Danby DDR050BJPWDB Review

danby-ddr050bjpwdb

Pros

  • Built-in pump model offers terrific drainage options
  • Low noise output
  • Auto defrost with accompanying indicator light
  • 2 year warranty

Cons

  • Below average performance in our moisture removal testing
  • Small water tank
  • Poorly labeled control panel

Included With Your Purchase

  • Dehumidifier
  • Gravity Drain Hose
  • Pump Drain Hose
  • Instruction Manual

Quick Review Summary

We tested the DDR050BJPWDB for this review. However, note that much of the review also applies to the non-built-in pump equivalent – the DDR050BJWDB. The two units are almost identical except for drainage options (built-in pump, included hoses) and a slightly different control panel – to allow for pump control on the built-in pump model.

The DDR050BJPWDB was an average to below average performer in our performance tests. The one exception was noise output testing – in which its measured noise output was less than most other 50 pint dehumidifiers we tested. We delve deeper into its performance in all of our testing and make comparisons to all of the other 50 pint units currently on the market in the full review below.

Performance Test Results

Energy Efficiency

The Danby was measured at 572 watts of power draw during testing. This was right about the average for all of the 50 pint units we tested.

The Danby was a slightly below average performer in our moisture removal tests – meaning it took slightly longer than most other 50 pint units we tested to dehumidify a 50 sq. ft. room from 90% down to 40% relative humidity (RH) in the first test and from 80% down to 50% RH in the second test.

Energy efficiency for any particular appliance is dependent on total power draw AND the time it takes the appliance to perform a particular task.

According to our testing the Danby draws an average amount of power, but it draws that power over a longer period of time to accomplish a specific task (dehumidify our test space). And so, according to our testing, the Danby exhibited below average energy efficiency.

Noise Output

ddr050bjpwdb-exhaust

Raw Noise Output

The Danby was one of the “quietest” 50 pint dehumidifiers we tested.

The hOmeLabs HME020031N is the only model currently on the market that was tested to be “quieter” than the Danby.

Note that here we’re talking about raw noise output. We placed a sound meter next to these units and measured decibel levels. The “quieter” units were measured at lower decibel levels – and such was the case for both the hOmeLabs and the Danby units.

Noise Quality

Raw noise output is important, but so is the quality of the noise the unit produces. In describing the quality of the noise the Danby produces we have to talk about its side exhaust.

During testing, we found that side exhaust units didn’t cover up compressor noise as well as top exhaust units. Why not? Because the fan noise coming out of the exhaust is more directional in side exhaust units. With a side exhaust unit, if you stand opposite of the direction of the exhaust, the perceived loudness of the fan is low. In top exhaust units the fan noise distributes throughout a room omnidirectionally which results in a perceived fan noise that is louder on such units, no matter where you stand relative to the dehumidifier.

Dehumidifier noise quality depends on the ratio between compressor noise output and fan noise output. The higher the fan noise output compared to the compressor noise output, the less compressor noise is audible. And this is a good thing. Why? Because fan noise is a clean white noise. Compressor noise is a grating buzzing noise that isn’t very pleasant to listen to.

The Danby’s side exhaust gives it the advantage of being one of the “quietest” dehumidifiers we tested. It also gives it the disadvantage of not being able to cover up its compressor noise as well with emitted fan noise. The Danby still earns a slightly above average grade in the category.

Moisture Removal

Earlier we mentioned our two moisture removal tests – in the first test we measure how long it takes the unit to lower room humidity from 90% down to 40% RH. In the second test, from 80% down to 50% RH.

The Danby was a slightly below average performer in both tests. It took 11 minutes, 33 seconds in the first test (90% to 40%) and 6 minutes flat in the second (80% to 50%).

For comparison, the top rated Frigidaire FFAD5033W1 took 7 minutes, 56 seconds in the first test and 5 minutes, 19 seconds in the second. These were some of the best results we saw in the 50 pint size class.

The hOmeLabs’ performance was closer to average. It took 10 minutes, 3 seconds in the first test and 5 minutes, 33 seconds in the second.

Hygrometer Accuracy

The Danby also exhibited slightly below average hygrometer accuracy. It read room humidity from 3 to 5% over the actual room humidity. For example, it would read 54% when the actual room humidity was 50%.

Top rated units like the hOmeLabs and Frigidaire have more accurate hygrometers – both units read mostly within 2% of the actual room humidity.

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

Durability (Build Quality)

General Impressions

The DDR050BJPWDB, overall, features average build quality compared to all of the other 50 pint dehumidifiers we’ve tested.

We do have one specific complaint regarding the unit’s design. There is a plastic “arm” that extends down into the unit’s water tank. This arm is supposed to stay in a horizontal position when you remove the water tank. There’s a latch holding it in this horizontal position (see photo below).

ddr050bjpwdb-arm-horizontal

However, during testing, we often found the arm unlatching and moving to a vertical position when removing the water tank (see photo below).

ddr050bjpwdb-arm-far

When we tried to replace the tank the arm would prevent the tank from fitting into place. We then had to manually move the arm back into a horizontal position before replacing the tank.

It’s quite possible for you to experience this same scenario when using the Danby on a day to day basis. When this scenario becomes problematic is if you don’t notice the arm hanging in a vertical position and try to force the bucket in. It would be quite possible to break the arm from its attachment, permanently damaging the dehumidifier.

Note that we do not know if the non-built-in pump DDR050BJWDB has this same arm extension.

Consumer Feedback

This unit, like most of the other 50 pint units we tested recently, is relatively new to market. As such, it hasn’t received consumer feedback over a long enough period of time for us to glean any helpful information regarding long term reliability from the same reviews.

Overall Category Score

The Danby earns only an average score in the category – a 3/5.

Adjustability

ddr050bjpwdb-control

The Danby allows you to set a desired humidity level in 5% increments. This is the industry standard.

The unit also features an industry standard timer – it can be set in half hour increments up to 10 hours and then 1 hour increments from 11 up to 24 hours.

The unit features two fan speeds although you will almost always keep it on only one – high fan speed – to mask grating compressor noise.

The DDR050BJPWDB features a continuous mode and an auto mode. The former (continuous mode) is quite helpful while the latter is somewhat unnecessary. We’ll explain more in the next section on versatility.

Overall Category Score

The Danby earns a 4.5/5 in the category.

Versatility

Set Humidity Range

The Danby can be manually set between 35% and 85% RH – on this setting the unit will stay on until the desired humidity level is met. For example, if you were to set it to 40% RH the unit would stay on until room humidity was 40%. If room humidity were to go back up the unit would cycle back on. This is “manual” mode.

The unit’s continuous mode is helpful because the unit will continue to run even past a room humidity of 35% RH on this mode. If you really want to dry out a room you can do it with continuous mode.

The unit’s auto mode is much less helpful. It essentially sets a “desired” humidity level for you. Instead of you having to input a humidity level you’re comfortable with (likely close to 50% RH), the unit will automatically set it to the same approximate range.

Note that most other 50 pint units we tested offer a similar set humidity range (35% to 85%). Nearly all units feature a continuous mode. Many also feature an auto mode.

Operating Temperature Range

The unit’s operating temperature range is 41° F to 90° F. This is just about the same as it is for every other 50 pint compressor based dehumidifier on the market.

Gravity Drainage

Danby built-in pump dehumidifiers have always offered terrific drainage options. The DDR050BJPWDB is no different. It comes with a 2 ft. long gravity drain hose. Most other dehumidifiers don’t come with a hose at all – with such units you have to supply your own garden hose to use gravity drainage. A few other models we tested came with a drain hose but they were all only 1 ft. long. This Danby is the only modern unit we’ve tested that comes with a 2 ft. long hose (on right in photo below – the pump hose is on the left).

ddr050bjpwdb-hoses

Note that the DDR050BJWDB does not come with a gravity drain hose.

Built-in Pump

The DDR050BJPWDB does feature a built-in pump while the DDR050BJWDB does not.

Overall Category Score

The unit earns a perfect 5/5 in the category, mostly due its excellent drainage options.

Extra Features

Temperature Reading

This unit does not display temperature. Earlier Danby units like the DDR70A2GP did display room temperature but this functionality has been phased out with newer models like the DDR050BJPWDB. Note that none of the modern units we’ve tested (that includes most popular brands) come equipped with a temperature display either.

Defrost

This unit features a defrost mode and a defrost indicator light. The light is very helpful as it will alert you when frost builds up and that the dehumidifier is actively working to melt the frost (this involves shutting off the compressor and only running the fan).

Check Filter

This unit does have a check filter light.

Overall Category Score

The Danby earns a 4.5/5 in the category.

Ease of Use

LED Display Clarity

The LED display is clear and easy to read.

Setup Difficulty

The unit does have a bit of a learning curve as there are no text labels for control panel buttons or indicator lights. You’ll likely have to reference the unit’s manual to figure out what certain buttons do and what certain indicator lights are warnings for.

Filter Removal Difficulty

ddr050bjpwdb-grille

The Danby features a combination filter/back grille. The combo filter/grille is easy to remove and clean.

Manual Clarity

We have no complaints here.

Water Tank Size

ddr050bjpwdb-bucket

The Danby does have a below average size water tank. Its capacity is only 12.6 pints.

Most other high capacity dehumidifiers we tested have a tank with a capacity of at least 14 pints. Certain top rated units, like the Frigidaire FFAD5033W1, have a tank with a capacity close to 17 pints.

Overall Category Score

A non-user friendly control panel and a below average size water tank gives the Danby a below average 3/5 in the category.

Portability

All 50 pint units are heavy (close to 50 lb.) and relatively large appliances (about 2 ft. tall and 1.5 ft. wide). This Danby is no different.

It features two side pocket handles for pick-up and a plastic “buckle” on the back that you can use to wrap the power cord around.

ddr050bjpwdb-cord-storage

Overall Category Score

The Danby earns a slightly below average 3/5 in the category.

Warranty (Manufacturer’s)

The Danby comes with a 2 year “carry in” warranty. The fact that the warranty lasts for 2 years is definitely a good thing. Most other 50 pint dehumidifiers on the market (including the top rated Frigidaire) only come with a 1 year warranty.

The “carry in” component of the warranty could be less of a positive. Our interpretation here is that you need to take the unit into an authorized service center to have the unit replaced/repaired under warranty. Most other units allow you to simply ship the unit back to the manufacturer and receive a repaired/replaced unit back without the hassle of going to a specific authorized service center.

On the flip side of things, if an authorized service center is in close proximity to you, you may very well have a better experience with Danby than you might with another manufacturer.

Value

Value is about what you get for your money. With the Danby you get mostly average to below average performance (energy efficiency, moisture removal rate, etc.) with an above average warranty. The non-built-in pump version normally retails for right around the same price as most other 50 pint units on the market. All of this makes for an average value compared to the competition. The pump version adds a built-in pump, but usually at an added cost equivalent to simply adding an external condensate pump to a non-built-in pump unit.

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