Quick Checklist on How To Troubleshoot a Broken Humidifier

Quick Checklist on How To Troubleshoot a Broken Humidifier 03 Mar

Certain weather conditions call for the help of a humidifier for increased comfort. These are specifically designed to increase the moisture in the air and the overall humidity of the area. The dry cold air during cold seasons will cause dry skin and even respiratory problems, which makes humidifiers a house essential given that a well-humidified house would feel warmer. There are two types of evaporative humidifiers: the drum and the pump.

These appliances are relatively straightforward; thus, most of the problems arising would be caused by damaged and filthy foams or fillers. The problem could go from the humidistat, electrical cord, fan, and float control. At some point, you would need some knowledge of basic troubleshooting in case the need for a quick humidifier repair arises.

If you plan on fixing your broken humidifier on your own, you are on the right page. Continue reading below for a quick yet comprehensive checklist of how to troubleshoot broken humidifiers.

Identify the Problem

Luckily, troubleshooting simple problems with your humidifier does not require extraordinary skill. Still, the first thing you’d need to do is to identify what exactly is wrong with your humidifier. The two most common problems you may have or may encounter would be as follows:

  • Humidifier Not Blowing Mist. This is most likely caused by insufficient cleaning or mineral deposits building up on the heating parts, resulting in mineral crusts. The best thing to do is to chip these crusts off carefully.
  • Humidifier Leaks Water. For portable humidifiers, this would be caused by not correctly seating the reservoir tank. The problem could be in a lot of aspects. In this case, it is best to contact a professional HVAC technician and have it fixed.

Down below are just some other problems you may have encountered and how you can identify the cause:

  • The unit does not function. Check if the electrical cord is working and if the outlet turns the power on. Check the water level and if it is low, fill it up. Test the humidistat and the float control as well to see if it has any defects.
  • The humidifier does not increase humidity. Check whether your evaporation pads are dirty and clean them if necessary. Also, check the humidistat for any problem.
  • The humidifier makes too much noise. Check for any problems with the fan motor.
  • The humidifier has a foul smell. Check if the evaporation pads require cleaning. Also, see if the water reservoir is clean or needs refilling.

If you have encountered one or some of these problems, then don’t worry, there are ways to troubleshoot this problem yourself, but first, you would need to have some tools to assist you.

Tools You Will Need

When you’ve encountered the need to replace some parts, you would most definitely need some tools to help you out. Evaporation pads, in particular, are the most vital ones to replace, and luckily, most replacement parts for these could be found in your local hardware stores. If you cannot find one suited for your humidifier, you can check out how to order replacement parts on the unit’s user manual.

Tools to prepare:

  • Multimeter
  • Screwdrivers and
  • Wrenches

If you’ve got everything set, then you should now be ready to proceed to the repair. The steps would be depending on the part you are repairing, so if you wish, then you can go directly to the specific part you’re having problems with.

Remember to unplug the humidifier before doing any repair to avoid any accidents along the way since this appliance runs on electricity with water.

Troubleshooting a Pump Humidifier’s Faulty Evaporation Pads

  • Ensure that the power is turned off and the unit is unplugged for safety
  • Lift and hold the pad frame just above the humidifier housing and let excess water or moisture drip back into the reservoir
  • Remove the pads from their frames.
  • Clean with water or replace the pads if needed. If you decide to use some soap in cleaning, make sure to have it entirely rinsed before reattaching the frame’s pads.
  • Check for any spaces that need cleaning while your humidifier is open. Along the way, you may also see some obvious problems that may need some fixing.

Troubleshooting the Humidifier’s Float Control

  • Remove the cover and check all over the float. The float rod should be kept straight and secure, and everything should be spotless. Make sure not to bend the rod while cleaning the float.
  • Determine the level at which the float switch is activated by manually moving the float. Make the necessary adjustments with the switch if it does not start at the appropriate level.
  • Make sure that all electrical connections on the float switch are tight and secure.

Troubleshoot a Humidifier’s Humidistat

  • Disconnect the wires attached to the humidistat and mark them
  • Test the humidistat using your multimeter. The multimeter must be able to conduct at the on position
  • If the need arises, replace the humidistat with a replacement part

Bottom Line

Not all problems can be fixed with simple troubleshooting, and in some cases, you would need to contact a professional to have it repaired. If you aren’t very confident in doing it yourself, it would also be best to seek professional help to make sure that nothing goes wrong along the way.

The majority of these problems, however, can easily be avoided with preventive measures and maintenance. A once – or better yet twice a year service by a trained technician on HVAC systems will already do so much to keep your humidifiers working at their best. The best times to do so would be before the cold season and as soon as the warm season starts.

Regular cleaning will do for smaller units. For best results, it is recommended to use distilled water on your humidifiers since it contains no minerals of the sort and thus will not result in any mineral crusts.