Dehumidifier Keeps Shutting off? Quick Troubleshooting Tips

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We all know how problematic it is when your dehumidifier repeatedly shuts off, especially at the worst time. 

But why does this happen? And what can you do to avoid it? 

In this article, we walk you through proven troubleshooting steps to figure out what’s wrong with your dehumidifier.

Whether you are trying to remove the moisture from the air in a small flat or eliminate humidity in the center of the hot season, this list will help you find a solution to your problem.

How Does a Dehumidifier Work?

Dehumidifiers, despite their low-tech and clunky look, are pretty complex machines. They include both hot and cold parts and fans, coils, and many moving parts that could need repairing or servicing.

They include a whole lot more complicated system than you thought, right?

The Ins and Outs

The system works with a compressor to pull the air in from the room via a filter. This air then flows over some cold coils. This means the water from the filtered air will condense.

It will produce droplets that fall to the removable bucket. Once the atmosphere is moisture-free, it’s reheated and then blown back into the room.

Understanding Your Dehumidifier

Knowing how a dehumidifier works might help you work out why it’s going wrong. It can also help you to fix it quickly. There are several videos on the internet showing that in more detail about how the working components function, like this one.

So Why is It Shutting Down?

the dehumidifier keeps shutting off

Something many people don’t realize is the impact that temperature can have on your dehumidifier. 

If your space is too cold (below 65 degrees), you might see frost form on the coils of your unit.

This is from moisture condensing on the cold coils, which then trickles into the bucket. The coils are too cold so that the water doesn’t remain liquid and will freeze over the coils.

Move to a Warmer Room

This can pose all kinds of problems in the machine’s internal workings. 

So if you suspect this is the issue, switch off the dehumidifier and move it into a warmer room to heat the coils back up. 

Could Be the Filter

It could also be because the filter or procedure on the dehumidifier is now clogged or broken. Additionally, this is easily fixed.

Maintaining your filter clean and clear of debris can aid your unit to perform better, but also lower the risk of fires starting in your home.

Chalk it Up to Mechanics

The third most common cause of machines shutting off is mechanical issues – like the electric components or engine breaking down. It can also be because of getting overworked and overheated which can result in a port locked.

We will cover some simple methods to check if you need spare parts later in the report.

Know Your Dehumidifier

dehumidifier turns on then shuts off

There are two types of dehumidifiers – desiccant or mechanical.


A desiccant unit utilizes a moisture-attracting material. It has a silica gel to draw the water out of the atmosphere.


Mechanical units (which we’ll be concentrating on) use a system of coils and fans.

There’s a terrific buying guide from Air & Water that sets out the benefits and drawbacks of different units. It can help ease things if you are on the fence.

Clean Your Dehumidifier

So you’ve worked out that the unit is looking somewhat clogged – what is the safest and most effective way to wash it? A dehumidifier has multiple detachable parts.

By carefully removing these and providing them a thorough clean, you can ensure that your system is in tip-top shape. Before taking your dehumidifier apart, make sure it’s unplugged from the power.

Here's a Simple Step by Step Guide

dehumidifier compressor starts then stops

How to Disassemble and Clean a Dehumidifier

When you’ve followed these measures, you can then reassemble the unit and test it out. If everything seems to be working smoothly, your problem should be solved!

Repairing Your Dehumidifier

If cleaning your dehumidifier did not help, you might require a new motor or electrical repair. Though your device is disassembled, inspect the fan motor and the blades by trying to spin the fan by hand.

It should move freely and not strike any other component of the dehumidifier. There’s a range of replacement components available online.


There are a few quick and simple measures to follow to make sure that your dehumidifier runs exactly the way it should at all times. Next time it freezes or stops just at the wrong time, only run through this simple listing:

When you’ve gone through this troubleshooting information, you will have your back up and running right away. Bye bye humidity!

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