5 Ways to Prepare Your Dehumidifier


In most cases, your dehumidifier does not get as much use during the winter as it does during the warmer spring and summer months. In fact, if you live in the Northern United States, hopefully, your WatchDog dehumidifier was turned off to protect it from freezing temperatures. In more moderate climates, this approach isn’t necessary, however, warmer weather still means increased usage. This makes it an ideal time to check on your dehumidifier before humidity kicks in. Here are 5 ways to get your dehumidifier ready for summer:

1. Check the Drain Line

The first thing to do to prep your dehumidifier for summer is verify that the drain line is not blocked or kinked in any section inside or outside the crawl space. For instance, if water was accidentally left in the drain line over the winter, it’s possible that it might have frozen and damaged the drain tube. If there are any issues with the drain line, fix them prior to moving on to step 2.

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2. Clean the Coils

Checking on your dehumidifier after the winter is a great time to perform annual maintenance, which includes cleaning the coils, checking the filter, and cleaning the drain. To clean the coils, you will need an approved coil cleaner spray like this one- WEB Coil Cleaner

WatchDog 900/900c:
- Open the end cap without the display board so you have access to the coils.
- Spray coils evenly with coil cleaner.
- For more pictures and detailed instructions, check out this guide.

WatchDog 550:
-Slide the filter out from the back of the machine.
-Spray coils evenly with coil cleaner.
-For more pictures and detailed instructions, check out this guide.

Clean the dehumidifier coils Clean the dehumidifier coils

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Check the dehumidifiers filter Check the dehumidifiers filter

3. Check the Filter

The next step is to check the filter on the dehumidifier to see if it needs replacing or cleaning.

WatchDog 900/900c:
If you have a WatchDog 900 or 900c, the pre filter that comes standard with the unit is washable. Simply rinse the pre filter with water to remove any dirt or debris (never use soap). Alternatively, you can vacuum the pre filter. The 900 and 900c can also be used with a specialty filter (MERV-8, HEPA, or carbon). The MERV-8 filter is washable just like the prefilter. If you have a HEPA or carbon filter, it is not washable. Depending on the environment, these filters will need to be replaced about once a year.

WatchDog 550:
The WatchDog 550 comes standard with a MERV-8 filter with the option to upgrade to a carbon or HEPA filter. The standard MERV-8 filter can be cleaned using water or a vacuum. The carbon or HEPA filters are not washable. Check the filter for build up and replace as necessary. Unless it is an excessively dirty environment, the filter will typically need to be replaced once a year.

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4. Clean the Gravity Drain or Pump

Once the filter is taken care of, it’s time to clean the pump (900c) or gravity drain (550 and 900) on your WatchDog. No matter which model you have, you will first need to make a cleaning solution:
Option #1- {1 oz bleach + 15 oz water} // Option #2- {4 oz bleach + 12 oz water}

WatchDog 550 (gravity drain)
- Slide the filter out from the back of the machine
- Slowly pour prepared cleaning solution into drain tray
- Let solution sit for 10-15 minutes
- Flush drain tray with 16 ounces of clean water
- For diagrams and detailed instructions, check out this guide

WatchDog 900 (gravity drain)
-Remove the two screws to open the endcap (the side without the display)
-Slowly pour prepared cleaning solution into drain tray
-Let solution sit for 10-15 minutes
-Flush drain tray with 16 ounces of clean water
-For diagrams and detailed instructions, check out this guide

WatchDog 900c (internal pump)
-Remove the two screws to open the endcap (the side without the display)
-Slowly pour prepared cleaning solution into drain tray
- Let solution sit for 10-15 minutes
- Flush drain tray with clean water until you hear the pump activate twice (normally 16-32 ounces)
- For diagrams and detailed instructions, check out this guide

Clean the dehumidifier gravity drain or pump Clean the dehumidifier gravity drain or pump

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5. Performance Check

At this point, it’s time to do a quick performance test of the dehumidifier. This is helpful to do prior to leaving the crawl space so you can ensure there was no damage over the winter and that everything is in the correct position after maintenance. To test the dehumidifier, simply turn the unit on and let it run for 10-15 minutes. During the test, make sure the set point is below the actual humidity level in the space so you can see the dehumidifier running.

Dehumidifier Performance Check
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