a heat pump dryer graphic on the left with the words Do You Need to Drain on the right side

While heat pump dryers are designed to be as efficient as possible, they still need to be appropriately maintained to function their best. 

One often overlooked maintenance task is draining the water from the machine. 

This guide will explore a few topics related to heat pump dryer draining, including why it’s important, how to drain the machine correctly, and some general maintenance tips. 

So read on to learn everything you need about this appliance maintenance task!

Does a Heat Pump Dryer Need To Be Drained?

A heat pump dryer needs to be drained frequently for optimal performance.

Depending on the usage frequency, you should drain it every two to three uses or at least once a month, or you can usually install a drain hose.

Draining the machine’s water will help prevent limescale build-up and maintain efficiency.

Why You Should Drain Your Heat Pump Dryer

A heat pump dryer recirculates hot air to dry clothes more quickly and efficiently than a traditional dryer.

The machine draws in moist air from the laundry load, heating it and then circulating it back through the clothes. 

illustration of technology behind heat pump dryers in relation to conventional dryers
Courtesy of Stark’s Appliances

The water vapor from the air is condensed and collected in an inbuilt water tank. 

Over time, the tank can fill up and cause problems with the dryer’s performance, including:

Limescale Build-up

Limescale is a hard, chalky deposit that can build up on the internal components of your dryer, including the heating element and sensors.

It’s caused by mineral deposits in the water, leading to severe damage if left unchecked.

Routinely draining your dryer will help prevent limescale build-up and keep the machine running smoothly.

Use a descaling solution to remove any stubborn deposits. Alternatively, you can use vinegar or lemon juice, which are natural descaling agents.

As you can imagine, hard water will back up your dryer more frequently than soft water, so keep this in mind when planning your ideal descaling schedule.

Decreased Efficiency

When your dryer’s water tank is full, the machine has to work harder to heat the air, leading to decreased efficiency and higher energy bills.

A full water tank can also cause the dryer to overheat, damaging the machine and your clothes.

Suppose your clothes take longer to dry or the machine seems to be running hotter than usual. In that case, it is likely that the condensation tray is full and must be emptied.

Unusual Noises

Strange noises like banging, whistling, or rattling can signify that the condensation tray is full and needs to be emptied.

The extra weight of the water can cause the dryer to vibrate, which can lead to these bizarre noises.

If you notice any unusual noises coming from your dryer, empty the water tank and check for any damage.

If the noise persists, it is best to contact a qualified repair technician.

Besides the above, the table below shows other issues you might encounter with your heat pump dryer and how to solve them:

IssuePossible Solution
Excessive moisture in drumCheck and clean the condenser unit
Water Pooling in ReservoirEnsure the drainage hose is properly connected
Inefficient DryingCheck for proper ventilation and clean filters
Table 1: Heat pump dryer issues and solutions

A technician kneeling on the floo rbehind a vented dryer making a repair.

How To Drain Your Heat Pump Dryer

Most heat pump dryers feature a drain hose extension that allows you to connect the dryer to your home’s drainage system.

This component is the easiest and most effective way to empty the water tank—it drains the tank automatically, eliminating the need to empty it manually.

Steps for draining your dryer using the hose extension include:

  • Turn off the machine and unplug it from the power outlet.
  • Next, locate the drainage hose extension. It is usually located near the bottom of the device.
  • Connect one end of the drainage hose to the dryer and the other to your home’s drainage system.
  • Turn on the machine and select a drying cycle. The dryer will now drain the water automatically.

Suppose your dryer does not have a drainage hose extension or you don’t have an external drainage system.

In that case, you will need to empty the water tank manually. Most heat pump dryers have an indicator light that tells you when the tank needs to be emptied. 

To empty the water tank manually, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the machine and unplug it from the power outlet.
  2. Locate the water tank. It is usually located at the bottom of the dryer.
  3. Carefully remove the tank and empty it into a sink or bathtub.
  4. Wipe the inside of the tank with a clean cloth to remove any residue.
  5. Replace the tank and secure it in place.
  6. Finally, turn on the machine and select a drying cycle.

Drain the water tank every two to three drying cycles to prevent limescale build-up and keep your machine running efficiently.

Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Dryer Running Smoothly

In addition to regularly draining the water tank, you can do a few other maintenance tasks to keep your dryer running smoothly.

Some proven upkeep measures include:

  • Clean the lint filter after every load – a clogged filter can cause the dryer to overheat, resulting in shrinkage and fabric damage due to excess heat. Use the lint screen to check for lint build-up after every load. Then, empty it after every few loads to prevent lint build-up.
A worker in white T-shirt and blue dungarees carrying out maintenance on a condenser or a heat pump dryer.
  • Clean the condenser coils every few months – condenser coils help to remove moisture from the air. As vapor and other compounds pass through, your coils will get backed up and need cleaning. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to access and clean the coils.
  • Avoid overloading the dryeroverloading can strain the drum belt, causing clothes to become wrinkled and increasing drying time. Only dry as much laundry as the machine can handle. Most dryers have a capacity of 13-20 lbs (6-9 kg).
  • Use the correct drying cycle – fabrics have varying drying cycles. For example, you should dry delicate items in low heat to prevent shrinkage. Use the manufacturer’s instructions to determine the correct drying cycle for your clothes.

Final Thoughts

Heat pump dryers are an excellent investment for your home.

They are energy-efficient and gentle on clothes, making them a perfect choice for those who want to save money and protect their clothing.

However, like all appliances, they require regular maintenance to keep them running smoothly. Drain the water tank every two to three uses and clean the lint filter and condenser coils. 

These simple tips will help prolong your heat pump dryer’s life and keep it running efficiently.

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