Why is My Humidifier Leaking from the Bottom: How to Fix the Problem?

leaking humidifier

Arguably the most common issue with humidifiers is that they can leak.

A humidifier that has not been properly maintained over the years will tend to leak due to a number of issues that develop over that time.

If your HVAC unit has a leak that comes from the humidifier, there are a few things you can do to properly identify and correct the problem.

1- Clogged Filters

One of the most common issues that leave portable room humidifier leaking is a filter that gets dirty and clogged over time.

This is why all filters should be changed annually and in the spring before the heat of summer arises. Depending on how long the buildup has been occurring, clearing the filter may be problematic.

With enough debris inside, the filter may cause the drain to clog and backup which results in the humidifier leaking.

The solution is to clean the scale control insert regularly and install a new humidifier filter every year depending on the buildup.

2- Air Bubbles in Drain Line

Ideally, the drain line in a whole-house humidifier should be sloped away from the unit so that air bubbles do not form inside.

Air bubbles can cause the line to back up even if it is clean. You should inspect the drain line every so often to ensure that no dips or curves develop which can trap air bubbles and cause a backup.

Or, you can simply replace the drain line annually which will help to avoid this issue altogether.

3- Solenoid Valve

This valve lets water into your whole house or furnace humidifier. It is commonplace for leaks to develop and is one of the main causes of whole house humidifier leaking.

You can check the valve by doing the following:

  • Check water flow for proper direction
  • Check for debris between the solenoid and valve plunger
  • Check the valve itself

To check the solenoid valve, shut off the water by using the saddle valve and disconnect the power to the unit.

Remove the valve gently and flush the area with water to remove any debris. Reconnect the valve, turn on the water and restore the power.

Make sure that the water flow is in the right direction. Most of the time, the leak will be caused by debris, so clean the valve and area of any dirt or buildup to ensure that the water is flowing properly.

However, it is possible that the valve itself may be damaged, so it will need to be replaced.

4- Higher Water Pressure

Wrong water pressure in your line is again one of the major causes of leakage in your humidifier attached to the furnace.

In most cases when it is higher, that may be causing the humidifier to leak.

It is therefore good to check the water pressure in your house regularly (3-4 times in a year). This should be an important part of your plumbing maintenance checklist.

For checking the water pressure easily at home you can use a pressure gauge that measures in psi (pounds per square inch).

Make sure it is not higher than 125 psi. If found high you can either turn down the saddle valve to get it reduced or can take the help of a plumber to lower the amount of water that is going to the furnace HVAC humidifier.

Do You Need to Use A Drip Pan Under Humidifier?

Personally, I haven’t used any kind of drip pan under my room humidifier.

The fact of the matter is, humidifiers (whether portable or whole house) do not form too much condensation outside their body. So, there is no question of dripping water.

But if your unit is faulty and is leaking from the bottom, it’s recommended getting the real problem fixed.

Until then you can place a small towel under it which would be fine to use for small drips.

In the end, a little preventative maintenance can go a long way towards stopping a leak in humidifier from occurring.

You can do the inspections yourself or use a trusted, reliable HVAC technician for annual maintenance.

They will inspect the humidifier, clear out any debris, make sure the drain line is angled correctly, and replace the solenoid valve if needed.

Paying for preventative maintenance may stop a big issue from arising which makes it well worth the investment.