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I have a new Dehumidifier that has never worked. Why I haven't exchanged it or returned it is a long, convoluted story.

My first dehumidifier worked for about 6 months perfectly, but every time it kicked on it would spark and jostle, until one day it stopped collecting water. So, I got it exchanged, just in time for a dry season. The new unit never worked, but I wasn't sure if it was due to the basement temperature, the relative humidity, or or whatnot, so I didn't rush to exchange again. In the meantime the store I purchased from went out of business. Now, I'm at the point where I can tear it apart and hope it's something I can fix.

It powers on, fan runs, compressor turns on, but no water ever collects.

Once dismantled, I see that, to my dismay, everything is 100% clean and in pristine condition. The fan runs without issue, the coils are completely clean and free from any dust or debris.
To my further dismay, I verify the compressor is being powered, it vibrates and heats up, still touchable, but hot.

The lines to and from it remain completely room temperature.

The coils in front (the cooling coils) and the coils in back (heating coils) stay room temp.

What's going on here? Did the manufacturer just forget to put in the refrigerant? I don't imagine they would have pinched and welded off the line if that was the case.

Is there any way to check if there is any refrigerant in the system? Any way to check if there is a flow obstruction?

Seems very wasteful to send this thing to the dump when all it's components have zero wear.

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    That's what happened to my last several dehumidifiers. My assumption is that some seal leaked and the refrigerant escaped. Finally I ponied up for the extended warranty on my last one, and sure enough a year later I needed it. Super frustrating. I've never gotten the impression that it's a DIY fix for most folks.
    – isherwood
    Sep 8, 2020 at 19:24
  • you might be able to check for refrigerant by heating the radiator with a lighter for a few seconds. if it stays hot once the flame is removed, it's likely empty.
    – dandavis
    Sep 8, 2020 at 19:48
  • Repair is basically never going to be economically feasible with a homeowner/consumer unit. Your long convoluted story has got you a hunk of junk that would barely make sense for a licensed refrigeration tech to repair for their own use, much less to pay one to (try to) fix - they are not generally designed with "servicing" in mind. Depending where you are located, not being a licensed refrigeration tech makes working on it yourself illegal as well as impractical.
    – Ecnerwal
    Sep 8, 2020 at 23:27
  • @Ecnerwal Yeah, when I tore it apart I was hoping that the control board was pooched and I could just replace it with some relays. When I found that everything was perfect except that the compressor doesn't cause any cooling effect, I shifted my hope to "well maybe there's a solenoid that's closed or a kink in a line somewhere". Sep 10, 2020 at 15:09

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