5 Things to Check if a Swamp Cooler Motor Won’t Start

Evaporative coolers are eco-friendly, budget-friendly methods to cool the air. They work best in arid conditions, which is strange, since they are nicknamed swamp coolers. The name probably comes from the awful smell that occurs when you don’t keep the cooler clean. If your swamp cooler isn’t working, check these five things.

Troubleshooting Your Evaporative Cooler

Regular service and maintenance will keep your cooler working well for a long time, but as with any electrical appliance, parts wear out and stop working. Usually, at the least convenient time. Fortunately, these coolers don’t have a complex system. They are reliable. Knowing how to troubleshoot your evaporative cooler can help get your home or business back to normal quicker. Here are a few things to check when the unit doesn’t turn on.

Check the Fuses and Power

Because evaporative coolers have less electronic parts than air conditioners, the most common reason that the unit doesn’t start is due to a blown fuse. Check the breaker and see if a fuse was blown. You may also have a breaker inside the unit that may need to be reset. If none of those seem to be the problem, you’ll need to dig a little deeper. If you constantly need to reset the unit or replace fuses, you probably have a problem with the electrical wiring that should be checked out by a professional.

Check the Thermostat

Your evaporative cooler has a built-in thermostat that regulates the room’s temperature. It works much like your home’s thermostat. You set the temperature and when the temperature of the room matches the thermostat, the cooler shuts off. When the temperature goes up, the cooler comes back on. If the thermostat is set too high, the unit won’t turn on. When the thermostat is faulty, the cooler doesn’t know when to turn itself on. Replacing the thermostat can be simple or complicated, depending on the model. Call a professional if you’re not sure that you’re up to the task of replacing it.

Check the Wiring

If the fuses and power aren’t an issue, the issue might be a little more complex. The next thing you can check is the wires that go to the breaker and fuse. These wires should be in good condition. If the wires appear black or discolored, or seem stiff and inflexible, you will probably need to replace the breaker. A technician can help you determine whether you can use the same wires or not. It depends on how badly they are damaged.

Check the Fan Motor and Belt

If you still haven’t found the problem, it could be the internal components of your cooler. The belt connects the fan and the motor. If it breaks or comes off, the fan doesn’t run. You may hear the motor running, but the unit isn’t producing any air, because the fan won’t turn. It’s easy to get a replacement fan belt, but you do need to check to see why it stopped. If it got soiled or broke, replacing it should get your unit going again. If it slipped off, you may want to ask a professional to take a look at the motor.

Motor failure is another common reason the motor stopped. To check for motor failure, turn on the fan for a few minutes, then turn it off. Remove the plug from the socket. Is the motor hot? If it is, the motor may need to be replaced or repaired. You will likely want a professional technician to determine the problem and handle the repairs.

Check That the Swamp Cooler Is Getting Enough Voltage

Use a voltmeter to check the plug for current. If your swamp cooler isn’t getting enough voltage, it won’t be effective. A voltage stabilizer can help, but you may also want to consider having an electrician rewire the system. When a unit repeatedly doesn’t have enough voltage to operate, the wires heat up and the entire unit could go bad.

Other Problems You Might Experience

If your evaporative cooler simply isn’t cooling enough, it might be the water system. Check to make sure that the unit has enough water and that the water pump is operating correctly. Also, check the distributor, to make sure it isn’t clogged. If none of those problems solve it, there may be too much humidity in the air for the cooler to work.

If your unit smells stagnant or mildewy, it probably needs to be cleaned. The pads need to be replaced occasionally. The water in the sump can get old. When you add new water to your unit, include a teaspoon of vinegar to help keep the water cleaner. You still need to add new water to the unit to keep it clean.

Your evaporative cooler shouldn’t leak water. There are a lot of reasons your unit could drip water. It might need cleaning. You might have improperly stored the unit over the winter. The unit needs to be well-covered. If your unit is leaking water and you can’t troubleshoot the reason, you may want to call your professional technician.

Is your evaporative cooler showing signs of rust or corrosion? This could be due to a couple of reasons. You may have hard water, which is leaving minerals in the tank. Mineral tablets can soften the water and prevent damage by reducing mineral concentration. High humidity levels are another reason that swamp coolers rust. When the humidity is repeatedly over 50% or more, the swamp cooler isn’t going to work effectively. High humidity in the air corrodes parts. You may need to find another option.

Professional Technicians Can Help You Solve the Problem

Read your owner’s manual to know what is recommended to take care of your evaporative cooler. Some units require oil in the motor to keep it running well. When you can’t troubleshoot your evaporative cooler problem, it’s okay to call in the swamp cooler repair contractors. Premier Industries Inc. offers service and maintenance on industrial, commercial and residential coolers in the Western United States. Contact us today to find parts, advice or professional service.