Dehumidifier icing

Kestas

Staff member
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13,871
Location
The Motor City
This is a 25 year old unit that has worked fine until this year. I took it apart and cleaned the accumulated dust, but it still ices over. The picture is after two hours running. There is no temperature probe to control the compressor. Why has it started icing?
 
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1,231
Location
canada
Did you clean both sides of the coil?? on mine the front side was blocked with crud as well! it was hard to see until i really got in there and looked. after cleaning no more ice.
 

Kestas

Staff member
Thread starter
Messages
13,871
Location
The Motor City
I'll check tomorrow after it thaws to look for a fill port. I don't remember seeing one. Also, what refrigerant would it use? Working from memory, I believe it had r12 when I bought it. I remember thinking that was odd because the auto industry was moving to r134 at the time. I cleaned both sides. The sheet metal and grilles were removed for cleaning. Everything was cleaned with a garden hose.
 

JTK

Messages
13,239
Location
Buffalo, NY
Could the fan motor not be working like it used to? I've also seen these ice over when being used in too cold an ambient air temperature.
 
Messages
10,597
Location
Cincinnati, OH, USA
^Low on refrigerant for sure, that's why all the ice is on one side (where the capillary tube enters the coil). It likely has a process tube that would have to be cut off & a new Schrader style fitting brazed on to be able to add freon to it. Likely not worth it.
 

JTK

Messages
13,239
Location
Buffalo, NY
No doubt on the newer ones. I went through 2 in 4yrs until I got lucky with the Danby unit I bought about 10yrs ago.
 
Messages
13,251
Location
1/2 hr N.E. of Detroit
Low on refrigerant. Also keep it clean by using a air compressor blow-job on it - outside every couple years. I hose-down my filter over the clothes washer sink, every month during the summer. Dries in a hour or so. Best move I made with it was running a garden hose to the bottom of it, so the water drains into my basement floor sewer.
 
Messages
1,050
Location
Virginia
Originally Posted By: nickaluch
25 years I'll take it. Can't get 2 years out of the new ones. In the process of looking for a new one.
I just had a Frigidaire dehumidifier die in under a year. Luckily, they said they would refund my money. We'll see if this Hisense from Lowes does any better.
 
Messages
4,398
Location
Connecticut
My 7-10 year old Sahara SD40 is now doing the same thing. Just started doing this yesterday with a basement temp of 74 deg. Never done it before UNLESS air temp is <68 degrees, then it ices up all the time on start up. During early summer and late fall I sometimes have to run a space heater into it to keep it ice free for 30 minutes to warmup. But this shouldn't happen in the middle of summer. My 2nd dehumidifier over 27 yrs. Never cleaned coils once before today. But did so today. Made no difference and hardly anything on them. The first 5 coils ice up within 5 minutes. Then it moves gradually into the 9th of 20 coils and continues to thicken up the ice. Fan is running fine as is the compressor. Air path is clear - especially with front screen and rear air filter removed. A tiny bit of dust in the condenser fins but it can't be the cause of the unit going rogue in one day. Never seen ice before during mid-summer. Looks like time to look for a new unit...as this must be losing Freon. Any recommendations for a new 900 sq ft basement unit? I think my last one cost around $225. I run it mostly from late May to early September. I just need something simple as I empty my 2 gallon tub manually once or twice a day. No need for level control, timers or other such things. Just a humidistat dial and a fan speed selection.
 
Messages
13,251
Location
1/2 hr N.E. of Detroit
Originally Posted By: 69GTX
My 7-10 year old Sahara SD40 is now doing the same thing. Just started doing this yesterday with a basement temp of 74 deg. Never done it before UNLESS air temp is <68 degrees, then it ices up all the time on start up. During early summer and late fall I sometimes have to run a space heater into it to keep it ice free for 30 minutes to warmup. But this shouldn't happen in the middle of summer. My 2nd dehumidifier over 27 yrs. Never cleaned coils once before today. But did so today. Made no difference and hardly anything on them. The first 5 coils ice up within 5 minutes. Then it moves gradually into the 9th of 20 coils and continues to thicken up the ice. Fan is running fine as is the compressor. Air path is clear - especially with front screen and rear air filter removed. A tiny bit of dust in the condenser fins but it can't be the cause of the unit going rogue in one day. Never seen ice before during mid-summer. Looks like time to look for a new unit...as this must be losing Freon. Any recommendations for a new 900 sq ft basement unit? I think my last one cost around $225. I run it mostly from late May to early September. I just need something simple as I empty my 2 gallon tub manually once or twice a day. No need for level control, timers or other such things. Just a humidistat dial and a fan speed selection.
If you really feel you don;t need a new dehumidifier, then read this below..... You either live in a low spot - water your front & back lawn too much - have mortar cracks on your outside walls - have home windows that need caulk badly - no cinder block basement windows....... something is going on, that it can't keep up with a sub-1000sq ft basement/home. I have a Home Depot-purchased, money-value three feet high Danby Silhouette dehumidifier that's now about 6-7 years old and like you, a 1000 sq ft basement/home. Mine worked hard until I sealed the entire outside last fall, both windows and cracked mortar. Then I put five cinder block windows over my existing basement windows. - mortared them nice & tight. My dehumidifier has never reached 60% humidity yet this summer. I live right-smack in the middle of the Great Lakes region and I water my yards constantly. My humidity level this summer has stayed close to 50%, a first-time in the 35 years I lived here. Either buy another dehumidifier or seal everything real good outdoors.
 
Messages
4,398
Location
Connecticut
Yeah, I live right next to a lake with a low water table. My surface well is only 12ft down from yard level. During heavy rainy seasons basements around here tend to flood. My dehumidifier doesn't work that hard imo. If I chose to let it cycle at a reasonable 40-60% set point, it would do a half gallon a day max. But I choose to let it run constantly for 3-8 hrs at a time in peak season....so I get around 1-2 gallons per day...overkill. I figure frequent starts are far worse for the longevity of these units than saving a $100 in electricity in the 3 peak summer months. And it keeps the basement even drier. I do need a new unit. Sealing the basement tighter might help a bit...but not a lot. Only have 3 small windows. The sliding bulkhead door is probably a bigger culprit. No lawn watering ever. No foundation cracks inside or outside. Windows are caulked at all the frame seams. Not much comes by the wood to wood seal. And during cool nights I leave the windows open to save on $$. Thanks for the tips on Danby. That made someone's top 10 list.
 
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