How to Clean a Portable Swamp Cooler

The difference between cleaning and maintenance

Everything that functions with the help of water needs to be taken care of every once in a while. This is especially the case for industrial and regular air coolers as they have components that resemble honeycomb, which rinse water down to provide the cooling efficiency of the cooler. If you have recently bought an air cooler, this could be a good time for you to refill the water and have a look at its components.

This is, however, much easier said than done sometimes. The honeycomb pads of an air cooler naturally collect dust. With all this accumulated dust inside the honeycomb’s maze, your air cooler might give you some discomfort due to odor it may produce as well as its cooling efficiency.

Cleaning the honeycomb of a regular air cooler is easy but can be difficult if it is an industrial air cooler. If it is your first time cleaning an air cooler, do not worry. We have looked into this in order to make it simpler for you to be able to clean the honeycomb in a fast and proper manner. So let’s get to know all about the honeycomb of an industrial air cooler and how to clean it.

Difference between cleaning and maintenance

The question here is: how to clean and maintain a portable swamp cooler? Are cleaning and maintaining two different processes? Basically, the maintenance of your portable swamp cooler is an essential part of the overall cleaning process.

The cleaning of a portable swamp cooler is a bit tricky compared to cleaning a regular air cooler. The design & components of a portable swamp cooler are different from traditional models. It may sound complicated, but we will get straight to the point, and you will know all about cleaning and maintaining a portable swamp cooler.

To put it shortly, cleaning a swamp cooler helps maintain it and make it last longer. Maintaining a swamp cooler regularly makes cleaning it a whole lot easier. In other words, they’re different processes but have to coexist for everything to work smoothly.

How often should you clean your swamp cooler

A portable swamp cooler needs to be cleaned at least four times a year, but you may need to refill the water tank every other day, depending on the usage. That also depends on a lot of factors, including the size of the tank, the warmth of the area, and the length of usage.

This is a strategic approach to avoid any kind of water-borne diseases, and also to increase the overall life of your swamp cooler. You may want to use your swamp cooler throughout the year if you have used it for industrial use. But, portable swamp coolers need to maintain and clean as long as they are in use.

Components of a swamp cooler

Unlike traditional ones, there are a few different components that a portable swamp cooler is designed with. Keeping aside the obvious ones, we are going to talk about the new elements. The components intended to build a swamp cooler for increased overall performance.

Water pump

The water pump is a component that is designed to supply water from the tank via the motor to the cooling pads. The water pump is to supply an equal amount of water to every cooling pad attached in the cooler. 

However, you will need to check the water pump every once in a while to ensure the constant flow of water. This would include the endpoints of the connection, and connectors should always tighten to prevent any leakage.

Evaporative pads

The evaporative pads are nothing other than the cooling pads attached on the three walls of a swamp cooler, depending upon the design. They are one of the essential components responsible for the overall cooling efficiency of a portable swamp cooler. They are regularly involved in rinsing the water from top to bottom to increase the overall cooling efficiency.

Evaporative pads are available with certain distinctive features. They are available as foamed polyester, wood synthesized, expanded paper. Honeycomb cooling pads that are made up of slit expanded paper. They are the most suitable pads, preferred for efficient cooling for years without replacement. But, other cooling pads are as efficient as honeycomb pads if constant maintenance and cleaning gets done.

Distribution tubes

Distribution tubes are the channeling of water supplying pipes attached with different pads. They are to supply water through the top of pads. The single-channel where all water-supplying pipes meet connects with the water tank through the motor.

When the water is forced upwards from the motor, the supply to the pipes occur, and, thus, the water gets supplied to rinse through the evaporative pads. The distribution tubes are always more than one and can be three or four, depending upon the number of pads in a swamp cooler.

Wiring network

This is the most fundamental component of a swamp cooler where the main power supply is given. The main power supply is first delivered to the wiring network box. The supply is then distributed over the components that operate with the help of power. 

This includes a motor pump, blower, distribution tubes, and other components that get power with the supply. You will need to check the wiring and connectivity to ensure that there is no wear and tear of wires inside the swamp cooler.

Water tank

The water tank is where the water that is pumped into your cooler comes from. It’s very important to clean your tank regularly, as still water can grow water-borne bacteria and other diseases. 

Furthermore, it can create mold in your tank, which causes a series of problems. Use a solution of water and vinegar (1:1 is a good ratio) and let it sit in the tank for an hour before washing it with warm water and mild soap.

How to clean a swamp cooler

As we mentioned above, cleaning and maintaining of your portable swamp cooler are two sides of the same coin. You cannot maintain the quality of a portable swamp cooler without cleaning it. Cleaning a portable swamp cooler is quite different and tricky as compared to cleaning the regular air coolers.

It involves a series of small steps that you need to follow to make sure that it is thoroughly cleaned. Because of the evaporation technique used in the swamp coolers, a lot of dust and dirt gets accumulated inside the components. 

Step 1: Dry and remove the panels and the pads

The first thing that you need to do is to remove the panels and the pads, using a screwdriver. Before doing that, make sure that you have unplugged the wire, and the main supply is cut off. Also, make sure that no further supply of water is running while you are removing the panels.

Once you do that and the panels are removed, you can start removing the evaporative pads. Make sure to check the condition of pads, and other components inside the cooler. Inspect every component inside the swamp cooler before you start to clean them, including all the electrical wiring. 

Step 2: Drain the water and scrub the tank

As soon as you make sure that every component is in proper condition, except for the dirt gathered, drain all the water inside the water tank. You can do this with the help of a regular hose by creating a suction channel that could suck all the water out of the water tank. 

Once the water tank is empty, take a piece of cloth and scrub it all over the surface of the water tank or reservoir. That is to make sure that the thick dust that is stuck on the floor of the tank has gone. Also, make sure that you are not scrubbing too hard on the surface. The metal merged in water for too long starts to lose it toughness and stiffness.

Step 3: Brushing inside the swamp cooler

After scrubbing the swamp cooler, take a soft brush and start to clean the sides of the water tank. You will also need to clean components of a swamp cooler with a brush without applying much pressure. 

Scrub the sides to remove the dust sticking at the corners. As the corners of a water tank are most affected with the water and may leak if not cleaned. Then, brush the floor of the water tank, just make sure that there is no thicker dust sticking on the floor.

At this point, you are done with half of the task at hand. However, the fine dust adhering on the floor of the swamp cooler and its sides should still be there. For that use a vacuum cleaner to suck the fine dust out of the water tank and other components that are rugged.

Step 4: Use vinegar to give the tank a more thorough cleanse

This is an essential step to follow while cleaning the water tank of your portable swamp cooler. Here, you will need to soak your water reservoir or tank with a distilled vinegar solution. That is to clean out the rest of the fine dust on the floor and at the corners of the water tank.

Let the solution (water and vinegar 1:1) sit inside the tank for around an hour before you remove it from the tank. Alternatively, you can also rinse the water tank with a solution of soft detergent and warm water for similar outcomes. After an hour, clean the water tank by removing the chemical solution that you preferred to use.

Step 5: Giving the tank a good scrub

Finally, you will need to scrub the water tank by applying enough pressure that the tank could handle. Scrub all the sides and the floor of a swamp cooler tank. Ensuring that there are no stains and particles of the chemical you used leaves out in the water tank. 

Since this is the final step that you will be doing to ensure proper cleaning, thus, do not leave any possible area from cleaning. You can scrub the water tank with a piece of cloth or soft brush that you used earlier for brushing.

Step 6: Let it dry

After you are done with everything, leave the swamp cooler for some time to dry. Do not refill the water tank immediately after cleaning because the remaining impurities that settle down would be able to appear when the water reservoir is dried up. Taking this opportunity, you can go ahead and rub those areas inside the reservoir once with a piece of cloth to get done with the entire cleaning process.

Reassembling the swamp cooler

Every cleaning process of a portable swamp cooler would require re-assembling of the components. This is a quick process and does not take much effort. Re-assembling the swamp cooler parts does not simply mean to connect the removed parts again, but there is something more to it. 

While re-assembling of the components, you will need to check all the mechanical parts and use tools to screw up the parts that appear to be loosening up. This not only ensures the safety of the swamp cooler, but it will also prevent you from any accident or unfortunate malfunctioning. Re-assembling of a swamp cooler can be done by following these simple steps.

Installing new fiber pads

Since the fiber pads are difficult to clean, it is strongly recommended to use new fiber pads for proper operation of a swamp cooler. However, you can clean it once every two months with specific tools. Fiber pads are essential components of a swamp cooler. They maintain the evaporation of water through small pores. They are also meant to prevent the hot air from going in different directions thus, causing inefficiency to the machine operation.

Checking mechanical components

Do not forget to inspect the mechanical parts thoroughly inside the swamp cooler. It would hardly take a few minutes for you to check all the mechanical parts completely. But, it will ensure the complete safety of your cooler and yourself. As you know, if any part of a machine is left loose, it may cause some serious damage to your cooling device. As a result, it would end up creating extra load on your wallet.

Double-check the wiring

If you have children at home, you must know the importance of proper tightening of electrical circuits. If you do not have your swamp cooler installed at a height, you will not want any circuit to be left unchecked.

Inspect everything closely before putting it all together and running the cooler. Make sure to inspect the electrical circuits inside your cooler. This helps prevent you from getting electrocuted. Also, it will prevent the machine to be self-destructive or causing any system failure.

Refill the water tank

If you have already checked everything, you can finally refill the water tank. Make sure that you are only refilling your water reservoir with fresh water and not with unhygienic water. For all we know, gathered water for a long time can cause serious water-borne diseases.

It will also pollute the entire surrounding. Make sure to refill the water reservoir every other day without having to clean the entire swamp cooler again. Again, cleaning of a swamp cooler should be done every once in two months, and a total of four times during the spring.

Reconnect pads and panels

Make sure that you have locked the panels tightly before plugging the wire to the power. Once you check all the connections, your portable swamp cooler will be ready to run exactly like it is the first time you are running it.

Related questions

1. How do you remove calcium deposits from your portable swamp cooler pads?

As we have discussed above, a distilled solution of vinegar is used to remove the calcium deposits from your portable swamp cooler. Leave the chemical solution on the pads and tank for around an hour, and remove it afterward.

2. Can you put essential oils in portable swamp cooler?

Absolutely, you can put essential oils to the pads of your swamp cooler to improve the smell or to remove a bad odor coming out from your swamp cooler. There are several types of oils available to help you remove the bad odor from your portable swamp cooler. For example, you make use of peppermint, lemon or lavender for an overall improved fragrance for a better experience.

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