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How To Test The Two Terminal Bucket Switch On A Dehumidifier With A Non-Functional Fan

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A dehumidifier helps keep incoming moist air from damaging your air conditioning system while also improving the air quality within your home. The condensate stripped out of the incoming air is sent down through the dehumidifier and into a drain bucket. When the bucket becomes full, the weight triggers a switch that turns off the unit until the bucket is emptied. The switch prevents overflows that could cause water damage to your system or your home. A continuity failure in the switch can cause the switch to activate even when the bucket isn't full and leave you with a non-functioning dehumidifier, which means that the unit's fan doesn't run at all.  

Things You Need:

  • Screwdriver
  • Multimeter with ohms setting
  • New two terminal bucket switch, if needed

Step 1: Access and Remove the Two Terminal Bucket Switch

Locate the lower access panel on your dehumidifier. Use your owner's manual for location assistance, if necessary. Use a screwdriver to remove the fasteners holding the panel in place. Lift up on the panel to remove the access panel and set the panel aside for easy access later.

Press backwards on the bucket while lifting up to remove the drain bucket from the unit. Dump out any water then set the bucket aside. Locate the bucket switch on the interior wall that was right behind where the bucket was positioned. You should see a little toggle switch and that's what you want to remove.

Look at the switch to see how it is held in place. Some bucket switches have mounting screws that need to be replaced while other simply have a tab you lift up to pop the switch out of its housing. Remove the wire connected to its rearmost terminal then set the switch somewhere flat for testing.

Step 2: Testing and Replacing the Two Terminal Bucket Switch

Set your digital multimeter to the lowest ohms setting. Place one probe on each of the terminals on the bucket switch, press the switch activation button and check the reading. If the reading isn't zero, the switch doesn't have continuity and needs replaced.

Remove the new two terminal bucket switch from its packaging and read its included installation instructions for any product-specific tips. Position the switch in the opened housing on the dehumidifier. Hook the wire back onto the rear terminal. Screw the fasteners back into place, if there were screws, or simply snap the tab back into place.

Replace the bucket and press down and backwards to make sure the bucket is secure. Put the access panel back over the bucket and secure into place with its mounting screws.

Test the dehumidifier to see if the fan is now running. If you still experience problems, call an air conditioning repair service (such as R & B Heating & Air Conditioning) for help.