Why is My HoMedics Humidifier Not Working? Troubleshooting & The Simplest Fixes

Has your HoMedics humidifier failed to produce mist, to start or keeps shutting down after a short time? Usually, this happens when:

  • There is water in the circuitry
  • It is in an inclined position
  • There are power/power cord problems
  • The humidifier is dirty
  • There is no water in the tank

Since 1987, the Detroit-based HoMedics has offered users home health innovations for comfort.

In their stable, you will find dehumidifiers and humidifiers, as well as air purifiers, to name but a few of their appliances.

They have incredible humidifiers, such as the HoMedics TotalComfort Plus Ultrasonic Air Humidifier that you can buy on Amazon.com 

However, like the Pure Enrichment humidifier failing to work, as we wrote earlier, even HoMedics humidifiers do develop problems from time to time.

Sometimes, your humidifier fails to work after cleaning. But this does not mean that you should just write off the unit because it has failed to work.

Keep reading to see the most common problems a Homedics humidifier might develop:

Homedics humidifier failing: The 5 common issues

Homedics humidifier not working

1. There is no water in the tank

Check the tank. If it is empty, the light will illuminate in red. If you refill it with water to the right level, the light will turn green.

HoMedics humidifiers stop working as soon as they run out of water. Therefore, this is the first thing you should check. Let it cool down before removing the tank and refilling it.

If you have hard water, use distilled water in the humidifier. Alternatively, you can use a HoMedics demineralization cartridge to capture the minerals in the water.

This will prevent the formation of humidifier dust in your home.

2. The humidifier is dirty

If your humidifier is dirty, the light will illuminate red. The unit will continue running, but it could be pumping mist contaminated with mold and bacteria.

If this is the case, you will need to follow the full process of cleaning a humidifier. Use the recommended products to kill bacteria and mold.

If you have been using demineralization cartridges to remove minerals from the water in the tank, please remember to clean them too, or replace them altogether.

How to clean your humidifier

Step 1: Switch it off, unplug it, and let it cool down

Step 2: Remove the tank, set it aside

Step 3: Pour a 50-50 mix of water and white vinegar in the tank, set it aside to remove the scale on the tank walls. Swish it around so the solution gets to all corners of the tank.

Step 4: If there is stubborn scale on the walls, use the provided brush, or a bottle cleaner brush to remove it

Step 4: Pour out the cleaning solution of water and vinegar, and rinse the tank with cold water, set it aside

Step 5: Clean the base of the humidifier by pouring a little white vinegar into it, let it sit for a bit and then wipe it clean with a piece of cloth.

Step 6: Fill the tank with water, tighten the cap, and attach it to the tank, properly.

3. The humidifier is not on a flat surface

The best place for a humidifier is an elevated, level position. Always keep the unit on a flat surface, because if it is inclined, it won’t work. Humidifiers have an anti-tip feature that prevents them from working unless they are in a leveled position.

4. Humidifier stops working after cleaning

Homedics humidifier stops working after cleaning

When you clean a mister, you will have to take it apart, remove the tank, the base, the plastic covers, and so on.

This means you might disrupt something or reassemble it incorrectly. This might cause the unit to fail to work as expected.

The problem of a HoMedics humidifier not working after cleaning is common. If you experience it, don’t sweat it. Check whether you have assembled everything correctly, and if yes, see step 3 below:

a. Water has leaked into the circuitry- how to fix

If the humidifier tank is full of water, some of the water could have gotten into the circuitry.

This is easy to fix, but it will take some time. You should try the following things:

  • Pour the water out of the tank
  • Place the humidifier upside-down to drain all the water out of the base
  • Leave it that way for several hours
  • Disassemble the unit – use a screwdriver
  • Wipe the circuitry with paper towels, dabbing it so the paper towels absorb the water
  • Air-dry it for several hours or overnight and then put it back together

5. There are power/power cord problem

This is a fairly common reason for humidifiers failing to work. If the unit will just not switch on, well, check whether the socket has power. You can do that by using another appliance with it.

If the socket is working, you can find out whether the power cord is blown. If it is, it will have a burning smell.

Another common problem is when the circuit breaker trips as soon as you switch the humidifier on.

HoMedics humidifier red light: 2 causes

The light on your HoMedics humidifier unit should be green if it is working correctly. If it shows red and is not working, try the following things:

There is no water in the tank – In the same way that a Honeywell humidifier shows red light when it runs out of water, the HoMedics unit will flash a red light three times to warn you it is running out of water.

In that case, just refill it again, and the light will go off.

HoMedics humidifier troubleshooting guide: 7 tips

Homedics cool mist ultrasonic humidifier troubleshooting

Humidifiers face many issues. If you have one at home, you should learn how to troubleshoot it. To help you, HoMedics has put together a comprehensive support book for all of their products. You can download it.

Luckily, the operation of a humidifier is not rocket science. If we are dealing with the first instance of a humidifier just not working right out of the box, do the following:

i) Read the HoMedics humidifier user manual

The HoMedics brand name has many air purifiers, dehumidifiers, diffusers and humidifiers in its stable.

When the unit is delivered, check that it has a user manual. If it does not come with a hard copy, you can get it from their website or other online sources.

You will also find cautions and warnings that you should not overlook. There are clear instructions for setting up the unit, cleaning, and storage.

This user manual also comes with troubleshooting tips. For instance, if the humidifier is running, is not increasing humidity, and is not making mist, you should check whether the tank is attached properly.

Sometimes, you might notice that the unit is not producing mist. Check the water level, and pour the excess out.

They even have tips for transporting the humidifier, making sure it does not spill water in transit.

What we are trying to emphasize here is the need to read the humidifier user manual, or what they call the HoMedics instruction books. Some things, such as opening it up and trying to fix things, can nullify the warranty.

You can also contact HoMedics customer support if you need to know anything about your product.

ii) Is it plugged in correctly?

Find out whether the humidifier is plugged into the socket correctly. This is a common occurrence, by the way. If not fully pushed in, the plug will not work.

You can also check whether a switch in the circuit breaker has tripped. If yes, just raise it back up and find out whether the humidifier works okay.

Sometimes, when you run appliances, some switches may flip off automatically. So check that out.

iii) Does it sit on a flat surface?

Modern humidifiers have many safety features. One of them is the anti-tip function, which ensures that the humidifier stays upright all the time.

However, a humidifier with this feature might not work if it is not flat on the table.

If you have done everything and the humidifier still will not turn on, check whether it sits level on the table or floor. Also remember, it is better to place it high rather than on the floor for maximum efficiency.

Another thing that you might want to check is whether the humidifier has child protection functions.

If such a function is turned on, it might refuse to turn on until you switch the function off.

iv) There is white dust after running the unit

If you use hard water or even tap water in your ultrasonic cool mist unit, the humidifier will leave white dust on surfaces.

If this happens, just clean the unit and then use distilled water only. You can also use a demineralization cartridge in the unit. This is going to prevent the formation of white dust.

While other humidifier types don’t cause white dust, it’s better to use the recommended water type since they can still disperse mineral traces in the mist.

Besides, the humidifier filter will be doing too much work and will need replacement sooner.

v) The base leaks water

Many things can cause water to spill in the area immediately surrounding the humidifier. However, the most common ones are:

  • Placing the unit on a slanted surface: unplug it and place it on a level surface
  • The humidity level is set very high; set it lower
  • The mist is falling on a surface, condensing and rolling down – Just keep the unit a good distance from walls and furniture

vi) The mist has a foul odor

If the mist has a bad smell, it means the unit is dirty. Bacteria, minerals, and mold in the humidifier cause foul odors.

Do not add anything apart from water to the unit. If you put essential oils in the tank, it could also alter the smell of the mist.

Vii) It is producing too little mist

If the water in the humidifier is too cold, the HoMedics ultrasonic cool mist might produce a low amount of mist. It is a cool mist rather than a cold water humidifier.

If the ultrasonic disc is dirty, the humidifier will also produce a low mist. It can also fail to produce any altogether.

Why Your HoMedics humidifier doesn’t produce mist

Homedics Humidifier Does Not Produce Mist

Sometimes, the humidifier will turn on okay. But it might not produce mist. When people complain about ultrasonic humidifiers not working, mostly, this is what they mean.

Here is how to fix the problem of the HoMedics humidifier making no mist:

The humidistat is not adjusted properly

Have you cleaned the humidifier and then it failed to produce mist, but it seems to be running okay?

The culprit could be the humidistat. It has not yet adjusted to the humidity in the room, so it is not sending the dry air signal to the control board.

After cleaning the unit thoroughly, give it enough time for the humidistat to adjust to the humidity in the room. A few hours should be fine.

By the way, the HoMedics humidifier keeps turning off too if the humidistat is not properly adjusted.

The tank doesn’t have enough water

When a humidifier is not working, always start with the basic checks. For instance, start by checking whether the appliance has water.

If it has a little water, top it up and check whether it will start producing mist.

The humidifier is not on a level surface

If a humidifier is not on a level surface, some models might refuse to create mist. This safety feature protects the appliance from tipping over.

Therefore, once again, check whether it is level in a flat position. Check whether the humidifier is connected to electricity.

The tank is not fitted properly

If the humidifier tank is not installed properly, the humidifier might not produce mist.

Remember, you have to detach the tank from the humidifier to fill it with water and then reattach it.

If the tank sits sideways, even by a small margin, it is not going to produce mist. You might feel air coming out, but it will not be misty.

The power is not enough

If there is not enough power in the socket, the unit will not make mistakes. It might even fail to run. Check the amp rating of the appliance given by the manufacturer and plug it into the appropriate socket.

You can test the socket where you have plugged in the appliance with another appliance. If it works, the humidifier could be the problem.

The unit is too old

Sometimes, an old humidifier might just start failing of its own volition. If it has lasted several years, it might be time to buy a new one.

You can take the humidifier to a repair shop. Most likely, if it is too old, it will not be under warranty.

If it is not too old, you can check whether it is under warranty. Call the seller to direct you to their approved repair shop.

Portable humidifiers last 3 to 5 years. If you are fortunate, yours will last 7 years. If you have been using it that long, it is time to let go.

The spout could be clogged

When a humidifier turns water into mist by boiling it or using ultrasonic vibrations, the mist gets out through a small spray outlet.

If you use tap water in the humidifier, it will have a high mineral content. A mineral layer could block the outlet, and no mist will get out.

The same thing would happen if the unit is dirty. If you have hard water in your taps, clean your humidifier as often as possible.

You can read our article here on how to clean a humidifier. There will be no debris blocking the spray hole.

If you do not clean a humidifier, it will pass whatever contaminants might be in the humidifier tank to the mist. If it has mist, you will start to experience signs of mold toxicity.

The ultrasonic disc is dirty

The ultrasonic disc can get dirty from time to time. That’s why your humidifier should come with the right brush for cleaning it.

If the disk is dirty, your humidifier will not produce mist. The disc is located in the center of the base. To clean it, you will need to detach the tank.

Clean it lightly with the provided brush, and be careful not to scrape it. Usually, this gets the humidifier working again.

The humidifier ultrasonic disc wears out with time. You would need to replace it with a new one.

HoMedics humidifier buttons not working

HoMedics humidifier buttons not working

If you check the humidifier instructions, you will see that it comes with various buttons that serve different functions.

But these buttons could fail for various reasons. Between the buttons and the body of the humidifier, there is a small space. Sometimes, grime can build up in these small spaces and cause the buttons to feel sticky.

Due to build quality issues, it is also possible to have buttons fall off or break from the inside. If this happens, you will need to have them replaced by a technician.

A wiring fault in the circuitry can also cause the buttons to stop working. Just like all the buttons and symbols in a dehumidifier, on a humidifier, every button has its work, and it is connected to something. Therefore, a wiring problem would cause the buttons to malfunction.

Why your HoMedics humidifier won’t turn on

A humidifier refusing to turn on when you need it is one of the most common problems with portable units.

But most of the time, it is a small and fixable problem. For instance, here are the main causes of the unit not turning on, when you need it to:

There is no power in the socket: Sockets get blown from time to time. This means a socket can look perfect from the outside while having no power. If that is the case, plugging the unit into another socket can get it to work.

The power cord is blown: Another common issue is the fuse or the power cord itself blowing up. Usually, this happens when there is a power surge or the build quality of the power cord is not good enough.

The tank has no water: This goes without saying. An empty humidifier is not going to run. In fact, as a safety measure, most units just switch off when the tank runs empty or has only an inch of water remaining.

The tank is not properly placed: The humidifier tank needs to be attached properly. If it stays sideways, even by a small bit, it will not work.

HoMedics Humidifier not Working: FAQ

A lot rings in your mind when a humidifier or air purifier is not working correctly. Here are some questions and answers that might help you further:

How do you unclog a HoMedics humidifier?

Something we might have failed to mention is that clogging can make your humidifier stop working!

We mean a clogged nozzle, which means no mist comes out!

To unclog it, just pour a water-vinegar solution into the tank. This means 50 percent water and 50 percent vinegar.

Place the tank back on the humidifier and let it run. If you can leave it running when no one is in the house, that’s even better.

Inhaling white vinegar fumes can hurt your eyes, nostrils, and airways. It is just best that you don’t do it.

Let the unit run for about 45 minutes, and then switch it off. Let it cool down and remove the tank.

Pour the remainder of the solution into the sink, and then use a soft brush to clean any scale off the tank walls.

The nozzle will be unclogged and clean! It will pump out mist without any problem.

How long does the HoMedics humidifier last?

If you mean how many years you can use the appliance, well, more than five years!

But if you mean how long it can release mist, this depends on a few things:

  • The mist output speed you’ve chosen
  • The size of the humidifier: bigger tanks hold more water so they last longer

This means you have to look at individual humidifiers. In this instance, we shall consider the HoMedics TotalComfort DeLuxe Ultrasonic Humidifier, which you can order from Amazon.com.

It has a 2-gallon tank, and on a low mist setting, the company says it can run for 120 hours! But you really do not want to leave a unit running for that long. Let’s say it can run for a continuous 12 hours without requiring a refill.

This humidifier has five mist control settings. Therefore, check your hygrometer to see the best mist output level to set.

If you are looking for a humidifier that can run overnight in the winter, this is it!

How do you manually clean a HoMedics humidifier?

Cleaning a HoMedics cool mist humidifier is not hard at all. The more frequently you clean it, the less time you will spend on the job.

Watch the video below to see how to clean the HoMedics TotalComfort humidifier:

How do I reset my Homedics humidifier?

Resetting a humidifier is very simple. If there is a red light that won’t just go away, especially after cleaning the unit, you need to reset it. Of course, you will know it needs a reset if the tank has water and if the unit is clean.

To reset the Homedics humidifier, do the following simple things:

  • Unplug the humidifier for a few to several minutes and then plug it back in again
  • If the above doesn’t work, after plugging it in, press and hold the reset button for a few seconds
  • If the cleaning light is flashing and the humidifier is not dirty, press and hold the button for about 5 seconds

The cleaning light illuminates in red, as does the low water level light. Thus, if the unit is clean, the tank has water, and it has a red light, it needs resetting.

Why won’t my HoMedics humidifier turn on?

There are many reasons why a humidifier will simply not turn on. Always start with the simple checks. Here are the common reasons:

No power or not plugged in: There is no power or the cord is busted. If there is a plastic or burning smell from the cord, it could have burned. Also, check that the humidifier is plugged in properly to the socket. Changing sockets might tell you whether the humidifier has another problem.

Empty tank: The humidifier tank has no water. Humidifiers shut down when the tank is empty. If that is the only problem, it should start as soon as you refill and attach the tank properly.

Misaligned tank: If the tank is not attached properly, the humidifier might not turn on. Even if it turns on, it might not produce mist if the tank is not attached properly.

Water in the circuitry: Did your humidifier stop working after cleaning it? The chances are that some water leaked into the circuitry. Unless it is dried out, the unit will not work.

HoMedics humidifier red light won’t turn off

If the red light of your HoMedics humidifier will not turn off, you need to switch the unit off and check a few things.

Find out whether the tank has enough water, since the red light goes on as a warning that the unit is running out of water.

If this is the case, switch the unit off, let it cool down for a few minutes, then remove the tank and top it up with water.

Once you have refilled the tank, the light should turn green. If it does not, perhaps something else is wrong with the unit.

If the humidifier is dirty, the red light will stay on. In that case, just unplug the unit, let it cool down, and clean it thoroughly, looking for scale on the walls.

If there is scale, it means you have been using mineral-laden water. You might want to use a demineralization cartridge.

Also read our posts on:

Levoit humidifier not working

Crane humidifier not working

Best small dehumidifier for bedroom

Final thoughts

You have seen a few probable causes of the HoMedics humidifier failing to work properly.

Sometimes, it could be a manufacturing defect. In that case, you should just return it for a refund or replacement.

That is why it is important to buy your warm or cool mist humidifier from Amazon.com because they have a 30-day return policy.