Will A Dehumidifier Always Collect Water? Yes & No!

Will a dehumidifier always collect water or will there be a time when it will stop?

Well, the long and short of it is that a dehumidifier will collect water until:

So, a dehumidifier will not keep collecting water all the time. It will stop automatically when the bucket is full.

If the dehumidifier stops running after a few minutes without having lowered the humidity to the set level, something needs checking, because something is wrong.

Will a dehumidifier ever stop collecting water?

will a dehumidifier always collect water

If your home in Florida has high humidity, your dehumidifier can run for hours on end, dehumidifying, filling the bucket and then dehumidifying some more!

In this case, you could wonder: Will a dehumidifier ever stop collecting water? Indeed it will. But to do that, it has to lower the humidity appropriately.

A place like Seattle has high humidity throughout the year. Thus, when buying a dehumidifier, get a high capacity one. That way, you won’t have to empty it too often. It will also work for several hours and then stop.

To lower humidity in a damp room, your dehumidifier can run on and on. If there has been flooding, you might even need to run it for 24 hours straight!

If it runs extensively for many hours on end, check it. If there is a burning smell from the unit, stop it for some time. You can run it again after it cools down.

The dehumidifier has a built-in humidistat. It senses when the humidity level has been lowered to the set level and then the unit switches off automatically.

If you are wondering how long you should run a dehumidifier, it will shut down on its own automatically when it accomplishes its task.

Why is my dehumidifier still collecting water

Why is my dehumidifier still collecting water

We could say the reason why the dehumidifier is still collecting water is because that is what it is supposed to do. But there is more to it than this!

Here are some reasons why your unit keeps running for extended times:

The humidity is still high

The 70 pint Frigidaire dehumidifier keeps on running because the level of moisture in your indoor air is still high.

If you are in doubt regarding this, you can check the humidity level using your hygrometer. Of course, even in continuous mode, you will see the humidity level displayed on the panel.

This should tell you when the dehumidifier has lowered the humidity to the set level and then you can shut it off.

The dehumidifier is too small

If the dehumidifier is small, it will have to run longer than an appropriately sized or bigger dehumidifier. It will take longer to lower the humidity level.

In the Frigidaire dehumidifier instructions article, we said you should use the unit for the space it is rated for. Otherwise, if it is too small, it will have to overwork to do its job.

By the way, the same applies to humidifiers. This is why you might experience a Honeywell humidifier burning smell, if you overwork your unit.

Here is a rough guideline for your dehumidifier capacity in regard to room size:

  • 30-pint dehumidifiers – 500 to 100 square feet
  • 50-pint dehumidifiers – 1000 to 1500 square feet
  • 70 – Pint dehumidifiers for mould – over 1500 square feet
  • 70-pint and larger dehumidifiers – 2500 square feet and over

If your dehumidifier is too small, it can work for days and not lower the humidity appropriately. High humidity causes mold growth.

This can cause warning signs of mold toxicity among your family if not removed as soon as possible.

The dehumidifier is faulty

If the dehumidifier keeps on running even when the bucket is full of water, it is faulty. If it keeps running but it is not collecting water, it is faulty!

In our posts on Levoit humidifier not working, Crane humidifier instructions and others, one constant in all of them is that the unit might need resetting.

Do the same for a dehumidifier that runs and does not collect water or continues running even when the bucket is full.

To reset it, just unplug it from the power and let it stay for a few hours. When you plug it back in, it should be working, unless there is another problem with it.

Other basics you should check include dirty filters. To access the filter, remove the bucket and then pull the filter down. Clean it in running water, air-dry it and return it.

Why is dehumidifier not collecting water?

Does the dehumidifier run but there is no water in the bucket? Something is wrong, or perhaps not!


Bucket needs emptying

Why is dehumidifier not collecting water

The dehumidifier is not collecting water because the bucket is already full. If there is high humidity in the room, or if you were using a dehumidifier to dry clothes, a 30-pint or lesser capacity unit can fill up fast.

You may consider using dehumidifier water for your plants, but don’t drink it!

Apart from that, there are a few other reasons why the unit stops working as it should:

The coils are dirty or frozen

Thankfully, we have a whole post discussing how to clean dehumidifier coils. If they have frost, the refrigerant will not work appropriately.

So do check the coils to see whether they need a proper cleaning.

Check the filters

Yet another reason for dehumidifiers failing to collect water is dirty filters. If it is due for replacement, order new ones as soon as possible.

It is recommended to change the filter a few times a year, so you should check the unit’s user instructions.

The bucket is not fixed properly

If the Frigidaire dehumidifier bucket is not fixed properly (can happen to any dehumidifier, just used Frigidaire as a sample), the unit will not collect water.

After all, it does not sense the presence of the bucket, which holds the water it collects.

Incorrect humidity settings/Low humidity

How long before dehumidifier collects water

If you have set the humidity settings on the dehumidifier as 40% and the humidity level in the house is 38%, the unit is not going to collect water.

If the humidity level is low, the unit is not going to draw any more water from the air.

How long before dehumidifier collects water

If the dehumidifier is new, it can take up to 10 hours before you can start to notice any changes, or get a good humidity level in the bedroom. It needs to acclimatize to the conditions in the room first.

If it takes too long to start, check a few things like:

  • Whether it has a filter
  • The bucket is fixed properly
  • Whether there is high humidity in the air
  • Others

After you switch the unit on, it will start to work immediately. However, if the humidity is high, it will take some time before it is lowered enough to reduce the dampness in the air.

When the unit is not new, it will work faster. The reason for this is that it kicks in automatically as soon as the humidity level exceeds what you have set.

Please note – not all dehumidifiers have the automatic start/stop features. Order one such as Waykar 2000 Sq. Ft Dehumidifier which has auto restart and stop feature on Amazon.com.


A dehumidifier will not always collect water. But this does not mean something is wrong with it. Do check whether the dehumidifier blows too cold air because then, it will not be collecting water.

Also, while it is okay if the dehumidifier is blowing hot air, too hot is also not good. It indicates some defect with the unit.

Overall, dehumidifiers do not have many issues if you clean them, and change the filters on time. They are perfect workhorses that can lower the humidity appropriately over a long time.