A Breeze For Do-It-Yourselfers
money on energy and repair costs, and increase
cooling efficiency with
this easy Spring cleaning project
Tips for Optimum Cooler Performance
maintenance is not a difficult task, and can
be completed with a minimum of mechanical knowledge
and a little assistance. Use this guide and
ask for help at your local home improvement
center or hardware store where evap coolers
Shut off power and water. Essick Air Products,
manufacturers of Champion, Ultra Cool and Tradewinds
coolers, cautions that safety is important,
so disconnect the power to the cooler and
turn off the water supply before attempting
any preventative maintenance.
Replace pads: Remove side panels and install
new evaporative media pads at least twice during
the season. Cooler pads become clogged with
dust, pollen, mildew and minerals from evaporated
water. Dirty media pads reduce cooling efficiency
and overwork the motor. Clean debris out of
the louvered side panels and water troughs.
Call your cooler manufacturer for pad size,
or write down the cooler make and model and
visit your improvement center for assistance.
Clean water reservoir: Remove the cooler overflow/drain
tube in the reservoir pan and rinse out standing
water, dissolved salts, silt, old pad fibers,
etc., with a solution of water and vinegar.
If necessary, use a sturdy nylon brush or plastic
scraper to loosen deposits. Do not scratch through
the protective coating of a metal cooler. A
wire brush or metal scraper should only be used
on rust spots, and then reseal the pan with
spray cooler coating. If you have an easy-care
polypropylene cooler, there's no need to patch
and reseal, just rinse out debris.
Check water pump: Clean the pump screen of debris
and make sure the water pump impeller turns
freely. If the pump shaft is stuck, water will
not be distributed to pad surfaces, so replace
it. Call the cooler manufacturer or visit a
retailer for an inexpensive replacement.
Check V-belt and oil bearings: Check to see
that your V-belt is not cracked or frayed. If
so, replace it. Allow about 1-1/2-inch play
in belt tension to reduce strain on the motor
and blower bearings. To set belt tension, loosen
the bolts at the motor cradle, move the motor,
then retighten the bolts. Oil the blower wheel
bearings on both sides using a 20-weight non-detergent
oil. Lift the oil caps and oil slowly until
it fills the stem. Don't overfill! Cooler oil
is available in small zoom spout plastic containers
to make this easy. Most motors are permanently
lubricated, but look for oil caps on both ends
of the motor, just to be sure.
Rotate motor and blower wheel: Turn the blower
wheel by hand a few revolutions to spread a
thin coat of oil on dry bearing surfaces. If
the motor or blower wheel won't turn freely,
you may have to replace the motor or call for
Open dampers: If you have manual slide-in dampers,
they are usually located where the cooler is
attached to the ductwork and/or at the furnace
air handler, or both! Remove any slide-in dampers.
If you cannot locate a damper, your cooler probably
has a barometric damper that opens automatically.
If no air enters the home when the cooler is
turned on, call for service, or ask for assistance.
Fill cooler, adjust float: Turn on water supply
and make sure the float shuts water off about
1/2-inch below the top of the overflow/drain
tube. If the float valve is not working, replace
it by purchasing an inexpensive repair kit.
If the overflow tube leaks around the gasket,
tighten the nut or replace the tube gaskets.
If water runs over the tube, adjust the float
arm. Check to make sure cooler is level and
there are no leaks.
Turn on cooler: Replace side panels, turn cooler
on and examine water distribution to make sure
water fills the troughs and flows down all pads
evenly. If water flow is restricted, remove
the panel(s) and clear the blockage by snaking
a flexible wire into the tube-end orifice.
Control corrosion: The best way to minimize
corrosion is to install an inexpensive "bleed-off
kit" that continually flushes minerals
out of the cooler as it operates. Or add a mineralizing
agent neutralizer, or replace the water manually
two times a month by draining and refilling
Air Products manufactures both the Tradewinds
polypropylene line of UL Approved polypropylene
evaporative coolers, as well as the Champion
and Essick line of metal coolers that are marketed
throughout the Western US. For additional information
on evaporative cooler maintenance, refer to
Essick Air’s Web site at www.essickair.com
or call 1-800-643-8341.
Essick Air Products
Essick Air Products/Champion Cooler Corporation
was founded in 1943 in Little Rock, Arkansas,
and today is one of the largest and leading
evap cooler manufacturers in the country. The
company has been owned by Walton Enterprises
since 1978 and operates manufacturing facilities
in Arkansas and Texas. Essick is the only company
that manufactures both metal and polypropylene
coolers due to varying customer needs and interest.