Don’t let a leaking humidifier leave you up a creek without a paddle!

In this article, we will discuss locating the leak, stopping the leak, common leak locations, and repairing the leak.

Stopping the leak

The first step once you have noticed a leak from your humidifier is turning off the water supply to the humidifier. To do this, follow the 1/4” copper water supply line to the shut-off and turn it off. (This will likely be located over the water heater on either the hot or cold-water line. Shown in the photo above) 

If the leak is coming from this shut-off, you may be able to just take a 1/2″ wrench and tighten the nut above the handle. 

Locating the leak

In order to locate the leak, you will need to turn the water back on and turn the humidifier on. You can do this by turning the humidistat all the way up. With the humidifier running, observe the general location of where the water is coming from. Once you have done this, you can turn the water back off. 

Common leak locations

The most common leak location is from inside the humidifier itself. If this is the case, you will notice water leaking from the bottom of the humidifier door. Take the humidifier door off and inspect the inside of the humidifier. (shown in the photo above)

Water panel

In this photo, the first thing that jumps out at me is the calcified, dirty water panel. These water panels are recommended to be replaced every year in the fall, before the winter season. A dirty water panel like this, will not wick water very well and the fan comes on, which causes water to leak out of the panel carrier and out the bottom of the humidifier. Too high of water pressure (too much water flowing) can also cause this issue and you should try to close down your shut-off valve in order to better meter your water flow to the humidifier.

Water panel tray

Another cause of a leak inside the humidifier is the water panel holder being installed incorrectly or loose. This can cause the holder to fall forward during operation and result in water bypassing the drain nipple and leaking. This can be solved by replacing the holder or adding a shim on the side of the holder. Of course a crack in this holder can cause a leak as well and should always be inspected during water panel replacement. 

Feed tube

The next place to look inside the humidifier would be the plastic water line or feed tube (usually black or gray, shown in the photo above)

This feed tube delivers the water from the solenoid valve (shown in the photo above) to the water panel dispersion tray. This is a very common leak point due to it being exposed to hot air from the furnace and cold, dry air during the summer. This will cause the plastic line to become very rigid and easily crack when moved to replace the water panel. Also be sure the line is securely plugged into the dispersion tray fitting, as this can cause a leak as well. 

Solenoid valve

The last, but far from least, most common leak point is the solenoid valve fittings shown above. If this is your case, it may be as simple as taking a 1/2″ wrench and tighten the compression nut a little. Notice I said “a little”, do not over-tighten these fittings! If this does not do the trick, do not do what this customer did, and put plumbers putty on it. As you can see in the photo above, it does not work! You will need to replace the fittings.

By following these simple steps, you can now locate the leak, repair it and enjoy your humidifier again, leak-free! As always, if you are still having trouble and need assistance, feel free to use our virtual diagnostic tool and check out our humidifier parts category for everything you need to fix it yourself at the best price!


Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top