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I hope this is not considered off topic. Can anyone recommend a quality dehumidifier with a pump for our basement train room? We bought a highly recommended model and it failed in less than a year (iced up) despite proper care, and the one we had before that was not much better.

Basement is about 900 square feet.

Thanks!

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I have a very large basement in my house.  A year after I moved in, the small dehumidifier stopped dead.   I looked at all of the other dehumidifiers for sale, which ranged from about $250 to $550.  Most folks, including my brother, said they would typically burn out in about 18 mos, or two years if you were lucky

I decided not to go cheap, and spent about $475 plus tax and shipping, to buy a model called "home".  That's all it says on the face of the unit, and the word home has a "TM" next to it, showing that it is a trademark.

I hooked it up, ran the hose three feet over and into an open drain pipe in my basement floor (don't ask me why it doesn't have a drain grill on top of it),  set the unit to 45% and turned it on.

It has run flawlessly for three years now.   If it lasts another year, I will be totally happy.   Maybe it will even last longer?

My advice:  Don't try to go cheap on your humidifier.   Buy the most expensive one you can afford, and thoroughly check out the review.

I bought mine online, and it was delivered to my doorstep in just 5 days.

Be sure that the socket you plug the cord into has, somewhere in its course, a GFCI button.   This may be located on the face of the socket, or in the other sockets that are on the same electric line, preceding the one you are plugging into.   If not, check to make sure that the circuit breaker in the breaker box for the line is a GFCI breaker.     GFCI 's are required by code in most jurisdictions because basements are classified as "wet" areas, and you can get fried if you are standing in a puddle of water.  If you don't have a GFR switch, they are readily available at any hardware store, and an electrician can install one in about 15 minutes.    I much prefer the GFCI button to be on the face of the socket, and not in the circuit breaker in the box, because the circuit breaker ones are super sensitive and will click off at the slightest electrical surge or interruption, including a jiggled plug.   

Hope this helps.

Mannyrock

You might want to study the humidity issue and get a good understanding of it before buying a dehumidifier.  For a given amount of moisture in the air, the higher the temperature, the lower the relative humidity (RH). With a high temperature and a high RH, it is easy to remove moisture with a dehumidifier. But if the basement is cool, the RH is going to be higher with lest moisture in the air. When trying to dehumidify cool air, freezing up a standard dehumidifier is a common problem. There are special dehumidifiers that freeze the moisture out of the air, then heat the ice to melt it and drain it off. This is what is needed to lower the humidity in rooms that are cool to start with. So one way to lower the humidity in a basement is heat it. The other is to dehumidify it. As far a the target RH, it is generally accepted that a RH of less than 40% will prevent steel from rusting.

My finished basement is divided (permanently, as done by my contractor after I moved in) into two halves: half for my train room/office, and the other half for shelf storage, including storage for a good number of boxed trains.

I have a dehumidifier in each half of the basement. I have always used dehumidifiers in my various basements, and as other have noted here, some are fairly decent and others tend to crap out after a fairly short time. The two I have now are Drytank brand which is, like everything else, made in China. Rated for 4500 square feet, but I kind of doubt that capability.

Anyhow, I also have humidity meters mounted in both sides of the basement just to continually check that all is okay. These meters are available at just about any home improvement store such as Lowe's, Home Depot, etc., and are very inexpensive.

My dehumidifiers have removable tanks, like most, but also came with drain hoses so you can continuously drain water into a floor drain. The dehumidifier in my train room drains into my sump pump well, which is kind of a good thing because it helps to kick the pump on from time to time, and that assures me all is working.

Photos here are of the dehumidifier in my train room/office area and the humidity meter there. . . taken just a few minutes ago.Drytank dehumidifierHumidity meter

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  • Drytank dehumidifier
  • Humidity meter

We replaced ours last year. Bought an Insignia from Best Buy (their house brand). Our old one lasted about 10 years, it developed a leak and would run and ice up (typical indication of low refrigerant), doubt I'll get the same mileage out of the new one. They are almost disposable appliances now.
Get one that's properly sized for your space....bigger is not better in this case. I don't use a pump, but the internal ones are very small and will burn out probably before the unit itself dies. An external condensate pump (used on AC's), could be used as a replacement. And don't forget to clean the filter regularly. Most new models have a filter reminder light on them.

As David mentioned above, temperature does affect humidity, so a cool basement will feel damp at lower humidity levels than a warmer one.
Alan's digital gauge is a handy tool to see what your ambient conditions are. I usually keep my basement at about 50% RH, with a temp of 70-72. It's fully finished, which helps maintain a temp and humidity level better than a unfinished basement with bare concrete walls and floor.

Bob

@RSJB18 posted:

We replaced ours last year. Bought an Insignia from Best Buy (their house brand). Our old one lasted about 10 years, it developed a leak and would run and ice up (typical indication of low refrigerant), doubt I'll get the same mileage out of the new one. They are almost disposable appliances now.

How do you get anything remotely close to ten years out of a dehumidifier?  I feel lucky if one makes it past the third year of use!   I'm just installing two new ones for the two year old ones that croaked.

How do you get anything remotely close to ten years out of a dehumidifier?  I feel lucky if one makes it past the third year of use!   I'm just installing two new ones for the two year old ones that croaked.

Can anyone recommend a quality dehumidifier with a pump for our basement train room? We bought a highly recommended model and it failed in less than a year..

I only buy them at CostCo.

They have a lifetime satisfaction guarantee, I return the old one and buy a new one(in store or online depending on the season) when the old one tanks.

Last edited by ADCX Rob
@ADCX Rob posted:

I only buy them at CostCo.

They have a lifetime satisfaction guarantee, I return the old one and buy a new one(in store or online depending on the season the old one tanks).

I see nothing at Costco's policy that states they'll replace the unit after the manufacturer's warranty, where do you see this?

___Costco Satisfaction Guarantee

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  • ___Costco Satisfaction Guarantee
Last edited by gunrunnerjohn

I purchased a Aprilaire Model E070 dehumidifier for the basement where the train layout is located. Previously I purchased import dehumidifiers that lasted maybe two to four years or were recalled for compressor lockup and potential for a fire. The Aprilaire Model E070 is substantially more costly than the import dehumidifiers, it is American made, and I have used this unit for over 10 years with no issues. Also Aprilaire has replacement parts for this unit.

Last edited by John Ochab

I'm afraid that Costco providing an unlimited warranty for a product that typically comes with a one year warranty stretches credulity beyond the breaking point.

I have been changing out mine & my mother-in-law's as needed for some years now. I save all of the packaging & accoutrements, and when I return them they are like new but non-functioning, I keep the receipts with the box. No questions asked.

I am currently doing a replacement of the dehumidifier in my basement right now.  For 25 years I have been buying the best and largest dehumidifier from either Lowes or Home Depot.  $350 - $400 per unit.  The units last between 5 and 7 years.  I just started my old dehumidifier last week for the spring/summer/fall season.  I noticed the first night of use the unit was not doing the proper job.  I was looking to go to one of the big box stores for a new one.  I know my mother had purchased a large dehumidifier from a water restoration company for her issues.  It was very expensive, but it does work very well.  It cycles on and off and really keeps the humidity at a proper level.  I do not have the issues she is fighting with a damp basement and did not feel I needed to buy a model like her unit.  I did do some research into the commercial units and found what I believe is an excellent option.  I wanted a unit that would really lower the humidity to a lower level than 50% and cycle on and off.  25 years of the consumer units lowering the humidity to 50% and constantly running to do it.  The constant running is what kills the units in my situation.  I found a segment of the commercial industry that makes smaller units.  I read a lot of reviews of people using these units to maintain a basement humidity level and have long life of the units.  The secret lies in the fact that these machines are stronger and work more efficiently and cycle on and off.  The cycling allows for a longer life of the unit.  I purchased a Moiswell VP170.  I set it up three days ago and it really has lowered the humidity quickly.  In 12 hours I went from 55% to 37%.  I now have figured out the correct setting to have the unit cycle much more often and stay between 40% - 45%.  The machine is not much more noisy than the older consumer unit if at all.  The unit is exceptionally well made and the built in pump is quiet, quick, and powerful.  The unit is not much bigger than a consumer unit and has way better wheels for easier movement.  Only time will tell if this is a good investment.  Moiswell has great reviews.  I only spent twice the price of the top big box store consumer model.  I notice a huge difference in air quality in my entire house.  I am still fine tuning this unit, but I feel it is the correct investment for me and my needs.  Everyone has different needs, budgets, and desires for performance.  I am looking forward to less noise while being in my basement as it cycles, and a decrease in my electric bill.  I hope this helps someone, as this has driven my crazy for years.

@upguy posted:

We have been pleased with our GE which is going on it’s 5th year.

Ron

Ditto...x2.

A long-standing local small biz appliance store owner only sells Honeywell and GE room dehumidifiers.   Back when supply lines were disrupted severely (COVID era) he couldn't get resupplies in a timely manner.  Recommended a couple other local outlets to keep a watch for.

Ultimately found Menards got a bunch of GE's in.  We snagged a couple model ADHL35's.  They've been working several years, now, holding the grotto at a cool, dry 45% humidity.  Our total (original home build and subsequent addition) basement area is about 1600 sqft. 

Before that we were part of the great recall horrors of room dehumidifiers...fire potential, etc..  NOT what you want to leave running in your treasures trove (train room) while you take a few weeks vacation in the RV!!!

KD

Thanks to all for your feedback. The small commercial units sound ideal, but we are not ready to invest that much yet.

Yesterday we returned the failed dehumidifier (Midea 50 pt. cube with pump) to Home Depot, even though it was nearly a year old. I was surprised that their return/refund policy allowed that; it was only because I had used my Home Depot credit card to purchase it.

Because the Midea is still one of the best consumer units according to Consumer Reports, we purchased another of the same unit, but this time we spent the $60 for the 3 year extended warranty. We never buy the extended warranty for any product, but this time it seemed like a prudent gamble. Time will tell.

If we can't get 3 years out of this unit, I guess we'll bite the bullet and get a commercial unit.

It seems ridiculous that the consumer units can't do the job. We only use a dehumidifer from May to September/October so it's not a long season and not in use while the basement is cold. In addition, the basement is finished so it's not horrendously humid, and we do have central a/c which helps reduce humidity in the whole house.

Last edited by chessiechick

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