I fought the swamp cooler and I won.

Our swamp cooler has been a consistent source of homeowner headaches. It started with it running out of water all the time, requiring me to jump up on the roof with a hose and fill it up several times a day. I ended up fixing that by cleaning out the mineral deposits in the valve and, oh, turning the water up to full pressure. Once we did that, it worked great… except for the constant overflowing because the float valve wasn't doing its thing properly. I managed that by turning off the water once it got too full.

After the re-roofing, we had an entirely new set of problems. After the swamp cooler had been moved, it stopped getting power. In addition to that, the overflowing issue was now not just on our roof; the vent in the hallway started to drip whenever it was too full. It seemed to be tied back to a weld in the pan of the swamp cooler that had totally broken. We got Swamp Cooler Guy to fix the electrical problem with a new line and a tube of JB Weld fixed the issue with the broken weld. I stopped the valve from running excessively with a new floater. Of course, then I discover that the line has a leak that still causes overfilling and leaking.  To top it all off, the swamp cooler stops getting electrical power while I'm out in South Carolina. It seems like the thing was just destined for failure.

I made a trip down to Home Depot today to rectify the situation. I grabbed some stuff to run a new line for the swamp cooler (thankfully just the section on the roof needed replacing) and picked up a cheap electrical tester to see if juice was flowing. Replacing the line cost all of about $10 in parts (which gave me enough to replace it a few more times) and a small amount of our time. I went into the basement to turn on the water to test it and on the way back I flipped on the pump to test the outlet.

Much to my surprise, it turned on. Perplexed, I then turned on the fan as well and found it working. Not knowing how to handle something that works and then doesn't work, I jumped up on the roof to check the new line. It's not on tightly enough, so I tightening it up. As I'm tightening, the pump and fan lose power again. At this point, I'm quite confused. The swamp cooler is on the same breaker as the upstairs bathrooms and bedroom (all sharing a 15 amp breaker; yes, it's really that bad), so I know it hasn't tripped. I go down, grab the electric tester, go back up… and the thing has power again.

Ten hours later, it's still working. I'm not willing to question something that works. About the best I can figure is that 1) something is causing a periodic short, or 2) something is loose and breaks the circuit. Needless to say, I'm not very happy at having shelled out $120 and 2 hours of my time to have something replaced that probably doesn't even work right. For now, I claim victory in the latest battle with our swamp cooler. 

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2 Responses

  1. Whitey says:

    Its probably tied to a switch in the hallway and Shauna is just screwing with you.

  2. Loe says:

    That would be awesome

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