Most dehumidifiers use a simple refrigeration system that collects moisture from the surrounding environment until it is discarded.
The collected water will drain from a hose, effectively moving the water out of the air. This process requires using a refrigerant like freon.
If you notice that the dehumidifier is losing refrigerant, you’ll also quickly see that it isn’t working at its best.
If the refrigerant leaks out entirely, the dehumidifier won’t be dehumidifying anything whatsoever. But what causes the leaking refrigerant and smell, and how you can fix the problem – let’s have a look here…
What are the Causes of a Refrigerant Leakage?
Leaking freon in the dehumidifier can often be attributed to typical wear and tear that comes from using the dehumidifier.
A faulty seal, damaged pipe, or corrosion can be the primary cause of a leak in your dehumidifier machine.
If you notice any issues such as these or an outright leak, contact the manufacturer of the dehumidifier.
Based on the warranty policies, they may be able to help you get the product repaired or even replaced.
How to Check a Refrigerant Leak in a Dehumidifier?
To determine if your dehumidifier is leaking its oil, you can test for a leak in a few different ways.
1- Check the Evaporator/Cooling Coil
Right behind the dehumidifier’s intake filter, you’ll see a coiling cool, also called an evaporator.
When the dehumidifier runs, this coil should feel cool when you touch it. If it isn’t cool, it’s highly likely that the refrigerant is leaking out of the dehumidifier.
2- Use a Leak Detector
There are several leak detectors available for refrigerants on the market, and some can be quite expensive.
However, it’s a good idea to have one around. A detector can be used to scan the area around a dehumidifier and will make a sound if and when a leak is detected.
If the refrigerant is completely gone from the appliance, the detector won’t be any good at detecting a leak, though it can still help you find the source of it if you notice it soon enough.
3- Use Soap and Water
Before beginning, be sure you don’t spray the electrical parts with water.
Spraying with soapy water is a simple process, but it’s only good if there is still some gas left in the system. All you have to do is mix up the soapy water in a spray bottle.
Spritz the pipes and joints in the dehumidifier with the water while taking care not to spray any of the electrical areas in the appliance.
Check for any bubbles that have formed on the areas you sprayed. If you see them, this is the area where the leak is most likely coming from.
4- Smell a Refrigerant Leak
Refrigerants do indeed have a scent, but you should not count on your sense of smell alone to find a leak.
If you detect a chemical smell or a musty odor, you should check more thoroughly for a leak or even consider getting the dehumidifier serviced by a professional.
How to Fix a Leaking Refrigerant in a Dehumidifier?
If you have verified that your dehumidifier is leaking freon, then you have some options.
You can try to fix it yourself, though this is not recommended. Instead, it is best to call a skilled technician to get it refilled and recharged.
Otherwise, you should replace the unit entirely. Trying to fix the leak on your own is generally ill-advised, as you are going to be handling toxic, dangerous gases as well as electronic parts.
If you’ve arrived at this point, it’s better to figure out if it would be more economical to replace the unit or have it repaired.
If the dehumidifier is on the cheap side, it’s usually better to just buy a new unit; repairing a cheap model will usually not do much in the long run.
On the other hand, if you have an expensive dehumidifier, it may be worth it to have it repaired instead of replacing it altogether.
Meen Smith is a nurse by profession who loves writing online, spending time with her family and caring for the elderly. She has already worked as an associate editor on various moms, babies, home appliances, kitchen, and healthy living blogs. In her spare time, she also enjoys drawing, reading/writing kindle eBooks and improving her skills a bit.