Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Swamp Thing II

Lisa really needs a space where she can manage her own environment, and with the A/C out while we work on obtaining a replacement fan, desperate times call for desperate measures.

Several years ago, we bought an in-window evaporative "swamp" cooler, intending to install it in the bedroom of the house. Unfortunately, we have the wrong kind of windows, as you need windows that open up-down, not side-to-side, and we have as yet not gone to the effort and expense of having the windows replaced. (They need it anyway, but we've not done it yet.) So the unused swamp cooler has sat in its original packaging on a pallet in the garage. Yesterday, Lisa and I (mostly her; I lift heavy things and fetch tools) put together a very temporary solution.

Temporary Swamp Cooler

We made a stack of pallets using the "mini-pallets" on which the firewood we buy in the winter are shipped. We have from time to time considered breaking them down and cutting them into pieces small enough to burn in the fireplace, but it's a good thing we kept them stacked up behind the house. Then we lifted the cooler into place. It's pretty light without any water in it. We put water in it, and Lisa tacked some braces onto the stack of pallets to reduce sway.

We tested that the water pump and fan both work, and that that it would fill with water and shut off. I forgot to take a picture of the float valve inside that shuts off the water when it gets to a level high enough to feed the pump but not so high that it floods the motor. There's an emergency overflow drain that sends water out the bottom before the motor would get flooded. Using the cardboard packaging and duct tape (and blue tape anywhere it touched a painted surface), Lisa fashioned an adapter between the cooler's vent and the slightly smaller window opening.

Temporary Swamp Cooler

The water feeds through the fitting on the lower left of the cooler. This morning I came out and discovered that there had been a small leak overnight. You can see water that has dripped down the pallets. Lisa determined that the fitting attaching to the cooler wasn't tight enough, and spent some time working out how to get it tightened sufficiently. Among other things, it needed a washer that she said took more time to find among the tools in the garage than it took to do the rest of the work put together.

This temporary arrangement works well, and Lisa says the temperature inside is down to 22°C while the thermometer outside reads 34° and the forecast high for today is 37°. This is not too surprising, as this cooler is rated to cool a much larger space than the travel trailer. Lisa has to keep the vent in the bathroom ceiling open and the fan running to make the evaporation work, but that's only a minor nuisance. The trailer stays in the shade nearly all day except a small part of the afternoon when a "stripe" of sun works its way down the side of the trailer, and we're working on that as well.

This is slightly inconvenient in that it's hard to get around the cooler with just a small space in the widened carport, but it should do for now while we work on fixing the "real" air conditioner.
Tags: house, lisa, swamp cooler, trailer

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