How To Drain A Dehumidifier? [4 Methods Included]

A dehumidifier works by removing the excess moisture in the air. Water vapor will condensate and accumulate in the machine. As a result, you should find a way to drain your dehumidifier so that it can continue to function.

Luckily, there are four ways to drain a dehumidifier automatically or manually, and you can choose one that works best for you.

In this post, I will walk you through each method and point out the pros and cons. Without further ado, let’s dive in!

Method 1: drain a dehumidifier manually with a water bucket

how to drain a dehumidifier manually

Most dehumidifiers come with a water collection bucket. When the water vapor condenses, it falls into a tray and flows to the bucket.

Depending on your model, some dehumidifiers can collect up to 70 pints of water per day. If the place you want to put your dehumidifier doesn’t have a floor drain or a sump pit nearby, this method is always available to you. 

How to drain a dehumidifier with a water reservoir?

The machine will stop collecting water when the tank is full. (There are many other causes of a dehumidifier not collecting water, check here).

When the tank is full of water or the water remains in the tank for more than 24 hours, remove the dehumidifier bucket and empty it.

Rinse it with water, allow it to dry, and then replace it. This way can prevent mold growth inside.


  • You do not need to purchase any additional equipment.
  • There are few restrictions on placement.
  • It’s useful if you have a mini dehumidifier like mine. (as seen in the image above)


  • It is time-consuming to dump the water every day.
  • A full bucket of water may be too heavy for some people, such as seniors.
  • The reservoir’s water is prone to the growth of mold and bacteria.

Method 2: drain a dehumidifier with a hose 

This method is also referred to as “gravity drain” since it takes advantage of gravity to drain the water.

Some units come with a draining hose, while others do not. Don’t be concerned! You can always find one at a hardware store.

If you can find a drain port on the back of the machine, it confirms that you can use this method. 

How to drain a dehumidifier with a drain hose?

1. Find a proper placement for your dehumidifier. For proper drainage, you should make sure the water will flow from high to low, which means that the machine should be elevated above the location where the water will be drained.

You can put it on a large table or shelf as long as it is stable and has a large enough surface.

2. Connect the hose to the machine’s drain port.

3. Start your dehumidifier and see if the water flows smoothly.

What kind of hose can be used to drain a dehumidifier?

If your dehumidifier doesn’t include a drain hose, you can use a garden hose or other soft PVC hose as an alternative. 

Although some dehumidifiers have a dedicated drain port, the majority have a standard one with a 5/8′′ opening.

You can drain your dehumidifier using any garden hose or PVC hose that fits through the opening.


  • A simple way that you can drain a dehumidifier automatically.
  • You can use a standard garden hose as an alternative to the draining hose if your model doesn’t have one.


  • You have to place the machine higher than the drain.

Method 3: drain a dehumidifier with an internal condensate pump 

Some models include an internal pump to ensure the condensate can get into the sink or anywhere that is higher than the machine. If you are perplexed about how to find the perfect placement for your device, an internal pump can save you a lot of effort.

How to drain a dehumidifier with an internal pump 

There is no difference between draining it with a hose or with an internal pump because the only thing you need to do is connect the machine to the drain with a hose. So you can just follow the steps in method 2 above.


  • You can drain the dehumidifier automatically. 
  • You don’t have to worry too much about the placement because the pump can allow the water to go from the floor lever into the sink or drain to the outside.
  • A good method for those who have weak hands.


  • A dehumidifier with a built-in pump costs more than its counterpart without it. 

Method 4: drain a dehumidifier with an external condensate pump

There is a workaround for those who have a dehumidifier without an internal pump. You can use an external condensate pump to automatically reach the sink or drain the water out of the window or door.

Simply put, you’ll connect the drainage hose to an external pump and then push water out of the pump via another hose.

How to drain a dehumidifier with an external pump?

1. Open the drain port and connect it with a drain hose. 

2. Attach the other end of the drain hose to the external pump. 

3. Hook another hose up on the pump and place the other end of the hose to the sink, outside of the house, or anywhere you want to expel the water.

4. The water collected by the dehumidifier will be routed to the pump. When the pump is full of water, it will start to work and push the water out powerfully.


  • Drain your dehumidifier effortlessly even if your machine doesn’t have a built-in pump.
  • Very easy to set up. 


  • You have to pay for a pump. 


This post covered four methods to drain a dehumidifier. I believe you can find a solution that is appropriate for your situation, whether you use a dehumidifier in the basement or the bedding room.

If you want to save some effort by draining the device automatically, you are required to use a drain hose to allow the water to get into the drain or out of a window. However, due to the effect of gravity, you should position the machine higher than the drain.

If that seems to be tricky for you, you can use a pump (some models have a built-in pump) to help the machine pump out the water. This makes draining your humidifier to the outside much easier.

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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