Why do my humidifiers leak?

by Karen

I'm having the most rotten luck with humidifiers for my kids' rooms. I bought a cute frog one that stopped working suddenly for no reason I could discern, and two different Vicks cool mist units that leak all over starting with the second use. So far the only reliable one is an ancient one from the 70's that was my husband's. But I have two kids' rooms and need another one. I'm wondering what causes the darn things to leak and if there is one that is known to be reliable. I'm tired of dropping $40 a pop for one-use humidifiers.

Comments for Why do my humidifiers leak?

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Apr 23, 2014
Lavender oil ok in humidifiers?
by: Anonymous

If you add lavender oil to the water, does it clog it up causing leakage? Or is it ok to add the oil?

Dec 09, 2013
I Have The Answer !
by: Anonymous

If there is the smallest crack in the humidifier tank, the humidifier will leak. Even though it won't leak from the crack, if there is a breach this will allow the water to continue flowing out of the bottom of the tank. In order for the water to stop coming out of the tank when the bottom is full there can't be any air escaping from the tank or it won't stop and the bottom of the humidifier will overflow. It took me a few months to figure this out. I had a small crack. The water wouldn't come out of the crack but it needs to be a air tight situation for the water to stop when the bottom is full. Put a piece of good tape over the crack and the leak will be history.

Feb 06, 2013
poor design
by: Anonymous

There is no leeway. The tray operates at near overflow.

Oct 22, 2012
leaking vicks
by: Anonymous

the Vicks humidifiers leak because there cheap and poorly built ruined our carpet

(note from Lisa: I've owned my Vick's for four years and it's worked well. If it's not on a flat surface, it will leak because the water tilts out.)

Sep 29, 2012
leaky humidifier
by: Anonymous

I think in a lot of cases, if the water container has a small crack in it, it will create a venting action and cause water to drain out of tank. Look at the top of container and see if there are any fractures. That may be the issue. Crane states to not grab tank by handle but everyone does because its there. When fulll of water this causes stress fractures when carrying. Good luck.

Feb 09, 2012
by: Anonymous

In regards to the previous post

"If your humidifier is level then the reason it s leaking is because your room is TOO HUMID and you need to simply shut it off. Its unnecessary and you will ruin your walls - you are creating TOO MUCH DAMPNESS. Don't throw your Vicks humidifier away, it is a good little machine!"

This isn't necessarily true! I have had several humidifiers leak. I have watched them run water with my own eyes. There surely mechanical reasons why they leak. IMO, reservoirs that are too high to start run a higher risk. It's a defect in the mechanics.

Jan 25, 2012
Re: leaking humidifiers
by: Anonymous

If your humidifier is level then the reason it s leaking is because your room is TOO HUMID and you need to simply shut it off. Its unnecessary and you will ruin your walls - you are creating TOO MUCH DAMPNESS. Don't throw your Vicks humidifier away, it is a good little machine!

Feb 21, 2011
leaking humidifier
by: Lisa- site expert

Well, not all humidifiers leak. Luckily I have the Vicks humidifier and can take a reasonable guess as to why yours might be leaking. I am going to guess it is because of one of two things. First, it could be where you place the humidifiers is not level.

The Vicks humidifiers have a very small space between the reservoir for the water and the top where water spills out, so if it isn't level, it could leak.

Second, when you fill the humidifier, do you fill the tank and leave the base where it is or do you ever carry the whole humidifier to and from filling it? Once I carried the humidifier with water in it and it spilled all over once I turned it on.

Those are my best guesses as my Vicks humidifier has never leaked other than the time I carried the whole thing with water in it. Just fill the tank and leave the base when filling it if you think that could be the problem.

To your health,

Feb 20, 2011
Do All Of Them Leak?
by: shstrang98

I've been through 3 humidifiers since our daughter was born all of which were at different price points. One was a cheap Walgreens cool mist and that was followed by 2 Vicks both of which leaked. From the very begining I sat all of them in an old deep dish pizza pan with a large bath towel on which the unit would sit. On the last two Vicks models both of them leaked; thank God I sat the units in that pizza pan.

What gives? I keep them clean and took the last 2 Vicks apart to clean them about every 2 weeks. They still died and still leaked.

Anyone know why they always seem to leak? Any ideas would be great.

Thank You Much

Jan 07, 2011
humidifier leaking help
by: Lisa- site expert

Well, there could be a lot of reasons your humidifiers leak, but since it keeps happening I bet it's more about controllable factors than shoddy products, I'll try to help.

I have a Vick's humidifier, likely very similar to the one you own and if I move the base of the humidifier while it has water in it, it will leak. If I leave the base alone and just move the tank to fill and replace, it's fine, the leaking isn't a problem with the humidifier.

Also, if there is even a slight incline on where the humidifier sits, water could leak from it. The base needs to be level so the water in the reservoir doesn't spill out. If you have a level, check to make sure it's ok. There is even an app on the iphone and droid which acts as a level, cool huh.

Finally, there are a lot of humidifiers at Target and Walmart. Honeywell/Vicks/Kaz seems to be a decent brand (it's all one brand with a parent company of Kaz) and easy to find. Keep your receipt and they both have good return policies and will take it back if it breaks, in case it's just bad manufacturing by the companies.

Nice that you keep trying to keep humidifiers in your kids rooms, that'll help 'em stay healthier. Hope I offered a little humidifier leaking help with the problem.

To your health,

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