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Dehumidifier Water Removal Options

Is dehumidifier water removal a problem that prevents you from using a dehumidifier? Does the following scenario sound familiar to you? To empty your dehumidifier, you have to carry a bucket of water from your dehumidifier across the room and pour the water into a corner drain or the laundry sink. Or even worse, you have to carry the water upstairs and to your kitchen sink. This is a messy and time consuming process. Then, once you put the bucket back in place, you may have to repeat this operation two or more times that same day!

This scenario plays out every day for people who need a dehumidifier and during the rainy, spring months, our customer service representatives are asked on a daily basis, "What can I do to make removing the water more convenient?"

You always have the option of purchasing a dehumidifier that has an internal condensate pump, like the Dri-Eaz PHD200 or any number of Ebac or Dri-Eaz commercial grade dehumidifiers. But if these are simply more than you need, don't fit into the decor of your home or are simply too expensive, there is another alternative. At AchooAllergy.com, the best solution that we recommend is to "port" the water from your dehumidifier. Most people associate the word "porting" with computers and something a ship may do, but porting is an important feature of most of the dehumidifiers that we offer. Porting is the process of using an exterior drain line to continuously drain your dehumidifier.

Dehumidifier Water Removal Option - Gravity Drain


Dehumidifier Water Removal Options - Direct Drain a Dehumidifier
Hook a hose up to your dehumidifier. Run the line down to a drain.
Hose MUST Be on a Decline to Drain
The drain hose can not be above the drain fitting. This will cause flooding of your dehumidifier.

Porting and Water Removal Options

The porting process is fairly simple, but can only work when gravity is on your side. The dehumidifier needs to be placed in a position that is higher than where you want the water to end up. If this is not possible due to a grade or a lack of a nearby drain, you can still port your dehumidifier, but you will require a condensate pump to push the water up the grade or over a longer distance. If you know this before you buy, you can also consider getting a unit like a Danby 70 pint dehumidifier that can be purchased with a condensate pump already integrated into the unit.

As mentioned above, most room size dehumidifiers, like our Danby 50 pint, have a condensate bucket that must be emptied by hand. A float switch turns off the dehumidifier when the bucket is full to prevent overflows. Many dehumidifiers provide a threaded spigot to connect a water hose for drainage. If you have a floor drain or basement sink, you can port the water to the drain by using gravity. Water is continuously being removed from the air, then into the unit, and then down into the drain. You have very little day to day up keep or maintenance with this dehumidifier water removal option.

Typical Installation Steps and Advice


  • The first step is to decide where the dehumidifier will go and how you want the water to go out of it. If you want to use the lower cost of gravity you need to get the dehumidifier off the floor and up at least a 6 inches off the ground. Take some time to figure out the placement of your dehumidifier and the final destination of your drained water, as this can save you a lot of time in the future. Make a quick diagram of how you are going to transport the water from point A (the dehumidifier) to point B (the drain).

  • Place your dehumidifier on a level surface. You probably need to place it on a wooden skid or concrete block to elevate the unit for proper drainage. You might also build a small shelf to elevate the unit. Use the adjustable feet or shims and a level to make sure your dehumidifier is level.

  • Most dehumidifiers have a small, threaded hole about an inch or smaller to which you can often attach a hose. Some units may have a fitting or adapter included for this purpose. The most common size is a 5/8" opening, which fits most standard garden hoses. Use this to drain away the collected moisture by taking the end of a standard garden hose and attaching it onto the drain fitting of your dehumidifier. Run the hose down to your drain, sump pump, condensate pump, or HVAC drainage line.

  • Instead of a garden hose you also can use PVC pipe. Cut and dry fit your PVC pipe to garden hose adapter. You can make a 90° elbow towards the ground and another 90° elbow at ground level to funnel to water to your drain. When you are satisfied with the look of your drainage system, glue the piping together. Working with the PVC pipe and the glue requires some trial and error, but the stuff is easy to work with and reasonable in cost. If you use PVC, the biggest thing you have to worry about is how fast the glue sets. When you apply the glue to the joint and push the pieces together, you have only a few seconds before the glue begins to set.

  • Plug in your dehumidifier and you should be ready to go! Make sure that when you plug in your dehumidifier that you do not use small or cheap extension cords. A dehumidifier draw a good bit of power, so you need to use a heavy duty, grounded, extension cord.

  • Fill the tank with water to test the setup and ensure it is draining properly--do not pour water through the dehumidifier. Testing the porting system might sound funny, but you want to make sure it works properly before you leave it alone for any length of time. It would be frustrating to leave it and find out later that there is a small leak. If you see water leaking from a clamp, connection, or joint. If it is a fitting that was glued, apply some more PVC glue to maintain a better seal.

Dehumidifier Water Removal Option - Condensate Pump


Dehumidifier Water Removal Options - Gravity Drain
Hook a hose up to your dehumidifier. Run the line down to a condensate pump.
Dehumidifier Water Removal Options - Using a Condensate Pump Incorrectly
The drain hose nor the condensate pump can be above the drain fitting. This will cause flooding of your dehumidifier.

Dehumidifier Placement, Operation, and Safety

Your dehumidifier must be raised to use gravity for proper drainage. Put it up on a cement block or build a shelf for the unit. Make sure that the unit is level. The next step is to determine how far off of the ground you must place the unit to allow for effective drainage. The unit must be placed higher than the drain to allow the water to flow downward and away from the unit. This is referred to as a gravity drain.

Most dehumidifiers have top-mounted air discharge and can be placed against walls, but if you do not have top-mounted discharge, make sure the dehumidifier is located away from walls and furniture. By placing the dehumidifier away from the wall, air can circulate freely around the unit. Always locate the unit away from sources of dust and dirt which can clog the coils and grills. This will result in better and more efficient operation of the unit.

While the dehumidifier is running, the doors and windows to the space being dehumidified should be closed. Keeping the room closed ensures that the space is dehumidified as efficiently as possible.

Observe all manufacturer warnings regarding electrical safety. Never set up water drainage or disposal near electrical circuits or devices. Make sure the dehumidifier is connected to a properly grounded outlet. Keep drain hoses away from electrical cords and connections.

If you are planning to use a hose to drain the dehumidifier's water bucket, make sure the unit is located near enough to the floor drain or sump to avoid the need for a long and unwieldy hose. Do not create a tripping hazard!


There are many other reasons to use a dehumidifier. You might want to eliminate the chance of rust on tools in your garage or basement workshop. You might want to dry out an area in your home that has been saturated by a water leak. For many with allergies, you want to control your environment and limit exposure to mold, mildew, and dust mites.

A dehumidifier extracts moisture from the air and is a great way to lower the humidity in any space. Some people quit using their dehumidifiers, because of the work involved in emptying the water collection bucket. However, the benefits for allergy sufferers, property, and air quality are too important not to run your unit, and knowing what dehumidifier water removal options are available can help you to set up a a drain system that requires little supervision or maintenance.

When you know which dehumidifier water removal option is right for you, shop all dehumidifiers. If you'd like to learn more about dehumidifiers, humidity, or controlling excess moisture, visit any of these Learning Center articles.

Dehumidifier Buying Guide
How Does a Dehumidifier Work?
Dehumidifier FAQs
Top Five Basement Dehumidifiers
Top Crawl Space Dehumidifiers
Mold FAQs
Common Types of Household Mold
Winter Mold Allergies