What Is a Condensate Dehumidifier? (Condensing Models)

Dehumidifier Critic / Types / Condensate

The term “dehumidifier” has traditionally been used to describe both compressor-type and desiccant dehumidifiers

But there is another type of dehumidifier that’s also widely known – the kind that collects water in a tank and it is called “condensate dehumidifier.”

In this article, we’ll dive more into condensate dehumidifiers and the condensing models.

What is a Condensate Dehumidifier?

The term “condensate” refers to water vapor that has been condensed into the liquid state. In chemistry, it also refers to a solution that results from a chemical reaction.

When it comes to condensate dehumidifiers, condensate is collected as a fluid that results from the process of extracting humidity from the air ‚Äčin a reservoir or container, instead of allowing it to drain into a floor drain.

A condensate pump then transfers the collected water from this container, through your home’s plumbing system, and to your home’s main drain. This main drain is either a floor drain or a sump pump system.

Condensate dehumidifiers are typically used to remove excess humidity from areas around your home, such as crawl space, window, living room, and basement that have been known to have flooding issues in the past. 

By removing this excess relative humidity (RH) from these areas, you can help prevent future problems that have something to do with humidity levels, mildew, and mold. Also, it will improve air quality for your people.

Condensing Models (of Condensate Dehumidifiers)

When you hear the term “condensing models”, this is referring to a dehumidifier that has an internal pump and drain system.

There are mainly two models of condensate dehumidifiers, which are the direct-drain and standby models.

1. Direct Drain 

This is also known as the continuous drainage model, this type of dehumidifier has a drain hose (typically 1/2″ in size) spliced into its water collection tank.

It also has a strainer that traps particles in the water, such as sediment and dust.

The collected condensate then flows from this tank to a drain line through a pump system, which requires the direct-drain model to remain plugged in – either continuously or when needed.

2. Standby

This type of dehumidifier is designed with a pump and drainage system that allows it to collect condensate in a reservoir tank.

This collected water then drains into a floor drain or sump pump system when the dehumidifier is turned on, after which the dehumidifier shuts down. 

It also needs to be unplugged when not in use because it does not have a pump system.

Condensation Dehumidifier Operation

To operate, these types of dehumidifiers must be connected to a water drain.

The condensate dehumidifier collects water from the moist air, which then flows into a tank that has a pump that transfers it to your home’s plumbing.

When the tank is full, the unit will turn off and allow the water to drain through gravity until it reaches an acceptable level.

After which you can switch your condensate dehumidifier back on for continuous use.

Because the water produced by these units is directly collected, however, it can require more frequent drainage than other types of dehumidifiers.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Condensate Dehumidifier 

Benefits of a Condensate Dehumidifier

There are several benefits to using a condensate model dehumidifier in your home. These include:

1. Ease of Installation 

Because most crawl spaces and basements have already been fully plumbed, installing a condensate dehumidifier is typically much easier in installing.

This means that you can have your unit installed quickly and without the need for heavy machinery.

2. Cost

Condensate dehumidifiers are less expensive to buy and set up. Because many of these sorts of dehumidifiers come with a built-in pump that is considerably easier to install than the alternative, and they tend to be less expensive than traditional versions.

3. Ease of Operation

Because there is no concern about having an appropriate drain for your unit in this type of housing situation, you will not have to worry about where or how you might be able to drain the collected water. 

You can simply let it collect in your unit’s reservoir or container, and either pump it out manually when you are ready to use it or set up a system to do so automatically.

Drawbacks of a Condensate Dehumidifier

1. Potential for Excess Water 

Because there is no drain with a condensate dehumidifier, you could be in danger of having an excess amount of water accumulate in your unit’s reservoir or container. 

If this reservoir overflows, it will need to be drained manually which can become quite a task.

2. Potential for Quality Issues 

Since condensate dehumidifiers are typically built to be used in crawl spaces and basements, they can lack the same kind of quality that other types of dehumidifiers might have. 

This means that there is a chance you will need to replace your unit more often than expected if it is not built to stand up to the demands of being used in these types of spaces or a certain location.

Condensate, Desiccant, and Compressor-Type Dehumidifiers

A condensate dehumidifier has a completely different design than regular desiccant and compressor-type dehumidifiers.

Condensate Dehumidifiers and Desiccant Dehumidifiers

A Condensate is similar to a Desiccant in that they both use a heat exchanger to remove the moisture levels and lessen humidity level from the air.

Also, they both collect water via condensation and employ pumps to move this water into either your home’s plumbing system or drainage system.

However, for these two types of dehumidifiers, the similarities pretty much stop there.

1. Water Collection

One of the main differences between condensate dehumidifiers and desiccant dehumidifiers is how water is collected.

A condensate dehumidifier collects water using condensation, which occurs when moist air is cooled down and its water vapor turns into droplets.

A desiccant dehumidifier, on the other hand, collects water vapor through a drying agent (or desiccant), such as silica gel, calcium chloride, or lithium chloride.

2. Capacity

Condensate dehumidifiers have a much lower maximum water capacity than desiccant dehumidifiers. This is because condensate units must constantly pump out the collected water into your home’s plumbing system, whereas a desiccant unit only needs to periodically dump the collected water out.

3. Aesthetics

Desiccant dehumidifiers are normally much more aesthetically appealing than condensate models because they do not contain any components that need to be pumped out regularly.

This means you can have a less bulky desiccant unit in your space without having to worry about it looking like a mess.

4. Repairs and Maintenance

Condensate dehumidifiers typically need more repairs and maintenance than desiccant dehumidifiers because they require regular pumping of collected water into your home’s plumbing system or drainage system.

Condensate Dehumidifiers and Refrigerant Dehumidifiers

A condensate dehumidifier is similar to a refrigerant dehumidifier in that they both use heat to remove the moisture from the air.

The following are the differences between the two:

1. Water Collection

A condensate dehumidifier is different from a refrigerant dehumidifier in that it collects water via condensation, which occurs when moist air is cooled down and its water vapor turns into droplets. 

Water is collected with a refrigerant unit through the coil-and-pan method, which entails condenser coils to transform the refrigerant into a liquid and expel it through the pan.

2. Capacity

Because refrigerant dehumidifiers collect water via the coil-and-pan method (like the expulsion of the collected water through a pan), they generally have higher water capacities than condensate units.

This is because the collected water needs to be stored in a pan that has to have enough storage space for all of it. 

3. Aesthetics

Since refrigerant dehumidifiers collect water via the coil-and-pan method, their aesthetics are not affected by the need to periodically expel the collected water.

Some condensate dehumidifiers have external pumps or panels that can be used as an exterior source of energy, but this equipment is not part of the unit and must be detached. 

4. Repairs and Maintenance

Repairs and maintenance costs for refrigerant dehumidifiers are not affected by the need to expel collected water.

A condensate unit, on the other hand, will require more repairs and maintenance because it requires a pump to regularly expel the collected water.

Air Conditioning and Dehumidification (Condensation Dehumidifiers)

A condensate dehumidifier is similar to an air conditioning unit in that they both use a compressor and evaporator coil to remove the moisture from the air.

The following are the distinct differences between condensate dehumidifiers and air conditioners:

1. Water Collection

An air conditioner collects water via the filter-and-drain method. An evaporator coil is used to turn the collected water into a gas and expel it through a drain pipe in the air conditioner.

A condensate dehumidification process, on the other hand, collects water via condensation. Condensation occurs when moist air is cooled down and its water vapor turns into droplets.

2. Capacity

A condensate unit has a lower maximum capacity than an air conditioner because of its need to expel collected water via a pump, whereas evaporation does not require an exterior water source.

3. Aesthetics

Air conditioning units may look more aesthetically pleasing in some spaces because their aesthetics are not affected by having to expel collected dehumidifier water via a pump.

A condensate unit, on the other hand, will have a bulky exterior pump that needs to be connected regularly.

4. Repairs and Maintenance 

Repairs and maintenance costs for condensate dehumidifiers are higher than those of an air conditioner because they require a pump to regularly expel the collected water.

Condensate Dehumidifier FAQ

What Is the Disinfection of Condensate Dehumidifier?

A condensate dehumidifier is a device that uses a pump to transport water from the unit into a drainage system.

Some units have an exterior metal drain pan, while some others rely on external pumps installed in walls or floors for this purpose.

To disinfect the collected water, you can add bleach or hydrogen peroxide to the water that you will be pumping into your drainage system.

Is It Safe to Connect (Condensation) Dehumidifier Drain to AC Condensation Line? 

You can connect a condensate dehumidifier drain to an AC condensation line as long as they have the same diameter.

Do not forget to use Teflon tape during installation because this will help seal the connection properly.

Can You Use a Sump Pump in a Condensate Dehumidifier?

Yes, you can use a sump pump in a condensate dehumidifier to transport collected water from the unit to an exterior drain.

Do not forget to use Teflon tape during installation because this will help seal the connection properly.

Why Condensate Dehumidifier Pump Not Working?

If your condensate dehumidifier pump is not working, first check the power supply to make sure that it is adequately connected and turned on.

If this does not work, check the electrical connections of the impeller. Some are soldered directly onto the motor shaft, so you will need to remove this part and check for signs of oxidation or water damage.

If these parts appear to be in good condition, you may need to replace the pump completely.