10 Reasons Your Dehumidifier Can Not Drain into Bucket

a Dehumidifier Draining Into Bucket

A dehumidifier is supposed to keep the humidity levels inside your home at optimal levels. As it does its work, it’s supposed to drain water called condensate inside a removable reservoir. Suppose your dehumidifier is not draining into the bucket. What might be the problem?

Well! It could be that the dehumidifier isn’t running, the humidity levels are ideal, the setting on the dehumidifier is way high, a clogged drain line or the reservoir-full sensor is faulty. It could also be that the unit isn’t pulling in moisture because of a defective fan, clogged air filter, faulty fan, or frozen dehumidifier coils.

Typically, a dehumidifier not draining into a bucket can be a sign of a problem, especially if the unit is completely dry. You want to check all these issues before taking the unit to a technician. But before you can panic, allow me to take you through the above issues and how to check or troubleshoot the problem. And if nothing proves to help, you can talk to a technician.

Why Is Your Dehumidifier Not Draining Into the Bucket?

For a dehumidifier to work efficiently, it’s supposed to take the moisture in the air, remove it and condense it to water. The water is then supposed to drain in the condensate bucket onboard the dehumidifier.

If that isn’t happening, there is a problem that needs troubleshooting as soon as possible. It could be a blockage that can lead to a significant problem, or it could be a malfunction that needs repair ASAP.

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Below are some common issues that could be causing your dehumidifier not to drain into the bucket:

1) Your Dehumidifier is off

Your dehumidifier might be off. You want to start by making sure it’s running. Even though the fan makes some noises, you might have tripped over the cable and plugged it out. So, make sure the fan is running, and you can feel the air coming out of it.

If you’ve plugged it in and nothing is working, contact the nearest dehumidifier technician for some help. If it’s running but no water is collecting in the bucket, check the next possible cause.

2) You Have Set It to Gravity Drain to an external Bucket

You might think it’s a ridiculous idea, but it does happen quite often. You might have set the dehumidifier to drain the condensate into a container using the drain hose, and you forgot.

As a routine, you come to drain the bucket only to find nothing in it. You might not remember the drain hose you connect. So, it would help if you connected the hose to be sure.

3) You Have Set the Dehumidifier to Drain Automatically Using a Condensate Pump

The same situation could happen when you set the unit to drain outdoors using a condensate pump. With some models having an inbuilt condensate pump, you can easily forget that you automatically connected the dehumidifier to drain. So, be sure to check it out. If you haven’t connected the pump, then you can check the next possible issue.

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4) Humidity Levels in the Room are Ideal, or the Settings are wrong

Another obvious yet underrated thing to check is the humidity levels in your room. If they are at the ideal levels, the dehumidifier won’t dry the air anymore. If the unit is running, you will want to check the controller.

Ensure the setting is at 30 – 50 percent humidity or 30 – 40 percent during the heating season. If there is mold in the house, trace the cause, it might be a leaky pipe in the wall or something.

You can also get a hygrometer to measure the humidity levels in your home to be certain there is the ideal range before making any assumptions.

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5) Clogged Drain line

When was the last time you cleaned your dehumidifier interior? Last month, a few months ago, last year or never? Dehumidifiers do tend to collect dirt and a lot of it inside them. And as the water runs down the collect, it collects all the dust and other debris to form muck that can block the drain line.

If the build-up gets large enough and dries up, it can prevent water from draining into the bucket. You want to give the dehumidifier a deep clean that will include cleaning its interior. Get a small bristle brush that can easily get into the drain line and scrub off any stubborn grime.

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6) Faulty Reservoir Sensor

If you have checked all the above issues and confirmed they aren’t the cause of the problem, it might be an issue with the dehumidifier itself. One cause could be a faulty reservoir sensor.

The dehumidifier is designed to collect the water into the bucket, and when it’s full, a sensor designed to stop the dehumidifier will prevent it from removing more moisture.

It might not be draining water into the bucket because the sensor says it’s full while it’s empty. You want to make sure the sensor isn’t broken. Check the harness connections going to the control board and make sure they are in working properly.

Also, check to make sure the sensor isn’t wet from condensate that it’s thinking the water bucket is full. You want to keep the dehumidifier dry for it to work properly.

7) Clogged Air Filter

A clogged air filter can also cause the dehumidifier not to drain into the bucket. How? With the primary purpose of the air filter being to clean the air of contaminants, with time, it will clog with dirt, pollen, and more, which will block the air passage.

That means the fan will continue running, but no air is getting dried, and thus no water is being produced. Besides causing reduced efficiency, a clogged filter will increase the unit’s energy usage.

That’s why it’s crucial that you clean the air filter more often, as it’s as simple as sliding it out of the unit and spraying it with clean tap water.

8) Your Dehumidifier Coils Are Frozen

If the sensor is working alright, your dehumidifier might be frozen. There could be ice forming where the condensate collects. Even though the ice’s normal to form in the first 10 minutes, it should melt away, and water should start collecting.

However, if the icing continued, that would be a problem. You might still get some drops of water in the bucket but not as you used to get.

The best approach here is to open the outer casing and allow the coils to air out and the ice to melt off. Also, make sure the initial frost melts down at first.

De-icing the dehumidifier can help run the unit with the ice on the coils; you’re just wasting your electricity while not improving the humidity levels.

9) Faulty fan

All dehumidifiers have a fan that pulls the air from the room and through the coils for drying before pushing it out. If it were to malfunction, then the air wouldn’t be drawn in, which would mean there would be no water draining into the bucket.

So, is your dehumidifier controller on? Do you hear any sound that the fan is running? Place your hand on top of the dehumidifier to try and feel the flow of air out of it. If nothing is coming out, the fan is faulty and will need repair.

I don’t recommend you DIY this part unless you have some technical experience around dehumidifiers or such appliances.

10) Shuts Off Because of Low Temperatures

If the room temperatures are too low, especially if the dehumidifier is in the basement, the unit might keep shutting off, which would prevent it from running effectively.

However, this is rare, but it can happen. And with some models running the fun even in standby mode, you might not realize the dehumidifier isn’t running until you get to empty the bucket.

Related Questions

Why does my dehumidifier keep filling up with water?

The main reason is that there is excess water in the room air. That might be because of a few factors, such as increased humidity in the area, a water leak, excess moisture from the laundry room, and more.

About the author

Sharif Hasan

I am Sharif a data-driven marketer by profession and run The Spruce Air. I am very interested in keeping good-quality air inside of my home. Besides, I love to share my air-related knowledge through my website.

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