Why is My Pure Humidifier not Working? Should I Toss it Out? Not Before Reading This!

Why is your Pure Enrichment humidifier not working? Usually, there are several possible causes for this, as you can see in the list below, and the fast solutions I have suggested:

  • You did not set up the Pure humidifier correctly. Check the user manual!
  • The humidifier tank is empty – add water!
  • The humidifier and its filters are too dirty – Clean everything, except the base
  • There is no power in socket or power cord is broken; move to new socket, check cord
  • Water is leaking around the base. Air-dry the base for a few days
  • Humidifier is placed on an inclined surface. Place the humidifier on a flat surface

No sir!

The cool mist ultrasonic humidifiers are almost the same across all brand names, so this write-up can apply to many others. It is not just for the Pure Enrichment MistAire Cool Mist Humidifier.

Read on to see the most common causes of failure in a Pure cool mist humidifier:

1. Humidifier is placed on an inclined surface

humidifier not working

Modern humidifiers have many safety features. One of them is the anti-tip function that ensures 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.

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

Solution: Just place the humidifier on a flat surface, a foot or two from the floor, and away from walls or furniture.

2. The tank is empty

The humidifier will stop running and switch off immediately when the water runs low, to about one or two inches.

That way, you cannot experience a humidifier burning smell, because it will switch off as a safety measure.

Solution: Once you add water to the tank, the unit should work just fine.

3. There are power problems

This is a simple problem to troubleshoot and fix. Try the following things:

Step 1: Check whether the socket is working. Just plug the unit to another socket

Step 2: Check whether the power cord is blown. Smell it, find out if it has a burning smell

Step 3: A circuit breaker has tripped somewhere

4. Dirt in the humidifier and filter

Always clean your humidifier at least once a week. It is not too hard, and I will share the simple steps with you:

How to clean the humidifier tank

Step 1: Switch it off, unplug it, and let it cool down – for your safety

Step 2: Remove the tank and empty it

Step 3: Remove the mist tube, mist nozzle, clean them in water and vinegar

Step 4: Pour water into the tank, about half the tank capacity, and add white vinegar to fill the tank to about three-quarters

Step 5: Swish the water-vinegar solution to reach all parts of the tank, pour out and rinse tank with clean water

Cleaning the humidifier base


Step 1: Pour white vinegar in the base of the humidifier, let it sit for a few minutes

Step 2: Rinse the base with clean water, ensuring no water leaks into the circuitry

Step 3: Air-dry the base on a rack

Cleaning the ultrasonic disk

This is a small disk that is installed in the center of the base. You need to clean it, using the steps below:

Step 1: Check whether the disk has mineral scale

Step 2: Scrub at the disk gently with a soft-bristled brush

Step 3: If the scale is stubborn, you can dab at it with a cloth dipped in white vinegar

NOTE: Use the enclosed brush only to avoid scratching the disk

Cleaning the filter

Pure Enrichment recommends using their decalcification filter for many of their humidifier models. This is important for preventing the formation of humidifier white dust.

If there is any more information that you would like to know about how to clean the Pure Enrichment MistAire cool mist humidifier, you can contact customer support.

5. Water has leaked into the base

Water can leak into the base of the humidifier, when you are cleaning it, or when cleaning the ultrasonic disk.

You can read more about this in my post on humidifier not working after cleaning.

If you suspect this to be the case, you should wipe the base with a dry cloth, and then air-dry it on a rack for a few days. That should get water out of the circuitry.

If you love to experiment with your hands, you can open up the base, and blow it dry with a hairdryer, of course on low heat setting.

This can void the warranty, so do not do it if your humidifier is still under warranty. You can contact Pure Enrichment to direct you to a repair center.

Advanced checks

Sometimes, the simple checks will not solve the problem of your humidifier not misting. You can try to look for other signs of failure, starting with a Pure Enrichment humidifier flashing red light.

What could be the cause?

It blinks red light

If you see a Pure Enrichment humidifier red light, it is a sign that something is not working. Therefore, if you see it blinking red, you need to do some checking. Mostly, look at the following things:

Check the wiring for water

Is the humidifier tank full of water? The first suspect is that the water could have gotten into the wiring. You can fix this on your own by doing the following:

Step 1: Empty the tank and flip the humidifier upside down to drain all the water out of the base. Give it several hours

Step 2: Disassemble the unit with a screwdriver, and then wipe the circuitry with a paper towel or use a hairdryer. Give it some time to air-dry and put it back together

2. You didn’t remove plastic wrap around the pump

New humidifiers come with plastic or Styrofoam packaging around the pump. If you forget to remove this, the humidifier is not going to work.

Instead, you will see the Pure Enrichment humidifier blinking red. You just have to remove the Styrofoam packaging, fill it up with water, and run it again.

3. The humidifier is running low on water

You will know this is the case when the humidifier flashes red light three times. It indicates that the tank is running low on water and it will soon shut down as a protective measure.

Troubleshooting tips

Just because you are experiencing an ultrasonic humidifier not producing mist, you don’t need to go into worry mode just yet.

It is time to troubleshoot your appliance and see what could be causing the issue.

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 Pure Enrichment humidifier user manual

Pure Enrichment humidifier user manual

One of the most popular humidifiers under this brand name is the Pure Enrichment MistAire ultrasonic humidifier.

When you order the Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Humidifier, it comes with a user manual in the box.

Also read: How to control humidity in grow tent

If it does not come with a hard copy, you can get it from their website or other online sources. In the manual, you will find express instructions not to operate the unit before reading the guide.

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.

If the humidifier blows air but is not producing mist, they say you should 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. Some things, such as opening it up and trying to fix things, can void the warranty.

It must come with one. For instance, you can read the Geniani Top Fill Cool Mist humidifier manual if you have this Geniani model.

Even if you do not find the manual in the box, don’t fret. You can find it on the manufacturer’s website.

When you read the user manual, you can retrace your steps to find out whether you missed a step. If everything seems right with the setup, continue reading to the next step.

ii) Check the electrical connection

Check whether you have plugged the plug of the humidifier fully into the socket. This is a common occurrence, by the way. If not fully pushed in, the plug will not work.

Image of how to fix humidifier not working

You can also check whether a switch in the circuit breaker has tripped. If that is the case, raise it back up and find out whether the humidifier starts to work.

Sometimes, when you switch on an appliance, some switches may flip off automatically. So check that out.

iii) Check the safety features of the humidifier

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

However, on the flip side, a humidifier with this feature might not work if it is not flat on the table. Therefore, if you have done everything and the humidifier still won’t turn on, check whether it is level on the table or floor.

Also read: Humidity too high in incubator 

Another thing that you might want to check is whether the humidifier has child protection functions. If such a function is turned on, the humidifier will refuse to turn on until you switch the function off.

iv) Is it leaving white dust on your surfaces?

Ultrasonic humidifiers are notorious for leaving white dust on surfaces if you use hard water.  If this happens, just clean the unit and then use distilled water only. Don’t use boiled water since it does not help.

Other humidifiers do not cause white dust, but it is still 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) It is leaking water around the base

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, so you need to 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) Mist has a bad smell

If the mist has a bad smell, it means the unit is dirty. Check for mold in humidifier symptoms, usually indicated by pink slime in the tank.

A nasty smell in the mist could also be indicative of bacteria, germs, grease, and other things that should not be there.

Do not add anything apart from water to the unit. Essential oils could also alter the smell of the mist.

Vii) It is producing a low amount of mist

If the water in the humidifier is too cold, the Pure Enrichment humidifier might produce a low mist.

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

Why humidifier does not produce mist

Humidifier Does Not Produce Mist

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

If this is the case, there might be a few things to consider, which are as follows:

i) Does the humidifier have 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.

ii) Check whether the humidifier is level

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

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

iii) The spray outlet might be blocked

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

However, when you use tap water in the humidifier, the mineral quantity in the water might be a bit high. Therefore, a mineral layer could end up blocking the outlet, and no mist will get out.

The same thing would happen if the appliance is dirty. If you have hard water in your home, you could buy a demineralization cartridge. Also, make a habit of cleaning your humidifier as often as possible.

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

If you do not clean a humidifier, it will pass whatever contaminants might be lurking in the humidifier tank into the mist. Therefore, you will also inhale the contaminants.

iv) Is the power enough?

Another reason why a humidifier might fail to produce mist is when there is not enough power. Therefore, you should check the amp rating of the appliance as given by the manufacturer. That way, you will know what socket to plug it into.

Image of Vicks humidifier not producing mist

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

v) If the humidifier is too old

Sometimes, an old humidifier might just start failing of its own volition. Therefore, if it has lasted a few to 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. However, if it is not too old, you can check whether it is under warranty and then call the seller to direct you to their approved repair shop.

vi) Check the heating elements of the warm mist humidifier

heating elements of warm mist humidifier

A warm mist humidifier has heating elements that heat the water so that it can start producing mist. However, if you have hard water at home, the minerals might cake the heating elements so that they do not work correctly.

Because a warm mist humidifier produces mist by heating the water, the heating element fails if it is caked with minerals. There will be no mist. You have to clean the heating elements and remove the layer of minerals.

You can check the user manual for information about how to remove and clean the heating elements. If there is no information for such, you should email the manufacturer and ask how to remove them.

vii) Tank is not installed 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 again.

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

viii) The ultrasonic disk is dirty

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

If the disk is dirty, your Pure Enrichment humidifier will not produce mist. The disc is located in the center of the base. Therefore, 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.

If the humidifier ultrasonic disk can wear out with time, you would need to replace it with a new one.

Here is what a humidifier disk looks like:

humidifier ultrasonic disc

Frequently Asked Questions

While portable humidifiers are not complicated appliances, many new owners still find it hard to understand how they work. Here are some questions that are commonly asked about the Pure Enrichment humidifiers:

How does a Pure Enrichment humidifier work?

The most popular Pure Enrichment MistAire humidifier is ultrasonic. Therefore, to produce mist, it has a diaphragm that vibrates at a very high frequency. It breaks the water into small droplets.

These tiny droplets of water are dispensed into the air, where they evaporate quickly and raise the indoor humidity level.

This humidifier is so good at what it does that, if left unchecked, it can raise the humidity higher than you need it to.

It does not have a built-in humidistat, so you have to lower the mist output speed when the humidity level in your home is raised appropriately.

How do I know if my cool mist humidifier is working?

The first and simplest method is to put your hand close to the nozzle to feel whether there is any mist coming out.

Please note that this “testing” method is only appropriate for cool mist units. If you try that with a warm mist humidifier, you could scald yourself.

Another way is to measure the humidity level in the room using a hygrometer. If it has risen considerably, the humidifier is working as it should.

Warm mist and cool mist humidifiers are designed to alert you when something is wrong. They do this by displaying a blinking red light.

If this happens, the tank might have run out of water, the filters might need changing or cleaning, or something else could be wrong.

Wrapping Up

Why is my Pure Enrichment humidifier not working? You have seen a few probable causes. 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.

You can buy a working Pure Enrichment humidifier from amazon.com for your humidity needs at home, in the office, or in business.