In some ways, the flooding basement was a blessing in disguise. Not only did it force us to clean up what was quickly becoming a cluttered mess, we were also inspired to buy a dehumidifier to help dry out the basement. I had no idea our basement was so damp until I found myself emptying the water bucket multiple times per day. Hooray for a dry basement! But boo for schlepping a sloshing water bucket to the basement bathroom multiple times per day. Schlepping is for chumps!
By connecting a water hose to the back of the dehumidifier, the moisture that is pulled out of the air bypasses the water bucket completely. Now that I have the dehumidifier connected to the basement drain, I’ll never empty the water bucket again. Avoiding the full bucket is also essential for uninterrupted usage of the dehumidifier. Each time the bucket would fill, the unit would shut itself off until I came along and emptied it. Obviously if we’re not around to empty the bucket, the dehumidifier wouldn’t do us much good.
So here’s how I connected the dehumidifier to the basement drain:
On the back of your dehumidifier you’ll probably see a drain hose outlet. If your dehumidifier doesn’t have one, it probably won’t work. Most bigger dehumidifier models do have the outlet so let’s say you do.
You can purchase a short hose that’s made for this sort of thing but a regular ole garden hose also connects to this hose outlet. I sacrificed one of the cheap hoses that I replaced with the pocket hose by cutting it to the length I would need to reach from the back of the dehumidifier to the drain.
Now, if your drain is close to where the dehumidifier is located, you’re good to go. You can simply lead the hose to the drain and be done. For us, there’s a wall separating the two. I want the dehumidifier to be located in the big open room in the basement and the drain is behind a wall in the small workshop area. Break out the power tools!
I drilled a hole large enough for the hose to pass through – first on one side of the wall and then through the other. (Note: I was confident there wasn’t any electrical in this part of the wall and I also knew that it was just two thin layers of boards with very little insulation in between. I knew I wasn’t going to get electrocuted or find layers and layers of wall/insulation separating the two rooms.)
Once I was able to feed the hose through the hole in the wall, I was almost finished. Except for one tiny detail. I had drilled the hole higher than the drain hose outlet on the back of the dehumidifier. If you know anything about gravity, you know that the water probably won’t make it over that hump and through the other side of the wall. After all, the water that comes out of the dehumidifier is in trickles, not gushing enough to push its way up and through the hose. It would probably collect in the part of the hose that was slumped between the wall and the dehumidifier and eventually back up into the dehumidifier.
And that, folks, is why the dehumidifier and the hose are sitting atop crates. I was thinking of trying to pass it off as intentional. I had it all worked out. I could just say that I put the dehumidifier on crates to protect it from any flooding that may occur in the future. And, actually, that is true. Having it sitting on crates will keep the dehumidifier from getting wet and possibly shorting out.
But, really, it’s because I goofed. So, as my folks would say when I was growing up, do as I say and not as I do! Be sure that the drain is lower than the drain hose outlet on the back of your dehumidifier. If you must drill through a wall like I did, make sure the hole is as low to the ground as possible. Don’t drill two feet higher than the floor because you don’t have to bend as low and hurt your precious old man back … like I did.
And, yes, those are two curtain rods holding the end of the hose in place over the drain. Since this part of the basement is our workshop/storage area, it doesn’t have to be pretty. As you can see from the wet concrete, the hose is working perfectly well – and that’s the important thing.
Images: This American House