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Thread: Clogged dehumidifier

  1. #1
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    Post Clogged dehumidifier

    Hello. I found a dehumidifier. I'd like to run it but it's extremely dirty, there's a thick layer of brown tobacco on the radiator. The coils in front block access, and the fins are extremely fragile, so I don't know how to clean it. I'm afraid pressurized water could bend the fins, even from simple hose nozzles. I found something called "coil cleaner" online. Would that work in my case? Picture: https://i.ibb.co/MBMpY44/DSC00018.jpg

  2. #2

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    I use an old toothbrush to clean condenser coils.
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  3. #3
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    You might also try some compressed air, if that's handy.

  4. #4
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    I was given a free 8K BTU portable Fedders AC when I was stationed out in San Diego (similar setup as a dehumidifier). My buddy told me it was "broken" and it poured out rust colored water onto his carpet after it was on for a while.

    Opened it up and saw the coils were in a shallow pan that had a small (too small by design) drain hole and tube which ran down to the collection bucket. Dust that made it by the air filter collected on the coils and dripped down to the pan and clogged the drain. Once I rinsed the coils and scrubbed the pan the unit worked as new.
    I still have it and if I run it I need to do a thorough clean up of the coils every couple years or it clogs up rather easy.

    I think some brushes and water is all you need. I wouldnt waste time with "cleaner" unless the tar was really resistant to warm water and soap.

  5. #5
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    One of the more useful tools I have for this is a fin comb ( https://www.supco.com/web/supco_live/products/FCR6.html is one example). The one I have has a handle with interchangeable combs. Very useful for straightening those fins once they're cleaned.
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  6. #6

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    Simple Green: Spritz it in, in full concentration, with a spray bottle. Leave it set for a spell. Rinse it out with water. Dry it with a box fan. Don't use pressurised water or air, or then you will need a fin comb. If you do get one, get one with the interchangeable heads, like lowen. Buy an extra set of heads. They wear out quickly, especially since now you'll clean all your radiators and condensers, even maybe those of neighbors and relatives.

  7. #7
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    About fin combs. If the fins can be straightened, why do they ship them with the fins in zigzag patterns? I wonder if the fins could bend or break since they are sort of zigzagizally-compressed into a definite space.
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  8. #8

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    That form gives them more surface area. More surface area equals better heat transfer.

  9. #9
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    I was given a window heat pump a year or so ago (cools in summer, heats in winter) that had the fins completely clogged with mold. I just took it outside and doused the fins with dish soap, alternating with diluted bleach and blasting it with the fan setting on the garden hose sprayer it eventually cleared out, but it did take a dozen or so washings and unclogging the drain hole.

    You can blast condenser fins with the average garden hose sprayer without damaging the them, so long as you do it straight on and not from the side.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6885P5H View Post
    About fin combs. If the fins can be straightened, why do they ship them with the fins in zigzag patterns? I wonder if the fins could bend or break since they are sort of zigzagizally-compressed into a definite space.
    Fin combs are meant to straighten from the back to the front, where fins have been pushed in; they're not meant to straighten out a built-in factory zig-zag.
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