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Electrohome dehumidifier stopped working

My old Electrohome Desertaire 36 model EDQ36 has stopped working.
When I plugged it in the fan didn't start but the compressor did and the tubes in the back started to get cold until I started to turn the knob and then it shut off too. If I turn the humidity knob you can hear a click as if it wants to start. Question: if the fan has gone, will this stop the compressor working? Can I check if the fan has gone - or the switch, maybe?

I went out and bought a whirlpool 70 pint model and have had it for a few days. I works okay but it rattles and it runs all the time. I called Whirlpool and they told me it's a design fault and they are getting lots of complaints as it's costing a lot to run it when it's not necessary. I want my old Electrohome to work. It's served well for 20 years. I don't want this modern piece of rubbish! Even Whirlpool told me ''They don't make things to last.'' It seem to me this is an environmental disaster. It uses a lot of electricity when it doesn't need to and then in a couple of years it goes in a landfill site.

Thanks for any help you can offer.

PS. Is there a properly made dehumidifier on the market today? I need it to keep the basement dry.

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  • cdch364 May 27, 2009

    I've taken out the fan/motor as it seem to have gone. It's very stiff to turn. There is power going from the humidistat to the fan. So I guess that means if I replace the fan motor it will work. I've found one place that has the motor at $75, which seems a bit high, but they are the only place so far that's got one.

    Thanks blueberry78 for your help. The Electrohome is actually made by Woods as per your example above.

    Cliff


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I have no experience of your particular machine but I have some experience of my Wood's DS-15, another fine machine of the compressor type that is built to last. They should be rather similar in design.

My first thought when I read your problem description is that you have a severe buildup of dust inside the machine. On the Wood's, you loosen the front grill and behind it you will see the fan, behind the fan is the condenser pack, and then you get to the evaporator coils that are visible from the back of the machine.

Maybe the configuration is slightly different on your machine but they are built very simple these machines, easy to see what they need in order to work as designed and you already know the most central and expensive parts seem ok.

I had some problems with low efficiency on the unit after six years daily service in a laundry room for drying clothes, took it apart and couldn't believe the amount of dust that was packed into the fine fins of the condenser on its back side! Also extremely much dust on most components like the fan.

I just took it outside and blew it clean from the front side with compressed air, problem solved and machine performance went back up to where it was when new!

I would imagine after a few more years of dust buildup inside, at one point or another the dust will reach the fan and prevent it from spinning. It is also possible of course that the fan motor is shot but I'd start with a really good cleaning.

If that doesn't help I'd continue with the multimeter see if the humidistat gives power to the fan and compressor when it should, if the fan actually spins when powered, if the switches work. It should be quite easy to track down the reason the fan doesn't spin, IMO. I believe you can buy replacement humidistats and motors if they turn out to be faulty.

Good luck!


Posted on May 26, 2009

  • Håkan Sterner May 26, 2009

    PS. I wouldn't think too hard on the question you had since there is also a defrost cycle involved, here the compressor is not powered but the fan is, and if it doesn't spin all you would hear would be that click.

    Besides a really good design would prevent the compressor from being switched on again right after it has been shut off, this is not good for the compressor.

  • Håkan Sterner May 27, 2009

    Cliff, it seems like you tracked down the problem! Congrats! You say your dehumidifier was made by Woods, why am I not surprised... :) Like you I'm very attracted to high quality designs and unfortunately they become harder to find nowadays. Really high quality stuff is made up of high quality components and they cost money to make.

    I agree $75 for a new motor seems a bit stiff but I'd not hesitate spending that on my Woods in ten years or so to make it run for another couple of decades which I'm certain it will do. Total cost of ownership will still be unbeatable considering the "competition", the low quality offerings you mentioned ending up in landfills.

    My machine is running almost constantly to keep the basement dry despite all clothes that are drying there all the time, a very energy efficient solution since it actually produces more heat energy than it takes from the jack. Sort of a heat pump in a way.

    Good luck with your fine machine!


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