Over a cuppa, my mother in law mentioned that she was chucking out a dehumidifer this weekend and had already replaced it. This was a shock to me since it hadn’t started it’s journey to Worthing tip via my shed yet. Time to intervene.
Aparently it had overflowed water all over the floor and had cut out and not restarted. It had probably been left to its own devices in their cellar, totally neglected in the run up to its demise.
Before worrying my toolbox, I usually plug things in and press buttons to see what happens. When connecting this dehumidifier to the mains, it fired-up and seemed to run perfectly. Strange.
Looking at the device in more detail revealed three tell-tale LED lights (cooling, empty the tank and running). The tank was removable from the front and featured a small float operated level which married up to a small microswitch. The idea being that when the water rose to the top, the switch would be activated by the float and the machine would cut out safely, all being well.
The lever mechanism on the float seemed to be stiff and all that was required to restore service was a good clean with a brush and Fairy liquid and some silicone spray, once dried.
While giving the unit a general inspection, I noticed dirt in the units’ grille. Fortunately, the grille had a removable filter which had clearly never been cleaned, so in effect had been chocking the dehumidifer in normal operation. Bad news.
Piecing the evidence together in my mind surrounding the causes of failure, I came up with the following theory. The float had failed, causing the unit to leak. The unit had then run hot, probably for a while and had probably tripped a thermal protection fuse. I have no evidence for the latter idea as I never opened up the unit fully, but the theory fits the sequence of events.
In any case, the dehimidifier now switches on and switches off when full and doesn’t seem to run hot. I was pleased with that. I wasn’t so pleased that my in-laws wanted the unit back.
Cost of replacement: Circa £100. Cost of repair; cleaning stuff.