High humidity in your home poses health hazards and potential damage to your house structure. As a solution, dehumidifiers collect large amounts of water from the air to reduce humidity and maintain healthy levels for your comfort. For most dehumidifiers, the moisture drawn from the air forms condensate, which is either collected in a bucket or drained out through a hose.
By default, the dehumidifier collects water in the tank, which you will need to manually empty once it’s full. However, this can be inconvenient for many. Luckily, most residential dehumidifiers offer continuous draining options for your convenience. The water may be drained through a drain hose, which may not be included with the unit. In most cases, you can use a standard garden hose to attach to your dehumidifier outlet to enable continuous gravity drainage.
If you’re looking for a drain hose for your dehumidifier and other household appliances or garden equipment, below you’ll learn about the standard hose sizes used for this purpose.
Can You Use a Garden Hose to Drain a Dehumidifier?
Most residential dehumidifiers come with a threaded drain outlet. Threads are the small rings on the outside of a faucet or on the inside of the hose or adapter’s fitting. The threads on both sides must fit together to attach the hose to a water outlet without leaking water or losing pressure.
Dehumidifier drain outlets usually connect directly with a hose, or sometimes with an adapter, with an opening of one inch or smaller. Some dehumidifier brands also include a plastic hose with the unit for the option of automatic draining. The dehumidifier drain hose is usually around one to two meters long (or three to six feet). Other dehumidifier brands also sell a hose separately.
Don’t worry if your dehumidifier doesn’t come with a hose. Most units have outlets that can fit a standard garden hose with ⅝ or ¾-inch diameter. You may also choose the length of the hose based on your needs given that it meets the manufacturer’s requirements for your specific unit. Alternatively, you can use a PVC pipe to attach to the dehumidifier drain outlet, then make a 90-degree bend with the piping to direct the water straight down the drain.
Drain Hose Size for Dehumidifiers
The standard fitting size for a residential garden hose is ⅝-inch diameter with 11.5NH or 11.5 threads per inch. Another common size for a high-flow hose is ¾-inch or ½-inch. Other sizes are rare to find. Most hose fittings are made from brass or other durable materials to prevent the threads from breaking or bending easily.
Drain hose fittings made from plastic are much cheaper but of lower quality. In case you need a different size fitting, you may purchase a drain adapter or hose connector to fit your dehumidifier outlet instead of getting a brand new hose.
Most dehumidifier drain hoses have a female threaded end with a ⅝-inch internal diameter. It is also common to find ¾-inch variations. You should look for a flexible yet durable rubber hose that you can easily roll and store when not in use. It’s especially important for a dehumidifier hose to have no kinks or knots to allow the water to flow smoothly down towards the drain.
You should also take note of the length of the hose you need for your dehumidifier. Make sure it’s just long enough so that one end is securely attached to the dehumidifier outlet and the other is directly pointed to the low-level drain. Four to five feet drain hoses are often enough for most draining purposes. Multi-purpose drain hoses can be used for dehumidifiers, portable air conditioners, washing machines, water pumps, RV filters, and water softeners, among other household applications. High-quality products with a long warranty can last for years.
If you’re also using the dehumidifier drain hose for outdoor gardening, you may need a longer hose. A standard garden hose can be 12 feet long or even longer. Some may allow you to cut the hose to your desired length. Depending on your garden’s specific needs, you may opt for a hose that works with either hot or cold water supply or with UV protection in case you use it outside. If your dehumidifier unit comes with a hose but it’s too short for your drainage, you can always just use a garden hose with the right hose fittings.
Dehumidifier Draining Options
Most residential dehumidifiers use the built-in water tank to hold the moisture collected. Depending on the dehumidifier’s moisture removal capacity and the humidity levels in the room, manual drainage is usually the simplest but not the most convenient draining option.
The process itself is easy. When the tank is full, the unit will shut off automatically and the full tank alert will light up. It will only resume operation when you empty and replace the tank.
So if you want your dehumidifier to run continuously, you may need to empty the water tank once or twice a day. A larger tank will require emptying less frequently, but it still depends on the relative humidity in the room. While it’s a simple task, not everyone has the time to check on the dehumidifier and empty the water tank a few times a day. If this is inconvenient for you, the good news is you have options for automatic drainage.
The most common continuous draining option for portable dehumidifiers is through a drain hose connection. We will talk about the process in more detail below.
Some high-capacity units also include a built-in condensate pump to push the water up to a certain height. This way you can place your dehumidifier even lower than the drain as the pump can push water up to 15 feet above the unit. You can have the hose run up into a sink, out of a window, or any other suitable location.
Dehumidifiers with built-in pumps include a hose to attach to the outlet before activating the pump function. Note that this is different from the drain hose you need for gravity drainage. For high-capacity dehumidifiers without a pump, you may purchase an external condensate pump. Learn more about the different draining options for dehumidifiers here.
How to Drain a Dehumidifier with a Drain Hose
Some brands may include a drain hose with the unit, so all you need to do is connect the hose to the drain outlet, usually located at the back or on the side of the unit. Once you find the outlet, unscrew the drain plug or cap, and then attach the hose to the outlet by gently twisting the fitting. Some dehumidifiers may need an adapter to connect the hose, while others may require you to remove the tank and reach inside to secure the hose connection.
Once attached, direct the hose down to the drain without any obstruction that can disrupt the water flow. You can use a floor drain for this, a sink, or any drain placed lower than the unit.
Things to Consider When Using Gravity Drainage
Remember that you rely on gravity for your drainage to work. Make sure the dehumidifier is placed on a flat and level surface to avoid water leaks. If the ground is uneven, you can place the dehumidifier on a desk or table or with pieces of wood or metal to raise it up from the floor.
Also take note that the drain must be lower than the dehumidifier. Direct the hose down towards the drain without any coiling or bending or any obstruction to the water flow. If you don’t have a floor drain in the room, you can place a small dehumidifier on top of a counter to drain the water into a sink.
Maintenance Tips for Dehumidifiers
To make running and draining your dehumidifier more convenient, make sure that you’re using the right dehumidifier type and size based on your room’s requirements. Most dehumidifiers need little maintenance, but you must still keep them clean at all times.
Don’t let stagnant water stay inside the tank. Empty the water as soon as you can, and then wash and rinse the tank with mild soap. Remember to wash the dehumidifier filters at least once every month or replace them if necessary. Check your manual for more specific cleaning and maintenance instructions.
If you’re using a drain hose, you should still check the tank and clean it in case some water has dripped into it. Disinfect the hose with a solution of water and bleach or white vinegar. Pour the solution into one end and let it flush through the entire length of the hose. Wait for a few minutes then rinse. When not in use, make sure to dry and store the hose properly.
If you notice any leaks while running your dehumidifier, inspect the hose connection and make sure it’s secured. If there is no problem with the hose itself, check the dehumidifier’s tank and the coils for any frost. If you can’t find the problem, contact a professional to get the unit examined.
These are only some basic tips that can help keep your unit functioning and draining properly. If you have other questions or concerns, check your unit’s manual or ask the manufacturer.
Dehumidifiers can remove gallons of water from the air within 24 hours of running. They produce condensate which usually collects in a tank until it’s full. If you don’t have the time to empty the water manually, one common option is continuous draining with a drain hose. Most portable dehumidifiers give you this option, some brands even include a hose. If you don’t have a drain hose with the unit, usually all you need is a standard garden hose. Make sure to check your dehumidifier’s requirements like the diameter for the hose fittings (either ¾ or ⅝ inch) and the length of the hose (3 to 12 feet). If you want to purchase a dehumidifier drain hose, you can also use it for other purposes in your home.