Basement killing dehumidifiers?


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Old 08-02-22, 05:44 PM
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Basement killing dehumidifiers?

I have to admit, I am at my wit's end.
There is a mistery going on im my basement, that resulted in a few dead dehumidifiers over the last 5 years, and me being absolutely perplexed.

We moved in our house about 7 years ago.
A GE dehumidifier was drying the larger part of the basement which was the only one semi-finished by the previous owner. The dehumidifier was a 40 or 50 pints type. It was draining to the sump pit in a corner. It is a constricted place but it gets the required 12" in front of the filter/intake and the sides.
It was a fairly noisy type, and since I wanted some quiet I went to buy a Frigidaire FFAD7033, a newer quieter model.
I already had FAD704DWD and I liked it.
(I placed the latter in a smaller room also in the basement, where I keep my stereo equipment. It also drains in a sump pit. The space around it is not as constrained.)

So, the FFAD, the newer model, worked for 1.5 years. It dried the basement very well. 1.5 years is not continuous work: it would not work in the winter as it is dry (basement does not get very cold, it stays in high 50-s low 60s). It would engage in April and stop November. One day I noticed change in sound; there was also no warm air coming out. It simply stopped cooling. The humidity rose. I realized it stopped working. EVentually F0 error was displayed.

Frigidair replaced it very promptly.
In a year I saw the condenser freezing, in the summer; the lower half. And F0. When nothing helped, Frigidaire sent another unit. Same exact unit only with the pump, that I did not use.
Long story short, they sent me a 50-pint unit, FFAD5033. When I decided to see why, I realized, FFAD70 has been discontinued.
In a year, which was 2020, it quit.
After this my warranty for teh core was exhausted and Frigidaire said they would no longer be replacing the units.

So. I decided to change the company.
And I bought Homelabs, a 4500 sq ft unit (they rate theirs by square feet). Exactly 10.5b month later.....yes,m you got it right. This was last fall and the time from this April to a few days ago (end of July). I just noticed that the air is cool, not warm as it supposed to be. I looked at the humidistat, it showed rising humidity (it kept it at 43-47, and now it is 53.)
The condenser is not cold. I decided to collect in the bucket, it is dry after 2 hrs. I made it stand unplugged for a day, same thing.

So the Homelabs is sending another unit.
I am legitimately afraid it will be the same story.

Of...and FAD704 in the music room? In 3 years it started making weird banging noises, and quit after 4 years. I got the replacement 3 years ago...stil works fine, though I am watching it like a hawk.


Now. What could be killing me dehumidifiers?
 

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08-03-22, 06:11 AM
stickshift
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My father experienced a similar issue in his house, going through four or five models in not many more years. As stated, they just don't build them like they used to.
 
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Old 08-02-22, 07:19 PM
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I don't know what is killing your humidifiers but the build quality is no longer there and the bulk of the units are built offshore and to low quality standards. Many seem to lose their charge. It wouldn't surprise me if these units are handled roughly during shipping causing minute leaks.

I still recommend Friedrich dehumidifiers. I have two of them.
I have noticed that these units are a little different from others I've worked on. The fans run continuously and the compressor cycles. This makes for more even humidity levels but can be annoying if in a living space.
 
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Old 08-02-22, 07:34 PM
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PJmax


When you say "I've worked on", do you mean you repaired them?
I was trying to find a p[lace who fix them but they do not exist.
Brand new units. They crowded my space so I parted out what I could for spares, and put them to the curb.

Now I have a newly deceased Homelabs. If it could be fixed....

I think the repair is not that different from a refrigerator repair, but after calling all these places, the result was zilch. They say, these things are not repaired by anyone. Excep[t, maybe, DIY folks.
 
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Old 08-02-22, 09:41 PM
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Correct.... you won't find any repair shops working on them. Even the manufacturers don't repair them. I repair them in a DIY capacity.

If they had an easy to repair problem they'd be cost effective to repair but the typical problem is a crack or hole in usually the evaporator (cold) coil. Sometimes it's a defective weld in the refrigeration tubing. If the unit runs but doesn't get hot it indicates the refrigerant has leaked out.
 
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Old 08-03-22, 05:21 AM
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PJ is corect about the poor quality.
I have an old White-Westinghouse from 2008. That thing freeezes up due to my lack of attention, but keeps going and going.
FWIW. i would set it to just barely turn on when the humidty is high. Minimun running time.
Sounds like you need a high end industral model.
 
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Old 08-03-22, 06:11 AM
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My father experienced a similar issue in his house, going through four or five models in not many more years. As stated, they just don't build them like they used to.
 
CircuitBreaker, jeweler voted this post useful.
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Old 08-03-22, 06:27 AM
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Hi, agree , they all seem to be junk, I will be on my 3rd in 5 years, my last unit indicated a drain error E3 however there was never any water in the pan to drain, the one I bought from Costco at least has a 2 yr. warranty.
We’ll see.
Geo🇺🇸
 
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Old 08-03-22, 08:56 PM
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Well, good thing is, I called them yesterday, and today I have the new unit. Their customer care is good, though they do not really support; per their explanation, they are "learning" to support.
I dont' get it, Frigidaire essentially gave me 4 units with me having paid for one. What does it pay them to do that?


Someone suggested I use an AC instead. Maybe. Though I think an AC consumes more juice than a dehumidifier.

Here's an article from Consumer Reports. They say HomeLabs is the best reliabnility-wise.

https://www.consumerreports.org/dehu...s-a1116513556/
 
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Old 08-04-22, 04:35 AM
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You're probably content to replace the units as they fail since there is a warranty, but consider Norm's suggestion about an industrial dehu. The dehumidifiers made for crawlspaces are powerful, efficient, and quiet. They will cost three times what you paid for your current unit though. Check out models by Aprilaire and Aloraire. They're ductable, freezeproof, and can be controlled via bluetooth or optional remote.
I agree with comments that cause of your current units failing is likely poor build quality. I'd also recommend you take a look at the filters. If you can see through the filter it is not protecting the unit's internals.
 
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Old 09-06-22, 05:19 PM
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Morz, I read you loud & clear! I was brought to this thread after posting a very similar thread - New portable dehumidifiers - what's the deal?!

It is frustrating, and maddening in a way. Manufacturers throwing their JUNK out there and people just keep accepting the grief. Can you imagine how much consumer money has been wasted on the current crop of portable dehumidifiers over the past 10 years?! I wish some American consumer agency would give them all a good spanking and demand better quality products.

Unlike you, I have learned this lesson in a non-monetary way - I learned from other peoples mistakes. Still I sure would like to add a true quality portable dehumidifier to my home.

I appreciate Pete's Friedrich dehumidifiers recommendation. But they are expensive - maybe because they're of better quality? I've never heard of them before, no less heard of them having any problems.

I almost pulled the trigger on a new 50/70 pint Honeywell dehum thinking that they might be of higher quality. They do offer a 5 year warranty which is encouraging. But then I read their actual warranty: Models purchased from a heating and cooling professional come with a 5-year warranty. Models purchased at retail locations have a 1-year warranty. What's up with that bologna?! Who the @#%* cares where it was purchased - it's the same *&%# unit!!

Man, I need a nap...
 
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Old 09-13-22, 08:44 AM
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After the first time using a newer 50-pint 'high humidity" Frigidaire in the basement, I noticed something that might help explain this- I suspect that NOT VENTING that hot-dry-air is a big part of premature failure.

I've got a damp, unfinished farmhouse basement, a couple days ago the brace for the sump pump float worked loose and the float jammed in the off position- nothing too bad, about 1-inch of standing water in the low-sloped side of the basement. However, since the floor gets dusty, then entire basement floor got a bit damp as moisture wicked along. So I setup a fan to circulate the air around the basement and brought down the humidifier.

I left the basement door open to let the hot-dry air rise up the staircase (when running the vented dry air is often up around 90° to over 100° degrees Fahrenheit)
Then I noticed that it was taking MUCH longer than I'd expected for the 50 pints to fill up.

My educated guess is: most dehumidifiers are designed to vent the hot-dry air away, leaving the condensed water behind. IF you simply stick a dehumidifier in a damp basement, the hot dry air is even BETTER at removing moisture, so you're almost turbocharging the rate of water extraction- with that MUCH higher load comes a much shorter life for the dehumidifier.




 
 

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