Swamp Cooler Problem (periodic shutoff)

I live in Colorado, and am having problems with my evaporative cooler.
After running for about an hour or so, the fan always shuts off, even
though the water pump continues to run. This applies for all settings
(high cool, low cool, high vent, low vent). After resting for an hour
or more it will work as normal.
The fact that the water pump is still running seems to tell me that the
problem is not electrical. Any ideas? is this normal for swamp
coolers?
Any help is much appreciated!
Reply to
byamato
My garage cooler does that once and a while. It has electronic controls with a remote control. I just unplug it for a while and it seems to reset.
AZCRAIG
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Reply to
cm
The motor probably gets too hot and the thermal cutoff opens. When it cools sufficiently the cutoff snaps shut and the motor starts.
You have a problem. When was the last maintenance done and how old is the motor? most likely the fan bearings or the motor bearings are going. Fan bearings are cheap and can be easily replaced if you are a do-it-yourselfer. If the motor bearings are bad, the easiest and likely the cheapest solution is to just buy another motor.
You can tell if the bearings are bad if after you loosen the motor and remove the fan belt you can move the motor shaft any perceptible amount at a right angle to the motor shaft. Same with the fan shaft.
Reply to
George E. Cawthon
Most coolers have an adjustable pulley on the motor shaft. A good installer is supposed to set the pulley diameter adjustment so the motor runs at it's rated current. It sounds like your motor is overloaded and that is tripping the built-in thermal cutoff. Have somebody who knows what they're doing go up there and adjust the pulley for the proper loading.
Reply to
Tim Killian
Yes the motor is overloaded, that's why it gets hot and shuts off. But if it has been working ok before, it has nothing to do with the pulley.
Reply to
George E. Cawthon
I live in New Mexico and have a similar problem. Just this season, when the fan is on "high" (I only have 2 settings), it will all of the sudden slow down to low (for 5-30 seconds) and then speed back up again to high. This has never happened before and I have lived in the house for 3 summers. I do the maintenance myself, but I didn't notice anything untoward when I was setting up the cooler this spring. It sounds like it might be the motor and/or bearings? But how do I find out? And is it easy to replace the motor? Thanks!!
Reply to
bearmd
Thanks so much for the help guys! Before the next heat wave I'll crack that baby open and see what's going on.
Reply to
byamato
The most common reason for the motor to periodocly shut off like this is that it is over heating and the thermol protection system kicks in to protect the motor.
The most common cause for a motor to over heat; is the belt is simply to tight. You could have worn pillow bushings, but if they are causing that much pull on the motor you would hear a god awful noise from them.
To test your belt tension grasp the belt between your thumb and forefinger and apply light up & down pressure (approximatly 3 lbs). The belt should only move about 3/4 to 1 inch.
To adjust the belt varies, usually you will find a bolt that holds the motor mounting bracket. It is usually in a cresent shaped slot. Loosen this bolt "a little" and move the motor toward the pulley slightly. If you move it too much, just redo it until you can only move the belt as above. If the belt is too loose, the worse that can happen is the belt might slip a little.
To learn more service and repair information on evaporative coolers, visit:
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Larry Galpin The Cooler Doctor
Service, Repair & Enhance the Performance of Your Cooler Yourself and Save $100s Every Year!
Reply to
coolerdoctor
Hello CoolerDoctor, I am having about the same problems since getting a new unit on the roof. Everything is new except for a plug with wires for the pump to plug into. Basically, I have a switch (hi-low cool /hi-low vent/ pump only) located in our house, with a new 12/3 line hooked to it, that electrical line runs up into the attic to a junction/splice box where another new 12/3 electrical line finishes the run up to the motor/pump. I believe it is wired correctly, since the installer just copied what was already there and I never had any issues with the old unit shorting out/overheating. I have not checked the tension on the belt yet, so I will do that tonight to see if that fixes the issue, but other than that I am at a loss as to why it keeps shutting down. It's weird, in either of the high settings it will just stop, when on the low settings it stops then tries to start again going through various speeds to get back to low. Could it be the old plug that is hooked up to the 12/3 line or could it be the splice in the attic? I just don't know and would love some electrical help in this matter.
Sincerely Edi
Reply to
Edification1
"Everything is new except for a plug with wires for the pump to plug into. "
You can't plug a plug into a plug. Seems this is easy to diagnose with a volt meter when it's having the problem. If it's a new unit, who installed it and why not just call them?
Reply to
trader_4
The plug (no cord, just the outlet and the wires) is female, and it is wired to the 12/3 line, the pump has a power cord that plugs into it. The motor is hard wired directly to the 12/3 line, (no power cord on the motor)They were in charge of installing the swamp cooler, pump, and waterline. They want to charge me 300 hundred more dollars to do wiring. It worked just fine with the old motor, wired exactly the same as it is now.
Reply to
Edification1
That's called a receptacle.
the pump has a power cord that plugs into it. The motor is
Why, was there something wrong with the existing wiring and circuit? Normally you would not change the wiring, just the equipment. And if it's new gear that they installed recently, what's the warranty? Seems they should come fix it.
It worked just fine with the
Reply to
trader_4
Everything worked fine before all the new stuff was installed, that's all I know. When they mounted the swamp cooler on the roof, the motor position changed by about two feet. The original wiring wasn't long enough to make the run, so the installers attached a two foot piece of 12/3 wire to complete the circuit. That is why I initially thought it was all the wiring splices that was causing the short circuit, hence the new line. But I adjusted my belt last night, loosened it alittle bit, and now it works fine in both low settings, but on high it shuts off after 10 minutes. Any advice, other than having them come out and possibly mess things up worse? I am trying to sell my house asap, already have a closing date and all that so looking for some fast answers that can be applied before this Monday.
Reply to
Edification1
From your description it seems that the motor is overheating. When you disconnect the belt from the motor does the large fan pulley move freely and smoothly? What about the shaft on the motor?
It is possible that there is a defective bearing in one or the other.
I would call the installer and have them resolve the issue as the unit is new.
Reply to
None
I have the feeling that there must be more to this story. If you just had this installed, you have a closing on Monday to sell the place, you don't have the skills to diagnose it yourself, why haven't you called the company that recently installed it? Sounds to me like this is one that fell off the back of a truck and was installed by some hack on the cheap or something. I can see someone who has the skills maybe wanting to poke around first to find out what's wrong, but that doesn't appear to be the case here.
Did this come as one brand new unit? If so, then we can assume the motor is correctly sized for the blower. So, if it were me, like I said in my first reply, I'd take voltage measurements when it's running and especially when it's not. Running is there ~240V (assuming that's the motor voltage)? When it's not, is there voltage at the motor terminals? Is there a wiring diagram that shows any interlocks, safeties? Does the blower move reasonably freely by hand? The symptom of shutting off only on high would point to an overloaded motor that cuts off when it overheats. Is the motor hot when it stops?
Reply to
trader_4
It was installed "professionally" superior water and air did the install. I am having them come back out to find the solution, I'm done trying to fix someone else's mistakes. Thank you though for the imput! I really appreciate all the help!
Reply to
Edification1

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