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Most of us in New Mexico have owned or currently own a home with a swamp cooler. American Restoration Water and Fire understands that your swamp cooler does a great job keeping you comfortable in the summertime, but that beast can also wreak havoc if its components break down! Here are some simple tips to make sure your home is safe and protected from swamp cooler mishaps.

First, let’s start with the unit itself. Swamp coolers contain fairly simple components that you can easily check periodically to keep the cooler from leaking. Take a close look at your water line which feeds the swamp cooler. It should be either copper or polyurethane tubing. The tubing itself should not have any rub marks or kinks. If it does, consider replacing it before it breaks. Remember, the tubing on the roof is more than likely controlled by a small valve inside the home, so it won’t automatically shut off. If it leaks, especially on a flat roof, you could be in for some major water damage.

Now, take a look at the “spider” tubing leading to your cooler pads. All of them should be flowing water onto to top of your cooler pads. If they’re not, they could be sending water outside the swamp cooler and leaking on your roof– probably unnoticed until you see signs of water damage in the home.

On to your float valve. Float valves control the amount of water inside the “pan” of your cooler. They shut off water when the water level reaches a pre-set limit. However, if your float valve fails, water will leak out of the sides of the pan containing the water– causing another leak. On to that pan. The water pan at the bottom of your swamp cooler which holds the water that will be pumped up to your cooler pads. Swamp coolers are made to last for many, many years of trouble-free use. However, the pan holds gallons of water– and at some point will fail. Look for any rust or corrosion as early warning signs of pan failure and have it serviced immediately.

Now to the inside of your home. Typically, you’ll find the water connection to your swamp cooler near your water heater. This can usually be located in an interior closet or in your garage. Search for a small copper or polyurethane tube that runs up through the water heater vent. This is the supply line to your swamp cooler. Again, check for signs of wear and tear on the tube. If the tube appears to be damaged, replace it immediately. The final tip– follow the supply line for your swamp cooler down to its connection to a larger copper pipe. There, you should see a valve. Typically, this is a “needle valve” and it’s used to shut off and turn on water to your swamp cooler. If you see a small drip of water or any moisture, or if you see any signs of corrosion, replace this part immediately. A licensed plumber will likely need to repair this part, as it requires the use of a torch and solder.

Of course, only attempt to climb on your roof and make these repairs if you believe you are qualified to do so. Otherwise, contact a licensed plumber to complete an inspection and make repairs. And, as always, if leaking and flooding do occur, contact the experienced staff at American Restoration Water & Fire for fast and professional service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Proper swamp/evaporative cooler maintenance (ie, check swamp cooler needle valve, copper tubing, float) to avoid flooding in home or roof damage. Only choose a company that is certified in clean up if a flood occurs– American Restoration Water & Fire. American Restoration is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.