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How to Auto Empty a Dehumidifier
By Donald Grummett
A dehumidifier is a very important device for those homeowners with a damp basement. Dampness can lead to mold, mildew, and increased incidence of allergies. Unfortunately, a dehumidifier can be a real pain in the backside because you have to keep emptying the water storage bucket. Simply getting it in and out of the machine can be difficult. Getting the bucket to the sink without spilling its contents can sometimes require the balancing abilities of a juggler.
A better method is to add a drain hose to the dehumidifier so the water drains by itself. This eliminates the dreaded trek to dispose of the water.
Firstly, make sure your dehumidifier has a threaded drain connection. This is a threaded nozzle at the rear of the machine that empties into the water bucket.
Remove the water storage bucket. You should see a threaded nipple connection. A few models have a connection on the water bucket itself. Either allows a drain hose (or a piece of a lawn hose) to be attached to the rear of the machine.
Once a hose is attached the water drains into the hose. The hose can then be directed away from the dehumidifier into a floor drain.
Above the Sink Method
Not every home has a floor drain. Therefore, some consumers install the dehumidifier above a sink to allow for easy draining. This does require the installation of a wall bracket or shelf higher than the sink. The water produced by the dehumidifier is then simply allowed to drain directly into the sink or laundry room standpipe.
The above the sink method works but limits their usage to one area. Also regular maintenance, such as cleaning the filter, becomes difficult. Simply leaving the dehumidifier on the floor is more convenient. Plus it allows you to quickly move it to others rooms, if required.
Drain Hose Method
A better method is to take advantage of the threaded drain connection at the rear of your dehumidifier. With a lawn hose added for draining, the distance between dehumidifier and drain becomes virtually unlimited.
Remember water will always flow downhill. Therefore if the drain point is lower than the drain connection on the dehumidifier, the water will run down the hose.
Throughout this article the term ‘floor drain’ is used. If you have no floor drain then an alternate can be used. Consider a shower stall drain, a toilet, a sink, a sump hole, or a standpipe for a washing machine. Although a floor drain is easiest, any of the other drains work equally well. The fact that they are higher above the floor level simply means the dehumidifier end of the drain hose will have to be raised higher to compensate.
It sounds simple enough, but the dehumidifier may be in one part of the basement and the floor drain another, with 50 feet of lawn hose between them. Finding the correct height for each end is the whole trick. You therefore have to determine their height relative to one another. This in turn will be the secret to eliminate the need to empty the machine.
The simplest way to do all this and make your dehumidifier drain automatically is the following:
Your dehumidifier drain is now fully automatic. Every time the dehumidifier cycles off the accumulated moisture will run into the drain trough, down the drain hose, across to the floor drain, and down the drain. No more having to empty cumbersome water storage buckets.
Lastly, you should make note on a calendar to clean or replace the dehumidifier filter every month. This, along with some occasional maintenance, will keep your dehumidifier working efficiently far into the future.
Copyright 2007 by Donald Grummett. All right reserved. Donald Grummett has been in the trade over 30 years as a technician, business owner, and technical trainer. Visit MG Services to learn more invaluable information about your appliances.
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Last Modified: 24 March 2020
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