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Author Topic: Swamp Cooler help! (NGC)  (Read 5582 times)
Bisbonian
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« on: May 29, 2010, 10:00:08 PM »
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Okay so we got a new swamp cooler this spring and I just got around to hooking everything up today.

It comes with this pad material called Celdek which looks like corrugated cardboard but it's about 6 inches thick.

I didn't have the water hooked up last night but did have the blower running to cool the hose off by itself and everything seemed to be working just fine.  Today I hooked up the water and now when I turn the cooler to "Cool" I get this really bothersome smell; at first I thought it smelled like burning electrical but the more I look into it I believe it is the smell of the wet pads.

I went up on the roof and removed the pads (I can smell the odor in the pads when I take them out) and then ran the cooler without the pads in place.  I can smell nothing out of the ordinary without the pads so I'm satisfied that I'm not going to catch on fire any time soon from the cooler.

So my question is: does anyone have any experience with this type of cooler pad material and can you tell me how long I can expect this smell to permeate my house?

Cooler model is Mastercool from Champion Coolers.

Thanks!
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tjfdesmo
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« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2010, 10:20:02 PM »
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My cooler is not a Mastercool, which are widely regarded as the best, but has a similar pad material. It didn't take very long for that odor to subside. Run the pump cycle more frequently during the break-in phase to help purge the reservoir and you should be fine.
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« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2010, 10:23:49 PM »
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O.K., I have to ask; what the holy heck is a swamp cooler?  An air-conditioner?
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« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2010, 10:41:40 PM »
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A swamp cooler is also known as an evaporative cooler. It is useful in hot arid areas. It forces dry hot air through wet filters and the resulting cooler air is then blown through the house. Not for use where it rains a lot.
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« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2010, 11:09:33 PM »
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re you sure you weren't running the water pump without water? I burned out a water pump by letting it run overnight without water once... stinky/burny.
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« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2010, 11:12:02 PM »
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My cooler is not a Mastercool, which are widely regarded as the best, but has a similar pad material. It didn't take very long for that odor to subside. Run the pump cycle more frequently during the break-in phase to help purge the reservoir and you should be fine.

Although still bothersome the smell is starting to get a lot better.  When I first fired it up all I could think was that there was a fire on the roof.

Thanks!
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« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2010, 11:12:46 PM »
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re you sure you weren't running the water pump without water? I burned out a water pump by letting it run overnight without water once... stinky/burny.

I made sure the reservoir was full before I started the pump.

It's getting a lot better.
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« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2010, 11:40:02 PM »
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Great! There are a couple of additives that are available - sometimes for odor and sometimes for things like calcium.

With our natural mesh in our, I put a couple of capfuls of bleach from time to time.
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2007 Calvin            1977 TT500
1995 Sport 1100      2004 Breva 750
1982 Katana           1979 GS850G
1985 Cagiva WR250 1972 "Crud"dorado
2003 Barely Davidson 883 Huggy
Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top.
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« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2010, 11:46:59 PM »
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Unrelated to the smell, Champion coolers has a good instruction manual on how to set-up you cooler, including maximizing airflow through the house via adjusting your relief / exhaust opening - check it out if you haven't already.

It would be nice to use an amp clamp to set your adjustable sheave & make sure you're not exceeding the blower motor nameplate rating. Use of a bleed line off the pump will keep your pads & sump from fouling quickly. Grease the entire shaft, they're hollow & can get real rusty & weak after a few years.


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« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2010, 11:49:30 PM »
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Great! There are a couple of additives that are available - sometimes for odor and sometimes for things like calcium.

With our natural mesh in our, I put a couple of capfuls of bleach from time to time.

Something to keep the bacteria down is supposed to be a good idea.
Moderate amounts of bleach (e.g. capfuls) sounds like a good idea.
Remember, Legionnaires Disease develops in cooling towers of large facilities.

Evaporative cooling is used extensively in West Texas where it works great with minimal cost and maintenance, but is nearly useless in Houston (the morals of Los Angeles and the climate of Calcutta).  
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« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2010, 11:54:27 PM »
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Yes, the anti-bacterial things are a good idea..  and you can throw in some Febreeze or air freshener liquid if you want to too.. 

Another additive that is good to throw in once in a while is the stuff that combats the calcium buildup on the pads.
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« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2010, 11:56:34 PM »
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Great! There are a couple of additives that are available - sometimes for odor and sometimes for things like calcium.

With our natural mesh in our, I put a couple of capfuls of bleach from time to time.

Something to keep the bacteria down is supposed to be a good idea.
Moderate amounts of bleach (e.g. capfuls) sounds like a good idea.
Remember, Legionnaires Disease develops in cooling towers of large facilities.

Evaporative cooling is used extensively in West Texas where it works great with minimal cost and maintenance, but is nearly useless in Houston (the morals of Los Angeles and the climate of Calcutta).  


What we find here seems to be anything the ugly side of 18% or so humidity - you're just swirling nastiness and time to cut in the AC as they're on the same system. Oh, and CLR for the calcium works great.
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2007 Calvin            1977 TT500
1995 Sport 1100      2004 Breva 750
1982 Katana           1979 GS850G
1985 Cagiva WR250 1972 "Crud"dorado
2003 Barely Davidson 883 Huggy
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« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2010, 02:29:45 AM »
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The ones I remember from West Texas were window mounted units.

  A great accessory in those days was a 8-10yr old kid who could go out and wet the thing down when the pump inevitably failed  .....ah the memories.
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« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2010, 03:32:36 AM »
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My home here in Las Vegas was built in 1949 and has craw space plus a small basement where the evap coolers was originally installed.I bought the home in 1980 and the first owner sometime before that  removed the evap and installed an AC package system(poorly designed system) which I removed and put an evap cooler back in the very small basement.I replaced the ceiling vents for the AC and put in up ducts to vent the evap air into the attic thus I get to keep my windows closed.

I run an small bleed off the pump line between the pump and discharge spider keeping the calcium build up down and change my aspen pads twice a year and every two weeks dump a cup of bleach into the evap

I also have installed an temp control to only run the cooler as inside temp calls for just like a AC package system would.You'd be surprised how many evap coolers don't have an temp control installed,most on older homes in a trailer park.As a teenager in Vegas on house my dad rented had an evap with only an off/on switch which could either be too cool or too hot if you shut it off at bed time

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« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2010, 02:17:58 PM »
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CLR and bleach are good ideas.  I know this is only for the house right?  One friend wanted to add ducting for his garage.   Roll Eyes A big fan is a better idea for the garage.   A lot of people don't change or clean the filters for their central a/c either.
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« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2010, 02:37:58 PM »
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I know at work they have evap coolers on the warehouse that have temp control installed.

All a swamp coolers does is lower the discharge by maybe 20f or so depending on the humidity.I can notice my swamper singing a merry tune when the humidity is around 5% and 100f outside or if its a 100f and 20%.....big difference as with 20% and above you don't get a 20f drop in air temp

To me the main advantage is the savings in cooling cost,use to be your cost were app. a fourth of what an AC unit would be but with the newer AC units higher efficiency rating,its about one third these days
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cruzziguzzi
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« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2010, 04:56:21 PM »
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CLR and bleach are good ideas.  I know this is only for the house right?  One friend wanted to add ducting for his garage.   Roll Eyes A big fan is a better idea for the garage.   A lot of people don't change or clean the filters for their central a/c either.

I'm with you there - generally a bad idea for a garage as it can lead very quickly to rusted tools and parts - although the little roller ones are kinda nice since they can only do a little damage and then, only if conditions are just right for it.
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2007 Calvin            1977 TT500
1995 Sport 1100      2004 Breva 750
1982 Katana           1979 GS850G
1985 Cagiva WR250 1972 "Crud"dorado
2003 Barely Davidson 883 Huggy
Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top.
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« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2010, 05:08:47 PM »
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MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEET C L R BATHROOM & KITCHEN CLEANER
SECTION 3 - PHYSICAL DATA Boiling Point: 99C Specific Gravity: 1.03 Vapor Pressure: ND Percent Volatiles: 91% Vapor Density: ND Evaporation Rate: < 1 (n-ethyl acetate=1) pH: 2.6 2.8 Biodegradable: Yes Solubility in Water: Soluble Appearance, Color & Odor: Clear solution, pleasantly scented, medium yellow color

You can add CLR & bleach if you want, to the detriment of your metal cabinet.

Just use a bleed line to control calcium & pull out your overflow standpipe  to drain & flush the sump when the cooling season is over.


« Last Edit: May 30, 2010, 05:16:47 PM by Randown » Logged

cruzziguzzi
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« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2010, 05:31:41 PM »
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MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEET C L R BATHROOM & KITCHEN CLEANER
SECTION 3 - PHYSICAL DATA Boiling Point: 99C Specific Gravity: 1.03 Vapor Pressure: ND Percent Volatiles: 91% Vapor Density: ND Evaporation Rate: < 1 (n-ethyl acetate=1) pH: 2.6 2.8 Biodegradable: Yes Solubility in Water: Soluble Appearance, Color & Odor: Clear solution, pleasantly scented, medium yellow color

You can add CLR & bleach if you want, to the detriment of your metal cabinet.

Just use a bleed line to control calcium & pull out your overflow standpipe  to drain & flush the sump when the cooling season is over.




Been doing it for years but I bow to the power of data and numbers when giving advice to someone that I do not know.

Really though, as far as damage - since there is such a down cycling of the ratio of the solution through the continual evaporation and addition of new water, I'm not too concerned. Excessive amounts will, as noted above cause issues eventually not to mention cause their own stinks - really - "Color & Odor: Clear solution, pleasantly scented". I guess it's an acquired taste.
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2007 Calvin            1977 TT500
1995 Sport 1100      2004 Breva 750
1982 Katana           1979 GS850G
1985 Cagiva WR250 1972 "Crud"dorado
2003 Barely Davidson 883 Huggy
Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top.
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« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2010, 12:39:32 AM »
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You're right, CLR in reasonable doses in the sump probably won't hurt anything b/c it would have a tendency to bring the PH towards neutral, but it may not be effective against calcium at that dilution, bleach on the other hand will increase the ph, but then again if you're using a bleed line like you should, in either case the sump will probably return to it's normal ph soon enough. CLR used directly on the cabinet to remove calcium is a different story. I'm pretty sure that stuff damaged a brass drain fitting in my shower, I told honey not to use that crap. May as well spray the tiles with muriatic acid.
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