If your swamp cooler pads are not getting wet, you are going to have warm air blowing from your cooler.
The problem is obvious: the water is not getting to the pads. So it is time to investigate why not.
Let’s start with the easy things first.
- Make sure you have water in the bottom of your swamp cooler. This sounds stupid, but you would be surprised.
I had a customer call us out for this exact reason…it turns out the landscaper turned off the water at the hose bib, which happened to be the one that supplied water to the swamp cooler. No water, no wet pads.
- If you have water in the bottom of the swamp cooler, check to see that the pump is working.
You should have a basket to keep out debris which could clog the impeller. You might remove the hose at the pump and turn the pump on to make sure water comes out of the outlet. If no water comes out, it may be time to replace the pump.
- The last thing to check is the distribution to the pads.
From the pump will be a larger tube that connects to an adapter at the top of the cooler. This adapter branches out into distribution tubes (called a spider) which go to the pads. If necessary, you can pull the tubes apart and clean them out. You can also use a pipe cleaner you might find at an arts & crafts store. Once you clean these out you should have water flowing to the pads.
How Often do I replace Swamp Cooler Aspen Pads?
If you use a swamp cooler, you are probably happy with the lower electrical bills. As I’ve said before, swamp coolers are simple machines, but you can’t just plug them in and forget about them. They will need occasional maintenance.
So when do you know it’s time to replace the cooler pads?
Well, that isn’t such an easy question to answer. If you see scale building up on the surface of the pads, it’s a good time to replace them. As water evaporates, what is left behind is the salts that accumulate in the water.
You will see many water pumps that will have a bleed outlet to pump out a small amount of water while the pump is running. As water is slowly pumped out, the float drops to a level that allows fresh water to refill the basin. This minimizes the scale that builds up in the cooler (and will help your pads last all season).
If you don’t have water in the basin automatically pumped out, you can remove the drain tube and manually drain out a few gallons of water every few days, or oven weekly.
Over time you may notice that the temperature of the air may not be what is used to be. So go remove a panel and take a look inside. If your pads are covered in white scale and are hard as rocks, it may help to replace the pads.