Black+Decker BDT50WTB Review

black-and-decker-BDT50WTB

Pros

  • Low tested power draw and a high tested moisture removal rate makes this unit highly energy efficient
  • A relatively high CFM fan and upward facing exhaust helps this unit mask compressor noise and gives it a pleasant sounding noise output
  • The included gravity drain hose is a great bonus if you plan on using the unit’s drain and don’t have a spare garden hose lying around

Cons

  • Tested to have below average hygrometer accuracy
  • Poor portability – heavy and doesn’t feature any cord storage
  • Only has an average sized water collection bucket

Included With Your Purchase

  • Dehumidifier
  • 3.28 ft. Gravity Drain Hose
  • Drain Hose Adapter Cap and Gasket
  • Instruction Manual
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Quick Review Summary

The Black+Decker 50 Pint Energy Star Portable Dehumidifier (BDT50WTB) is not the best but it certainly is one of the best dehumidifiers we’ve tested. And we’ve tested a lot – we’ve tested 27 high capacity dehumidifiers alone since 2014.

This unit compares favorably to top rated options like the Frigidaire FFAD5033W1 and hOmelabs HME020031N. It isn’t better than them overall. But it does outshine one or the other (and sometimes both of them) in certain categories. Its strong suits are moisture removal and energy efficiency – two critical categories. Its weaknesses are hygrometer accuracy and portability. The former more important than the latter, but both important categories in their own right. A detailed analysis follows in the review below.

Performance Test Results

Energy Efficiency

The Black+Decker BDT50WTB has a manufacturer specified power draw of 7 amps. This translates to roughly 800 watts of peak power draw at close to 100% relative humidity (RH). At lower humidity levels, the unit draws less power.

The BDT50WTB’s rated power draw of 7 amps is less than that of most other 50 pint units on the market. The Frigidaire FFAD5033W1, for example is rated at 7.8 amps. So is the Hisense DH7019K1G, the Toshiba TDDP5012ES2, and so on and so forth.

The Black+Decker’s slightly lower manufacturer specified power draw matches our real world test results. We measured its power draw at 50% RH to be 554 watts. The Frigidaire FFAD5033W1 was measured at 570 watts at the same humidity level.

Do note that raw power draw is only part of the equation when it comes to energy efficiency. Another major component is the time period needed for the power to be drawn. If two dehumidifiers have the same or similar power draw, the unit that takes less time to remove a certain amount of moisture is more energy efficient.

That being said, the Black+Decker was a top performer in both of our moisture removal tests – it takes less time to remove moisture than most other high capacity units we tested. Its high moisture removal rate combined with its low power draw makes it one of the most energy efficient dehumidifiers we’ve tested.

Noise Output

bdt50wtb-top-exhaust

We measure noise output in four different tests. First we measure noise output on high (test 1) and low (test 2) fan speed right next to the unit’s control panel. We then measure noise output on high (test 3) and low (test 4) fan speed 10 ft. away from the dehumidifier.

The BDT50WTB had a measured noise output of 73.3, 70.1, 54.2, and 50.6 dB in test 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively.

These numbers were higher than average among all of the high capacity dehumidifiers we’ve tested so far. The hOmeLabs HME020031N, for example, had a measured noise output of 59.3, 58.6, 50.3, and 48.8 dB in the same tests.

The Black+Decker’s high measured noise output is less of a concern when evaluated within the context of the unit’s overall noise output profile. The unit makes a compressor buzzing noise just like almost every other high capacity dehumidifier we’ve tested. And this noise is far more unpleasant than the clean “wind” noise generated by its fan.

It’s the Black+Decker’s fan that makes for the high dB numbers you see above. The perceived “loudness” emanating from this dehumidifier is primarily a clean fan noise, but only on high fan speed. On lower fan speeds the compressor noise is obvious and very much unpleasant to listen to.

So while the unit has lower raw noise output on lower fan speed you will almost always want to leave it on high fan speed to drown out the compressor noise anyway.

Looking beyond the numbers, again comparing the Black+Decker to the hOmeLabs, we find that the hOmeLabs has a louder compressor. And because its fan noise is less, it can’t mask its compressor noise quite as well as the Black+Decker can.

And so, while the hOmeLabs has lower raw dB numbers, we consider the Black+Decker to be the more “quiet” dehumidifier only because its noise output profile is so much better.

The Frigidaire FFAD5033W1 is similar to the Black+Decker in that it has high raw dB numbers but a more pleasant noise output profile than the hOmeLabs because the noise produced by its fan is able to mask its compressor noise quite easily.

A good rule of thumb to use here is to look at the direction of the unit’s exhaust. If it’s upward facing like it is on the Black+Decker and Frigidaire its able to distribute fan noise omnidirectionally and better cover up compressor noise. If the exhaust is to the side of the unit it doesn’t cover up compressor noise nearly as well.

Moisture Removal

We perform two different moisture removal tests on every dehumidifier we test for review. We place the dehumidifier in an approx. 50 sq. ft. room, raise the humidity level in the room slightly over 90% RH, and then measure how long it takes for the dehumidifier to lower room humidity from 90% RH down to 40% RH (test 1) and how long it takes for it to lower room humidity from 80% RH down to 50% RH (test 2).

The Black+Decker 50 Pint Energy Star Portable Dehumidifier did very well in both of these tests. In the first test (90% to 40% RH) it placed third among models currently available on the market and sixth among all of the high capacity dehumidifiers we’ve tested so far (many of which are discontinued now).

In the second test (80% to 50%) it placed first among models currently available and fifth among all high capacity models we’ve tested.

These are very good results. For comparison, the Frigidaire FFAD5033W1 did do better in the first test (7 minutes, 56 seconds vs 9 minutes, 55 seconds for the Black+Decker) but the Black+Decker did better in the second test (5 minutes, 10 seconds vs 5 minutes, 19 seconds for the Frigidaire). The hOmeLabs had worse times in both tests.

Hygrometer Accuracy

Like the hOmeLabs, the Black+Decker BDT50WTB reads and displays current humidity levels in the room in 1% increments. The Frigidaire reads and displays in only 5% increments.

The Black+Decker’s read-out varied between being 1 under to being 4 to 5 over the actual humidity in the room. This is important if you’re setting a desired humidity level on the dehumidifier. When you set it to a desired % it will shut off when it reaches that % according to its internal hygrometer. If that hygrometer can be off by up to 5%, that means that it might shut off at 55% RH when you intended to have it shut off at 50%.

Both the hOmeLabs and Frigidaire have slightly more accurate hygrometers. The hOmeLabs always read humidity levels to within 2 to 3% and so did the Frigidaire. Note that the Frigidaire couldn’t really do much better than it did. Since it reads in 5% increments it’s limited to an accuracy of ±2%.

Included Features, Functionality, Build Quality, Warranties, and Value

Durability (Build Quality)

General Impressions

The Black+Decker BDT50WTB features average build quality compared to most other high capacity dehumidifiers we’ve tested. Build quality is on par with units like the hOmeLabs HME020031N, the Toshiba TDDP5012ES2, and the Honeywell TP70WKN.

There’s a distinct difference in the quality of materials and workmanship between this unit (and units like it) and the top rated Frigidaire FFAD5033W1. The Frigidaire is better built using higher quality parts and materials.

Consumer Feedback

As of the writing of this editorial review, consumer feedback for this line of Black+Decker dehumidifiers is limited. There are several negative consumer reviews but most concern the pump model – the BDT50PWTB – citing early pump failure. This problem doesn’t apply to the BDT50WTB as it doesn’t have a built-in pump.

Overall Category Score

The BDT50PWTB features average build quality. Over the next few months we should have better data on its long term reliability as more consumer reviews are posted online. For now, it receives a 4/5 in the category.

Adjustability

The Black+Decker BDT50WTB features a timer that can be set in half hour increments up to 10 hours and 1 hour increments from 11 hours up to 24 hours. It features two fan speeds, a continuous mode, and also allows you to set a desired humidity level manually in 5% increments – par for the course compared to most other high capacity dehumidifiers on the market.

The top rated Frigidaire FFAD5033W1 adds a third fan speed. Otherwise, it features almost identical adjustability compared to the Black+Decker.

Overall Category Score

Average performance in the category results in an average score of 3.5/5.

Versatility

Set Humidity Range

The Black+Decker, like the Frigidaire FFAD5033W1, can be manually set to a desired humidity level ranging from 35 up to 80%. Certain models, like the Honeywell TP70WKN, can be set to as high as 90% while other models, like the LG UD501KOG5 can be set to as low as 30%.

The truth is that a range of 35 to 80% will be adequate for the vast majority of applications. No one buying a dehumidifier is going to buy it to set a room to 80% RH.

Being able to manually set the unit to a lower humidity level is much more helpful, but keep in mind that this unit does feature a continuous setting. On that continuous setting it will absolutely be able to lower room humidity down to and even lower than 30% RH (under certain conditions).

The difference between CO mode, as continuous mode is called, and setting RH manually to 30% is that the unit will run non-stop on CO mode while its compressor will cycle off once it reaches 30% on manual mode.

Operating Temperature Range

The BDT50WTB’s operating temperature range is 41° F – 90° F. This is fairly standard for a compressor based dehumidifier.

Gravity Drainage

bdt50wtb-drain

This unit features gravity drainage just like every other high capacity unit we’ve tested. The difference with the BDT50WTB is that it comes with a 3.28 ft (1 m) long drain hose included. Using the included drain hose requires that you replace the original drain cap with a drain cap specifically fitted for the included drain hose (also included). Should you ever misplace either the included drain hose and/or the specialty cap you can always attach a standard garden hose to the back of the unit just like every other high capacity unit on the market.

Built-in Pump

The BDT50WTB does not come equipped with a built-in pump. The BDT50PWTB is identical to the BDT50WTB in every way other than that it does come with a built-in pump. But, as we discussed earlier, this pump is prone to early failure according to consumer reviews.

Overall Category Score

The BDT50WTB features a standard set humidity range and operating temperature. It features above average gravity drainage functionality as you don’t have to buy/supply a separate hose to employ gravity drainage on this unit (as you would for the FFAD5033W1, for example). It is primarily the bonus gravity drainage hose included with this unit that helps it earn a 5/5 in the category.

Extra Features

Temperature Reading

This unit does not show a temperature reading.

Defrost

This unit does feature an automatic de-frost mode but there is no indicator light to show you when it’s activated. Such an indicator light is available on many models including the hOmeLabs HME020031N.

Check Filter

The presence of a check filter light is an industry standard. The BDT50WTB’s control panel also features this indicator light.

Overall Category Score

No big surprises – good or bad – in the category gives the BDT50WTB a solid 4.5/5 in the category.

Ease of Use

LED Display Clarity

This unit’s LED display is of a noticeably lower quality than that of top rated units like the Frigidaire FFAD5033W1.

Setup Difficulty

bdt50wtb-control

The unit can be somewhat difficult to operate at first, if only because there are no text labels on its control panel.

On the Frigidaire FFAD5033W1, for example, there are clear text labels for almost every button and indicator light that might require it.

On the Black+Decker all the buttons and indicator LEDs have icons next to them with no text labels. This leaves much up for interpretation. Chances are you’ll have to reference the manual to be sure exactly what certain buttons do and what certain indicator LEDs mean. The same isn’t required for the Frigidaire.

Filter Removal Difficulty

bdt50wtb-filter

The unit features a filter on the back just like most other high capacity dehumidifiers currently on the market. The filter is easily removed by grabbing and pulling on it from the top down.

Manual Clarity

The unit’s manual is well written and concise. We have no complaints here.

Water Tank Size

bdt50wtb-bucket

The BDT50WTB’s water tank has a capacity of 14.3 pints. For comparison, the hOmeLabs HME020031N’s tank is much smaller at 12.8 pints while the Frigidaire FFAD5033W1’s tank is much larger at 16.9 pints.

14 pints is the average size for water tanks in the 50 pint dehumidifier size class.

Overall Category Score

The unit’s average sized water collection bucket and slightly confusing control panel reduces its score down to a 3.5/5 in the category.

Portability

This unit weighs 44.5 lb. – a slightly above average weight for its size class – at least among 50 pint dehumidifiers on the market today. For comparison, the hOmeLabs HME020031N is one of the lightest 50 pint dehumidifiers on the market at 40 lb. The Frigidaire FFAD5033W1 weighs 43 lb.

If weight is a concern for you we recommend a smaller dehumidifier – specifically, a low capacity unit like the Frigidaire FFAD2233W1 which weighs approx. 35 lb.

The Black+Decker has side pocket handles. With all of our picking up and carrying around dehumidifiers during testing we definitely prefer a top extendable handle like the one you’ll find on the Frigidaire FFAD5033W1 for portability. But, such a handle has a chance of breaking while the side pocket handles on the Black+Decker are definitely more durable.

Unlike most other dehumidifier’s on the market, the BDT50WTB doesn’t have any cord storage. The cord hangs loose from the back of the dehumidifier which further reduces its portability.

Overall Category Score

An above average weight, side pocket handles, and a lack of cord storage gives the Black+Decker a below average 3/5 in the category.

Warranty (Manufacturer’s)

This unit features a 1 year warranty – the industry standard as of the writing of this review.

Most other dehumidifiers on the market, including all Frigidaire units, come with a similar 1 year warranty. The only brands that offer longer warranties (at this time that we’re aware of) are hOmeLabs, Danby, and Hisense – each brand offers a 2 year warranty.

Value

The BDT50WTB is one of the least expensive high capacity dehumidifiers on the market. It’s usually priced well below the Frigidaire FFAD5033W1 and can sometimes even be found for less than the budget-friendly hOmeLabs HME020031N.

Considering its well above average performance in many of our review categories the Black+Decker provides terrific value if you’re looking to buy a high capacity unit.

Final Thoughts

The BDT50WTB has several strong points in important categories – it’s highly energy efficient and it removes moisture fast. It also has a pleasing noise output profile and its included gravity drain hose can be a huge bonus if you don’t have a garden hose laying around and you plan on draining it using gravity.

On the negative side of things – the unit’s hygrometer is slightly inaccurate, it only features 2 fan speeds, it only has an average sized water collection bucket, and it has limited portability.

Is it the best dehumidifier on the market? No, that title belongs to the Frigidaire FFAD5033W1.

Is it the best budget option on the market? It’s close but we still think the hOmeLabs HME020031N is the better option.

Is it a good dehumidifier you can possibly get at a great price? Yes, absolutely. Chances are, if you buy this dehumidifier you won’t be disappointed with your purchase.

 
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