Swamp Cooler Maintenance

A horrific/gross story we recently heard about a homeowner living in Tucson, AZ will remind you to take care of your swamp cooler and shut it down when not in use. The story and shutdown steps after the jump.

A homeowner who has swamp cooling was warned to flush her system before leaving on an extended vacation. She didn’t heed this warning and upon returning home commenced turning on her swamp cooling system that while she had been gone been infiltrated by mosquitos. Once the fan was on these mosquitos were blown out and into her home. Unfortunately one of the mosquitos that bit her was carrying the West Nile virus and although she survived she definitely learned the hard way.
Here’s a great how-to for rebuilding your swamp cooler and below are the steps to take to shut down your swamp cooler when not using it for an extended period of time.
1. Turning the water off is the most important step. It may be hooked to an outside water faucet if it is a window unit. If it is on the roof it still may be hooked to an outside water faucet or even piped into a water closet where your water heater is. Wherever you trace the 1/4 inch water line back to, there will be a small valve to shut off the flow of water to the unit.
2. Next you will need to drain the water that is in the unit itself, this is very easily accomplished by opening the side of the unit (removing one pad wall). Down in the bottom of the unit you (where all the water sits) you will see an overflow tube. Some of them screw out but most of them just pull right up. ( a Little twisting may be required) This allows all the water to run out of the bottom of the unit.
3. It is at this point you will know if you have the water turned off. When the pan drains you shouldn’t get any more water out of the supply float. ( usually located in one of the corners) I would recommend unplugging the pump just to keep it from running while dry if it gets turned on accidentally. You can buy a cover for the unit or use a tarp and tape

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