SPT SD-72PE Review

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Pros

  • Performed better than other two built-in pump 70 pint units we tested in all but one of our four real world performance tests
  • Most energy efficient built-in pump 70 pint unit
  • Fastest moisture removal rate of the three built-in pump 70 pint units we tested
  • Quietest built-in pump 70 pint unit we tested
  • Best value of the built-in pump dehumidifiers we tested

Cons

  • Gravity drainage requires installation of separate adapter
  • Low quality LED display
  • Lacks separate temperature display
  • Appears to be the least durable built-in pump 70 pint dehumidifier we tested

Included With Your Purchase

  • Dehumidifier
  • Instruction manual
  • 16+ ft hose for pump drainage
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Quick Review Summary

The SPT SD-72PE is a 70 pint dehumidifier manufactured by Sunpentown. This unit’s defining feature is its built-in pump. It was also the most inexpensive built-in pump 70 pint unit we tested.

Buying a dehumidifier with a built-in pump involves several considerations that shouldn’t be taken lightly. First and foremost is the unit’s durability. Durability is a much more important factor to consider when looking at unit’s with built-in pumps because, as a rule, less durable dehumidifiers will have less durable pumps. You’re going to be spending more to buy a dehumidifier with a built-in pump and should its pump fail, you’re going to be left with a dehumidifier that has the same functionality as other 70 pint units on the market, but which you paid much more for unnecessarily. We’ll cover this and other considerations as we go through the review below.

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 SPT was surprisingly energy efficient. In our real world test (50% RH) it drew only 600 watts of power. The best performing units (four tied for first place in this test), none of which included a built-in pump, drew only 10 watts less power in the same test (the Keystone, for example drew 590 watts).

Compare the SPT at 600 watts to measured values of 620 watts for the Friedrich and a whopping 655 watts for the Delonghi. Note that the SPT is rated at 720 watts. At higher humidity (higher than 50%) the unit will draw more power. Thus, if you’re going to be using this unit in a consistent high humidity setting, expect a power draw closer to the manufacturer’s specification of 720 watts. If you’re only going to be using the unit for a mild humidity problem, expect the unit to draw power closer to our measured value of only 600 watts.

The bottom line – the SPT was the most energy efficient large capacity unit we tested that includes a built-in pump. If power usage is a concern for you, we recommend the SPT over the Friedrich and the Delonghi.

Noise Output

The SPT performed very well in our noise output test, although its exceptional performance was largely due to the fact that it exhausts out of the side of the unit (read more about why this was an advantage here). Still, it was one of the quietest dehumidifiers we tested. Note that we did not have the pump turned on for these tests.

If you need a more quiet dehumidifier that includes a built-in pump the SPT is again our recommendation. Its side exhaust gave it an advantage in our tests, but this same fact allows you to direct the noise away from you regardless of actual noise output.

Moisture Removal

Another important category – the SPT was the best performer in our moisture removal tests of the three built-in pump 70 pint dehumidifiers we tested. It was well above a full minute faster than both competitors in both our 90-40% test and our 80-50% test.

Among all ten 70 pint units we tested, only the Danby was faster at removing moisture in our 80-50% test than the SPT. Just as we found it important to note how the SPT was lacking in some other categories earlier in the review, we feel it’s important to emphasize here that our moisture removal rate test was perhaps the most important test we performed on these units – and the SPT performed very well in it. It was outstanding at actually doing what a dehumidifier is supposed to do, which is remove moisture from humid air quickly and efficiently.

Hygrometer Accuracy

The SPT’s hygrometer was also very accurate. It read to within 1% of the actual room humidity level and for much of the test period would actually read exactly the same RH as the actual room humidity.

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

Durability (Build Quality)

Brace

The SPT’s water tank does not have a brace. As is the case for the Keystone, this is a unit whose water tank could have used a brace. The plastic parts comprising the water tank are thin and flimsy. We wouldn’t feel confident repeatedly emptying this unit’s water tank and carrying water across anything more than really short distances. Of course, you’re most likely buying this unit for its built-in pump, in which case the unit’s less than sturdy water tank shouldn’t be an issue for you. This was most likely why the manufacture didn’t give much priority to designing a well built, sturdy water tank either.

Weight

The SPT was one of two units (the other being the Keystone) that were tied for being the lightest large capacity dehumidifiers we tested. The unit’s light weight is great for its portability. However, we could see the negative side of this attribute when inspecting different plastic pieces and parts in general on this unit. Most of the plastic pieces (including the plastic molding used for the water tank) were thinner and lighter than equivalent parts used on other better built units. We felt strongly that the unit’s light weight was more indicative of the manufacturer choosing to use lighter less durable parts than it was of a unit that was designed using materials employing superior technology to be more light weight but stronger.

Compressor Shake

Most of the units we tested wouldn’t move much upon their compressors cycling on. The SPT, on the other hand, had a noticeable “compressor shake” when its compressor cycled on.

Consumer Feedback

This particular model received five 1 and 2 star reviews out of twenty seven total reviews. As is true for many other units that we tested, the sample size is very small with only 27 total reviews left for this model. Compare this total to close to 1000 reviews left for the very popular Frigidaire 70 pint unit. The same Frigidaire has a combined 1 and 2 star review rate of about 10%. The SPT here at 5/27 has a negative review rate closer to 20%. Again, the sample size is small so it’s difficult to give much weight to the consumer reviews left for this particular unit.

Brand Reputation

SPT is an interesting company. They also manufacture appliances under the brand name Sunpentown. We discuss certain brands using different brand names for different models more.

Overall Category Score

The SD-72PE had below average build quality. We emphasized the fact that the small sample size of reviews left for this unit makes us hesitate to give this negative feedback much weight as to determining the unit’s overall durability. However, when combining this high negative review rate with our own observations of build quality it’s only reasonable for us to deduce that this isn’t the most durable 70 pint dehumidifier we tested and isn’t even the most durable built-in pump unit we tested. We also noted the cheaply made hose adapter for the built-in pump earlier in the review. This may be the biggest reason why you might want to steer clear of this unit if reliability and durability is a priority for you. We give the SPT a meager 2/5 for durability.

Adjustability

Humidistat

The SPT’s humidistat can be adjusted in 5% increments – standard for almost all of the dehumidifiers we tested.

Timer

The SPT’s timer can be set in half hour increments up to 10 hours and one hour increments past 10 hours up to 24 hours. These settings are standard for most of the 70 and 50 pint units we tested.

Number of Fan Speeds

The SD-72PE has an industry standard two fan speeds. Like the Keystone, pressing the fan speed button will activate “turbo mode” which is this unit’s high fan speed. Pressing the fan speed button again will deactivate “turbo mode” and the unit will operate at an equivalent low fan speed.

As was true for the Keystone, we didn’t feel like there was a big difference between high and low fan speed on this unit. On most of the large capacity units we tested we noticed a distinct difference between high and low fan speeds. The difference between fan speeds was much less pronounced on this SPT unit.

Extra Modes

The SPT does feature a continuous mode. As we discuss here, continuous mode is a great feature for certain applications. The unit does not feature an auto mode.

Overall Category Score

This unit has industry standard humidistat and timer adjustability. It features a continuous mode and does not include an auto mode. It also has only two fan speeds like the majority of large capacity units we tested. However, we felt like there was less of a difference between high and low fan speed on this unit than most of the other units we tested. For this reason we deduct 1 and a half points and give the SPT an average 3.5/5 for adjustability.

Versatility

Set Humidity Range

On this unit the desired humidity level can be set to as low as 35% and as high as 85%. As we discuss in other reviews and in our review parameters overview guide, the higher end of the range really does not contribute to the unit’s versatility as you will almost never need to use the unit and set it to as high as 85% humidity. A dehumidifier dehumidifies. If anything, for 85% humidity you will need to buy a humidifier, not a dehumidifier. What’s important is the low end of the range. This unit can be set to as low as 35% RH (relative humidity), which will allow you to achieve comfortable humidity levels in most applications.

Operating Temperature Range

The SPT can be operated in temperatures as low as 41° F and as high as 95° F. This is an industry standard temperature range.

Gravity Drain

The SPT features two drainage options. You can connect a garden hose to a drain hose adapter on the back of the unit for gravity drainage. Unlike the Friedrich and the Delonghi, the SPT does not include a gravity drain hose. You will need to buy a hose separately or just use a garden hose if you have one. As we discuss in our Friedrich review, the included gravity drain hose for the Friedrich is only 39 inches, not leaving you with many options as to where to place the unit if you want to employ this type of drainage. The Delonghi’s included gravity drain hose is also only 39 inches. The point we’re trying to make is that the SPT may not include a gravity drain hose, but this really isn’t an issue for two reasons. One, the gravity drain hoses included with the other two units are short and more of a manufacturer afterthought than an actually useful accessory. Two, you’re probably not buying this unit for gravity drainage. You’re probably buying it to use the built-in pump which on this unit and the other two has a separate drain port and, as you’ll read about below, does come with its own designated hose that is included with your purchase.

If you do plan on employing gravity drainage, be aware that you will need to install a drain adapter on the back of the unit. The adapter and two screws are included. We discuss this installation and why we feel it’s a terrible design flaw at length in our Keystone review. Installation of the gravity drain adapter on the SPT is identical to installation of the same adapter on the Keystone.

Built-in Pump

As we’ve talked about several times already, the SPT’s primary feature of note is the unit’s built-in pump. A pump drainage hose is included with the dehumidifier when you buy it. The hose has an adapter that clicks into the pump drainage port on the back of the unit. The included hose is 16.3 ft long. The manufacturer recommends that you do not drain the unit further than 16 ft from the dehumidifier. Compare this number to a recommended 15 ft for the Friedrich and only 13 ft for the Delonghi. If the extra 1-3 ft is going to make a difference for you, we of course recommend the SPT over the Friedrich and Delonghi. Note that this distance can not only be applied horizontally but also vertically. You can technically drain the unit 16 ft above the pump drain port.

We find it important to mention here that the mechanism that clicks in to connect the pump drain hose to the drainage port on the SPT was more cheaply made and much less well designed than similar mechanisms on the Friedrich and Delonghi. The way in which the hose adapter clicked in gave us doubts as to how well the adapter would seal in water over several months and years of use. We also felt like the adapter might be prone to breaking if circumstances require you to constantly connect and disconnect the pump hose. The bottom line is that we felt like this “key” mechanism that clicks in to connect the hose to the drain port really just wasn’t of very high quality on this unit, especially compared to the Friedrich and the Delonghi.

Overall Category Score

The feature that dominates this category is drainage. As we discuss at length above, using gravity drainage on this unit is far from ideal and we simply cannot recommend this unit if you plan on draining it using gravity. The built-in pump is an excellent feature and makes this unit much more versatile than other 70 pint units that do not come with a built-in pump. However, the hose adapter mechanism is of notably low quality and we really feel like it could cause major issues for you down the line. We give the SPT a below average 2/5 for versatility.

Extra Features

Temperature Display

The SPT does not have a temperature display like many of the other 70 pint units we tested. Both the Friedrich and the Delonghi do have a temperature display. We find this feature to be one of the more helpful extra features that can be included with a dehumidifier as we discuss further here.

Defrost

This unit does have a defrost mode, as does the Friedrich and the Delonghi. If you’re looking for a unit with a built-in pump you’re most likely looking to use it in a basement or crawlspace that can get very cold in the winter. Hence, all three built-in pump units come with a defrost mode for low temperature operation.

Check Filter Light

The SPT also comes with a check filter light to remind you to remove and clean the filter. This feature is fairly standard in the 70 pint class.

Overall Category Score

The SPT lacks a separate temperature display but thankfully includes a defrost mode. The check filter light, while not nearly as useful, is a nice feature to have. We give the SPT an above average 4/5 for extra features.

Ease of Use

LED Display Clarity

The SPT has the exact same control panel and LED display as the Keystone. To read our comments on the Keystone’s LED display click here.

Setup Difficulty

Again, setup difficulty for the SPT mirrors that of the Keystone. Click here for our comments on the Keystone.

Filter Removal Difficulty

Unlike the Keystone, the SPT’s filter does not slide out of the top of the unit. Instead, you will have to remove the water tank to gain access to the filter to remove it. Most of the large capacity units we tested feature the same design thus we give the SPT average marks in this subcategory.

Manual Clarity

The SPT’s manual was fairly easy to read but it wasn’t very well-organized. It lacked the spelling errors that we found in the Keystone’s manual but we still found this unit’s manual to be below average as far as quality, clarity, and organization are concerned.

Water Tank Size

The SPT’s water tank is specified to have a capacity of 7 liters or 14.8 pints. The Friedrich’s tank is slightly larger at 16.2 pints. Again, you’re most likely not going to even use the water tank if you’re looking to buy this unit so this advantage for the Friedrich is really not one that we’ll use to differentiate between these two dehumidifiers in deciding which is the better purchase.

Overall Category Score

The SPT scores either average or below average in all the subcategories for ease of use. Thus we give it a slightly below average 3/5 for ease of use.

Aesthetics

The SPT looks identical to the Keystone except for the additional pump drain port and the different badge on the back and front of the unit. To see what we thought of the Keystone as far as aesthetics goes, click here.

Portability

Weight

The SPT SD-72PE is one of the lightest 70 pint dehumidifiers we tested. It is exceptionally lightweight for having a built-in pump. The SPT and the Keystone were the lightest 70 pint units we tested, weighing only 40 lb each. The SPT was lighter than six other 70 pint units which didn’t even include a built-in pump.

Not surprisingly, this model is lighter than the two other 70 pint units we tested that come with a built-in pump. Compare the SPT’s weight of 40 lb to the Friedrich’s 47 lb and the Delonghi’s 46.3 lb. If you’re looking for a large capacity dehumidifier with a built-in pump that is also light weight the SD-72PE is highly recommended.

Handles

The SPT does not have a top extendable handle. However, its side pocket handles are easy to hold on to – its lighter weight makes it much easier to carry by these handles than some of the heavier large capacity units we tested that only come equipped with side pocket handles.

Cord Storage

Like the Keystone, this SPT unit has a plastic strap attached to the back of the unit to hold the power cord for storage or when moving the unit. As we discuss in our Keystone review we’re appreciative of the fact that the manufacturer included any type of cord storage at all, but the plastic strap is cheaply made and flimsy – it’s the most likely “part” to break off of the unit over years of use.

Caster Quality

We had no problem moving this unit across hard surfaces or carpet. The casters were good quality.

Overall Category Score

The SD-72PE is a very light large capacity dehumidifier. It doesn’t have a top extendable handle and cord storage is more of an afterthought than an actual feature. Still, we have to give it high marks for portability if only because it is so light despite the fact that it features a built-in pump. This SPT unit earns an above average 4/5 for portability.

Warranty (Manufacturer’s)

This unit has a full 1 year warranty on the dehumidifier like most other 70 pint units we reviewed. Unlike similar units, the user manual makes no mention of a separate extended warranty on the dehumidifier’s sealed system. Most other units in this size class come with an extended warranty on the compressor, condenser, etc. (what is called the sealed system). The SPT does not.

Value

The SPT can be had for a street price of around $250 online. It is the most inexpensive built-in pump 70 pint dehumidifier you can buy. The Friedrich will cost you at least $30 more (approx.) while the Delonghi will set you back a whopping $100 more (approx.).
 
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