Vicks humidifier not producing mist? Here’s how to fix it

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Of course, when your Vicks humidifier is not producing mist, the first thing you check is the water level. This is because the humidifier will not mist if the water tank (reservoir) is empty.

But, what do you do if you have refilled the tank and your humidifier still won’t produce mist?

Well, worry not.

By the end of this short troubleshooting guide, you will be in a position to fix your humidifier and get it up and running in no time.

Vicks humidifier not producing mist – possible causes and solutions

So, let us see the other possible causes that might result in this problem (plus their solutions)…

Your humidifier is not level

Usually, this will interfere with the mist production process when the water level is low.

This is because the remaining water might not come into contact with the electronic water sensor making the humidifier detect the water reservoir as empty.

That being so, be sure to confirm that you have properly leveled your humidifier.

You might be using a low power setting

At times, it’s possible to overlook the current setting of the power control knob.

You see, if the knob is set to a lower setting, it might result in your humidifier producing little to no mist at all.

Having said that, I recommend you turn the power knob to increase the output… Sometimes this might be the solution you are looking for – so, be sure to give it a try.

The heating element might be dirty or defective (Vicks warm mist humidifier not working)

Warm humidifiers such as the Vicks VWM845 use a heating element to heat water to produce mist.

With time, scales might build up on the heating element (due to the presence of minerals in the water you are using) more so if you are using hard water.

Consequently, this will reduce the effectiveness of the heating element hence it won’t heat the water well.

The good news is that cleaning the humidifier should resolve this problem – refer to the cleaning instructions in the next section.

One more thing, if you had turned off your unit, give it around 4 minutes for visible steam to appear. This is because the heating element needs to heat the water enough before producing mist.

There might be mineral deposits on the nebulizer (Vicks cool mist humidifier not producing steam) – Ultrasonic humidifier not producing mist

The nebulizer is the white circle you see at the bottom of the base.

It usually vibrates at ultrasonic speeds to create the mist that the humidifier gives off.

Now, if you are using hard water, it’s likely for the minerals from the water to collect on the Nebulizer.

Once these mineral deposits harden and collect on the nebulizer, they will tend to slow it down to a pace that is not sufficient to produce mist.

Recommended solution – how to clean Vicks humidifier with vinegar

Your workaround to this problem will be to clean the humidifier.

Quick tip: Cleaning steps vary from one model to the other. So, refer to the cleaning instructions in your owner’s manual for instructions that are specific to your model.

The steps below will help in cleaning most Vicks humidifiers such as models VUL520, V4600, and VWC775:

  1. Start by turning off and unplugging your humidifier.
  2. Remove the water tank from the base. Proceed to remove the tank cap taking care not to remove the black rubber cap seal.
  3. Empty the water tank and base. Also, if your model has an accessory, remove it and set it aside.

Quick tip: Do not clean the accessory as this might damage it.

  1. Add 2 cups of undiluted distilled white vinegar to the water tank. Replace the tank cap and swish the vinegar solution around in the tank.

Place the tank on base – the vinegar solution will drain into the reservoir where it will soak and loosen any mineral build-up on the nebulizer and float.

It will also loosen any scale build-up that might be at the bottom of the water tank.

  1. Let it soak for 20 minutes.
  2. Unlock the tank cap and discard the solution into a sink.
  3. Use a soft damp cloth to wipe the nebulizer and float to remove the loosened mineral deposits.
  4. Rinse the water tank and base with fresh water until the smell of vinegar is gone.

Quick tip: To maintain your humidifier’s efficiency, rinse it daily while thoroughly cleaning it at least once a week.

Something else: You should empty the humidifier (and dry the filter) any time you are not using it.

Vicks humidifier not misting after cleaning (Vicks humidifier not working after cleaning)

The reason why your Vicks humidifier might stop producing mist after cleaning is if you have washed the tank/base using detergent.

And, there’s some detergent residue that is interfering with the humidifier’s sensors.

With that in mind, to fix the humidifier, rinse the water tank (and base) thoroughly with fresh water… Continue rinsing until your humidifier stops foaming and the detergent smell goes away.

Remember to reset your humidifier after refilling it

Another common thing I have seen people often forget to do is reset their humidifiers after refilling the water tank.

More often than not, this might result in the humidifier not detecting the water and the reset light staying on.

The good news is that you can quickly reset your humidifier using these steps:

How to reset Vicks humidifier

  1. Turn the power switch to the off position and unplug your humidifier.
  2. Let it cool for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Refill the water tank.
  4. Plug the humidifier back to a working 120v AC power outlet.
  5. Turn the power switch back on – the reset light will now turn off as the unit has reset.

Quick tip: It might take several minutes before your unit starts blowing mist.

Nonetheless, some models do have a Reset button that you can push to re-engage the heater and reset the unit.

Vicks vapor humidifier not working

If you are using a vapor humidifier (such as the Vicks V150), commonly known as a vaporizer, it’s important to know that it might not work with distilled water.

In these models, Vicks recommends using tap water or adding some salt to the distilled water – 1 to 2 pinches (1/8 tsp) of salt is enough.

If the humidifier doesn’t start steaming within 10 minutes, add an extra pinch of salt and repeat as needed, up to ½ tsp.

Quick tip: Add salt by the pinch since too much salt can result in excessive boiling or blow a fuse.

Vicks humidifier not producing mist – wrapping it up

If your model uses a wick filter, the humidifier might also stop misting/steaming if the filter is dirty (fully clogged).

Here, you will need to get a new wick filter for normal mist production to resume.

P.S: It’s recommended you change the wick filter every 2 to 3 months to ensure clean air.


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