Dehumidifier Not Collecting Water: 13 Reasons and Troubleshooting

Is your dehumidifier not collecting water even though it is turned on? Don’t worry! You are not alone. I have also faced a similar situation and to get started I can let you know there could be multiple reasons behind this issue.

The good news is that solutions or not costly or complex. I invite you to check out this informative guide and fix your issue in no time. Let’s get going!

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Dehumidifier Not Collecting Water (3)

Quick Answer

To answer quickly, a dehumidifier not collecting water can occur due to multiple reasons. The most prominent ones are listed below:

  1. Issues with the electricity supply;
  2. Components of the control board might be moved, or stuck;
  3. Blockages in the drainage system.

However, it might have issues with its compressor, fan motor, or coil. I was able to discover solutions to all of these and am happy to share them with you. Continue reading to learn about the dehumidifier types and how to deal with their problems. I have also attached a video explanation. So without wasting any time, let’s deep dive into the details!

Why Dehumidifier Isn’t Collecting Water: 3 Common Reasons

Firstly, let’s discuss the most common culprits behind not collecting water issue.

  1. Low moisture in the air could be the reason why water collection is less than usual.
  2. The room has reached the target humid air level so the dehumidifier is not collecting water anymore.
  3. Dehumidifiers with full tanks often have auto-shut-off so further water is not collected.
Why Dehumidifier Isn't Collecting Water

Read Also: Why is My Room So Dusty? 7 Important Reasons to Know

Is your air is humid and the dehumidifier faulty? Read below where I discuss the technical issues.

Dehumidifier Types Table

It is important for you first to determine which dehumidifier you own. Once you know you can go through problems and it’s fixes. Let’s see.

Desiccant Dehumidifier

Compressor Dehumidifier

These do not have a compressor

Is equipped with a compressor

It is lighter in weight

It is quite heavy

Less noisy in comparison

Produce noise because of the compressor

Works best at temperatures below 15°C

It works well even in warmer weather (over 15◦C)

Energy efficient

Consume more energy if compared

Small in size

Larger in size

The Desiccant Dehumidifier Runs but No Water Fills Up: 3 Main Causes

If you own a desiccant dehumidifier then one of the following could be a reason why it is not working properly. Let’s have a look.

1. The Filters Needs Cleaning

First, check if the filter is clean to ensure good airflow. If the filter is clogged it can cause multiple problems such as:

  1. The dehumidifier might not be able to extract water if the air can’t flow through it properly.
  2. A blocked filter can make the dehumidifier consume more energy without working well.
The Filters Needs Cleaning

So make sure to wash the air filter for optimum performance frequently.

2. The Fan and Its Motor Not Functioning Properly

Another reason for low water collection could be because the fan is not working. You can fix it by one of the following in most cases:

  1. Make sure nothing is in the fan’s way which is stopping it from spinning freely. Remove or clean it to extract moisture adequately.
  2. Ensure the fan is firmly screwed in place so it works flawlessly.
  3. Check if the fan motor is faulty. If you hear humming yet the motor is not spinning fast, it is most likely defective. If the motor doesn’t rotate or make any sound, it may still be defective. So check with a multi-meter for confirmation.
The Fan and Its Motor Not Functioning Properly

3. Desiccant Dehumidifiers’ Fan Blades Are Worn Out

Damaged fan blades can significantly impact a dehumidifier’s functionality in several ways:

  1. Reduced Air Circulation: A cracked or bent fan will not be able to remove excess moisture from the air effectively.
  2. Inefficient Cooling: Damaged fan blades may fail to cool the dehumidifier. This may lead to overheating of the unit and less effective operation.
  3. Noisy Operation: A broken fan will have water collection problems and also make noise which will disrupt your peace.
  4. High Energy Consumption: The dehumidifier might use more energy if the fan blades are damaged, resulting in higher energy bills and less efficiency.
Dehumidifiers' Fan Blades Are Worn Out

To know if your fan blades are worn out:

  1. Check if there are any wobbling or irregular movements.
  2. Notice if the airflow is slower than usual.
  3. Try to listen if you hear unusual and irregular noises such as rattling and scraping.

Compressor Dehumidifier Not Collecting Water but Running: 4 Possible Reasons

Are you one of the owners of compressor dehumidifiers? Then go ahead and read below to find the issue and solution in your appliance.

1. Coil Might be Frozen Due to Air Temperature

Most dehumidifiers are equipped with coils to convert moisture to water. In cold weather, these coils might have frost built up on it. This stops the unit from functioning.

The fan motor would be working fine yet the water tank would not fill. Read below how to fix it. Most compressor dehumidifiers work well within:

  1. Temperatures range from 18°C to 30°C.
  2. While relative humidity levels of 70% – 80%.

Coil Might be Frozen Due to Air Temperature

Opt for an auto-defrost feature in your dehumidifier. It will help automatically detect low temperatures and turn off operation. This is beneficial because it will make the coils warm and defrost so they can work again.

Important: If your dehumidifier already has an auto frost feature yet the coils freeze, then it needs professional repair.

2. The Dehumidifier’s Coils Are Blocked

If the dehumidifier is powered on yet the airflow is less than expected then most likely coils are clogged. Prevent this from happening by regularly cleaning debris and dust. To clean the blocked coils do follow these steps:

  1. Take apart the dehumidifier and clean the coils. Be careful not to push the dirt deeper into the coil.
  2. Use a spray cleaner to wash off tough dirt and make the coils clean again.
YouTube video

3. Faulty Compressor

There could be an issue of tripping due to overload. That is when the compressor doesn’t start and gets too hot. It happens to prevent fire hazards. The overheating is due to underlying issues such as a bad capacitor.

On the other hand, the most common problem with this type of dehumidifier is a faulty compressor. You can detect it by:

  1. An unusual buzzing sound;
  2. A significant decrease in water extraction.

Precautionary Measure

If your dehumidifier has a faulty compressor then you will need a professional to inspect and fix it. However, you can prolong the compressor’s life. Avoid using an extension lead to power your dehumidifier. A failed overload device can prevent effective moisture extraction from the air.

4. Low Refrigerant Fluid

A possible cause of low dehumidification is insufficient refrigerant fluid. It is usually due to leaks in the coils that hold the fluid. You will need professional help to fix this.

Other Reasons Dehumidifier Runs but Collects no Water: Compressor or Desiccant Problems

Were you not able to identify the problem from the list above? No worries. You should read below to find the additional causes of the dehumidifier not working. These issues can occur in both desiccant and compressor dehumidifiers.

Other Reasons Dehumidifier Runs but Collects no Water

1. Using Your Dehumidifier Excessively

Dehumidifiers should not run constantly. If the air is not very humid keeping it on will cause strain on the appliance. It will lead to malfunctioning. So use only when the humidity in your home is notably high.

2. The Drainage Pipe is Clogged

The dehumidifiers with drain pipes could be clogged or bent in a way that’s not letting the water flow out properly. Remove any hindrance or dirt buildup to avoid this.

3. The Circuit Board has Malfunctioned

The circuit board is a vital component that helps control and operate your dehumidifier. Despite being built to be safe, extreme overheating and power surges can still harm the circuit board. In this case:

  1. Check your warranty coverage. If it’s still valid, contact the manufacturer for free repairs.
  2. If the warranty has expired, compare the costs of repairs to the price of a new model. The reason is a circuit board may not be very costly but installation and configuration charges can add up.

4. Float Switch Maybe Stuck

Dehumidifiers have float switches to stop the operation when the water tank is full. If the float switch gets stuck, it can wrongly signal a full tank. In this case:

  1. Take out the tank and find the float switch inside the dehumidifier.
  2. Tap the switch gently to reset it or push it down if it’s stuck in the wrong position.

5. The Run Capacitor is Faulty

If your dehumidifier has power but the fan or compressor doesn’t start, it might indicate a faulty capacitor. Understand that the capacitor supplies the initial power surge needed to kick-start the motor.

A bad capacitor would not have enough power for the fan or compressor. This can cause overheating and not working. In this case, you can simply get a new capacitor from the hardware store. For better understanding, check out this helpful video.

YouTube video

6. The Relay Might be Stuck

Relays in a dehumidifier activate different parts, such as the fan and compressor. So, a stuck relay won’t start the fan. Fortunately fixing it is easy. Do this:

  1. Disassemble the dehumidifier to find the control board.
  2. To locate the relays look for small black boxes.
  3. If they are stuck, gently tap them with a screwdriver. The taps will be able to unstick the relays and your dehumidifier will be good to go.


How do I know if my dehumidifier compressor is working?

If your dehumidifier compressor is working you will be able to notice drops in the moisture in your room. You can also feel the air around the appliance. It should be cooler meaning water vapors are being sucked in. Finally, listen to steady, humming noise. It will indicate it is working properly.

Why is my dehumidifier blowing cold air and not collecting water?

If your dehumidifier is blowing cold air and not collecting water, it means that the compressor is not functioning. You can confirm it by checking if the water tank is filling up or not.

What is the average lifespan of a dehumidifier?

The average lifespan of a dehumidifier is 5 to 10 years. You can extend it by doing proper maintenance. Such as cleaning its filter on time, draining the water tank when full, etc.

How long does it take for a dehumidifier to start collecting water?

It takes 6 to 8 hours for a 2-liter water tank dehumidifier to start collecting water.


To summarize if your dehumidifier not collecting water, you can diagnose and fix most of the issues yourself. Components such as relay, and float switch will work by simply tapping them. While a faulty capacitor can be replaced quickly.

If the coils are frozen, use a defrost detection feature so it prevents the coils from freezing. For problems in the circuit board, refer to the manufacturer’s warranty and see if it covers free repairs.

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