Sunday, July 22, 2012

Cat on a hot tin roof…

and “Anatomy of a Swamp Cooler”.

My swamp cooler bit the dust.  I’ve been planning on replacing it since last summer, it’s over 15 years old and rusting out all over the place.  I was hoping to get one more complete summer out of it, but the pulley on the fan broke and the spot where the water shut off valve bolts up rusted all the way through.  (It’s a thing a lot like in your toilet bowl that automatically stops the water from overfilling.  Without it securely attached I’d have a river flowing down my roof.)

I was up on the roof, ripping out it’s guts so that I could remove it to I’d be ready for a new one.  It’s only just past the middle of July, there is no way I’m going to make it through August without one.

Denny decided to come keep me company while I worked.

In the first picture, he was on the side of the roof that falls a whole foot down to the deck I built so I can work on the cooler.  But at first he was on the north side of the roof, which made me a little nervous.  It’s only a one storey house, but it’s still a good 15 foot drop.

Fortunately, he’s ok and sleeping on the chair right behind me.

Anatomy of a Swamp Cooler : caution, the following pictures are graphic shots of my disemboweled swamp cooler.  Not for the faint of heart. 

The Swamp Cooler skeleton.  Metal top, four corners and the water pan at the bottom.

It’s epidermis, the four pads that become the sides.

The lungs, the fan that pulls the air through the water soaked pads and into the house.

The guts.  The heart, the water pump that gets the water up to the top of the pads so they get soaked.  The muscles, the electric motor that turns the fan.

There ya go, more than you ever wanted to know about a swamp cooler, aka Evaporative Cooler.  I hope it wasn’t too gory for you.


Karen S. said...

Wow Denny you are a very brave kitty cat! Thanks Max, it's always a treat to see your boys....sorry about your cooler....out with old bring in the new right!

Max Sartin said...

The really good thing is that our highs are below 100F so, with the air this dry, it cools off quite comfortably at night. I have the window fan on all night and then in the morning I shut all the windows and keep the cool in. At least it's tolerable.

Lisa Shafer said...

Your swamp cooler is a heck of a lot newer than mine! I hadn't realized they'd improved the design of the water distribution so much. Wow.
Let's see, the one I have was purchased used somewhere around 1980. I don't actually know how old it really is.
I've replaced the pump two or three times, the belt a couple of times, the tubing to the house water supply twice, and last year I painted the inside with a tar-like substance because the bottom had rusted through in two places.
The metal slats that hold the filters in place (I use the blue ones, too. The straw ones mildew and the green plastic ones smell awful.) are broken in various places, and I have to pad extra filling in spots to get them to stay put.
The drain leaks, but I shove a cork on top as well as screwing on the cap, and I stick a bucket under it, so it's okay.
The little floaty piece got jammed one year and gave me a lot of trouble, but I've jury-rigged it so it works again now.
I seriously considered buying A/C this year, but I found my house isn't wired for it, so it would involve lots of extra time and expense.
I'll just keep duct taping the swamp cooler back together as long as it'll hold up. :)

Max Sartin said...

I've thought about central air, but it's so expensive to run. The swamp cooler works fantastic unless it's too hot or too humid, which averages about 4 days a year. My favorite thin about it, though, is that without the water running, it's just like one huge fan blowing that nice spring/fall/evening air throughout the whole house.

Staci said...

I think it was Denny’s way of saying that you need to get a roof fan! Well, your roof fan looks a little old and dusty. It is also best to keep your roof vents dust-free and clean. Roof vents serves as a fan of the house and moderate the temperature inside. A properly working roof vent can keep you warm during winter, and helps you bear the heat on summer days. Better get your vents fixed, or get a new one, so you can have a cool summer season.

-Staci Severns