With this evaporative cooler troubleshooting guide, you can diagnose and fix your cooling problems. The average hvac service call would cost you over $100/hour. With some help, you can keep that money. Before starting the troubleshooting, you should ensure that the routine maintenance has been performed. This will solve many of the cooling problems.
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**NOTE** Only you can assess your ability to perform the things described here. This is only a general guide and cannot cover every possible situation. For more help, you can consult your owner's manual.
If the unit will not start or deliver air, you should begin your evaporative cooler troubleshooting by checking the fuse or breaker for the cooler. If the fuse is blown or the breaker is tripped, then replace the fuse or reset the breaker. If it happens again, the wiring to the unit should be checked for signs of damage. If the breaker was not tripped, check the thermostat or timer if one is installed. You can use a voltmeter to check to see if the switch is opening and closing properly. If the thermostat or timer is working properly, check the motor to see if it is running properly. Check that the belt is on and properly adjusted. If the blower motor is hot, allow it to cool by shutting the power off to the unit. After the motor has cooled, turn the power back on and check motor operation. If the motor still does not work, it should be replaced.
If the unit runs but not enough air is supplied, you should ensure that enough exhaust is supplied. If exhaust ducts are not installed, then windows or doors must be opened sufficiently for the proper air flow. ( 2 square feet opening for each 1000 cfm air supply) If sufficient exhaust is available, check the blower motor operation and the belt tension.
If you have plenty of airflow but inadequate cooling, you should continue your evaporative cooler troubleshooting with the water system. Check to make sure the water pump is operating and that the distributor is not clogged. Check to make sure that there are no dry or open spots on the pads.
If you have a problem with excessive water usage, the problem could be in the float valve. The valve should be adjusted to maintain the sump level without any overflow. The valve is normally adjusted by bending the rod. If the valve is adjusted properly and water still leaks, the seat on the valve is bad and the float valve should be replaced. If you have excessive humidity in the home, ensure that you have the proper exhaust air flow. You may want to consider installing exhaust ducts in the individual rooms. If you notice a musty odor, the cause could be stagnant water in the cooler or mildew on the pads. The pads should be checked and replaced as necessary. If you have stagnant water in the sump, you should drain and clean the reservoir. You may also want to install a bleed off kit. This removes some of the water and replaces it with fresh water automatically.