Why Your Dehumidifier Is Leaking Water (And How To Fix)

Dehumidifiers are tools that lessen humidity and help to reduce allergens inside your home. If you own a dehumidifier, you might run into an issue that you will need to troubleshoot somewhere along the way.

One of the common issues people can have is their dehumidifier leaking water.

The most common reasons dehumidifiers leak water include icing up and defrosting causing condensation, the overflow switch not working, the water collection tank out of position or damaged, or the drain channel to the tank or hose blocked.

Since your dehumidifier could be leaking for any number of reasons, the next step is to figure out the specific cause behind your leak.

We found that after removing the water tank on our dehumidifier there would be a pool of water at the bottom of the unit.

Dehumidifier Water Leak
Water leaking our of our dehumidifier after removing the tank

Read on to learn why dehumidifiers leak water and what you can do to help prevent future water leaks, including why our dehumidifier leaked.

What Is Causing Your Dehumidifier To Leak?

There are several issues that could be causing your water leak.

If you’re struggling to figure out which of the common issues is the cause of your dehumidifier’s water leak, there are a handful of things you can check in the first instance to help more easily determine where the problem is coming from:

  • Check the water collection bucket.
  • Ensure the drain hose is not blocked (if applicable).
  • Look for ice.
  • Check the overflow switch.

Make sure that the water tank is not cracked or damaged.

Dehumidifier Water Tank
Check the tank for any damage leading to leaks

Check to make sure that the filter that the water passes through to get into the bucket is not blocked by anything.

Lastly, check to make sure the water tank is pushed in all the way in when you put it back. It seems simple, but if your collection bucket is out of place, water will leak out.

However, many dehumidifiers won’t operate if the tank isn’t in correctly.

Dehumidifier Water Tank
Make sure that the water tank isn’t out of position

Some dehumidifiers have a drain hose that takes the water collected by the unit and goes right into a nearby drain in the house. If your dehumidifier has one, make sure the hose is not kinked, blocked, or out of place.

If your dehumidifier has been running in an area that is too cold, it may be icing up and defrosting. Look for ice around the unit or on the inside coils.

Furthermore, the overflow switch stops the dehumidifier when the bucket gets full.

If this is broken, water may leak from the unit.

Finally, ensure that you’re using your dehumidifier in line with the manufacturer’s guidelines.

We found that we were removing the water tank too quickly after turning the dehumidifier off.

This didn’t give the dehumidifier time to properly drain the remaining water into the tank and so would leak while the tank was removed.

Dehumidifier Water Leak
Water leaking into the base of the dehumidifier

We checked our owner’s manual and it states:

This unit will operate for approximately 3-4 minutes after pressing the power button to turn off. This is normal and ensure the desiccant wheel is drained of water.’


How To Prevent Your Dehumidifier From Leaking

Once you’ve determined where your water leak has originated, you can take care of the problem. You’ll also have a better idea of how to prevent future leaks.

Below are some steps you can take to prevent your dehumidifier from leaking water in the future. These will keep it up and running well.

  • Empty collection bucket regularly and ensures it’s in the correct position.
  • Check the room temperature.
  • Clean your dehumidifier.

When you are using a dehumidifier, you should be making sure to empty your collection bucket regularly.

Emptying the bucket regularly can prevent the water from leaking out or having mold build up in the unit. Emptying your bucket regularly will also keep your unit running well.

Dehumidifier Water Tank Leak
If there’s an issue, water may leak out the top of the tank if it’s full and the dehumidifier continues to operate

If your dehumidifier is running in a room that is too hot or too cold, it could cause many problems. If you run it in a room that is below 65 degrees Fahrenheit, it will ice up. If it’s running in a room that is too hot, your dehumidifier could overheat. Either one of these scenarios will prevent your dehumidifier from working properly.

When you run your dehumidifier regularly, dust and dirt can build up on the unit and clog up the insides. Taking a few minutes to wipe off any dust and look inside the unit to see if any dirt has built up can save a lot of trouble in the long run.

Taking good care of your dehumidifier will save you both time and money in the long run so be sure to clean any filters.

Dehumidifier HEPA Filter
Check and clean the filters if required

Periodically check that the drain channel located before the tank is free from blockages.

Dehumidifier Drain Channel
Check that the drain channel above the water tank isn’t blocked (it can build up with mold as shown)

Also have a read of the owner’s manual and make sure that you’re using it correctly.

For example, the manufacturer for our dehumidifier explains (why ours was leaking):

Do not remove the water tank immediately after the unit stops. Please wait a while to avoid the water dripping into the unit and causing damage.’


Damages That Can Occur from a Dehumidifier Leak

A dehumidifier leaking can cause a lot of damages and problems over time. You should do your best to prevent your dehumidifier from leaking water whenever possible.

If your dehumidifier is leaking water, do your best to correct the issue as soon as you can.

Common problems that may occur are:

  • Damaged flooring: Water damage can occur on carpet, hardwood floors, or linoleum when water sits on your floor for long periods. Replacing water-damaged flooring can cost a lot of money.
  • Bacteria: Sitting water can cause bacteria to grow and mold to form in your house. A buildup of bacteria in your home can cause many health issues and may require home repairs over time.
  • Bad smell: Puddled water from a leaking dehumidifier can cause a bad smell over time. If you do not want your house to smell of must and mildew, you should ensure you do not have water puddling from a dehumidifier leak.

If you have a dehumidifier that is leaking water, these are some of the reasons you should be concerned. Fixing the problem as soon as possible will save you a lot of money and hassle in the long run.


If your dehumidifier is leaking water, it’s a problem that you should get fixed as soon as possible. Luckily, there are some common things you can look for and steps you can take to fix this issue.

You should check the water collection tank, the drain hose, look for ice, and make sure the overflow switch is functioning properly.

Also be sure to use your dehumidifier in line with the owner’s manual to help prevent leaks due to improper use.

Narrowing down the reason behind your dehumidifier leak will help you find a solution to the problem. Additionally, if you take good care of your dehumidifier and perform routine maintenance on it, it will continue working well for you for years.

Further Reading

Can A Dehumidifier Eliminate Odors?

Can A Dehumidifier Also Be A Humidifier?