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why is my humidifier leaking from the bottom

Why Is My Portable Humidifier Leaking From the Bottom? Solutions Provided

Picture this: you wake up, all set to refill your trusty humidifier, but wait… what’s this? A puddle of water has formed around its base.

But fear not! Before you dive into a sea of frustration, let’s explore the reasons why your portable humidifier is leaking from the bottom.

Usually, it is due to a cracked water tank, a wrong placement, or condensation on the outer surface. But the leaky story doesn’t end there – there are more culprits in the lineup.

1. Cracked water tank or base

Have you ever experienced a little mishap with your humidifier? Maybe a minor tumble or an accidental bump?  Or how long does this humidifier last?

Humidifiers, being primarily constructed from plastic, can be a tad fragile. If by chance there are any cracks present, the water inside can seep into the crevices and leak out eventually.

Solution: 

While it might be tempting to resort to a quick fix using tape, I wouldn’t really recommend going down that path.

You can contact the manufacturer or search online to see if you can get a replacement for the water tank or base. Or you can just purchase a new one, especially when your unit has lasted for years.

2. The water tank is not seated on the base correctly.

water tank is not seated on the base

In the hustle and bustle of a busy morning, you might find yourself juggling numerous tasks, leaving little room to double-check if the water tank is snugly seated on the base.

Unfortunately, this oversight can impact the proper functioning of the valve that links the base and the tank. The consequence? An excess of water trickles into the base, ultimately leading to unwelcome leaks from the bottom.

Solution:

Start by wiping away any lingering excess water. Next, gently lift the water tank and give it another go at placing it securely onto the base.

3. Insecure silicone sealing ring

Insecure silicone sealing ring

There is a silicone sealing ring on the water tank cap which serves the crucial purpose of preventing water from seeping into the base and causing leaks.

Occasionally, we might accidentally remove it while cleaning or shift its position when refilling. If the unit is old, it may become loose as well.

These factors can impact its effectiveness, potentially leading to the issue of water leaking from the bottom.

Solution

Remove the silicone ring and then reposition it, ensuring that it securely adheres to the water tank cap.

If you notice that the ring remains too loose despite repositioning, it’s advisable to get in touch with the manufacturer to inquire about the possibility of obtaining a replacement.

4. Condensation on the outer surface 

Condensation on the outer surface 

This occurrence is more prevalent with ultrasonic humidifiers compared to evaporative humidifiers. This is due to the fact that the mist of ultrasonic humidifiers can often lead to a small excessively humid environment around the device.

When the humidity level in this area is too high, it can cause condensation to form, resulting in water collecting on the exterior of the humidifier.

See also: My Humidifier Gets Everything Wet – 9 Causes & Solutions

Solution

First, wipe off the condensate on the surface. Following that, adjust the mist level to a lower setting.

5. Overfilled tank

Overfilled humidifier tank

A common feature among many humidifiers is a maximum water line indicated on the water tank. It’s crucial to adhere to this line, as overfilling the tank can lead to disruptions in the humidifier’s internal components such as the gasket or valve, ultimately causing malfunctions.

In the case of a vaporizer, when the water is heated, it can lead to bubbling. If the water level is excessively high, some of it might escape through the gaps between the heating head and the tank. This can create the impression of water leaking from the bottom, even though the issue originates elsewhere.

Solution

Pour out some water and don’t overfill it again.

6. Your humidifier may have a design flaw

Personally, I own a Vicks Starry Night humidifier, and I’ve noticed that water easily leaks from the bottom whenever I attempt to slightly adjust its placement. I’m unsure of the reason behind this issue.

After several trial and error attempts, I realized that the L-shaped tray where the wick filter is situated becomes filled with water. Even a minor movement can cause it to overflow and result in leakage from a small opening at the bottom.

So, the leakage might be due to a minor design flaw in your humidifier.

Solution:

You can avoid the issue by using your humidifier with care and refraining from moving it when it’s filled with water. Or you can purchase a new one. There are some affordable ones we have tested.

7. Your humidifier is not placed on a flat surface

When your humidifier isn’t level, the water inside will begin to shift in different directions due to the force of gravity. Over time, it can seep into various areas within the humidifier and eventually lead to leakage from the bottom of the gap between the tank and the base.

Solution:

Unplug your machine and pour out the water. Let the machine dry thoroughly as water may have entered the motor housing.

Next, locate a flat surface and position your humidifier on it to check if the issue has been resolved.

Final Thoughts

When you notice your portable humidifier is leaking, please remain calm. It doesn’t always mean that it’s beyond repair.

Based on my experience, in most cases, you can solve the issue by adjusting the placement, lowering the mist level setting, or repositioning the water tank.

If there is a crack in the machine, your best option is to get a new one.

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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 more than 150 products in person, including 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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