Vicks humidifiers are a set-and-forget type of appliance. Once you fill the water tank and turn it on, there’s really nothing else to do but enjoy the improved humidity of your indoor air. Still, the Vicks humidifier has a red light that comes on occasionally, telling you that a reset is necessary.
The red reset light on a Vicks humidifier will turn on when the water tank is empty or almost empty. When the unit runs out of water, it’ll stop working until you’ve performed a reset. You can do that by refilling the water tank and pushing the reset button if your humidifier model has one. If not, the red reset light will turn off by itself.
Resetting your Vicks humidifier isn’t as complicated as it might first seem. This guide will walk you through the step-by-step reset procedure while also providing you with some additional tips you’ll find helpful.
Why Does The Reset Light Illuminate On A Vicks Humidifier?
Vicks humidifiers have a red reset light on the front of the unit. In some user manuals, you might find that the light is referred to as the ‘refill’ light instead.
Regardless of what it’s called, the red light will illuminate when:
- The humidifier’s water tank is empty or almost empty
- You did not follow the proper reset procedure after refilling that water tank
As you saw above, the reset light typically turns on even before the tank runs out of water entirely. When that happens, you should refill the tank immediately so that the humidifier can continue operating without any interruptions.
If you do not refill the water tank before it goes dry, the humidifier will shut itself off automatically. That happens as a protective step to ensure the humidifier doesn’t run dry and damage its internal components like the heating element.
Once you refill the water tank and follow the step-by-step reset procedure, which you’ll discover below, your Vicks humidifier will continue working as it usually does.
How Do You Reset A Vicks Humidifier?
Resetting your Vicks humidifier is relatively straightforward. Still, you must remember that it goes beyond just refilling the tank with water.
Here’s what the process looks like:
- Shut off: First and foremost, you must turn off your Vicks humidifier and disconnect it from the power source. Removing its plug from the wall socket is crucial to keeping yourself safe from electrocution or other injuries.
- Cooldown: Vicks warm mist humidifiers have a heating element inside. Let’s suppose that’s the model you have. In that case, you must then let the unit cool down for at least 15 minutes before going any further. If you’re unsure about your humidifier model, it’s always best to let it cool down regardless.
- Remove water tank: Once the 15 minutes have passed, you can remove the water tank from your Vicks humidifier. Be sure to prepare a small towel or perform this step near a sink. Any leftover water might spill out of the water tank as you remove it from the humidifier.
- Refill and replace water tank: Next, refill the tank with water until it’s full and reattach it to your humidifier. Your Vicks humidifier model might have special steps to do this. So, check the user manual to be sure.
- Wipe dry: Before plugging your humidifier back into its power source, you must take a dry cloth and wipe the entire unit down. That way, you’ll remove any excess moisture and prevent any risk of electrocution, injury, or damage to the humidifier when you plug it back in.
- Plug in: Once you’re convinced that the humidifier is completely dry, you can plug it back into the wall socket once more.
- Reset button (if necessary): At this stage in the process, the reset light on your Vicks humidifier should turn off by itself. However, you’ll have to push the reset button on some models so the reset light will turn off. Check the user manual to locate and identify the reset button that’s unique to your humidifier model.
- Turn on: Now that you’ve plugged the humidifier back into its power source, you can turn it on by putting it on the Low or High setting.
- Wait: Remember: you’re starting your Vicks humidifier after you’ve let it cool down for 15 minutes. That means you’ll have to wait for a few more minutes before you notice any steam or mist coming out from the unit. Once that happens, you’ll know that the reset procedure is complete and the humidifier is working normally again.
How Often Do You Have To Reset A Vicks Humidifier?
You’ll have to reset a Vicks humidifier after every 12-18 hours of use.
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That’s because the water tanks on Vicks humidifiers typically hold about 1 gallon of water. You can run the humidifier for 12-18 hours with that much water before the red reset light turns on.
Once the tank is completely empty, your Vicks humidifier will stop working temporarily. Turning off the reset light and getting the humidifier running again will require you to refill the water tank and follow the reset procedures listed above.
Why Won’t The Reset Light On My Vicks Humidifier Turn Off?
You might find that the red reset light won’t turn off even after you’ve followed the step-by-step reset procedure. That happens because the humidifier is long overdue for deep cleaning.
The manufacturer recommends that you clean the Vicks humidifier once a week, at a minimum. However, there are also routine cleaning tasks that you can perform every time you refill the water tank and follow the reset procedure.
Here’s how you can clean your Vicks humidifier every time you refill the water tank:
- Firstly, remove the water tank and drain any leftover water inside.
- Then, rinse the tank once or twice with water. Repeat this step until you’re confident there is no residue or contaminants inside the water tank.
- Lastly, wipe the water tank clean with a dry microfiber cloth. Microfiber cloths are much more effective at removing dirt and moisture.
- Finally, you can refill the water tank and reattach it to your Vicks humidifier.
Every week, you should perform a more thorough cleaning of your Vicks humidifier using undiluted white vinegar. Doing so will keep your humidifier operating optimally and prevent the red reset light from staying on even when the water tank is full.
Here’s what a weekly cleaning of your Vicks humidifier will look like:
- Firstly, unplug the humidifier and remove its detachable parts.
- Then, fill the base with undiluted white vinegar until there’s enough to cover the heating element or nebulizer.
- Next, leave that part to soak for at least 20 minutes. This will remove any mineral buildup and kill any bacteria or mold inside the unit.
- Lastly, drain the vinegar and rinse the unit with water at least once or twice.
When your Vicks humidifier is clean on the inside and has a full water tank, the red reset light will stay off when you perform the reset procedure.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Need a bit more guidance? Here are a few more questions and answers to help you out with your Vicks humidifier:
Why Does My Cool Mist Humidifier Keep Turning Off?
Your Vicks cool mist humidifier will turn off automatically when it senses that the water tank is empty. You should never run your humidifier when the water tank is empty. The Vicks humidifier will shut itself off as a protective feature until it senses that the water tank has been refilled.
Why Is My Vicks Humidifier Light Red?
The red light on your Vicks humidifier is known as the reset or refill light. The light turns on when the humidifier senses that its water levels are running too low. You can clear the red light by filling the water tank and following the step-by-step reset procedure.
Where Is The Reset Light On My Humidifier?
You’ll find the reset or refill light on the front of your humidifier. More specifically, the light is near the dial you use to turn the unit on and control its output levels.
Is There A Reset Button On My Vicks Humidifier?
Some Vicks humidifier models have a dedicated reset button. After you follow the step-by-step reset procedure, you must press the reset button to clear the red reset/refill light. However, the light will clear itself on units without the dedicated reset button once the reset procedure is complete.
Can A Vicks Humidifier Work Without A Water Tank?
No, your Vicks humidifier will not work without a water tank. The humidifier can only function with a continuous water supply from a tank. It’ll automatically shut itself off and illuminate the red reset light when it senses that there’s no more incoming water.