Dehumidifier recommendation?

Me again - mold lady, still deciding what to do about the mold discovered in the finished basement of the house I'm selling.
No matter what I do I know I need to keep the basement from smelling suspicious. With the house being vacant, the A/C and heater don't come on as often, so it does develop a musty smell. One problem is the sump pump which probably has water in it, but not enough to trigger it to empty. I have an antique dehumidifier that I inherited (one remediator said "oh I see you have your 1942 dehumidifier"). Apparently the newer ones have better features.
I need one that I'm comfortable leaving on unattended in the vacant house. And it needs a defroster or something, so that when it gets cooler in the basement it doesn't frost over, or it at least needs to function at lower temps, which apparently some of them do now. A timer would be nice so that it would run a few hr a day, although I suppose I could buy a timer to plug it into. I'll probably sit it in the shower stall in the basement (how attractive is that!) and run an extension cord to it. Or if I could find one that actually pumps water uphill, I could have it empty into the washing machine's stand pipe, or the sink in the wetbar.
If anyone has done any research on this, I'd appreciate hearing it. Oh and I don't want to spend a fortune, since my current house doesn't even have a basement, although I guess I could include it with the house as an incentive (yeah, that would bed a good selling point). Seriously, most people I know around here have dehumidifiers in their basements, so I don't think people would think a whole lot of it. (I just wish I hadn't let the realtor talk me into unplugging it and hiding it when I was showing the house, even if it was ugly; I think that musty smell is what prompted the people to ask for the mold test).
Thanks.
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Lee B wrote:

I had the same issue last year, I ended up buying a pair of LG dehumidifiers. My only complaint is that the humidistat is wildly inaccurate; I have them set at 70% RH to maintain a normal 50-55% RH. They do power up after a power failure; I had reported before that there was weirdness with that functionality but it only happened to me the once, they've been fine since.
One of these days when I have disposable cash (heh) I do want to invest in some condensate pumps, as in humid weather they fill up their containers fairly quickly.
IF you are looking for something quiet, the LG is not it. It's about as loud as my old, dead 70's vintage thing (when it still worked, that is) that we inherited from the previous owners. The sound is less rattly and more white noise/fan-like however, so as long as you are using it in an unused or laundry room, hearing it from the next room is not overly objectionable.
nate
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Thanks to all for the recommendations. The LG does sound like it would do what I want, but I can't find any locally. I found a Soleus on iallergy.com that sound like it has what I need and free shipping. I've also seen several online and on eBay (I think mostly remanufactured). I'm leery of them if only because if they don't work, it'd cost so much to return them. I swung by Sears and they have a Kenmore that does what I want. It's about $12 more than the soleus, but ease of pickup and return may offset that. I don't really care about noise since the house is empty... and I figure I'll throw the dehumidifier in with the house for good measure. My new house doesn't even have a basement.
BTW, I looked again and I don't have a floor drain. I think there used to be one, but there is now a pipe going from the stand pipe where the washing machine drains, that goes directly into the floor, so I'm assuming that was the drain once upon a time. That's why running it into the shower stall is tempting; otherwise I need a pump to drain it uphill. (Unless I sit it on top of the bar, which would be tres attractive <G>).
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Lee B wrote:

The LG is available at Home Depot, much as it hurts me to recommend setting foot in that awful place.
nate
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Mine only had one (count 'em one) dehumidifier in the place. I forget what brand it was, but not a LG. When I mentioned I'd heard about LG, the sales guy said they have some stuff from that manufacturer and could likely order it. There is one other HD around here that I can check. Thanks.
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We use a couple of dehumidifiers in our basement. From my experience, it seems that the ones with electronic controls are able to deal with colder conditions while the simpler mechanical humidistat is not.
The one with mechanical controls tries to run whenever the humidity is high enough. If the air is relatively warm and humid (i.e. summer conditions), the evaporator coil gets cold but not down to freezing temperature, water condenses on it, and everything is fine no matter how long it runs. But when the air is cooler to start with, the evaporator gets below freezing, the humidity freezes on it, and it eventually freezes solid and stops doing anything useful. There is normally a thermostat on the evaporator that's supposed to shut down the unit while it's iced up, and if that is working properly the ice will eventually melt and the unit will start working again.
In comparison, the unit with electronic controls somehow knows that it is collecting ice, and periodically shuts down the compressor and switches the fan to "high" to melt the ice. So it continues working in colder conditions.

No, you don't want a timer, you want a humidistat that runs the unit whenever needed to keep the humidity below a particular level. When it's cold and dry outside, that may mean not running at all. When it's raining outside, the dehumidifier may run most of the time - but you want it to be doing that to avoid any more mold. Fortunately, every dehumidifier I've ever seen has a humidistat, though it may not be calibrated. You may need an external humidity meter to set it.

That's a solution. Or park it over a floor drain. Some units have a provision for attaching a drain hose. On our main unit, I've arranged for its drain to feed into a small-diameter clear plastic hose which runs under the door into the utility closet where the water heater is, and it drains into the water heater overflow floor drain.

You can buy special condensate pumps that have a small tank for the water to collect in, and a small pump operated by a float valve that empties it whenever the level gets above a certain point. That would certainly work, but they're relatively expensive ($50-70).

What you *really* should have done is have the dehumidifier there all the time the house was unoccupied with the heat turned down. That might have prevented the mold from forming in the first place. Now you've got mold, and you know about it, so you probably have to disclose it to any potential buyers. But given that the problem exists, having the house not smell musty the next time a potential buyer comes through is a good idea.
(Our house doesn't have any mold that I know of, and it doesn't smell musty even without dehumidification, but I found that unprotected steel started rusting in the winter. I have a lot of tools that are at risk, so we just run dehumidifiers year round to keep the humidity below 50%.)
    Dave
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Lowes sells whirlpools. Buy one if they still have 5 year refrigeration system warranty.
Stay away from the large Sears Kenmore. They are garbage no matter what consumer Reports says.

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Cover the sump pit, leave the HVAC fan on all the time, and replace the old dehumidifier.
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You've got one bad situation to deal with, obviously. Problem is mold odors are produced when the organisms are busy consuming damp wallboard paper and other edible (for them) materials. Equally problematic is that access to these hidden lunch counters is limited or impossible. There are professionals that deal with odor mitigation from smoke after a fire, for example. One such is Serv Pro. Their assessment, good or bad, could help you avoid throwing $$ at a hopeless situation. It might be interesting to see what would happen by running a high powered ozone generator type air purifier. Read and follow directions on these units as the ozone is a powerful oxidant. Good luck.
Joe
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If you have mold, water is leaking in, its not the absence of heat as I have a non moldy place unheated. Get a unit that runs at low temps, most freeze at 65f -67f some can run to 40f. Forget a timer, dehumidifier may not reset, mine has a timer-daily cycle, a sears. dont put it in the shower there is no air circulation put it in the room and run a drain hose to shower. Who knows about brands, all are made in China and are crap as i see it, One year Sears is good, next year a different china manufacturer gives them junk. My old sears is fine the newer one lasted 6 months. You need a good warranty and return policy.
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