Friedrich D70BP Review

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Pros

  • Built-in pump
  • Large capacity water tank (16.2 pints)
  • Very accurate built-in hygrometer
  • Excellent customer service – reports of manufacturer honoring warranty even outside of designated 1 year timeframe
  • High quality control panel and LED displays
  • Separate temperature display
  • Unit appeared to be constructed of high quality parts and materials

Cons

  • Above average rate of negative consumer reviews indicates possible issues with unit’s durability
  • Unit’s performance in our moisture removal rate and noise output tests were well below average

Included With Your Purchase

  • Dehumidifier
  • Instruction manual
  • 39 in gravity drain hose
  • 16.5 ft pump drain hose
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Quick Review Summary

The D70BP is a large capacity 70 pint dehumidifier manufactured by Friedrich, a company better known for manufacturing air conditioning units. The D70BP is one of only three 70 pint dehumidifiers that we tested that feature a built-in pump, the other two units being the SPT SD-72PE and Delonghi DD70PE. Right off the bat we can tell you that if you don’t need a unit with a built-in pump we do not recommend the Friedrich. There simply are better options available as we discuss in our 70 pint dehumidifier buyer’s guide. Both the Keystone and the Frigidaire are excellent dehumidifiers and are much more inexpensive than the Friedrich. If you are looking for a dehumidifier with a built-in pump then the Friedrich is definitely worth a look. We’ll compare and contrast it with the SPT and Delonghi throughout the review and we hope you reach a conclusion as to which unit to go with by the end of our analysis. Let’s get to it.

Note: In 2014 we reviewed ten different 70 pint dehumidifiers. In 2015 we reviewed six more. This particular review was written in 2014, thus all comparisons within this review were made comparing this dehumidifier to nine other 70 pint dehumidifiers and the top rated 70 pint dehumidifier at the time, the Frigidaire FAD704DWD. All new reviews compare all sixteen 70 pint dehumidifiers we’ve tested and reference the current top rated 70 pint dehumidifier, the Frigidaire FFAD7033R1.

Performance Test Results

Energy Efficiency

The Friedrich placed 7th out of the ten 70 pint dehumidifiers we tested for energy efficiency. Still, it only drew 30 watts more than the most energy efficient units. In our 50% room humidity real world test the Friedrich drew 620 watts of power. Compare this result with the best performing units in this category that drew 590 watts of power under the same conditions.

Note that the unit is rated at 746 watts by the manufacturer. At higher humidity levels (above 60%) the unit will draw power closer to 746 watts. In more mild conditions, such as the conditions we employed for our energy efficiency test, the unit’s power draw will be closer to our measurements at 620 watts.

Noise Output

The Friedrich was also not one of the most quiet 70 pint dehumidifiers we tested. It placed either 7th or 8th in all four of our noise output tests. As we outline here, certain dehumidifiers had a distinct advantage in this particular test, including the SPT 70 pint unit. In any case, the SPT SD-72PE did produce less noise than both the Friedrich and the Delonghi by a substantial margin in all four noise output tests. The Friedrich and Delonghi were neck and neck, however, and while we can recommend the SPT as a more quiet option if you’re looking for a unit with a built-in pump, we can’t really recommend the Delonghi over the Friedrich or vice versa.

Moisture Removal

Perhaps the most surprising result in all of our testing – the Friedrich was the worst performer in our moisture removal test. It took almost three minutes longer in dehumidifying a 50 sq ft room than the Danby under the exact same conditions in the 90-40% test, in last place out of the ten 70 pint dehumidifiers we tested. It fared a little bit better in the 80-50% test, placing 7th.

These test results indicate that the Friedrich is definitely not a great option if quick moisture removal is a priority for you.

Hygrometer Accuracy

The Friedrich performed far better in our hygrometer accuracy test. It measured the room humidity no worse than within 1% of the actual room humidity. In fact, the D70BP’s ambient air humidity reading was mostly on the dot, exactly matching actual humidity for the majority of the allotted test time. Only the Danby DDR70A2GP’s hygrometer was as accurate as the Friedrich’s.

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

Durability (Build Quality)

Brace

The Friedrich’s condensate collection bucket isn’t braced. However, we did feel like the plastic parts used to construct the bucket were sturdy enough to the point where we wouldn’t have any concern about the handle breaking off or the bucket flexing and causing problems when trying to empty the bucket. On many of the units we tested that did not include a braced water tank (the Keystone, for example) we felt like a brace was necessary to make the tank more sturdy. We didn’t feel this way when handling the Friedrich’s water tank.

General Impressions

The entire unit, in fact, was observed to be constructed of very high quality, sturdy and durable parts – a fact further substantiated by the unit’s weight. As we mentioned above in the portability section, the Friedrich is the heaviest 70 pint unit we tested. We could see why when we inspected the unit for quality and workmanship. All parts on this unit appear to be of a very high quality and of a distinctly superior quality especially compared to parts found on some of the most inexpensive units (the Keystone, for example)

Consumer Feedback

As of the time of this editorial review, the Friedrich received 47 one and two star reviews out of 225 total reviews. It should be noted that these reviews are dated as far back as July 2012. Almost all of the 70 pint units we tested had reviews only dating back to early 2013 at the latest. As we discuss here, those units with reviews dating back further are more likely to receive negative reviews.

Regardless, the Friedrich has received over 20% negative reviews which does point to the fact that the unit may be less reliable than its observed build quality seems to indicate. As we discuss in further detail here, we value consumer feedback over our own observations and therefore can only deduce that the D70BP isn’t one of the most reliable 70 pint dehumidifiers on the market.

Brand Reputation

Friedrich isn’t a very well known brand but it’s a highly respected brand nonetheless. The company was founded in 1883, making it the longest standing manufacturer of any of the manufacturers whose dehumidifiers we reviewed (even GE is younger, founded in 1892).

While Friedrich isn’t very well known by the general public, they are well known and a reputable brand in the air conditioning world. In fact, that is primarily what they are known for, for manufacturing high quality air conditioning units.

Why should this matter to you? Dehumidifiers are basically modified air conditioning units. Friedrich says it best on their website: “… air conditioners are the sole focus of our company. We don’t manufacture light bulbs or televisions. We make air conditioners.” This focus should translate into producing better quality dehumidifiers compared to those manufacturers who don’t have this focus and manufacture a wide array of products.

Overall Category Score

As we mentioned above, the Friedrich looks to be very solidly constructed. It at least appeared to be one of if not the most well constructed 70 pint unit we tested. Friedrich is also a company that specializes in air conditioning units which would indicate that they know what they’re doing in manufacturing dehumidifiers. Still, we can’t simply ignore consumer feedback. A high percentage of negative consumer reviews compels us to take off a few points and give the Friedrich only a 3/5 for durability.

Adjustability

Humidistat

The D70BP’s humidistat can be adjusted in 5% increments. This is the industry standard. Only one of the ten large capacity units we tested had greater humidistat adjustability (the Haier DE65EM can be adjusted in 2% increments).

Timer

The Friedrich features a delayed start and a delayed stop like most of the large capacity units we tested. The timer can be set in one hour increments up to 24 hours. Many of the units we tested featured a timer that could be set in half hour increments up to 10 hours and then one hour increments up to 24 hours. If you need a comparable unit with a timer that can be set in half hour increments up to 10 hours then we suggest either of the other two 70 pint units we tested that also have a built-in pump (the Delonghi or the SPT) as both of them offer this functionality.

Number of Fan Speeds

The Friedrich has only two fan speeds, like nine of the ten large capacity dehumidifiers we tested. The unit can be set to high fan speed for maximum moisture removal or low fan speed for more quiet operation.

Extra Modes

The Friedrich doesn’t have a continuous mode and it also doesn’t offer an auto mode. While its lack of an auto mode really isn’t much of a negative, we do find the inclusion of a continuous mode to be quite helpful in certain applications.

Overall Category Score

The Friedrich features industry standard humidistat adjustability, timer adjustability, and fan speed settings. Its lack of a continuous mode compels us to give it a slightly below average 3/5 in this category.

Versatility

Set Humidity Range

The Friedrich’s humidistat can be set to as low as 30% RH (relative humidity) and as high as 90% RH, an above average set humidity range in this size class. Many of the 70 pint units we tested could only be set to as low as 35% RH and as high as 80% RH.

Operating Temperature

The Friedrich can be operated in temperatures as low as 41° F and as high as 95° F. This temperature range is fairly standard in the 70 pint size class. All of the 70 pint units, with one exception (the Whirlpool), cannot be operated at temperatures below 41° F. Most manufacturers also suggest that their dehumidifiers not be operated in temperatures above 95° or 96° F.

Gravity Drain

Gravity drainage on the Friedrich works much the same way as it does on the Danby and ArcticAire units. A plastic corrugated drain hose is included with the dehumidifier. You will need to feed the included drain hose through the drain cover on the back of the unit. The Friedrich’s included drain hose is much shorter than the gravity drain hose included with the Danby and ArcticAire units. We measured it at 39 inches (slightly more than 3 ft). The Danby’s included gravity drain hose was 7 ft. This means that if you do use gravity drainage on this unit you will need to place the unit within 39 inches of a floor drain, limiting where you’ll be able to be able to place the unit in the applicable space. Note that if you want to drain the unit using gravity and need to place it further than 39 inches away from where it drains you can still connect a garden hose or any other correctly sized hose that will fit the drain port.

Built-in Pump

The truth is that if you’re interested in the Friedrich, you’re most likely not going to be using gravity drainage and the short gravity drain hose that’s included with your purchase won’t really be a negative for you. Instead, you’ll most likely be using the unit’s built-in pump to drain the unit. Note that a second hose is also included with your purchase. This second hose has a plastic adapter that connects to a different drain outlet than the outlet used for gravity drainage. The pump hose is much longer than the included gravity drainage hose at 16.5 ft.

Friedrich recommends a maximum distance (or rise) of 15 ft from the unit. This means that you can drain this unit as far away as 15 ft from the dehumidifier’s location. You can drain the Friedrich even to a location 15 ft above the unit. Compare this 15 ft limit to a manufacturer recommended 16 ft for the SPT and 13 ft for the Delonghi, the two other 70 pint units we tested with built-in pumps. Thus the Friedrich can be drained the second furthest distance of the three built-in pump units we tested.

Overall Category Score

The Friedrich has one of the largest set humidity ranges of any of the 70 pint units we tested. Its operating temperature is standard for this size class. As we note above the included gravity drain hose is unnecessarily short but it is still a positive compared to many of the 70 pint units we tested that didn’t include any gravity drain hose at all. In other words, something’s always better than nothing.

By far most positive feature of the Friedrich as far as versatility is concerned, is its built-in pump. You won’t need to buy a condensate pump separate and deal with any extra adapters and/or associated installation issues for external pump drainage. The included pump drain hose simply clicks into the pump drain port on the back of the unit. It’s a simple plug and play installation. Mostly because of its easy to use built-in pump we give the Friedrich a perfect 5/5 for versatility.

Extra Features

Temperature Display

The Friedrich does have a separate LED display that shows the ambient air temperature.

Defrost

This unit does have a defrost mode that is activated at temperatures below 54° F. In the event that frost accumulates on the dehumidifier’s evaporator coils defrost mode will activate and the unit’s compressor will shut off. The unit’s fans will continue to run to melt the frost. Once the frost is melted the compressor will cycle back on and the unit will resume normal operation.

Check Filter

Strangely, the D70BP does not have a check filter light. You will need to keep track of how long you’ve been using the dehumidifier and check and clean the filter according to instructions outlined in the unit’s instruction manual.

Overall Category Score

The Friedrich does have a separate temperature display and it also features a defrost mode which makes it a viable option if you need to operate your dehumidifier in cold temperatures. Its lack of a check filter light is odd but its absence is by no means a major negative and we won’t take off points in this category because of it. We give the Friedrich a perfect 5/5 for its extra features.

Ease of Use

LED Display Clarity

Another strong positive point for the Friedrich – the unit’s LED display was the most bright and clear of any the LED displays we saw among the 70 pint units we tested. The 70 and 50 pint Friedrich units had the same impressive LED display.

Setup Difficulty

We experienced no difficulty in setting the desired humidity level, setting the timer, etc.

Filter Removal Difficulty

The Friedrich has a top slide-out filter. As we discuss here we found top and side slide-out filters to be much easier to remove than bottom slide-out filters.

Manual Clarity

The D70BP’s manual is clear and comprehensive. We didn’t have any trouble following the manual when looking up how to set the timer, connect the pump drain hose, etc.

Water Tank Size

The Friedrich has a sizable condensate collection bucket with a capacity of 16.2 pints. Its water tank is only 0.1 pints smaller than that of the Frigidaire (16.3 pints). It’s larger than all comparable built-in pump units (SPT – 14.8 pints and Delonghi – 12.7 pints)

Overall Category Score

The Friedrich has the best LED display of any of the 70 pint units we tested. It has a side slide-out filter, reducing filter removal difficulty. It has a clear manual that’s easy to follow. It also has the largest water tank of the three units we tested that feature built-in pumps. We give it a perfect 5/5 for ease of use.

Aesthetics

The Friedrich was one of the best looking dehumidifiers we tested. It features a square design with a protruding front grille that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also allows for superior airflow into the unit and onto the dehumidifier’s evaporator coils. Suffice it to say the Friedrich looks great and everything about this unit screams professionalism and quality. We give it a perfect 5/5 for aesthetics.

Portability

Weight

The D70BP was the heaviest 70 pint dehumidifier we tested at 47 lb. This unit is 7 lb heavier than the lightest 70 pint dehumidifier we tested, the Keystone KSTAD70B, which weighed only 40 lb. There is a good reason why the Friedrich is the heaviest unit we tested. As was mentioned in our introduction to this model, it was one of only three 70 pint units we tested that includes a built-in pump.

Most of the other 70 pint units we tested require an external condensate pump for the same type of pump functionality already built into the Friedrich. These external condensate pumps weight at least a few pounds themselves. The Little Giant 1/50 HP condensate pump, for instance weighs 4.2 lb. Add this 4.2 lb to the 40 lb of the Keystone unit and you have a number much closer to the 47 lb of the Friedrich.

As a better comparison, the Delonghi, another 70 pint unit with a built-in pump weighs 46.3 lb, only 0.7 lb less than the Friedrich. We do note that the SPT SD-72PE also includes a built-in pump but strangely weighs only 40 lb like the Keystone. If you require a highly portable lighter weight unit that includes a built-in pump the SPT would be our recommendation. The SPT is an anomaly, however. You should expect any dehumidifier with a built-in pump to weigh more than a comparable unit that does not have a built-in pump.

Handles

The Friedrich does not include a top extendable handle for improved portability like some of the more portable 70 pint units we tested (the Frigidaire, for example). The unit comes with standard side pocket handles.

Cord Storage

No cord storage is included with this unit. Again, some of the more portable units we tested have plastic hooks on the back of the unit to wrap the power cord around which we found to be a major plus for applications where the dehumidifier is moved around a lot and also for applications where the dehumidifier is used only seasonally and is stored for long periods of time.

Caster Quality

The casters on the Friedrich worked fine on hard surfaces. However, when moving the unit on carpet the unit’s casters would get stuck and pull on the carpet. This problem was unique to the 50 and 70 pint Friedrich units. We didn’t have a problem moving around any of the other 30, 50, or 70 pint units we tested on this particular surface. Only the Friedrich units were difficult to move around on carpet.

Overall Category Score

The Friedrich is heavy and doesn’t feature any amenities that would make it a portable unit. It doesn’t have a top extendable handle and it also doesn’t feature any cord storage. The unit’s casters also don’t roll freely on carpet. We simply cannot recommend the Friedrich if portability is a priority for you. We definitely do not recommend the D70BP if you’re going to be using the unit on carpet. We give the Friedrich a well below average 2/5 for portability.

Warranty (Manufacturer’s)

The Friedrich comes with an industry standard full 1 year warranty on all parts and 2-5 years on the sealed system (compressor, condenser, etc.). We should note that Friedrich’s customer service is based out of the US. We read many reports of excellent customer service. We even read a report that Friedrich honored their warranty on a failed unit outside the 1 year warranty period.

Value

The Friedrich D70BP is not an inexpensive dehumidifier. Street price on this unit fluctuates between $280 and $300 (approx.), making it the second most expensive built-in pump 70 pint unit we tested. The SPT is a bit cheaper at $250 (approx.) and the Delonghi is even more expensive at $350 (approx.).
 
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Final Thoughts

The Friedrich isn’t a very portable dehumidifier. It’s also not the most energy efficient 70 pint unit we tested and it performed poorly in both our noise output test and, more importantly, in our moisture removal test.

The unit has a high rate of negative consumer reviews but our own observations and inspection of the unit indicated quality workmanship and a dehumidifier that at least appears to be capable of being longer lasting than most of the other 70 pint units we tested. This blemish on the Friedrich’s reputation (the abnormally high rate of negative consumer reviews) is further mitigated by the company’s outstanding customer service. As we noted above we even read reports of Friedrich honoring their warranty outside of the designated one year warranty period.

As we discuss in further detail in our general buyer’s guide, buying a dehumidifier with a built-in pump comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. If you’re looking to buy a unit with a built-in pump you have three viable options to choose from – the SPT, the Friedrich, and the Delonghi. Which unit do we recommend? While we don’t compare the Friedrich’s overall merits to the SPT’s and the Delonghi’s here, we do discuss why you might want to consider this unit over the SPT or the Delonghi at the end of each of their respective reviews here (end of SPT review) and here (end of Delonghi review).

Comments

  1. Mike Cleland says

    Why would you put steel on the sides of the coil? I have 2 of your D70BP and both are rusting out on the sides and plugging the drain that I have a hose on. They are not draining correctly because of this. These run in our basement year around.
    Everything else is copper, plastic or aluminum. Why two strips of steel??

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