How Quickly Does A Dehumidifier Fill Up?

A dehumidifier is a great appliance to have in your home if you live in a humid climate and want to help prevent dampness, mold or mildew.

Dehumidifiers help keep your home dry and comfortable by extracting moisture from the air and collecting in a form of tank or bucket.

With an average maximum moisture removal rate of 10 liters per day at 68ºF (20ºC) at 60% relative humidity, it would take the water tank on an average size residential dehumidifier with 14 pint (6.5 liter) capacity 16 hours to fill up.

As our own dehumidifier has a maximum moisture removal rate of 10 l/day, we typically find that if we turn it on first thing in the morning and off last thing at night then the 6.5 liter water tank is pretty much full.

Dehumidifier Water Tank
This water tank on our dehumidifier can fill up in about 16 hours

However, how quickly a dehumidifier actually takes to fill up can vary significantly depending on factors such as the climate, the current and proposed humidity and the size of the appliance.

The most important thing to keep in mind when determining how quickly a dehumidifier will fill up is the amount of moisture in the air in your given space.

Read on to learn more about how dehumidifiers work, and how quickly.

How Quickly Does A Dehumidifier Fill Up?

The length of time it takes for your dehumidifier to reach capacity will depend on multiple factors, including the amount of moisture in the air or space and other extenuating circumstances.

It could take up to twelve hours to see your dehumidifier working, especially if you are in a particularly muggy climate. If you’re using a dehumidifier to clean up after a flood or severe leak, it could take up to a week to notice a difference.

Many household dehumidifiers can also fill up in a matter of hours.

When looking to work out how long it can take for a particular model of dehumidifier to fill up, pay attention to the:

  • Humidity of the air
  • Size and efficiency of the dehumidifier
  • Capacity of the water collection tank/bucket
  • Maximum moisture removal rate in l/day

The capacity of the tank and the maximum moisture removal rate (at a certain temperature and humidity) can often be found in the owner’s manual for a particular dehumidifier.

Our dehumidifier has the following parameters:

  • Water tank capacity: 6.5 liters
  • Moisture removal: 10l/day at 68ºF (20ºC) and 60% relative humidity

This means that it would take just under 16 hours for the tank on our dehumidifier to fill up with water at these average conditions.

From our experience, after a full 16 hour day of operating while we’re awake, the tank on our dehumidifier is usually almost full.

Our dehumidifier can fill up with the tank full light coming on after roughly 16 hours of operating

How Much Water Does A Dehumidifier Collect?

Much like the amount of time it takes for a dehumidifier to fill up, the amount of water your dehumidifier will collect in a day will vary greatly depending on these factors:

  • Your climate
  • The moisture within your space
  • The size of your appliance

Small dehumidifiers are most common in households. Most tanks are 2 liters and will need to be emptied after 6-7 hours, but they could collect anywhere from 10-20 liters of water in a day.

If your appliance is bigger and has a larger tank, or it is an industrial-size dehumidifier, it will likely collect much more in a day.

If you live in a muggy climate and find that your air is especially humid, your dehumidifier will probably collect more water than average.

If you find that you have to empty your water tank often, it may be best to invest in a dehumidifier that can work as a continuous drainage system for convenience as a dehumidifier can’t run when the tank is full.

Dehumidifier Water Tank
The tank on our dehumidifier has a slot for a hose to set up continuous drainage but we haven’t yet needed to use it

Your dehumidifier will also collect more water if you are cleaning up from a leak or a flood. If this is the case, you’ll again want to consider using a dehumidifier with an automatic draining system to get your space cleaned up as fast as possible.

How Does A Dehumidifier Collect Water?

Dehumidifiers remove dirt, dust, allergens, toxins, and moisture from the air and prevent moisture from collecting in your home.

Once there’s a certain level of moisture in the air, your dehumidifier’s humidistat will detect the moisture and the dehumidifier will start collecting water.

The air in your space is filtered through the machine, removing the dirt, dust, and moisture. The air is raked over a coolant to cool and condense the air, and the moisture is collected in a bucket.

Dehumidifier Water Tank
Water is collected in a bucket/tank

The air then goes back into the room, clean and dry.

The more water in your space, the more quickly your dehumidifier can fill up.

This can vary from day to day depending on the humidity level. Pay attention to the humidity level each day, and check the collection bucket accordingly.

Emptying the collection bucket as soon as it’s full will help it to run most efficiently.

Can A Dehumidifier Safely Fill Up At All Times?

While it’s typically safe to run your dehumidifier at all times, it’s probably not necessary unless certain circumstances warrant its continual use, like a flood or leak.

Running it for 12 hours a day is best. Do consider a few things before leaving your dehumidifier on at all times.

The best time of day to run your dehumidifier can be at night. This can help you to get a good night of sleep, and be the most cost-effective. Dehumidifiers should be used when the humidity is above 55%, making the ideal time to run your appliance between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Be aware of the cost required to run your dehumidifier at all times. Running your dehumidifier will use up extra electricity, which can get expensive. There are alternatives to dehumidifiers that are less expensive, such as:

  • Using rock salt to absorb moisture
  • Opening a window

If you’re going to run your dehumidifier all the time, select a unit with a continuous drainage system. This will be the most convenient for you, saving you the hassle of emptying your bucket on a regular basis.

What To Do With The Collected Water

If your dehumidifier is running at all times, it will collect lots of water. 10-20 liters of water is a significant amount that should not be wasted.

Dehumidifier Emptying Water
We usually pour our water away but it can have other uses such as for irons and watering plants

While the water is not suitable to drink, it can still be useful for a variety of things.

The water that your dehumidifier collects is distilled, so you can use it in place of distilled water, perhaps in small appliances like irons or steamers.

The water from your dehumidifier can be used to water plants. Do not use it to water vegetables, though.

You could also use the water from your dehumidifier to wash your floors or your car. Do pay close attention to what sealants and finishes are used on your belongings, though, as the water could potentially ruin them.

If you use a dehumidifier that is designed with a drain hose instead of a collection bucket, you do not have to do anything with the water, as it is drained and not collected. It will be taken care of naturally through its drainage system.

Cost Of Filling Up A Dehumidifier

Keep in mind that running your dehumidifier is a bit of an investment, especially if you need one that drains automatically so you do not have to worry about emptying it.

While most are not exorbitantly priced, it is still an expense to purchase, and you have to pay to run it. Consider why you are using a dehumidifier, and if the cost of benefits outweighs potential detriments should you forgo its use.

Pay attention to:

  • The time it spends running
  • Cost of electricity
  • Effectiveness of the appliance

Keep in mind the alternatives to using dehumidifiers, too. In addition to the aforementioned options, running a fan or your vents can be used in place of a dehumidifier, and they may be more inexpensive.

Although they can be costly, most dehumidifiers will turn off automatically once the room has reached its desired humidity level, which will help with the cost.

This feature helps with climate control and prevents rooms from getting excessively dry.

How Quickly Does A Dehumidifier Fill Up?

There are many factors that can affect how quickly a dehumidifier fills up and these can include the capacity of the water tank and the maximum moisture removal rate.

If running a dehumidifier all day until you go to sleep, you can expect a standard sized home dehumidifier to be full, or almost full.

However, for more humid climates you can expect a dehumidifier to fill up more quickly than average and vice-versa.

If your dehumidifier is filling up very quickly, it may be best to find one that is larger or can accommodate a hose for continuous drainage, as this can save you time and effort while still keeping your space dry.

Further Reading

Do You Need A Dehumidifier For Every Room?

Does A Dehumidifier Collect Water?

Does A Dehumidifier Actually Work?

Can A Dehumidifier Overflow?