Question about Kenmore 54701 Dehumidifier

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3 year-old machine. Appears that the main refridgerant supply line to the coils ices up soon after you turn it on, starting near a small canister of some kind, then the ice makes it way across the evaporator assembly (obviously following the line). If allow to keep running, the ice eventually pushes up and out the frame of the cabinet. The de-icing feature either doesn't turn on at all, or if it turns on it doesn't work. This is the second of this exact model of dehumidifier that has failed after no more than 3 springs/summers of use.

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  • cappy13 Mar 11, 2011

    I just figured the first unit was a lemon, and kept it for parts and bought the same thing. What to do with a leak?

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  • 4,736 Answers

Often times, a clogged filter will cause them to freeze up. Because, it's not getting enough air into the system to warm the coils. If you haven't cleaned the filter recently or regularly, that is more than likely the problem. Other than that, the ambient room temperature can play a role in it. If it's cooler than 41 degrees, the humidifier struggles. Same is true if it's over 93 degrees.

Hope this helps you solve the problem.

Posted on Mar 11, 2011

  • 4 more comments 
  • cappy13 Mar 11, 2011

    I posted in my original submission that I have cleaned everything that can be cleaned, and that the fan is working. The dehumidifier is in a room that is 70 degrees.

  • Rich Landrum Mar 11, 2011

    Sorry, didn't see anything in your original post, that I answered, that said anything about you having cleaned it. In any event, now it sounds as if you may have a small refrigerant leak. Especially, since it's creating that must frost/ice. You said you had the same problem with a previous unit. Was it ever determined what was wrong with it? I'm hoping there's a clue somewhere with it. But, I still hold with the minor refrigerant leak. Please advise. Thanks.

  • Rich Landrum Mar 12, 2011

    Cappy, the only thing you can really do, is check all the refrigerant couplings/fittings for tightness and for leaks. Use warm soapy water to check for leaks, especially any couplings you can get to and can clearly see. Generally, refrigerant leaks (other than at couplings) aren't repaired, the coils are replaced. But, I'm not sure that would be DIY undertaking. The other issue, is getting the parts. Of course you have one on hand that did the same thing. But, would those parts be any good, considering the other unit did the exact same thing. So, you may want to seriously consider, buying a new one. But, another brand, obviously.

  • cappy13 Mar 13, 2011

    Thank you for taking the time to help. If the cooling system itself is leaking, that should be covered under the 5-yr. warranty (it is on the cooling system only, not anything electrical).

  • Rich Landrum Mar 13, 2011

    Yes, Cappy, you should be covered under the warranty. Hope it all works out for you.

  • Rich Landrum Mar 13, 2011

    Yes, Cappy, you should be covered under the warranty. Hope it all works out for you.

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Well, sounds like you have a good cold section in the dehumidifier-- that is good!-- But I agree-- we don't want water condensing on the surface-- and we surely don't need it turning to ice!
A couple questions to help us get to the next level of trouble shooting this problem:
1.) How cold is the room you are running the dehumidifier in?
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the colder the room, the easier to drop the air temperature well below the freezing point-- making ice.)

2.) Have the air filters been cleaned/changed recently?
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3.) You have suggested a good solution,-- especially if the above problems can not be easily corrected: Turn off the unit every few hours, and allow the warmth of the room, to defrost the coil....
In fact-- just to make sure that the air flow is not being restricted by ice deep within the coil-- let it stay off over night-- or bring the dehumidifier into a much warmer room, to make sure no ice is still blocking air flow deep within the coil..

Let us know what you learn about air flow, and get back with us-- THen maybe we need to take the trouble shooting deeper insicde the device.

I hope this helps-- MB

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