And Why It Stops Working

Modern dehumidifiers have a seemingly simple exterior, but they are far more intricate than meets the eye.

Beneath their clunky appearance lies a combination of mechanical and electric components, such as condenser coils, powerful fans, and a myriad of other parts that work in conjunction to achieve the desired dehumidification effect.

However, if any of these components fail to function properly the whole system suffers and the appliance may end up shutting off unexpectedly. As such, understanding how this intricate system works can help you diagnose the reason your dehumidifier keeps shutting off.

How Does A Dehumidifier Work?, And Why It Stops Working

At the most basic level, a dehumidifier works by drawing in the surrounding air, which typically contains a high level of moisture or relative humidity. This air is pulled into the appliance through an intake vent, and before entering the dehumidifier, it passes through a filter that helps remove impurities, such as dust, allergens, and other particles present in the air. 

The filter plays an important role in the dehumidifying process as it ensures that only clean air enters the dehumidifier.

Once it has passed through the filter, the air comes in contact with a set of refrigerated coils within the dehumidifier. These coils are maintained at a lower temperature than the incoming air by a powerful compressor unit.

As the warmer, humid air comes into contact with the cold coils, the temperature difference causes the moisture or water vapor present in the air to condense into liquid droplets that accumulate in the dehumidifier bucket or collection tank.

When the air passes over the dehumidifier compressor coils and condensation occurs, the now drier and moisture-free air is released back into the room through an outlet vent. 

And through this process, the dehumidifier lowers the overall humidity in the room, making the environment more comfortable and less prone to issues caused by excessive moisture.

Reason For A Dehumidifier To Shut Off On Its Own

There can be several reasons why a dehumidifier turns off unexpectedly or fail to work properly. These are the most common ones that could be a problem:

Full Or Incorrectly Installed Water Tank 

As I mentioned earlier, the excess moisture removed from the air by the dehumidifier is stored as liquid water in a specialized reservoir or tank. If the water tank is either full or incorrectly installed, it can cause the humidifier to stop working unexpectedly and shut off.

This is because many dehumidifiers have sensors that monitor the state of the tank to prevent accidental overflow, which could lead to spills, electrical hazards, or other issues. So, if the tank is filled to the brim, or misaligned as a result of incorrect installation, it will cause the dehumidifier to shut off and stop dehumidifying the air around it.

A Malfunctioning Humidistat

A Malfunctioning Humidistat

A malfunctioning humidistat can cause a dehumidifier to shut off. Here is how: the humidistat is a part of the humidifier that measures the humidity level in the air and controls the operation of the dehumidifier based on the desired humidity level set by the user.

So, if the dehumidifier humidistat malfunctions, it may cause the unit to provide incorrect readings or fail to detect significant changes in moisture in the air.

In other words, the dehumidifier may shut off prematurely, thinking that the set humidity level has been reached when it hasn’t.

Conversely, a bad humidity monitor may fail to signal the dehumidifier to shut off when the desired humidity level is reached and keep the dehumidifier from turning off. This can lead to the appliance running continuously, even when it is not necessary, which will put unnecessary strain on the unit, increase energy consumption, and potentially lead to other issues which may affect the unit’s ability to operate properly.

A Clogged Filter 

The filter in a dehumidifier is responsible for trapping dust, debris, and other particles from the air as it passes through the unit.

Therefore, when the filter becomes clogged, it inevitably obstructs the airflow through the dehumidifier which can lead to reduced efficiency and strain on the unit’s various components, such as the fan and compressor.

The restricted airflow generated by clogged filters can also cause the refrigerated coils to become too cold. This can cause frost or ice to accumulate on the coils, affecting the unit’s performance.

To prevent further frost buildup, the unit will keep shutting off until the dehumidifier coils thaw and return to normal operating conditions.

Clogged dehumidifier fan

Check The Fan

While checking the filter, you should also give a quick look to the part of the dehumidifier that moves the air; the fan. A dirty fan blade won’t move as much air, and a clogged fan motor will cause the fan speed to slow down or stop entirely. A can of compressed air can be used in most cases to remove the dust and dirt.

A Faulty Compressor

If everything else looks good and still the dehumidifier won’t stay on, it may be a be a faulty compressor circuit or control board. The compressor has to work to cool the temperature of the coils. There is no real way to confirm this but if you have checked all of the other possibilities, above a more technical issue may be the cause.

These types of problems are not easy to resolve and it may be time to start looking for a new dehumidifier. 

Ending on a High Note: Best Practices For Dehumidifier Performance

Understanding why your dehumidifier stops is crucial for maintaining its optimal performance. By addressing common issues such as a full or incorrectly installed water tank, a malfunctioning humidistat, or a clogged filter, you can prevent unexpected shutdowns and ensure that your dehumidifier is working smoothly and consistently.

To maximize your dehumidifier’s efficiency and reliability, here are some highly useful tips:

  1. Regular Maintenance: Make sure your dehumidifier is cleaned and replace the filter regularly to prevent clogging and ensure proper airflow. Additionally, empty and clean the water tank as needed to avoid overflow and potential damage.
  2. Proper Installation: Ensure that the water tank is correctly installed, aligned, and securely in place to prevent any disruption of the dehumidifier’s function.
  3. Check the Humidistat: Test the accuracy of the humidistat or humidity control by using a separate humidity sensor. If you notice any discrepancies, consider recalibrating or replacing the humidistat to ensure it accurately reflects the humidity in the air of your home, or replace your dehumidifier.
  4. Maintain a Suitable Temperature: Dehumidifiers may struggle to operate efficiently in low temperatures. So make sure to keep the temperature of the room within the recommended range specified by the manufacturer for optimal performance.
  5. Ensure Proper Ventilation: Ensure that the outlet vent of your dehumidifier has adequate clearance to expel the air back to circulate freely. 
  6. Consider the Unit’s Capacity: Make sure that your dehumidifier is not undersized for the space you’re trying to dehumidify, it may continuously run and struggle to reach the desired humidity level, leading to many of the issues outlined above and unexpected, highly inconvenient interruptions of the unit’s operation.

By following these tips and addressing any issues promptly, you can keep your dehumidifier functioning effectively and consistently, creating a comfortable and moisture-free environment in your home or workplace, while saying goodbye to the frustrations of a constantly shutting-off dehumidifier.

Did any of the insights above help you address issues with your faulty dehumidifier? If they did, feel free to comment and share! If not, it may be the end for your trusty devices and you may need to replace your dehumidifier and get a new one.

If you have any advice or success stories of your own, share those as well. Your input can be valuable to others who may be facing similar challenges, so let’s engage in conversation and help each other out!