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Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Swamp Cooler

Good evening, dear readers.

Today, we were blessed with a cloudy and cool day. My husband decided that today would be the day he would tune up the swamp cooler and get it ready for the summer because it is going to get very hot next week. Though we'd been running it periodically over the course of the last few weeks, the cooler was in need of some servicing, especially today when it wouldn't turn on this morning!

My cooler looks like this since it's mounted at the front of the trailer, but with more rust and scale from wear (pic found here)

For those of you who may not be familiar with it, a swamp cooler is a home cooling unit that works by blowing air over water to cool it. It is also known as an evaporative cooler since, well, that's basically how it works. The cooler also adds humidity to the air from the water, which makes it quite an effective cooler here in dry Arizona as opposed to someplace humid like Louisiana or Georgia. Also, swamp coolers use less electricity than air conditioners and are easier to maintain. You also have the benefit of leaving windows open when the swamp cooler is running since it helps enhance the airflow, unlike air conditioning which performs best in a sealed environment.

Basic diagram of how a swamp cooler works. Pic found here

When he opened up the cooler to investigate, my husband saw there were a few things that needed servicing in there. A spider bearing had disintegrated and the belt was shredded. The motor still works, but it's not in good shape. We need to get a new motor as soon as we can afford to so that it will be in reserve when the old one finally dies. The pads were pretty weathered and needed to be changed too.

A quick trip to Home Depot to get the necessary replacement cooler parts, and an auto parts store to get brake shoes (one of the front brakes was discovered to be in dire need of repair. We have the drum, but the shoes we had were the wrong size-too small to fit the drum properly), and my husband spent the rest of the afternoon working on the cooler. It wasn't too hard of a job and was fixed by sundown.

Basic diagram of a swamp cooler. Mine looks a little different internally than this one, but I suspect that has more to do with age than anything (ours is kinda old). Pic found here

As he did that, I worked on cleaning up the yard. It wasn't any messier than that of our neighbors, but it was getting to be too cluttered for my liking. A spring cleaning was needed so that the baby has plenty of space to play in the yard when we go outside. Also, on a recent trip to the recyclers, we learned that no outfit in town was buying plastic. With the price of oil being so cheap right now, the price of plastic was too low to justify paying out. I was disappointed because my husband and I try to be ecologically responsible and recycle our plastics and metals. But, since management is too cheap to incorporate recycling into the weekly garbage service, we have to go elsewhere to recycle our pop cans and bottles. Out to trash went several garbage bags of empty plastic 2L pop bottles which would ordinarily have gone to recycling. As disappointing as it is to have to throw away recyclables, I'm tired of our yard looking like something out of "Hoarders". By the end of the day, the yard was still cluttered in a few places, but much more orderly than before. My hubby will finally have the room he needs to build a carport to shade our cholomobile from that beastly ball of gas in the sky.

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