Dehumidifiers Not Working in Crawl

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Old 06-27-16, 08:38 AM
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Question Dehumidifiers Not Working in Crawl

Replacing humidifier in a crawl space. The crawl space consists of a dirt floor covered with sheets of plastic, and about 3.5 ft high and about 800 sq ft. There are no vents to the outside so it's sealed from outside air. The temp is about low 70's. The crawl contains the mechanicals, furnace and water heater. I run a blower to move air 24/7.

The first humidifier I installed was a Frigidaire 50 pt. I connected a hose for continuous draining into a condensate pump. I set the humidity level at 40%. After about four days the unit never got below 75%. I thought maybe it wasn't working so I disconnected the discharge hose to allow the unit to drain into the bucket. Not a drop of water. So, I figured I bought a bad unit and replaced it with a GE 50pt. Basically the same thing happened with the GE. The GE appeared to generate some water through the discharge hose, initially but I don't think lasted very long. Both units are rated to run in temps as low as 41 deg. and there is no obstruction to air flow.

Before throwing out the Frigidaire, I ran it in my garage, where the temps were in the 80's with high humidity. I found water in the bucket just after several hours, so the unit appears to be good.

I don't know what to do to at this point and would appreciate any advice.
 
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Old 06-27-16, 08:55 AM
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Feel the coils of the dehumidifier after it has been running for 10 minutes or so. They should be quite cold to the touch. If not, the dehumidifier is not working properly.

The pints per day ratings of these things tend to be inflated and cherry picked based on the best operating point, but when I used to run one in a basement that measured 60% I'd have to empty the bucket at least once a day.

But one only has to read some reviews of the various models to know that quality is not the strong point of the $200 price point models.
 
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Old 06-27-16, 06:19 PM
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Something isn't right. If the RH is really 75% at 70 then a working de-humidifier should be pouring water. I'm assuming you used the "humidifier" incorrectly and it is in fact a de-humidifier.

What are you using to determine the RH reading down there?

Also, are you running ac upstairs? When you close off the venting and seal a crawlspace you usually share some of your ac and heat with that space and you need to provide combustion air for any naturally vented appliances, a gas water heater or gas furnace.

If your exhaust for a gas water heater is dumping into that crawlspace it is producing a lot of water. So confirm what is down there.

Bud
 
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Old 06-27-16, 06:44 PM
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The water heater is electric and the furnace intake and exhaust are vented directly outside. I keep door (hatch) closed when running heat and air conditioning. So because of the air leaking in the crawl , it stays reasonably warm in the winter but never noticed air conditioning down there in the summer..

Frigidare suggested I check the electric circuit to make sure the plug is 120V.


Thanks
 
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Old 06-28-16, 06:18 AM
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To clarify my last thread, I get the RH from the dehumidifier reading. When I mentioned furnace leaking, not really leaking but the furnace is set up to exhaust some air down there.
So, today I'm going to check the electric socket to make sure it's 120V, should be 15 amp circuit. Maybe there's not enough current to run the compressor only the fan? If it checks out, then I plan on setting the unit in a continuous operating mode instead of a specific RH to see if that makes a difference.
 
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Old 07-12-16, 09:28 AM
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I have been running a dehumidifier in my crawl the last couple weeks too. This one is a GE 50pt. It works fine but it won't drain through a hose to operate continuously. It fills the bucket a couple times a day though and the RH in the crawl is anywhere from 60-80%. I have a small meter that I get the RH reading from not the unit itself. Still trying to figure out why it won't drain out the hose though.
 
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Old 07-12-16, 10:35 AM
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If the hose attaches to the bucket itself, there is usually a plug that has to be cut or pried out to use the hose. Other styles have a hose adapter that has to be slid into place and sometimes it's tricky to get it pushed in far enough that it intercepts the flow of water.
 
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