A dehumidifier is an important part of a central air conditioning system operating in a humid area. The dehumidifier strips out excess moisture from the air, which could put too much moisture into your air conditioner, causing potential water damage, or out into your home. When your dehumidifier stops running properly, you will quickly realize how valuable the humidifier is during humid weather.
There are a few potential causes of a dehumidifier that isn't running. A few of the causes are easy to check on your own while some of the fixes might require the help of an air conditioning services technician. Note that before you do anything you want to make sure that the power was on to the unit and the controls were set properly as these are common causes of a "malfunctioning" dehumidifier. Then turn the power back off if you need to do any work.
Full Water Bucket
The problem could simply be that your water bucket is full and the system has shut itself off as a safety precaution. The water bucket is what catches the moisture that the dehumidifier strips out of the air. Unlike the drip pan on an air handler, the bucket doesn't drain itself.
Check to see if your water bucket is full and dump it out in a sink or bathtub if it is. Make a note to yourself to check the bucket once a month from now on, emptying it and cleaning it with antibacterial cleaner each time. Now see if your dehumidifier is working. If it is, you are done with your job.
Make Sure the Unit is Sized Properly
If you recently had a new dehumidifier installed, or moved into a new house that has a dehumidifier, you might want to double check that the unit is the right size. Sizing depends on the square footage of your home and the average amount of moisture in the air, or how humid your area is in general.
Make sure your unit meets the specifications for both your home and the amount of humidity of the air. If either of these specifications is too low, the unit can fail to strip out enough moisture to the point that it seems like the unit isn't running when it actually is but just isn't strong enough.
If the unit is the right size and the bucket is empty, but you're still getting overly moist air in your home, there could be an electrical issue with the dehumidifier. The most common culprits are a wiring issue or incorrect voltage going to the dehumidifier.
You want to leave these checks and fixes entirely up to an HVAC technician, such as from Always Ready Repair. Fiddling with electricity in a unit that also collects water requires a professional hand or else you could wind up in the hospital.