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Here is a list of possible issues with your cooler: 1. The pads are worn out and need to be replaced.2. The pump is putting too much water into the troughs.3. The blower fan is running faster than it was designed to.4. The float could be defective or improperly adjusted and too much water is in the cooler pan.In order to determine what change has happened since the unit was new and operating normally, you need to be a detective.1. If the pads are worn out or were installed incorrectly, the flow of water could be drawn directly into the coolers blower rather than being drawn out of the pads first.2. If the pump was recently replaced, a larger pump may have been installed than the pump that was replaced. If your cooler was originally equipped with a 5000 series pump, then another 5000 series pump should be used. If a larger size pump is used in a cooler then what it designed for, there will be too much water put into the water troughs and water droplets can be drawn into the house. A restrictor can be installed on the pump water supply hose to reduce the amount of water that is delivered to the water troughs.3. If the blower pulley has been changed or the motor pulley has been changed or misadjusted, the blower may be turning faster than it was designed to. An increase in air pressure can draw water droplets from the pads and or liquid water directly from the coolers pan. Also if any baffles have been removed from inside of the cooler, splash water can be drawn into the blower.4. If the float has malfunctioned, too much water may be in the cooler pan and water may be leaking from the pan directly into the coolers ducting under vacuum pressure.
There are two types of coolers sold.1. Centrifugal fan.2. Axial fan.Centrifugal systems: Champion, Phoenix Mfg, Master Cool.Axial fan systems: Bon Air, Master Cool. Let's talk about the Axial fan system's first. The Bon Air ( Durango ) is manufactured in Australia from domestic and imported parts. The Bon Air uses a Axial fan motor, a single circulation pump, a 3 piece rigid media pad (celdek). and a analog controller. I have installed more than 40 of these units in the past four years and only one unit had a detective pump. The master cool unit, although similar in construction, is manufactured almost entirely in China and is assembled in the united States. This cooler has proved less than satisfactory, I have replaced over a dozen of the units digital control modules over the past two years at a cost to my customers of approximately $100.00 per each cooler, it seems that the control modules fail about six months after the coolers warranty expires.The Champion unit uses Aspen pad's. Some models of the Phoenix use Aspen pad's and some models use rigid media. The master cool units ( aero, trophy, ll, etc.) uses rigid media. Replacement rigid media pads range in price from $75-125, depending on the particular cooler.
We installed a swamp cooler about a year ago and it was working fine up until recently. There is no actual leakage but it seems as though the fan is pulling the water out of the air in the cooler and throwing it down to the register and onto the wall of the house. We changed the pads, to no avail. Everything else is working ok with the swamp cooler. We can't figure out why it's doing this. Has anyone heard of this happening?
Excellent info, thanx, However, i notice a part mounted to the wheel. Looks like it is for the sensor. How did you mount that? I didnt see that in the instructions. Please forgive me if I overlooked it.
How to fix your swamp cooler ("Overclock" it 50%)
Simple solution: I have always double padded my swamp coolers - aspen pad on the bottom, blue on the inside, installed both a more powerful pump and motor than came with the cooler (as these parts wore out), kept the pan clean by draining the water and refilling it several times during the summer months and been very happy with the results - the coolers have always worked very well here in the CA high desert. The newer Mastercool is a bigger problem - there's way too much humidity in the air and another problem to figure out.
vatosupreme is correct about the MasterCool units. They are way more expensive. I got ripped off on a used one. They used to be made by AdobeAir and are discontinued. I needed parts for mine and the parts were either not available or more expensive than just replacing the unit with a traditional type. I needed new pads too. The total would have been more than $350.00. The traditional type are very easy to service and some maintenance folk don't know how to work on them. I can't remember exactly but the pads for mine were in the $150 to $200 range. The difference in cooling wasn't worth the cost for me personally.
Mostly true. Most evaporative coolers in dry/arid climes can get expect a 25° F cooling given sufficient water supply to the pads, relative humidity, condition of the pads and scale build up. It was 98° here yesterday with a relative humidity of 17% and the temp indoors was 73° F. A common problem with spiders is that they become clogged or air enters the system if the connections aren't tight. The pic at the top of this post shows a typical spider/octopus. To the poster's point, it is go idea to slightly oversize the pump somewhat to ensure sufficient water flow gets to the pads. Newer evaporative coolers (and more expensive can achieve ~ 29° F differential under optimal conditions. They draw the air through a larger water bed thus increasing the evaporative rate.
I hope you have success, let me know how it works.
Also, On this one, I put the biggest one they had at home depot. It was the 110,000 one and It couldn't really keep up. If you could get a bigger one, you probably will still want to increase the number of distribution tubes.
At somewhere between 94 and 97 degrees, most coolers can't keep the pads wet enough to provide cooling. As a result, they stop working well. It is a problem for thousands and thousands of swamp coolers. It is a well documented fact supported here by the many successful implementations of this idea, as well as other ideas aimed at keeping the pads wet at high temperatures.Some coolers and owners are able to do a better job of keeping the pads wet, but most lose effectiveness over time. The loss of performance may simply be due to incorrect pads, scaling of pads, undersized pump, or lack of maintenance. However, many of these units also suffer from design flaws and manufacturing defects such as: poorly placed or aligned output tubes, undersized pumps, water distribution channels that don't allow for good water flow, etc. It is for these problems that I wrote this instructable.In addition, it is a verifiable fact that the effectiveness of a swamp cooler decreases as the relative humidity increases, not a myth. It is just one of those pesky laws of physics that we haven't been able to overturn yet. At a 106 degree outside to get 70 degree air, you will need to be less then 5% humidity. On the day of your post, you had a low of 7% humidity in Acton, so it seems probable that you would be blowing approximately 72-74 degree air with an outside temp of 106. If, for example, you were at 35% humidity on that day, you would only be blowing 88 degree air.This is why you don't see swamp coolers in the southeast US very often. It becomes more economic to just use a normal air conditioner when the humidity is up over 25% during the heat of the day.Hopefully this explanation will be helpful to people. You can google how swamp coolers work for some good articles on the subject.
i was looking for an easier way to keep water on the pads during the hottest part of the days . I normally go out by noon or 1 pm and add extra water from the cool hose . I thought the cooler water could equal cooler air . . ive been told that is not so . Now i will learn how to incease the volume of water to pads to prevent the 'drying' out of the pads during our triple digit days. thanks for your article .
"Swamp coolers work ok until it reaches 94 degrees"----simply not true: its 106 today here in Acton, Ca, and my cooler is putting out 70 degree air-always has and always will if maintained properly. Also, it's a myth that they don't work in humidity: they do, as long as you don't live on the equator.
You can do that. The other part of the trick is to get better distribution of the water at the top of the pads with more output hoses. Two pumps allows you to add the thermostat on #2, that is addressed in the comments early on.
I have had both, (here in Utah) The Master cool works a little bit better, but they are expensive and you have to replace the cardboard insert things every couple years and they are also expensive. I modded the master cool to spray more water also, but I did it a little differently, but same basic idea.
I live in Utah and I am looking at installing a cooler in my garage shop. I am looking at the traditional types like the one pictured in the mod instructions and also the MasterCool units which seem to be more expensive and designed different. Does anyone know if the MasterCool units are any good and if they can still be moded like the one in the instructions? I have not been able to find good information on the differences. - jeremysheikh
Excellent write up! I wish I would have thought about this as it seems my old (I just moved) swamp cooler was the damn same as yours. I was always grabbing the hose and spraying that pads to get a boost of cool. - Styluss
Please pass on this information. My mailman recommended I add a floating (it does) IVORY soap bar to my swamp cooler. I did, then I disconnected the second drain pump (worked every 8 or 12 hrs), and let the system run on its own. NO drain at all from then on.The Aspen pads were clean of crust at the end of the season; the usual heavy calcium scale on the pads and the pan was absent (only the accumulated dust on the bottom); and cleaning the unit for winter was a charm. The soap, however, was an ugly looking thing, swollen out of proportion, with black, gray, and rust colored spots, and would disintegrate after letting it dry outside the pan. All the damaging chemicals or minerals in water are acid, the soap is alkaline. They attract each other neatly, and the water, pads, and unit remain clean from all those chemicals and minerals.Now, these pads were already 3 years old (!) before the Ivory soap, and I maintained these before without scale by adding a gallon of white vinegar to the tank at the start of the season, and a half a gallon again every two months. The drain pump would empty all the calcium filthy water every 8 or 12 hours, and start all over again. But with the addition of the Ivory soap (alkaline, and there are several other brands) I stopped adding vinegar to the tank. Besides, these pads were ready to be discarded after the first 3 months of use, but the vinegar cleaned them out and the entire unit off the calcium deposits after a 4 hour run, then continued using the same pads for the following 3 years. Until Ivory soap.I had to discard the pads after another year because they developed a black fungus-like deposit on the outside, sunny side of the pads. Rotten wood? Fungus? Just replaced them; they paid for themselves many many times over. And YES, both the vinegar or the Ivory soap will keep the air smelling CLEAN. Both kill the fungi that grows in the internal 'swamp' that releases the sewer pipe smell gas into the house.
Aspen pads are way way WAY better than anything else
The water level in your swamp cooler is too high. Adjust the float to lower the water level.
Would it not be better to simply install a pump that will move more water?
My swamp cooler is spraying water into the house. WHY??
Magnetic Fingertip Gloves
fyi, the tile you pointed out is likely to contain asbestos...common in that 8x8 size.
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