I just cleaned mine for the first time, and the instructions are very unclear in the pamphlet on how to do it. What you need: One package of EZ Cal cleaner/descaler for humidifiers ( I got mine at bed bath and beyond) 32 oz of hot water How to clean your unit: Mix the hot water with the EZ Cal cleaner packet in a separate container. Remove the tank from the base. Remove the cleaning brush and the silver stick that is in the base of the unit. Pour the solution in the base of the unit. Let the solution sit in the base of the unit for 1/2 hour. Then take the cleaning brush, and go over the surfaces in the base. Pour out the solution, and rinse with hot water. Put the brush and silver stick back into the base. Put tank back onto the base. Reset the unit by pushing and holding the power button for a few seconds. This will stop the cleaning indicator from blinking. Let the water fill up the filter for a couple minutes, turn on, and your ready to go again. I hope this was helpful.
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Its probably the cleaning light that comes on periodically to remind you to clean the unit. Shut off the unit AND when you do so hold down the power button for several seconds until the flashing red light shuts off. The cleaning light should stay off until the next cleaning is due.
Per the Air-O-Swiss FAQ:
Q: Cleaning light is flashing (AOS U650, AOS 7135, AOS 7142, AOS 7144, AOS 7147)
A: Switch the unit OFF and unplug it. Empty the water in the base. Rinse the base with hot/clean water. Do not submerge the base! Visually inspect the base for dirt or mineral build up. If soft water is used decalcifying the unit every 4 weeks with EZ Cal is suggested. If hard water is used the unit should be decalcified every 2 weeks. Do not forget to reset the clean light after resetting the unit.
Q: Reset cleaning light (AOS U650, AOS 7135, AOS 7142, AOS 7144, AOS 7147)
A: The cleaning light does not automatically reset. Hold down the power button (button A in instruction manual) until the light stops flashing. The light automatically comes on approximately 14 days after plugging in the unit.
The water sensor is a float in the mister area of the base. The float is off in one corner with a little plastic barrier around it and translucent cap over it. Make sure the float can more freely.
If the float can move up and down but the light stays on, the reed switch (a switch controlled by a magnet built into the float) inside the unit might have been knocked loose, damaged or disconnected. The switch is actually inside the post that the float slides on, but it can only be accessed from the underside - inside the unit.
Gererally according to the booklet in the box. If you no longer have those instructions, simply clean out the basin, make sure no mold, dust, hardwater or calcium is deposited. Use a 10% bleach water solution to kill bacteria, and thats is basically it. Just dont miss any spots, but humdifiers should be cleaned every few uses.
EZCal Humidifier Cleaner and Descaler is what the company recomends. Also if you do not have this using equall parts of vinegar to water use the brush that came with unit. Now with this at first use if using vinegar and water it will have an odor, but the EZcal is odorless
There are a few hose connections inside the unit related to the heater element. Water flows from the reservoir down into the unit, takes a turn into a tube with the heater element wrapped around it, then turns back up into the mister area. Any of the four connections (base to first elbow, elbow to heater tube, heater tube to second elbow or second elbow to base) could be leaking.
The white ring around the mister disk cracked on my unit, letting water leak out the bottom as you describe... Take a close look at that.
It's also possible the base itself is cracked somewhere... Look closely at the mister and reservoir areas of the base for cracks.