The work of a dehumidifier as we know it is to remove the extra humidity in the air inside our home. But as it does this, it creates a problem that you have to find a way to solve, draining the water condensed from the air. It can be tedious at times, and I understand why you’re wondering where to drain dehumidifier in the basement.
You have two options; you can drain the water out using a condensate pump, which you can buy if your unit doesn’t have one, or you can drain the water directly to a basement drain if your house has it. These two methods will ensure you never have to go downstairs every day to empty the condensate water.
And it’s as easy as it sounds. However, there are a few details that you might want to know to understand how to set up your dehumidifier to benefit from any of these two methods.
Places to Drain Dehumidifier in Basement
Dehumidifiers are designed to keep the indoor air dry by taking away the extra humidity. As it does work, the moisture stripped of the air has to be collected somewhere, and that is why these units come with a condensate bucket. It’s the default place to drain the water condensed out of air moisture.
The tank will fill up with time, and the dehumidifier float sensor will stop the compressor to prevent overfill. That means, if you want to keep your basement dry, you will have to run down the stairs every time the bucket is full. And you know what, it can fill up more than once in a day depending on how to dump your basement is.
So, I do understand why you want to know where to drain dehumidifier in the basement. Below are a few ways you can drain the condensate water out of your basement:
1) Gravity-Drain into a Basement Drain:
Look around your basement – do you have a floor drain? Most houses will have a series of foundation drains pipes installed under the basement floor or the foundation itself. The pipes are there to collect water and take it off-site. This prevents the basement from flooding.
If your house is older than 1920, you likely have foundation pipes under the basement floor. If your home is older than 1954, the foundation drains are directed to the nearest sanitary sewer using a palmer valve.
However, for houses built after 1954, the foundation drains should be directed to a sump pump, which will send the water out of the basement unto the lawn or a storm sewer. So, it makes a lot of sense to direct the dehumidifier to condensate this path.
But how do you do this? Well! It all comes down to proper porting – connecting a drainpipe to the dehumidifier drain for gravity drain. The process is straightforward. However, you might need to order a spigot to connect the drain pipe.
The method assures continuous water draining out of the dehumidifier unto the floor drain to the sewer line or out through the sump pump. The best part is, sump pumps have an automatic start-up sensor (float) that starts it up once the water inside the collection tank reaches a certain level.
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How to Gravity Drain Dehumidifier in the Basement
Step 1: Figure out where you will place your dehumidifier – of course, near the floor drain. If you want to go low-budget with this option, you want to raise the dehumidifier at least 6-inches off the floor. If the floor drain isn’t available, you can drain the water directly to the sump pump bucket.
Step 2: Make sure the dehumidifier is sitting level. You might need to find a bench, open shelf with a level surface. It’d also be best to use adjustable feet that can help keep the dehumidifier level. Ensure the dehumidifier is on a higher elevation than the drain – the fitting must be on a higher level than the fitting, or it will cause the dehumidifier to flood.
Step 3: Locate a small, threaded hole on your unit that you will use to attach the drain hose – it’s about an inch or less. Most dehumidifiers will have it. Some models will include a fitting, spigot, or adapter that you can use for this purpose. The standard size used in most models has a 5/8 inches opening, a universal design to fit a standard garden hose. If yours has one, connect it before moving to step 4.
Step 4: Get a standard garden hose or a PVC pipe and connect it to the adapter. I would go with a PVC pipe as it allows you to make elbows to allow easy funneling of the water to the floor drain. Measure the distance from the dehumidifier to the drain and cut the hose/PVC. Make sure the drainpipe or hose reaches the drain line properly. You don’t want water spilling on the floor and creating a mess.
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Step 5: Plug in the dehumidifier and leave it to do its work. Give it about an hour and check if it’s working. You want to make sure the water drains through the gravity drain line, and it pours directly to the floor drain or the sump pump tank.
2) Use a Condensate Pump to Drain Outdoors
A condensate pump is a type of pump used to drain condensate (water) from appliances that create water, such as dehumidifiers, air conditioners, refrigerators, and more.
It channels the water out of the appliances through a drain pipe to the outside for proper drainage. A condensate pump is an excellent alternative if your basement doesn’t have the floor drain for gravity drain.
How to Use Condensate Pump to Drain Dehumidifier in Basement
Some dehumidifiers come with a built-in condensate pump, while others don’t. So, you want to make sure which type of dehumidifier you have before moving forward.
If your model has an onboard condensate pump, all you need is to connect a hose to the pump outlet drain and direct it outdoors to a lawn or a drain leading to the sewer line.
If your model doesn’t have come with one, you can buy a separate condensate pump and install it for the same purpose and pumping mechanism. However, you must set your dehumidifier on a level surface higher than the pump placement to allow the water to gravity-drain into the pump.
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A raised stable surface such as a table can be an excellent option. Once you’ve set up the unit on a level surface, attach a hose to the dehumidifier drain and direct it to the condensate pump.
Turn on the dehumidifier and the condensate pump. The pump will wait until the water reaches a certain height, and its float sensor will activate the pumping.
Find an appropriate place to drain the water; it can be a sink in the basement, laundry drain, out of the window to a lawn, or a drain leading to a sewer line.
Remember, most condensate pumps can only push water up to 15 feet vertically. Even though this can reach out of the most basement and through the door or window, it’s a factor to consider. Of course, there are some models with a high lift, but they will cost more.
Dehumidifier Draining in Basement – Placement, Operation, and Safety
- For proper gravity drain, you must place the dehumidifier on a raised, level surface. It can be on a cement block or a shelf unit.
- You must place the unit higher than the floor drain or the condensate pump to allow proper drainage to allow downward flow and avoid unit flooding.
- When placing your dehumidifier, confirm where the discharge is; if your model is top-mounted, place it away from furniture and the walls to allow the air to circulate freely around it.
- Always place the unit away from dirt and dust sources as it can easily clog the air filter, grills; this can help improve the unit’s efficiency.
- Always observe the manufacturer’s warnings regarding how to use the appliance properly and electrical safety.
- You must never set up water disposal or drainage near an electric circuit or device. Ensure the unit is properly grounded and that the drain hoses are away from any electrical connections and cords.
What size dehumidifier do I need for my basement?
For basements between 1000 – 2000 square feet, I recommend using a 70-pint unit. This will remove up to 70 pints of water per day from the air, making most people quite comfortable.