Saturday, June 28, 2008

Swamp Cooler

The swamp cooler in the little house is probably forty years old. I remember it from the days the little house was a workshop. It's much bigger than the swamp cooler in the big house. It should keep this place almost frigid, but something is not working quite right. Sadly I am not of the generation of women who grew up knowing that they could do anything, so fixing it myself is out of the question. But I think I have some idea what the problem is--I think it's the fan belt. If not the fan belt, then the problem is the motor that runs the big barrel fan. I will put motor lubricating oil on my shopping list, and hope I can keep it running through July and most of August. That is the scorcher time in Salt Lake. Every day will be over a hundred degrees, and the nights will only cool into the eighties.

So, here you go Diva. There are two motors that make a swamp cooler work. The swamp part of swamp cooler is the water that's pumped from the bottom of the cooler up to the filters that line the three outside walls of the cooler. This pump sits on the bottom and sucks up water into the tubes that feed it into little troughs in the top of each side of the cooler where it trickles in a steady stream, so that the air being sucked through them is cooled. The other motor runs the big barrel fan that propels the air into the house. A swamp cooler is only effective in a very dry climate. Before my handyman retired, we had a conversation about swamp cooler versus central air-conditioning. He has both in his house, so has the option to use one or the other. He said the only time he ever uses his air-conditioning is when the humidity is above 20%. The rest of the time the swamp cooler is more effective and comfortable. It makes the cool air coming into the house slightly moist and softer seeming.

I know some man is going to read this, and laugh his ass off at my shaky grasp of the workings of a swamp cooler. But that's the best I can do.

17 comments:

DCup said...

Thank you for explaining that. I was wondering.

Utah Savage said...

Yeah, Ill bet. Nothing like adding a little humidity to the swamp that is so much of the deep South. I know dry heat might sound nice, but I dehydrates skin. I will soon look like a lizard.

Utah Savage said...

A very plump lizard mind you. Fat is your friend as you get old. Such a comfort, no?

Madam Z said...

I lived in SLC for five years, back in the 70's. As I recall, it was always "dry heat" in the summer, and it cooled off at night. A swamp cooler worked just fine, for the reasons your "handyman" explained. Now I live in hellhole Pennsylvania and it's so fucking hot and humid right now that I think I would actually be cooler in a swamp!

DivaJood said...

Thank you, because I had visions of something completely different. I grew up in Chicago, and in July and August (dog days) when the humidity was enough to curl the hair on a bald man, we would run a dehumidifier. It helped to cool things off, actually. So in a desert, (like Los Angeles) a Swamp Cooler would make more sense than a/c.

Zee said...

...some handy man comes along reading this - laughing his ass off; hardly.
You seem to have a good grasp and understanding of how things work.

Utah Savage said...

Zee, you're so kind.

BBC said...

I'm not going to laugh my ass off because you are pretty much spot on.

It might be the belt but it's easy to adjust it if it is, all you need is a few cheap tools. Wet cooling in SLC is good so don't sweat it, your body needs humidity.

As an expert handyman I suggest that you put a teaspoon of bleach in it once a week. Not that you have to though. Or some lavender or mint oil to make the place smell nice?

It finely got warm here today, 83 degrees, that is hot for this area, I made root beer floats for Helen and I. She is the old lady next door that I look after, she won't cook shit so I fix her meals.

But she is the sweetest little thing, when she isn't being a bitch, and that is very seldom. I sure wish she would let me paint her kitchen though, it hasn't been painted since the 60's.

Westcoast Walker said...

No shame for you Utah - I live in the Pacific Northwest and would be completely useless fixing one of those things - I am not a handyman myself and would be scrambling for online instructions while in your predicament.

Of course I would be melting in the heat as well, and consider any' thing over 80 degrees unbearable - I'll take my temperate rainy climate any day!

Utah Savage said...

bbc, your suggestion for a bit of bleach and some essential oil in the swamp cooler water is greatly appreciated. Excellent idea.

You have mentioned the neediness of women before, and I thought you didn't like women much. But now I see what a kind and sweet man you are in your curmudgeonly way. I'd let you paint for me any day. You say you cook? What a guy. You're definitely a catch. Lucky for the lady next door.

Westcoast walker, thanks for visiting again. You're right about the temperature thing. My comfort range is from sixty to eighty. Over eighty and I'm too hot, under sixty, too cold. Santa Barbara was my ideal climate. Especially when I lived Up top of West Camino Cielo. It was perfect. High above the city and with an ocean view, the Channel Islands, above the marine layer.

But I later found out, living up close and personal on the edge of the Pacific Ocean and in a citrus grove, that I have a fierce allergy to mold. So bbcs' suggestion that I put a little bleach in the swamp cooler water is a great idea.

Ghost Dansing said...

swamp coolers are very kewl...... here's one that uses solar power too!

Dr. Zaius said...

Swamp coolers? Delicious! I'll have two please! Lots of ice, no straw thankyouverymuch. ;o)

Anita said...

i'm sorry, but i'm still confused. is a "swamp cooler" the same thing as a "window air conditioner"???? and hey!! i've got two of those thingy's.

i have say, though, from your description of the confounded device, it seems like you are pretty technologically adept. you doth protest too much!!!

Utah Savage said...

Ghost, I gotta, gotta, gotta get me one of them solar powered swamp coolers. You are amazing. A clip for any occasion. Now if I had your computer skills, I wouldn't have had to try so hard to explain the mysteries of the swamp cooler. And that cooler in the video looks suspiciously like my antique. So nothing much new in swamp cooler style.

Dr. Ziaus, my new heart-throb, I make up a new drink just for you called the Swamp Cooler. Let me think about this one for a bit and I'll give you the ingredients list. I know this. It will be mint garnished, thanks to BBC

Anita, I'm always happy to see you out and about. But, I'd put money on it that your window air-conditioner is not a swam cooler, but an air conditioner. There is a difference. Isn't it a bit humid where you live?

BBC said...

Yeah, I cook, I like to cook, for two years I cooked the friendship dinner for a hundred people on Friday evening when it was my turn.

And I like to vacuum, I guess I'm just a strange little fuck.

Yes, I take good care of Helen. Her house and yard and such because her legs are shot and she can't do much more anymore and wants to die in her home so if possible I will help her do that.

Utah Savage said...

BBC, What's "The friendship dinner?" Is that a religious thing or a charity? One hundred people is a lot of dinner.

Je ne regrette rien said...

who needs a handyman when there are so many handywomen in the world? (I know I'm going to be eating my words on that one ...) just a matter of time.