Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Frigidaire FAD704DUD 70 Pt. Dehumidifier
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on April 28, 2011
I bought mine at the local big-box home improvement store. It is used in my heated basement, which I want extra-dry as my firearms and other sensitive items are stored there.

After six months it started making a lot of noise. I checked it and found that the cooling coils were completely iced up, totally blocking the air flow. I let it defrost completely and tried again, with the same icing resulting after a few hours. I checked the manual. which gave "room temperature is too low" as the cause. Doubtful, I thought, but it is winter and only about 60 degrees in here. So I waited to spring and tried again. Now there is no cooling effect at all, and no water output. Obviously the icing was from the cooling fluid leaking, and finally it all leaked out resulting in the total lack of operation.

This is my second Frigidaire dehumidifier. The first had a fan motor failure after six months.

Obviously Frigidaire is no longer synonymous with quality.

By the way, it is not possible to contact Frigidaire customer service by their 800 number. The option for "speak to a representative" results in the computer giving a long-distance number to call. On previous occasions, I have had no luck with trying to contact them via their web site, either. However I tried again, this time requesting return contact by telephone.

This time they actually responded, but by email despite my request for contact by phone. The response was "I would like to offer you a 60% rebate towards a new unit." My response to that was, quoting the manual, "The unit has a FIVE YEAR WARRANTY period during which 'Frigidaire will repair or replace any part in the Sealed Refrigeration System....,' so why should I have to pay 40 percent?"

Their reply: "We apologize we will not be able to arrange service for your dehumidifier. Regrettably, escalating service costs have rendered repairing dehumidifiers a thing of the past as these units are no longer serviced.

Please let us know if you wish to accept the rebate offer so we may assist with issuing a rebate letter outlining details of the rebate as soon as possible. Please also note that not only will you receive the 60% rebate but as an added bonus when you receive the new dehumidifier the warranty will start over again from day one."

I wrote them again, requesting that they honor their written warranty. They replied "Thank you for contacting Frigidaire. We apologize that we are not able to assist."

In other words, they are refusing to honor the written warranty in the owner's manual. I have filed a complaint with the FTC, but expect little assistance since I am just a single citizen.

It is not only Frigidaire's product quality that is suffering....

Update, 06/24/2011: At N. Ha's suggestion (see comments on this review), I complained to the BBB in Georgia, where the Frigidaire humidifier service center is located per the manual. Today I received a phone call from Electrolux about my complaint. The woman said they wanted to "buy my unit back" for the full amount I had paid for it. She refused to call this a refund. However, she said I do not have to ship this unit they are buying to them, only the label with the model and serial number plus my original receipt. I guess calling it a refund might set a precedent. I, of course, accepted the offer and am awaiting the paperwork.

So, it looks like the only way to get satisfaction for the written warranty they have unilaterally decided to cancel for all current and future customers is to complain to the BBB. I hope many will do so.
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on July 1, 2011
I owned the previous version of this dehumidifier (Frigidaire Dehumidifier, 70-Pint Capacity, FAD704TDP) and the compressor failed in just over 1.5 years. I was disappointed by this, but it was not unexpected. My previous research of customer comments on both amazon.com and Consumer Reports indicated that failure in 1.5 years is now the norm for dehumidifiers! (I wonder whether the new government regulations have anything to do with this - FYI, they now prohibit the use of FREON and the failures in a couple of years started after that; previously dehumidifiers lasted 10 or more years). Note that everyone who wrote reviews in 6 month or less after purchase was very pleased with the dehumidifiers in general (as was I), but reviews written 6 or 12 months after purchase started to complain about failures (compressor mostly). Very disppointing since all my previous dehumidifiers lasted well over 10 years; and one of them is still working fine. But I needed a dehumidifiier and this one semed to be the best of a not very good set of choices, so I ordered it. I was very pleased with it when it arrived and it worked great until if failed. I rated it 5 stars and updated my review several times until it failed whereupon I downgraded it to 4 stars. You can see my full review of that model on amazon.com.

But now I needed another one. I redid much of my research of customer comments and came up with the same conclusion that failure in 1.5 years was the norm and that this model was the best of the lot. So, I decided to get the same one again. When I looked at the model on amazon.com, there was a note that said "Would you like to see a newer version of this model?". I clicked on it and THIS model came up. Everything in the name and model number was the same (it even looked the same), except the "TDP" is replaced by "DUD" (I got a chuckle out of this given my previous experience with it's failure). So I odered it ... and I've now had it for about a month.

And here is my review to date: In summary, I give it 5 stars again, and I'll try to update this review in about 6 - 12 month intervals regarding the compressor and/or other failures.

Most noticeable are differences from the previous model which indicates some very significant improvements:
FIRST, it is amazingly quiet! In fact it was so quiet that I wondered whether the compressor was even working. I disconnected the drain hose (I use a gravity drain) to see whether the bucket would fill up. It did so in just a few hours! I would support the claim for 70 pts in 24 hours. The old model was quite noisy and, although in a different part of the basement, interfered with listening to the TV in the basement rec room. Not the case for this model.
SECOND: The exhaust for this model is out the TOP! Not out the back as in most older models, or the side as in the previous version of this one. How novel ... very unlikely to have an obstruction out the top and that also significantly aids in the air circulation. I wonder why no one ever though of this before. The squirrel cage fan now exhausts directly up and that may have something to do with it's quiet operation.
THIRD: The hose attachment for the gravity drain is now outside of the case and very easy to get to. It was very difficult to attach the hose in the previous version.
FOURTH: It was less expensive than the older model, which is also still available on amazon.com.

Overall, I am very pleased with this model ... I just hope it lasts.
I'll update this revew periodically, indicating whether the compressor is still working or when it finally fails.

UPDATE (4/23/2012): It is still working! Actually, it was OFF most of the winter. There seems to be an "unadvertised feature" that turns the unit completely off when the humidity is well below the desired setting. I did not see this descibed anywhere in the manual (maybe I just missed it). If the humidity is only a little below the desired setting, the compressor is off, but the fan that circulates the air is still on; when the humidity drops further, that fan also turns off (I have not been able to determine how much lower). This is a nice feature and probably makes the entire unit last longer. On the previous version of this model, the compressor cycled off and on all winter long and the fan ran contantly.

Some people have commented to me that the gravity drain does not work and the bucket fills with water. You have to make sure that the unit is LEVEL since there is a very small lip at the back that allows the water to go over it into the gravity drain. When the water cannot go over the lip, it goes into the bucket - a very nice feature to keep it from flooding your floor. But if the unit leans even slightly forward, the the water cannot go over the lip and into the gravity drain. So level it carefully or put some shims under the front until it drains correctly.

It has gotten a little noisier now; but not objectionable.

And I checked the label: it is made in China.

UPDATE (4/30/2013): Another year has gone by and it is still working great! All the above comment still apply. I did not touch the humidity setting and the unit turned itself off last fall and was not running all winter (not the compressor nor the fan). About mid April it turned itself back on. I really do like this feature!

UPDATE (6/20/2013) - WELL, IT FAILED!! Purchased 6/15/2011, put into service 6/21/2011 - almost exactly TWO YEARS; I was really hoping that my analysis of the life expectancy of dehumidifiers was wrong. Here are some details about the failure. As I stated on the 4/30/2013 update, the unit turned on just fine as the humidity rose earlier this spring. I had set the humidity to 55% and it kept it there for a number of weeks. In early June, I noticed that the humidity reading was 70% even though it was still set to 55%; but the unit seemed to be running OK. I detached the gravity drain to catch the condensate in the bucket to determine if it was still working. It filled 1/2 of the bucket but no more. I emptied it and it never again collected any condensate. I determined that the fan was running and the compressor turned on when the humidity setting was below the humidity level in the basement. This seems to imply the refrigerant was not working, maybe there is a leak. If so, this would be hard to diagnose and fix.

UPDATE (6/25/2013: FALSE ALARM - IT STILL WORKS! [I left the above comment in case anyone runs into this].
This morning I intended to get the serial number of the unit to call customer service. I while doing this I heard a water drip - how can that be if it is not working? I examined it carefully and found that the evaporator coils were completely frozen over - when I looked into the front of the unit thru the grate, all I could see was white. I turned the humidity setting up so that only the fan ran and quickly melted all the ice. I then lowered the humidity setting and it now works fine; filled the bucket in less than a day. Will reconnect the gravity drain.

I'm not sure how to prevent this from happening again without checking the unit regularly and shutting off the compressor until the ice melts. I will try setting the humidistat to just lower than the ambient humidity in the hope that it does not ice up. Once it gets to THAT humidity level without icing up, I'll turn it down one notch (ie, 5%) and repeat. Hopefully that works.

I also found a note I had written on the manual which I had completely forgotten about. Here it is, written on about 6/26/2011), since it is may still be relevant: "When it arrived via FEDEX (they left it by the garage and left before I came out to see it). The package was SEVERELY DAMAGED, so bad that I did not open it, but took several pictures and called FEDEX to complain. They suggested that I open it and see if anything was damaged. I did, examined it all carefully and nothing was amiss." So I forgot to even mention this in the original version of this review.
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on June 22, 2011
This unit sucks water from the air by the gallons. I set it up in my finished basement and right out of the box it worked great. So well, in fact, I needed to empty the large capacity tank too often. So I opened up the back hose valve, connected a short garden hose and pointed it to the floor drain. The unit kept filling up the tank and did not drain out the hose :-(. It appears that the hose drain in the back just works on gravity--there's no pump. So if the floor is not level and/or if the hose is a little narrower than the male connector on the back of the unit (as most are) the water will not drain through the hose the valve. The fault is poor product design. To remedy, I bought a right-angle PVC adapter, barb adapter and clear tubing (to visually see whether it was working) from Flex PVC.com. Parts: "508-007 FGH by .75 FPT (female NPT) 90degree", "PPN46 3/4 mpt x 1/2 barb adapter", and "1/2 x 5/8 Clear Tubing BTF". The right angle adapter is large and maintains the 3/4" garden hose opening from end to end. Once assembled and attached I experimented and found the correct position for the dehumidifier which is on a slightly uneven floor. Now the water drains through the hose (which I can watch through the clear hose) and it works as it should. Frigidaire should provide this setup to all users that need to use the hose valve in the back until they fix the design issue. I keep the unit running continuously and it gives off more heat than I would like, heating up the basement which is usually cool in the summer. But it's somewhat unavoidable with this technology so I will take heat over humidity. I've added an image of my setup to the product images for visual reference.
review image
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on July 26, 2011
I freely admit that this review is inspired as much by the opportunity to experiment with posting a video as by a desire to provide something useful. Still, you may find some help here.

Two things will be obvious: first, I'm clearly no videographer; second, this is a pretty good product.

In the space of about 3-1/2 min. this video will

1. walk you through a typical use case in a basement,
2. show you how to use the dehumidifier, and
3. offer a simple (and in many cases, cost-free) way of connecting the dehumidifier to a floor drain.

I hope you find this useful.
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on October 29, 2011
Many people use a dehumidifier in a basement, but I use it to prevent mildew in a Florida home. The humidity is nearly always high here, and mildew can form indoors in the winter when the A/C is not on. A dehumidifier this size does a pretty good job for the whole house if the central A/C fan is turned on to circulate air.

NOISE: I have read various opinions about the noise level. It is quite a bit louder with high fan speed than with low. The capacity and efficiency (see below) are about the same with either speed, so low speed is a good choice for occupied rooms.

My impression is that I definitely notice the noise, even on low fan speed, but it is not loud enough to disrupt conversation. The noise is mostly just from the flow of air, which is less annoying that the buzzing or rattling noises some dehumidifiers make.

CONTINUOUS DRAIN: Some people have reported problems with using a garden hose for continuous draining. I think the problem is that the narrow fittings in some hoses create a "dam" that makes the water back up and spill over into the bucket. I put a garden hose "Y" adapter on the back of the dehumidifier and connected the hose to the side pointing downward. It drains perfectly into the hose with this arrangement. I did not need the manufacturer's drain modification kit.

The drain hose should have a continuous downward or horizontal slope. Otherwise bubbles can form in the hose and block the flow.

AUTO-RESTART: This model will restart automatically after a power failure, so it is suitable for use in an unoccupied home.

EFFICIENCY: Dehumidifiers use a lot of electricity. This model uses about 700 watts while it is running. In the continuous run mode, it will use 500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per month, which typically costs around $55.00. Electricity use will be less in the normal mode with the unit cycling on and off as needed.

The Energy Star "Energy factor" rating for this model (from energystar.gov) is 1.8 liters per kWh. That means it will remove 1.8 liters of water from the air for each kilowatt-hour of electricity used. Higher numbers mean lower electricity costs. 1.8 is the lowest energy factor that will qualify for Energy Star approval and is fairly typical.

As an engineer, I have the necessary equipment to test the energy factor myself. I was able to confirm the published Energy factor. At 80 degrees F and 60% relative humidity, I measured these energy factors:

Low fan speed: Energy factor = 1.81
High fan speed: Energy factor = 1.88

CAPACITY: Capacity is a measure of how much moisture the dehumidifier can remove from the air per day. My measurements came close to the manufacturer's rating. This model has about the same capacity on either low or high speed. At 80 degrees F and 60% relative humidity, I measured:

Low fan speed: Capacity = 65 pints per day
High fan speed: Capacity = 68 pints per day

HUMIDITY CONTROL: I think this is the weakest feature and the reason I did not give this model 5 stars. You can set the unit to maintain a relative humidity anywhere between 35% and 85%. 60% is usually adequate to prevent mildew. Setting it lower will just use more electricity.

Unfortunately, this model's humidity sensor is apparently inside the case where it is affected by the wet cooling coils. This causes it to cycle on and off about every 10 minutes, even when the humidity in the room is lower than the point you set. After the fan shuts off, the dampness inside the case causes the unit to start again after 1 or 2 minutes. It then runs a few minutes, shuts off, and the cycle repeats. The constant on-off cycling wastes electricity and probably shortens the life of the dehumidifier, although these effects are hard to quantify.

My solution is to set the dehumidifier in the continuous run mode and use an external dehumidistat (Honeywell H46C from Home Depot) to turn its AC power on or off as required. This prevents the constant on-off cycling and allows the dehumidifier to run only when it is actually needed.

HEAT: Dehumidifiers put out a lot of heat. I definitely notice that it warms up the room.
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on August 5, 2011
Works great. Quieter than my previous dehumidifier from Sears.

At first, I did not have any trouble with a plain garden hose hooked up as a permanent drain. (Though I really appreciate the detailed reports from other reviewers -- I ordered this unit with confidence that I could work around the trouble if I encountered it!) But then my drain stopped working.

I called Frigidaire at 706-860-4110 and the guy immediately knew what I was talking about. They sent a drain adapter ("Continuous Drain Kit EA155D") by 2-day FedEx. No charge. Problem solved.
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on July 17, 2011
Like others, I wish I had read the review of the drain hose problem before I purchased this model. It is definitely a bad design. Unless you have the unit set to "CO" (continuously on), you cannot have the evaporation water drain out the hose to a sump pump. I prefer to set the humidity to the level I want (usually 45%), but that means constantly draining the tank. I talked with customer service and was told this was true. I asked if "continuously on" meant theoretically it just keeps running and running, reducing the humidity until there is none left and he said "yes". Not only is the air too dry in that mode, but it means the unit will probably wear out much quicker and will use a lot more electricity.

I solved my problem without any cost. I attached my hose at the rear of the unit as instructed (it runs to my sump pump). I then simply put 1/4" strips of wood under the two front wheels of the unit to make it tilt slightly backward. I then removed the tank. On the upper right side of the unit where the water runs out into the tank, there is a drain hole. I rolled up a small ball (about 1/2") of plumbers putty and pushed it up into the hole to block water from draining into the tank and then placed a small piece of duct tape over it to hold it in place (there is a common channel inside the unit which serves both the tank and the rear hose exit hole...if the tank hole is blocked, by default the water runs out the hose hole exit). I then re-inserted the tank and Viola!! It drains through the hose to the sump pump perfectly and I can use any humidity setting I want rather than having it run continuously. At first I tried it without tilting the unit back and the tank kept filling up anyway, due to condensation dripping from the plastic housing below the evaporator coils. As soon as I tilted the unit backwards, it worked perfectly. I've been using it for several weeks now at any setting I choose without a single problem and have not had to empty the tank even once.

Hope this helps others with this unit who don't want to run in the "continuous on" mode.

I would have rated this product as 5 stars if it had not been for the design flaw.

UPDATE: 12/24/2012

Have been using it for a year and a half now and absolutely no problems...never had one drop of water go into the tank instead of the drain hose. The unit is holding up very well and no needed repairs. It removes the humidity to my desired level very quickly and although I check the filter regularly I have never had to clean it a single time.
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on June 15, 2011
Purchased this dehumidifier from Amazon several weeks ago to cure a humidity problem in my basement. I had installed a bamboo floating floor in February, and while the planks were given sufficient time to acclimate to the basement, humidity was low during that period. As such, when summer arrived and relative humidity levels rose, certain sections of my floor began to buckle. This was even after having left .5" of gap between walls for expansion!

Suffice it to say, I was a little hesitant purchasing this dehumidifier due to the sole negative review left. I'm glad I took my chances as this dehumidifier has been running non-stop now for over a month. I left it on continuous cycle for about 4 days which brought the RH level of 75% in my basement down to 50%. Once humidity dropped to an acceptable level, I set the unit to run only when humidity hits 50% or higher.

My floor has now returned to normal and the air smells cleaner and less musty as well. All in all, very satisfied with the unit. Hopefully my opinion remains the same in the long run, but for now, I believe that this is a well manufactured unit.

For your reference, my basement is finished and quite large at approximately 1700 sq ft. This single dehumidifier has kept RH steady in the basement with all doors in each room open.

UPDATE: the dehumidifier worked for about 11 months and then died. Frigidaire to their credit sent me a check covering the cost of the unit since it wasn't worth fixing. I've since replaced this unit with DeLonghi dehumidifiers which have been going strong for almost 2 years now.
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on September 14, 2011
Any company that knowingly puts out a defective product deserves ONE STAR (actually Zero Stars). Shame on Amazon for allowing a known defective product to be sold on their website. I noticed after the pictures that other victims of this extreme inconvenience have developed rigged workarounds.

Don't believe me, just go to the Frigidaire's product page and read all the negative reviews with instructions of calling the 706-860-4110 number to get a "Fix Kit" for the drainage problem. BTW, you will need the units serial number in order to get a free drainage kit.
[...]

I'm surprise the US Gov't allow consumers to be defrauded like this with known defective products. It seems that Fridaire at the very least should be required to ship each unit with the fix kit, or better yet, take them off the market.

I'm in between should I return the unit, or try the fix. It's a shame because it does appear to work well, but unfortunately it's a victim of its own success, filling quickly, means it needs to be drained frequently, which those of us with a proper sump pump well prefer not to do ever.
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on July 12, 2011
I've only had this dehumidifier for about a month, and so far, it works OK. Anyone who is thinking about buying a Frigidaire dehumidifier needs to be aware that Frigidaire will not honor their written warranty. The warranty covers the entire unit for a year and the sealed refrigeration system for five years. About a year and a half ago I bought a similar model Frigidaire dehumidifier from Amazon. The unit quit working this spring; it had a locked-up compressor, which is part of the sealed refrigeration system. Upon contacting Frigidaire, I was told that the dehumidifier was a "non-serviceable" unit (this means that they don't attempt to repair them). This is their actual policy even though their written warranty says that they will repair the sealed refrigeration system for a period of five years. They just plain ignore their own warranty. They did offer me a rebate of 50% toward a new unit. This is the only reason that I bought the present dehumidifier. If you are considering buying a dehumidifier or any Frigidaire appliance, I suggest you buy a different brand. I know I will.

(update) The replacement unit I purchased with the 50% rebate failed within a year. Frigidaire did replace it, but now this latest unit has failed just after one year. This makes three Frigidaire dehumidifiers that have had compressor failures within a four year time span. Take my advice and buy something else.
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