Reasons Why Frigidaire Dehumidifier Is Not Pulling Water

You might be wondering why your Frigidaire dehumidifier is not collecting water, yet it is running.

This means there is no water in the bucket. And if you have the same dehumidifier connected with drain hose, well, there is no water coming out of the hose.

In the past, I did a general post on why a dehumidifier is not collecting water. If you read it, you will see that this problem can affect any brand name.

Dehumidifiers also develop many issues, as we have seen in the past. For instance, we saw why dehumidifiers blow cold air instead of warm air. Likewise, if a dehumidifier blows hot air instead of warm air, there could be a problem.

By the way, I did a similar post on why the Midea dehumidifier fails to collect water. Perhaps you can check if your unit is from that brand.

How a portable dehumidifier works

To refresh your memory, a dehumidifier works by lowering the humidity level in your house.

It does this by drawing or sucking the moist air in, removing the moisture by passing it over the condenser coils where the water drips to a collection pan, and blowing the dry air back into the room. If the dehumidifier does not do this, well, it is not working.

The water that collects in the collection pan then goes to the bucket. So, if your unit is working correctly, the bucket should fill up. If the Frigidaire dehumidifier bucket is empty, but it is running, well, your unit is not working.

So, why is your Frigidaire dehumidifier running but not collecting water? Setting the wrong humidity level, the humidity is not that high, the dehumidifier compressor has broken, the power cord has busted, or the dehumidifier is just too old and well over its expected lifespan.

Why is my Frigidaire dehumidifier not pulling water?

Why is my Frigidaire dehumidifier not pulling water

Away from the tech things that make a dehumidifier fail to collect water, always start with the simple things. Therefore, your troubleshooting should start with the following things:

1. The indoor temperature is low; there is no excess humidity

The humidity and temperature are related somehow. Therefore, if the humidity level is, say, about 55% and the temperature is 75 degrees Fahrenheit, the dehumidifier will draw moisture from the air and collect water.

However, if the temperature is 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the dehumidifier will not work. There is not enough moisture for the dehumidifier to collect water.

2. Dehumidifier is too small for your room

All indoor air-quality appliances, including air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and humidifiers have space ratings.

This applies even to the best small dehumidifiers for grow tents, and other small spaces.

Therefore, if a dehumidifier has a manufacturer rating of 300 square feet, and you try to use it for 600 square feet, it is not going to work.

It is better to get a large dehumidifier and not need to use all of its dehumidifying power. For example, a Frigidaire 70-Pint dehumidifier that is rated for 1500 square feet can do a faster job in a space that is 700 square feet. However, it will seem to collect little water.

Using a small dehumidifier in a large room will tend to collect quite a lot of water, and you will have to empty it more often, but it won’t really bring the humidity down.

Just find the right dehumidifier for your space. That way, you remove all guesswork from the picture.

3. Check the power cables

Make sure that the dehumidifier is plugged into power and that the power cord is working. For all corded home appliances, if they fail, the first thing is to plug them into another power outlet.

Usually, sniffing at the power cord can reveal any burnt-out sections. If you experience a burning smell, the cord is gone.

4. Check the humidistat

The work of the humidistat is to read the humidity level in the surroundings and send a signal to the circuit board.

If it reads the humidity level as higher than what has been set, it signals the control board to start the humidifier so that it can lower the humidity.

If it is not working correctly, it might automatically stop the dehumidifier from collecting water even when the desired humidity level is not attained.

5. Check the filters

You might also want to check the filters. If they are clogged, the dehumidifier is not going to collect water. You might want to clean the filters or replace them.

Dehumidifier filters capture a lot of things, including bacteria, viruses, and mold. Sometimes, if the filter is clogged or worn out, the dehumidifier might fail to work properly.

6. If you have set it on a fan instead of humidifying

If the dehumidifier is new, you should check the unit’s instructions before you start to use it. Many people make the mistake of setting the unit on fan mode instead of dehumidifying. Therefore, the unit keeps running, but it fails to draw water from the air in the room. It will be blowing back the air it pulled in.

Advanced troubleshooting for a dehumidifier that fails to collect water

If all the simple checks we have mentioned above show everything is okay, well, you can try the advanced checks. These include the following things:

1. Failed compressor

If the dehumidifier is not collecting water, the first culprit is usually the dehumidifier compressor.

The work of the compressor is to circulate the refrigerant around the evaporator, which helps extract the water from the air. If it fails, it is not going to extract moisture from the air.

The compressor can also stop working as a fail-safe feature. It has an overload protection function that stops it from working to protect the compressor motor from damage.

When you use the wrong power cord for the dehumidifier, the overload function can stop the compressor from working. Check that the power cord is not undersized or too long.

Also, you can find out whether the temperature is above 65 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature dips below that, the dehumidifier might not work.

Sometimes, the compressor might have a switch that can go off accidentally. If yours has that switch, check whether it has tripped.

2. Fan Motor failure: dehumidifier compressor runs but no water

You could check your dehumidifier compressor and find that it is running just fine. The temperature is okay, and the humidistat shows you the humidity is high.

So, what could be wrong? Check the fan motor. If it is faulty, the dehumidifier will seem to be working, but it will not collect water.

The fan motor failure would then mean that the dehumidifier is not pulling in enough air. Remember, for the dehumidifier to collect water, it has to pull in the moist air from the room.

The refrigerant in the evaporator will then condense the moisture, and it will collect as water in the drip pan. However, if the motor of the fan is not strong enough, it means less or no air is drawn into the dehumidifier.

When there is no moist air getting into the evaporator coils, it means there is no water being collected.

3. Dehumidifier capacitor failure

If your dehumidifier is not collecting water and you have verified that the fan motor and the compressor are fine, check the capacitor. If possible, you can test it to see whether it is in good health.

By the way, this is not an issue with the Frigidaire dehumidifiers. It can occur with any brand name, including a Danby dehumidifier not working properly.

The capacitor and the compressor issue are connected because the capacitor is inside the compressor unit. Therefore, it is one of the main causes of compressor failure.

If you find that the overload device that protects the compressor is constantly tripping, the likely culprit is the capacitor.

Please check my earlier posts on:

What Do The Buttons On Dehumidifier Mean?

How Do You Prevent Mold in a Dehumidifier Tank?

How Do You Hook Up a Dehumidifier to Drain Water Continuously?

What is Freon in Dehumidifiers And Why It’s Illegal!

Why The Frigidaire Dehumidifier Blows Hot Air: Main Reasons & Fixes


If you have a problem with a Frigidaire dehumidifier not collecting water, the checks outlined here can help.

Remember, runaway humidity at home causes the development of indoor allergens. You can experience signs of mold toxicity if you are exposed to this fungus for too long.

If your Frigidaire dehumidifier shuts down after running for a few minutes, it could have outlived its usefulness, especially if it has seen some years. After using it for at least 7 years, it’s time to let it rest.

If yours is new and it is still under warranty, you can send it back for repair.