Crane Humidifier Red Light Stays On – What To Do?

Humidifiers like to use different light colors to indicate the machine’s state. Usually, the red light presents something that is not right. This also applies to Crane humidifiers. 

When a Crane humidifier displays a red light, it means it has run out of water or the water level sensor has failed. Luckily, when you refill the tank with clean water or replace the floater, the red light will turn off automatically.

This post will go over all of the possible causes of the Crane humidifier red light and show you how to fix and prevent it from happening again.

I believe that you can reap a lot of helpful tips by reading this guide. Let’s dive in!

What does the red light on the Crane humidifier indicate?

crane humidifier red light stays on

Red light on a Crane humidifier can be caused by a number of factors. You can exclude them one by one to find the real reason behind it.

Low water level 

Crane humidifiers have an auto shut-off feature when the water level is too low by using a water level sensor. When you forget to refill the tank, this function prevents overheating and potential fires.

When your Crane humidifier runs out of water, it will stop producing mist and turn on the red light to remind you to refill it.

Stuck or damaged water level sensor 

crane humidifier water level sensor issue

Sometimes, the red light will stay on even if the water tank is full. There is a high likelihood that the water level sensor is broken or gets stuck, and the floater will not raise when the water level goes up. 

So the humidifier will mistakenly think the water is inadequate and trigger the red light. 

The red night light is on 

Not every Crane humidifier has a night light feature, but the models have this feature often use an array of light colors. 

The night light will change continuously by default. When you press the button again, you can select a specific color.

If you accidentally set the color as red, you can see the red light remains on.

Water accumulation on the circuitry

water accumulation in crane humidifier

The base houses almost all of the electrical components. Water can enter through the air inlet, the fan vent, and other nooks and crannies.

When relocating the machine, it is required to pour out all the remaining water beforehand. Otherwise, the water may seep into the basin. Aside from that, when you submerge the reservoir in water while cleaning, water can get into the base.

Because water is conductive, when it accumulates on the circuitry, the red light may blink, causing the machine to malfunction.

What should I do if my Crane humidifier has a red light that stays on?

Don’t be perplexed when you see the red light staying on. In most cases, you can fix it on your own quickly. The methods below should help you solve most issues.

Refill the tank with distilled water

Many Crane humidifiers have a top-fill design, making adding water very straightforward.

However, rather than putting water directly in the humidifier tank, it is best to unplug the appliance, empty the leftover water, rinse the tank and reservoir, and then refill with distilled water.

This method can prevent the device from becoming the breeding ground for mold and bacteria. 

Clean, reassemble or replace the water level sensor

When cleaning the Crane humidifier, it is necessary to remove the water sensor cap and float to wipe them down separately. The mold and mineral buildup can clog the sensor.

In addition, when reassembling it, make sure the floating ring is horizontal and the cap is secured on top of the ring.

You can test it by adding some water to the base. If the floater can raise with the water, then it has been fixed. If not, you may need to contact the manufacturer or search online to get a replacement.

Switch off the night light

As the subheading suggests, turning off the night light or choosing another light color can solve your problem.

Dry off the unit or seek professional help

When none of the above solutions work, the problem may boil down to the electrical components inside. 

If you are a handyman, you can disassemble the unit, check where the water is and dry the unit out with a paper towel or dry, soft cloth. Then let each part air dry.

Depending on the humidity and temperature of your area, it may take a few hours or even days. Nevertheless, reassembling the unit to inspect the condition of your Crane humidifier may void the warranty.

Another simple way to dry out the machine is to turn the base upside down to allow the water to drain and dry.

Nevertheless, the safest way is to call for a professional. The repair cost can be high, making buying a new model a more appealing option.

How to prevent this problem from happening again?

By implementing the solutions I mentioned above, you will likely solve the problem. In this section, I want to share some ways to prevent the red light from turning on your Crane humidifier again.

Refill the water tank on a daily basis

You can avoid your machine running out of water by reminding yourself to refill the tank every day. Meanwhile, it is beneficial to your health.

Add distilled water to your Crane humidifier

Distilled water is free of minerals, making it hard to cause blockage in the machine. It allows the water level sensor to be functional for a long time, even if the cleaning is overdue.

Exercise caution when assembling the water level sensor

Every time you put back the water level sensor accessories, you should be gentle and ensure they are in the correct position. You can take a picture if you don’t remember the original position.

Buy a new model that can run longer per fill

For those who want to use a humidifier regularly but often forget to refill the water, purchasing a long runtime model can reduce the chances of red light being on. 

However, changing the water daily is necessary regardless of which model you use.


While the Crane humidifier’s red light often indicates something is wrong, it is easy to fix.

More often than not, it is due to your appliance running out of water, and refilling it with some water can turn the red light into green light immediately. 

Sometimes, the water level sensor can go wrong.  Wiping it down, adjusting the position, or getting a new replacement can often do the trick. 

It’s also possible that red is just the standard color of the nightlight.

Water entering the base of your Crane humidifier can also cause a red light to illuminate. Allowing the unit to dry out can help it recover, but professional assistance may be required.

About The Author

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Liz Yang is the founder of Airsmartly. She has been working at home for a few years and realizes that the performance of the HVAC system plays such an important role in our life. She has tested dozens of products in person, like humidifiers, air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and ACs, and wants to share tips about using or troubleshooting these products with you. Her uncle is an HVAC expert with over 30 years of experience in the field, and often offers assistance when she is unsure how to handle a situation. He is also in charge of reviewing the articles on this site.

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