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rjhoward 06-25-2010 05:37 PM

Strange evaporative cooler problem
Here in the desert, a lot of people like myself use evaporative coolers. They are cheap to operate and fairly easy to repair. I have been doing my own servicing on my cooler for the last two years and it's been working beautifully. Until this season.

For some reason, whenever we have high winds (and that happens a lot), the cooler stops cooling. Blower works fine, but it blows hot air. If I turn the cooler off for a few minutes, then back on, it will start cooling again - until the next time.

On perfectly calm days, it will run all day without incident.

I am using the green, honeycomb paper pads. Someone suggested that the pads may not be tight around the edges, allowing hot air to bypass the pads. However these pads are very thick and seem to be tightly stuffed in all the way around the outside edge.

One obvious approach would be to open the cooler while it's acting up and look inside. But since the problem only occurs during wind events, I'm afraid of getting blown off the roof. It's much safer to be up there in the morning, before the wind starts.

I have cleaned the cooler, treated it with vinegar (to dissolve scale), replaced the pump, and replaced the tubing. I'm at my wits end.

Has anyone ever seen a problem like this? TIA for your help.

Raindem 06-26-2010 08:27 PM

This is just a guess, but maybe the wind is drying out the pads. If true, it might indicate that your water flow is not up to speed.

rjhoward 06-28-2010 11:00 AM

That was a pretty good guess, I think. But the question is, why?

So, because I already tried everything else I decided to replace the fill valve. This was really pushing my limited abilities, mainly because the flexible copper line was too short to cut off and the old compression ring wouldn't come off. So I reused the old ring and the old nut. But, no leaks!

So I'm waiting for the next wind storm to see if this fixed the problem. From inside the house, I can now hear the water running into the pan. Didn't hear this before, so I'm thinking we may have a more forceful stream now. So I'm hopeful.

Thanks, guys.

rjhoward 06-28-2010 06:18 PM

Well, the cooler stopped working again today about 3pm. It was a little windy, but I'm not sure that's a factor; there's just a high correlation.

So I've replaced the pump, the fill valve, the float, and the pads. Anyone have an idea? Because I'm fresh out.

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