Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.

Reliable Dehumidifiers

Does anyone make a reliable dehumidifier? I am OK with portable or the semi installed type like an Aprilaire. I am now on the 3rd dehumidifier where the refrigerant has escaped through what should have been solid copper tubing. The first was an LG, the second a Freidrich, and the 3rd the sealed system warranty replacement for the Freidrich. I think this is over a span of about 11 years. Are there any that don't use rice paper thin tubing that develops a pinhole with the slightest of defect?

Thanks

Matt

Comments

  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 1,634
    I like the Aprilaire.  I have several customers who have one. I've only seen one develop a refrigerant leak.  Even though it was a couple of months outside the warranty Aprilaire still replaced it like it was still under warranty.  
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 2,863
    That doesn't sound entirely promising. Until maybe 15 years or so ago we made sealed systems that didn't leak after 60+ years, now the good ones is "we have only had one leak so far". Maybe I will just put a service valve in one of the Friedrichs and charge it with some stop leak.
  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 1,634
    That would be one approach. I don't care for the stop leak, maybe as a last resort. 

    I'm sure you know that almost nothing is made to the quality that products were in the past. Today it's all about the warranty and "efficiency" and price.  Unfortunately it seems as if even the products with the best warranties or the highest price still have defects and quality issues. 

    I've seen all sorts of leaks from dehumidifiers, from small portable ones to large light commercial ones. I wouldn't recommend the Aprilaire unless I thought it was a good product.  
    STEVEusaPA
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 3,906
    So far the Aprilaire 1850A is holding up. Unfortunately it is somewhat of a crap shoot with these things. 
    Will small tubes and capillaries, I don't know if leak stop would be effective. I can see it doing more harm than good. 
    STEVEusaPASuperTech
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 2,863
    The leak freeze has kept the refrigerant in the LG for a few years but it has other issues that make me not to want to leave it running all the time. Since the leak is in the evaporator, the only options are try the stop leak or throw it out.
  • iced98lx
    iced98lx Member Posts: 47
    I installed an Ultra-Aire 70H in my last house where the groundwater level meant we battled humidity year round inside and it ran a lot. I never measured duty cycle but my electric bill indicated it was high. I ran it for a little over 2 years and it never gave me any problems. It was a hard pill to swallow at the time (young, broke, last thing we wanted to spend money on) but was so worth it. Keeping the house at 50% drastically increased our comfort in the summer and got rid of the condensation on the windows in the winter.
    mattmia2
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 2,863
    Looking at SantaFe's web site, they seem to at least be hinting at they aren't using tubing so thin that the slightest surface corrosion results in a pinhole leak although I haven't found anything super convincing yet.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 2,863
    Eh, their warranty is the same as Aprilaire, we'll give you the part, good luck, installing it, getting the system dry again and charging it is your problem:
    CUSTOMER’S SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE REMEDY UNDER THE ABOVE LIMITED WARRANTY AND THERMA- STOR’S ENTIRE
    LIABILITY THEREUNDER, SHALL BE, AT THE SOLE OPTION OF THERMA-STOR, REPLACEMENT OR REPAIR OF SUCH PRODUCT OR ITS COMPONENTS
    (“COMPONENTS”) BY THERMA-STOR OR THERMA-STOR’S AGENTS ONLY. REFRIGERANT, PIPING, SUPPLIES, TRANSPORTATION COSTS, LABOR COSTS
    INCURRED IN REPAIR OR REPLACEMENT OF SUCH COMPONENTS ARE NOT INCLUDED. THIS DISCLAIMER AND EXCLUSION SHALL APPLY EVEN IF
    THE EXPRESS WARRANTY AND LIMITED REMEDY SET FORTH HEREIN FAILS OF ITS ESSENTIAL PURPOSE. CUSTOMER ACKNOWLEDGES THAT NO
    REPRESENTATIVE OF THERMA-STOR OR OF ITS AFFILIATES OR RESELLERS IS AUTHORIZED TO MAKE ANY REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY ON BEHALF
    OF THERMA-STOR OR ANY OF ITS AFFILIATES OR RESELLERS THAT IS NOT IN THIS AGREEMENT. Notwithstanding the above, during the term of the TwoYear Warranty only, Therma-Stor will provide, free of charge to Customer, all Components and labor (except costs related to removal and installation of
    Product) required to fulfill its obligations under such Two-Year Warranty.
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 1,613
    mattmia2 said:

    That doesn't sound entirely promising. Until maybe 15 years or so ago we made sealed systems that didn't leak after 60+ years, now the good ones is "we have only had one leak so far". Maybe I will just put a service valve in one of the Friedrichs and charge it with some stop leak.

    Yes those heavy mothers from fifties never wore out. But I'm told today's are more efficient. I wonder if a small window A/C can be rigged up inside to serve? If dehumidifier is small enough to run continuously then it goes a long time. It's start/stop/restart that kills refrigeration machinery.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 2,863
    Newer window ACs have the same crappy tubing problem.

    So this seems like a lot of corrosion for copper just subject to the condensation an insulated suction line will see:

  • Jim R.
    Jim R. Member Posts: 49
    I bought an Ultra-Aire 70H two years ago and don't use it a lot but thus far has been trouble free. It's made by TheramStor the same manufacturer as Santa-Fe just meant for a ducted install. If I remember right the warranty was 5 years. Nice unit, looked inside and it seems well built but I'm not a pro. Much heavier duty than the cheapie air-conditioners piled up for sale every year.

    I bought it with a credit card that includes an extended warranty up to 5 years with labor if that was part of original warranty. The few times I've used it they just returned the purchase price altogether. Look at that angle if there's a concern about reliability.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,549
    Seems like the only thing we're increasing efficiency on is how much equipment goes to a land fill.....

    I have a Frigidaire 50 pint from 2011 that runs all summer long every summer and I've got a feeling I need a new one.  I guess I got lucky.  I think it's a 134a unit.

    Not sure what to go with this time around.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 2,863
    run it until the refrigerant escapes. The lg that started this process was from around 2010.

    these use a noticeable amount of power, i think if they got the 30 or 40 year life they should get the extra cost of oversizing things and maybe even modulating the compressor to get the extra efficiency would be worth it.

    then there is the greenhouse effect of the escaped refrigerant itself. can't vent it to service it, but making it so crappy that it leaks out on its own is fine.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,549
    mattmia2 said:
    run it until the refrigerant escapes. The lg that started this process was from around 2010. these use a noticeable amount of power, i think if they got the 30 or 40 year life they should get the extra cost of oversizing things and maybe even modulating the compressor to get the extra efficiency would be worth it. then there is the greenhouse effect of the escaped refrigerant itself. can't vent it to service it, but making it so crappy that it leaks out on its own is fine.

    Mine seems like the air blowing out is way too cool now. 

    I've got a feeling either the compressor is weak or is low on charge.

    But I guess I'll see.  Maybe it's just cool down there right now.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 994
    I have an aprilaire and I am happy with it. Only a year old though
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 2,863
    ChrisJ said:



    Mine seems like the air blowing out is way too cool now. 

    I've got a feeling either the compressor is weak or is low on charge.

    But I guess I'll see.  Maybe it's just cool down there right now.

    Given the laws of thermodynamics, i don't see how that is possible.

    Look at the evaporator and see if the whole coil is getting cold. If only part of it is getting cold, usually icing, then the charge is most likely low.

    The lg lasted like 4 years, the first fredrich 2 or 3, the second 1 or 2...

  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,549
    mattmia2 said:

    Mine seems like the air blowing out is way too cool now. 

    I've got a feeling either the compressor is weak or is low on charge.

    But I guess I'll see.  Maybe it's just cool down there right now.
    Given the laws of thermodynamics, i don't see how that is possible. Look at the evaporator and see if the whole coil is getting cold. If only part of it is getting cold, usually icing, then the charge is most likely low. The lg lasted like 4 years, the first fredrich 2 or 3, the second 1 or 2...

    Perhaps my thinking is backwards but my assumption is a low charge would cause it's performance to drop drastically so heat output would decrease.

    I'd think as load on the compressor drops so would it's power consumption.

    I know the air blowing from it was always warm and now it's not.


    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 2,863
    Yeah, the power consumption will go down, but it will still be a net gain. Looking to see if it is keeping the evaporator full of refrigerant or if it is being starved is really the only practical way to check the charge on something like that. If there isn't enough refrigerant it won't fill the evaporator and the subcooling will increase to the point where the suction pressure is below freezing.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,549
    mattmia2 said:
    Yeah, the power consumption will go down, but it will still be a net gain. Looking to see if it is keeping the evaporator full of refrigerant or if it is being starved is really the only practical way to check the charge on something like that. If there isn't enough refrigerant it won't fill the evaporator and the subcooling will increase to the point where the suction pressure is below freezing.


    High subcooling means the refrigerant is backing up in the condenser.

    I assume you mean superheat.

    Both of which neither of us have any clue what they should be on a dehumidifier.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 2,863
    yeah. superheat. the exact value isn't super important. if it is maybe 5-10 degrees vs say 30 degrees and that the saturation temp is above freezing is the important part. since they virtually all have been slowly leaking over a couple years you'll be closer than most anyhow. you also know the charge weight.
  • BrassFinger
    BrassFinger Member Posts: 0
    mattmia2 said:

    Newer window ACs have the same crappy tubing problem.
    So this seems like a lot of corrosion for copper just subject to the condensation an insulated suction line will see:

    I had a SoleusAir 45 pt. model last exactly 3 years before it pi$$ed out all the 410A over the winter. When I disassembled it I found the same green/black mess of corrosion under the Armaflex insulation. I spent hours trying to find the leak but never did. The evap and condenser assembly was tested with 300 psi helium - nothing. My theory is the suction line simply became porous in enough tiny spots to leak the charge out over 4 or 5 months. I also don't believe it is the copper itself, but the insulation outgassing corrosive chemicals, just like the cheap chinesium clear vinyl lamp cord turns the inside copper green after a few years.

    I purchased a Frigidaire 50 pt. model last year to replace it and checked it last week to make sure it still runs (just before the 1 year warranty runs out) and then I took off the back cover to see if the suction line was exhibiting any corrosion. I was pleasantly surprised to find it nice and shiny so I left it alone for now rather than rip it off and replace it with USA-made insulation.

    The SoleusAir became a "Frankenstein", currently running R290 with a Copeland ASE32C5E-CAA (no lectures, please). Still trying to find the best cap tube diameter and length to best balance suction pressure and superheat since the compressor is a bit oversized, but I tested the Frigidaire against "Frank" and at 67F and 55% RH the Frigidaire was making 39 pts./24 hrs. and Frank was making almost 42 pts./24hrs, timing how long it took each to produce a pint. The big difference was the Frigidaire was doing it with 425 watts and Frank was using 520 watts. Full load is 7.5 amps for the Copeland, so it's running at rather light load, contributing to some of the inefficiency, although it's still rather respectable compared to some of the old-school dehumidifiers.



    mattmia2
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 1,613
    This thread reminds me of good old days. A fifties Frigidaire refrigerator "tingled" after decades of service. Removed door and lugged it down to basement. Tried to drain to drywell. Plugged it in and voila, a tingling dehumidifier. Fanless? Continued to run long after it stopped working. Planned to recharge. R12 was it?
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,549
    jumper said:
    This thread reminds me of good old days. A fifties Frigidaire refrigerator "tingled" after decades of service. Removed door and lugged it down to basement. Tried to drain to drywell. Plugged it in and voila, a tingling dehumidifier. Fanless? Continued to run long after it stopped working. Planned to recharge. R12 was it?

    I had thought about using a monitor top to do it but I think it would just be disrespectful.


    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 2,863
    At around 10 oz total system capacity it only takes a very small leak to empty over a year or 2. The LG had some clearly oil spots on the evaporator and the Friedrich seemed to have some oily residue in the pan under the evaporator if you set a piece of paper there for a while so I think it is a very small pinhole in the evaporator. The LG did not have the corrosion on the suction line. I really liked the built in condensate pump on the Friedrich. After I put in the access fitting I will probably remove the foam insulation and wrap it in foam tape. The insulation also did not fit tightly so it would have created condensation under the insulation which would have helped it leach whatever was in the insulation out.
  • woobagooba
    woobagooba Member Posts: 93
    My two year old Frigidaire 70 pint is currently inoperable with an F1 error code. Mr Google does not provide much help with F1.
Sign In or Register to comment.

Welcome

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!