Why Is My Sunbeam Cool Mist Humidifier Not Working? [& Common Fixes]

Using a humidifier at home reaps a lot of benefits. But like all electrical appliances, you might encounter a time when your humidifier is not working properly. If you are concerned about your humidifier not working, you no longer have to worry because we have identified the common reasons why this happens and its quick fixes. 

If you notice that your Sunbeam Cool Mist Humidifier is not producing any mist, we have listed below some of the possible causes: 

  • Low or no power
  • Lack of water
  • Water is leaking 
  • Blockage caused by debris

As you continue reading this article, we will discuss the above-mentioned possibilities further and provide a solution for dealing with each one. We guarantee that after you read this piece, you will be able to troubleshoot your Sunbeam Cool Mist Humidifier when needed. 

Why Your Sunbeam Humidifier Isn't Working & What To Do

Cool mist humidifier on wooden table

Several things could be causing your humidifier not to work as it should. Some may be an issue with the unit itself or a technological part that has been overlooked. Here are some of the common reasons that you should be aware of: 

Low Or No Power 

When you are in panic mode, it is easy to forget about the basics. Like any other home appliance, a humidifier requires power to function properly. 

The first thing you should do is check if the power button and the digital monitor on your humidifier is on. If both are not working, it is safe to assume that your humidifier unit is experiencing a power issue. 

To troubleshoot this, initially try to plug in your humidifier to a power source. If it does not work, try plugging in another appliance to check where the problem lies. If the other appliance works, we suggest taking your humidifier to a repair shop, making use of your product warranty if your unit is relatively new, or simply getting a new one. 

Lack Of Water 

This is quite frankly common sense— if there is no mist coming out of your humidifier, could it be that it has run out of water? Humidifiers use evaporated water to add moisture to the air. As a result, it will not function properly if the water level in its tank is low. 

For this kind of issue, the solution is pretty simple. All you need to do is to refill the tank of your humidifier. There is usually an indicator signal that can show if the water level in the tank is at or below the half-full point. Take that as a reminder to check on the water level in your humidifier every once in a while. 

Water Is Leaking

Another possible cause of your humidifier trouble is the fact that it might be leaking water instead of turning it to steam. There could be a number of reasons why your humidifier is leaking water, so it would be safer not to take any chances. 

If you own a portable humidifier, check if you have positioned the tank correctly before you turn your unit on. It is possible that water is leaking because the tank is not positioned properly. 

Do not forget to clean the puddled water that surrounds your humidifier. For safety purposes, make sure that you turn it off first, especially if there is water close to the cord. 

Blockage Caused By Debris 

Mineral sediments accumulating in your humidifier might prevent it from producing steam. This is usually the case if you use tap water because it contains minerals that can clog your unit's filter. You can try using mineral water in the future to avoid this kind of situation.

In most cool mist humidifiers, mineral deposit accumulates in the filter. As a quick fix, you can simply clean the filter or replace it with a new one. We suggest double checking your user manual to make sure that you are following the proper process of cleaning or replacement. 

Check out this bundle of humidifier filters replacement from Amazon.

Newer versions of cool mist humidifiers no longer have a filter, so it might be worth getting a brand new unit if you're actually in the market to replace your current humidifier.

How Do You Clean A Sunbeam Cool Mist Humidifier? 

A woman is taking apart a modern humidifier in the room for cleaning

To maximize the use of your humidifier and to avoid potential issues, it is important to clean your device on a weekly basis. Below are the proposed steps of properly cleaning your humidifier.

Disinfecting The Humidifier Base and Tank 

Before you start cleaning your humidifier, you need to gather up the following materials: 

Materials needed for cleaning humidifier, why is my sunbeam cool mist humidifier not working? [& common fixes]

  • Liquid chlorine bleach (alternative: undiluted white vinegar)
  • A small, soft brush—a toothbrush or nylon dish brush will do 
  • Clean cloth or paper towel

Check out this nylon dish brush on Amazon.

Now that you have your materials ready, it is time to unplug and empty your humidifier and disassemble it completely to prepare for cleaning. Do not be intimidated because all humidifiers follow a simple cleaning procedure as listed in the steps below: 

  1. Pour one half cup of water and one half cup of liquid chlorine bleach into your humidifier tank. Some people recommend mixing white vinegar and water to create a stronger solution, but that's totally up to you. 
  2. Completely wet the interior of the tank and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Brush it once in a while but do so softly. 
  3. After 20 minutes, empty your humidifier tank and rinse thoroughly. When you no longer smell the bleach, you are good to go. Just dry it with a clean cloth or paper towel so it can be ready for use. 
  4. Before you refill the humidifier tank, make sure to clean its base first. Start by pouring out all the excess water then dry with a clean cloth or paper towel. Unlike the humidifier tank, there is no need to brush this part of your unit. 

Removing Scale 

The process of removing scale in your humidifier is highly similar to its cleaning routine but instead of liquid chlorine bleach, use distilled white vinegar.

To remove the scale buildup in your humidifier, simply follow these steps:

  1. Prepare eight ounces of undiluted white vinegar and pour it into your humidifier's tank. Leave it in the tank for at least 20 minutes and brush the areas where the scale is visible. Make sure that you scrub all areas gently. 
  2. Pour out the vinegar and rinse your humidifier tank with water. Once there is no trace of the smell of the vinegar, wipe and dry using your clean cloth or paper towel. 
  3. For your base, you may get rid of the scale by using a cloth dampened with undiluted white vinegar. In case there is any scale that cannot be wiped off the surface, you may use a soft-bristled brush dipped in vinegar. 

What Are The Best Practices for Maintaining a Humidifier? 

Humidifier producing a vapor into a room standing on a windowsill against sunlight

Obviously, cleaning the humidifier is the best way to have it working like brand new everyday. Since we have already shared how to properly clean your device, here are additional tips that you might like to take note of: 

  • Since too much humidity may result in mold and bacteria growth, make sure that the humidity level in any room does not go above 50 percent. Get a hygrometer to measure humidity levels. 

Check out this hygrometer from Amazon.

  • Do not forget to empty, dry, and refill your humidifier every time you use it. 
  • In order to avoid mineral sediments from building up, consider using filtered water instead of tap water. 

When Should You Replace Your Humidifier? 

Generally, a Sunbeam Cool Mist Humidifier can last 10 to 15 years depending on usage, frequency of maintenance, and quality of water used. However, no matter how well maintained a humidifier can be, it comes to a time that it must be replaced. 

If you notice that your humidifier has mold or scale that is still evident after deep cleaning, it is not worth it to keep that device any longer. If your humidifier has been around for a couple of years, you may want to check the market for a possible replacement. 

Can You Leave A Humidifier On 24/7? 

Cool mist humidifier on a small table in living room

Using a humidifier brings great wellness benefits because it can help reduce the spread of germs, prevent dry skin, relieve allergy and asthma symptoms, loosen congestion, and alleviate snoring. While it is generally safe to keep your humidifier running all night, we suggest that you limit your use to about 8-12 hours a day. 

We talked about this in more depth in this article where we discussed about the ideal run time for humidifiers. 

Final Thoughts 

There is no denying that humidifiers are useful appliances to have at home, especially if you have kids and elderly around. It does not only make living conditions better but it also provides health and wellness benefits. In order to maintain an efficient, healthy, and odor-free humidifier, keep in mind to do a routine check every after use and follow best practices to avoid common issues. 

Interested to know more about humidifiers and how to maintain them? Check out these related posts below: 

How To Tell If Humidifier Filter Is Bad [Telltale Signs]

How To Clean Humidifier Without Vinegar [Step By Step Guide]

How To Fill Ultrasonic Humidifier [Quickly And Easily]

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