Alright, swampers

I'm putting up two on my shop. Are the devices that dump the water every day worth the $40? Do they work? Any other devices that work and are worth the money?
Steve
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Oren wrote:

He's talking about evaporative cooling units . They pump water from a sump at the bottom over a fiber pad , then suck air thru same pad to cool by evaporation . Most units will have 3 pads and the outlet on the 4th side . Better ones will have a float valve to maintain water level in the sump . What Steve is talking about is a device that drains the sump daily , which probably helps keep mineral deposits out of the pump and off the pads . FWIW Steve , you can probably use a light timer to actuate a solenoid daily and save a wad of money . Use dual relays and a dashpot delay on the end of cycle to let the supply water run a minute or two to rinse the sump before the drain valve closes .
--
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I forgot to mention that swamp coolers seem to use just as much electricity as air conditioners do, now that A/C efficiency is so much higher than it was in the EER 7 days.
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I can't say about those devices but my experience with using re circulating pumps on swamp coolers compared to just running the water thru once and out to the lawn is that recirulating the water is VERY hard on the cooler causing a lot of corrosion and gunk build up, far in excess of what you get running the water thru only once. I also had a water cooled outside AC Condenser that bleed off water when running to try and keep the salt buildup from being as bad. It still built up a ton of crap. For $40 I'd do it as it will surely be better then not doing it.
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Oren wrote:

Well exxxccuuuuuUUUuuuse me ! I didn't know , and the way your question was worded ... Anyway , I grew up out there , a bit north of "y'all" near Potato Country . The biggest thing I don't much like about The South is the humidity . Swampers don't work well in 90% RH ... And I'm betting that Steve's device is just a timer-actuated dump valve , probably tied to an inlet cutoff . Hmmm, I wonder if a sensor could be rigged up to dump when a certain concentration/threshold of precipitable compounds is reached . Probably be easy to program for someone into that level of computing .
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I think it might be worth it. And where do you live? I think the minerals will still build up on the pads. I had a unit in an apartment. I did a little maintenance on it once in the 5 years I lived there. I don't even think I shut the water off. It went to 17 degrees once. That was in the high desert of ca. Low desert gets hotter. It brought down the temp 20-25 degreesm with 20 % humidity with a small unit. Here in Pittsburgh it's not going to work, but they still use misters on fans in sports and in some open buildings.
Greg
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Oren wrote:

I think what Steve is talking about is a dump valve to drain the water from the sump . Might help slow down mineral buildup on the pads and in the piping . Tater country , heh . I grew up about 25 miles from the Utah/Idaho state line in Box Elder county and the average humidity up there is more like 25-30% , swampers work great . Idaho is famous for it's Russet potatoes ... You're not confused , I did live on the east side of the river or many years , but we've moved . We now reside in a clearing in the woods in Stone County Arkansas . I'm retired now , and run the machine shop part time on whatever comes thru the door . I do manage to stay busy with the garden , chickens , orchard , and building a house .
--
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More water efficient than the traditional bleed valve that drains continuously. Since swamp coolers are typically run in regions where drought is a concern, they may be somewhat useful in reducing water use. Not convinced either solution will prevent scale buildup. Just do a good job cleaning after each season.
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On 6/5/2014 2:41 PM, Oren wrote:

Once a day, they dump the entire tray of water, and reduce the buildup of minerals in the water, hence, the pads don't mineralize as fast, and the ph of the whole thing is altered so that the metal corrosion is reduced. I still am placing an anode in there.
Steve
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On 6/5/2014 8:07 PM, Oren wrote:

Don't know the actual name right off, but it is a pump, very similar to the cooler pump that dumps the water in the tray once a day to prevent mineral buildup.
$40 or so.
Steve
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On Thursday, June 5, 2014 1:28:39 PM UTC-7, SteveB wrote:

I live in Phoenix, where the water can be very hard, and I don't think dump valves help. What helps is having the swamp cooler made out of stainless steel, fiberglass, or plastic, but I think all blower impellers are made of galvanized steel.
Remember the evaporative cooling index, which shows how cool a swamp cooler can make the air, for any given combination of outdoor temperature and humidity. They don't work very well above 20% RH.
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snipped-for-privacy@my-deja.com wrote:

Not quite as much... Refrigerated air has a compressor and a fan that run in cycles. Swamp coolers have a fan and a very small pump that run continuously.
Swamp coolers will always be cheaper to run, but given the limited water supply, annual maintenance, sensitivity to humidity and relatively small temperature drop, refrigerated air is definitely more comfortable and convenient.
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You can buy a very cheap little fitting that goes in the water pump line that permits a little hose to be attached and feed that out through the tray drain. It slowly drains the tray as long as the pump is running. That and water softener - a white block or a mesh bag with a white chemical in it - in the tray helps me get by. A minimum of scraping to prep the cooler this spring. I have very hard well water.
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This is the best answer.. A small bleed valve that takes say 10% of the circulating water and dumps it out on the lawn. This keeps the level of minerals from building up to no more than 10x the incomming water.
It has the same effect as the auto dump but is less expensive and more reliable and does in effect the same thing. Mark
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

There is no "best" answer, only tradeoffs. Bleed valves use a lot of water - far more than than dump pumps. If water supply isn't a concern, then a bleed valve might be the right choice.
That said, unless you are having problems getting a swamp cooler to run a complete season, mineral buildup on the pads isn't really a problem that requires either solution. Mineral buildup in the pan can be dealt with during routine end of season maintenance with a mild acid solution.
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r - far

valve

if the dump pump dumps say 20 gallons a day or you use a bleed valve and se t it to bleed 20 gallons a day then the water usage and cleaning effect are about the same. Not exactly the same i grant you but close enough that i t isn't worth the cost and complexity of the dump pump.
And if the bleed water goes to water the grass or garden, then it isn't rea lly "wasted".
Yes you have to adjust the bleed valve carefully so the percentage of water being bled is low.
I had a long tube that led down to the garden at ground level and a valve o n the end that i could adjust the flow without going on the roof.
Mark
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On 6/8/2014 6:04 PM, Arthur Conan Doyle wrote:

After thinking $40, plus install, plus upkeep of hiccups, I think I'll just put a tee on the main drain line, and run it an hour or so with the drain totally open to drain all the liquid in the tub, plus flush it a bit. We got BAD water here. All you can do is all you can do, and that's all I can do. I estimate five years lifespan on the unit if I am lucky. We have ag water and potable water. I think I should hook this up to potable water, or I am going to have to add bleach or something. I get snail shells in my control valves. It would be a booger to try to find a clogged line in that bag of snakes.
Steve
Steve
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On 6/8/2014 6:04 PM, Arthur Conan Doyle wrote:

I guess we come from different parts of the country. I have seen where a crowbar, sandblaster, and muriatic acid would be laughed off.
Steve
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Same here, but that's usually because the only end of season maintenance is to insert the damper plate and maybe throw a canvas cover over the unit. The following spring they might put in new pads every other year.
If you do the correct maintenance every fall shutdown and replace the pads every spring, you don't get that kind of buildup. People want maintenace free swamp coolers and there ain't no such thing.
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