Why Is Your Danby Dehumidifier Not Working Correctly? Things To Check

Is your Danby dehumidifier not collecting water? Well, it happens, and not only with this brand name but with many others.

Usually, a dehumidifier will fail to collect water if the circuit board is burned, the capacitor has failed, the dehumidifier Freon gas in the compressor has leaked away, or the contact switch is not working correctly, among other causes.

For instance, we looked at the reasons for a Midea dehumidifier not collecting water, a Frigidaire dehumidifier not collecting water, and many more.

We also looked at the reasons for a Pure Enrichment humidifier failing to work, and even a Levoit humidifier shutting down all the time.

As you can see, we have been looking at different air-quality appliances and helping our readers get the best value for their money.

If your Danby dehumidifier fails to do what it is supposed to do, that is, collect water, well, it will not lower the humidity in the room.

This can be a cause for worry because runaway humidity causes the growth of mold. In return, living in such a home can cause mold toxicity symptoms.

Here are the main reasons why a dehumidification unit fails to extract moisture from your indoor air:

1. The circuit board is dead

Dehumidifier circuit board

If this is the case, well, the dehumidifier is as good as gone. Unless the unit is under warranty and the manufacturer is willing to replace the circuit board free of charge, the cost of replacing it is too high. It makes more sense to discard that unit and buy a new one.

A humidifier fails to work when water leaks into the circuit board. That is different from the dehumidifier board frying and dying on you.

How do you know that the circuit board of your Danby dehumidification unit is dead? Well, in this case, the unit fails to work completely. It won’t run, and so it won’t lower the moisture content in your indoor air.

Some of the things that could fry your circuit board include power surges and overheating. Watch out for that burning plastic smell.

2. The compressor is failing

The dehumidifier compressor is a complicated part, and it is also costly to replace. When it is dying, you will hear a buzzing sound that goes on and off.

This means the compressor start parts are dead or dying. The unit can be running, but it will not draw any water from the air.

The work of the compressor is to make sure that the water goes from the coils to the reservoirs. Therefore, if it is not working correctly, it means the water is not being transferred around the dehumidifier correctly. This is one of the reasons the dehumidifier is not collecting water.

Without the compressor working correctly, the water stays in the dehumidifier coils and eventually, it starts to leak. It also makes the unit start overheating.

If you have isolated the compressor as the main cause of your dehumidifier failing to fill the tank, replace it. This could be costly, both the buying and the labor costs. Thus, you might need to buy a new unit altogether.

3. The dehumidifier capacitor is broken

For the dehumidifier to lower moisture in your indoor air, it has to suck in the air from the room, remove the moisture over the coils, and blow the air back into the room. Usually, a dehumidifier blows warm air into the room.

The capacitor enables the air movement into the unit by powering the suction fans. Therefore, if it is not working, the dehumidifier will still run, but it is not going to remove the moisture in the air.

If you put your hand against the grille, you will find that the dehumidifier blows cool air. This is not right. It should not do that.

To know for sure whether the capacitor has failed, you have to test it with a multimeter, and if it shows zero numbers, it is broken. It is easy to locate once you have removed the cover of your unit.

The capacitor is usually cylindrical, and it is much smaller than the compressor. Swapping it with a new one should not be too hard if you are handy with your hands and can follow dehumidifier instructions.

4. The fan motor is dead

Danby dehumidifier not working correctly

The fan motor is the workhorse that rotates the fans so that they can whip the air inside the unit.

When the fan motor is working correctly, it means the fans are rotating, so they are sucking in the air. But if you are not hearing any fan noises inside the unit, it means the fan is not rotating, so it is not sucking in the air.

With time, the fan motor could die due to age-related wear, power surges, under-powering, or any other damage. Also, the fan can rotate even though the fan motor is dying, yet it does not draw in enough air.

To diagnose this issue, access the fan motor, and then use a multimeter to see the numbers. If it needs replacing, order a new fan motor for your dehumidifier model from Danby.

5. The filter is clogged with dirt

Portable Danby dehumidifiers have a filter that captures dirt, bacteria, mold spores, and other contaminants so that you only inhale clean air.

Before the air that the dehumidifier sucks in gets to the coils, where the moisture can condense, it must pass through the filter.

However, if the filter is clogged with dirt, the air will not pass through easily. Therefore, the dehumidifier will be starved of air and won’t produce water.

If the filter is terrible, the dehumidifier keeps going off after a few minutes. The good thing is that if your filter is not too old or worn out, you can clean it with dish soap and running water. If it is worn out, just replace it with a new one.

6. Broken fan blades

The fan does not only fail to do its work properly because of a dead fan motor. Rather, even when the blades are broken, it is not going to work properly.

It will keep rotating, but it will not be drawing in enough air. Therefore, without enough air, the bucket will not fill up as soon as it should. Also, the unit will not lower the humidity in the house appropriately.

This is simple to diagnose because you can tell which blades are broken. In that case, just replace the fan, and the unit will start working okay again.

7. The refrigerant has leaked

From the Danby website, you can see that their dehumidifiers come with the R410A refrigerant. This cools the air passing over the dehumidifier coils, condensing the moisture, which then drips down to the collecting pan. From there, it goes to the reservoir.

While rare, a Danby dehumidifier can develop a refrigerant leak. If this happens, everything, meaning the compressor, fans, capacitor, and filter, will be working okay. 

However, the air going into the unit will be released with its moisture intact because it won’t draw the water out.

Refilling the liquid is expensive because of the work involved. Thus, if the unit is under warranty, email or call the seller or the manufacturer. If it is not, check the cost of refilling and the cost of buying a new unit.

8. Failed bucket switch and float switch

Dehumidifier bucket switch

The float switch of the Danby dehumidifier is located close to the bucket. It prevents the bucket from overfilling, sending the message to the circuit board that the unit needs to stop running.

For the dehumidifier to run properly, the switch has to be okay. If it is broken, the unit will not start running.

The bucket switch is very important to a dehumidifier. It senses whether the bucket is in the correct position. 

If it is, the unit starts running. If the bucket is not attached properly or the switch is broken, the unit does not run.

Why does my (Danby) dehumidifier run but collect no water?

As outlined in this short post, several things could cause the Danby dehumidifier to run and, at the same time, not collect water. These are:

  • The fan has broken blades and does not suck in enough air
  • The refrigerant fluid has leaked out
  • The filter is clogged with dirt
  • The fan motor is dead, so the fan is not running

Other, more serious breakdowns will make the dehumidifier stop running altogether or even fail to start in the first place.

For instance, if the compressor is broken, the bucket switch and the float switch can make the dehumidifier not start at all.

How do I know if my dehumidifier compressor is bad?

The compressor of your dehumidifier is not too vulnerable… but anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

With time, the compressor could go wrong. If this happens, you need to know how to diagnose the problem. Once the unit fails to collect water, well, you could blame many things, but people hardly remember to check the compressor.

So how can you know that the compressor has failed? It is simple! The dehumidifier will be running, but it will not be drawing moisture from the air. Therefore, when you check the hygrometer, you will see that the humidity level remains the same.

Listen closely to the unit as it runs. If you hear an on-and-off buzzing sound, that is the compressor and some of its parts dying.

Also read my past posts on:

Homedics Humidifier Not Working

Do You Need To Run a Dehumidifier in a New House?

Pure Guardian Humidifier Not Working: Causes & Fixes

How Do You Know If Humidifier Is Making You Sick?

Mold Exposure Symptoms In Toddlers

Why Frigidaire dehumidifier blows hot air


There are so many things that could go wrong with a dehumidifier. Some of them are due to negligence, and some could be due to factory defects.

But generally, Danby dehumidifiers are quite sound and reliable. They come with good features, and in fact, many people have such dehumidifiers with drain hose for basements.

Keep your unit in good health all the time by keeping it clean, cleaning the filters, and replacing them in good time.

Also check the status of the internal components, such as the capacitor, compressor, and coils.

Remember to check the bucket and float switches because they can prevent the unit from working correctly if they break, and they are delicate.