Question about LG LHD45EL Dehumidifier

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I have just had my second dehumidifier stop working. Both have been used exclusively in my basement from spring through fall. The first one (kenmore) lasted 5 years, and the second one (LG) lasted 2 years. Both appear to have failed due to refrigerant leaks from corroded coils. The compressor and fan both run fine, but no moisture is removed from the air, and the bucket never gets any water. I removed the front cover on each unit and there are 2 sets of coils in each one. In both units, the sides of the front coil are corroded around where the copper elbows go in the coil. Both sides of the front coil are corroded from top to bottom, but there is no corrosion on the back coil in either unit. I'm guessing that the frame of the coil is aluminum and this is galvanic corrosion. Is this common in household dehumidifiers? If so, what can I do to prevent this in my next dehumidifier?

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Brad, you have really hit on something. In fact, it's more common than the manufacturers want the consumers to know. Actually, the corrosion starts after the unit is not used for several months and then put back into service. Is there something that can be done, on the consumers part to help prevent this? Perhaps, but, it would require routine maintenance, which most consumers don't even think about, until they ave a problem. Like cleaning the air intake filter regularly, checking the drain hole or tube for clogs and when not in use, storing the unit in a dry environment. As far as preventing the corrosion is concerned ... Doing what you did, to expose the front coils and in addition, wiping the down the coils and spraying a light coat of WD40 on them, may slow the corrosion process.

The bottom line is this. Until the manufacturers switch from aluminum coils to copper coils, the problem will always be there. But, the downside to the consumer will be, copper is more expensive than aluminum and therefor, the cost of the dehumidifier will be higher.

Again, good job, Brad! Your theory was well thought out.

Posted on Mar 23, 2011

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