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Swamp Cooler Maintenance and Repair

Your swamp cooler can be a source of savings during the summer months, especially if you live in a hot, dry region. It's important to keep your system optimized so that you can enjoy good performance throughout the cooling season. Regular maintenance produces excellent results, limiting repair needs while ensuring that you can weather the summer months with ease.

National Repair a Swamp Cooler Costs

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by ImproveNet members.

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Average reported cost

based on 513 cost profiles


Minimum cost


Maximum cost

Most homeowners spent between:




National Repair a Swamp Cooler Costs
Average reported cost $195
Number of Cost Profiles 513 cost profiles
Minimum reported cost $51
Maximum reported cost $511
Most homeowners spent between: $131 to $205

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Pre-Season Maintenance

Getting your swamp cooler ready before you turn it on in the spring is important, allowing you to check for broken parts or other issues. If you haven't covered your system for the winter months, you may need to vacuum dust and debris from the reservoir to ensure that your evaporative pads won't be clogged at the outset. It's also important to replace old pads. Start the season with clean pads so that you will enjoy optimum performance and fresh air. You may find that you need to replace the pads again during the summer, especially if your region is prone to dusty, windy conditions. 

As you prepare your system, you will want to oil your motor and bearings to ensure that moving parts are ready to work well. Inspect belts for cracking, replacing as needed. Once you are sure that mechanical components are in good shape, check the plumbing. Turn the water to the unit on, and check your float to make sure that the water doesn't overfill the reservoir. Turn on the recirculating pump, and check the lines that funnel water into your pads as well, ensuring that you aren't dealing with clogging issues. Verify that the motor functions correctly and that the fan moves.

Periodic Cleaning

You may want to check every couple of weeks for excessive dirt in your reservoir. A wet-dry vacuum is helpful for removing excess material. If your water is hard, a filter may be useful for limiting scale buildup as well. Check your filter from time to time, changing if you are experiencing poor flow of water.

End of Season Treatment

When your cooling season concludes, shut off water to the system. Allow your pads to dry, but leave them in place for the winter to prevent excessive cold air from entering your home. Use your wet-dry vacuum to remove water from the system reservoir. Cover your system to limit airflow into the home, and cover the inlet inside your home as well.

Common Repairs

Common parts are often available at home improvement stores, especially if swamp cooler use is popular in your region. You can replace motors, fans, floats and pumps affordably. If you aren't comfortable with the repair, you can also work with a home comfort specialist to fix or replace system components.

Last updated on May 17, 2016

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