Swamp Cooler Making A Humming Noise? (Possible Causes & Fixes)

Upgraded Home Team
by Upgraded Home Team

Arguably, they are one of the most popular alternatives to air conditioners for home cooling options. That is partly because of the comparable cost and effort of purchasing and installing air conditioning systems. What happens, and what do you do though, if your swamp cooler starts making noises? Swamp cooler making humming noises or sounds? Read on.

If your swamp cooler makes a humming noise, a belt, oil, or engine issue likely exists. Many of these issues can be resolved without much effort or expense. Other causes for these noises, however, can be considerably more costly. If your swamp cooler is making problematic sounds, then it needs to be looked at before it becomes a greater problem, if it already isn’t.

Swamp coolers, sometimes referred to as evaporative coolers, are like any other machine or piece of equipment. They are excellent when they are working, and not so much when they are not. So what do these problems mean? How big of a problem is that humming, and how do we go about fixing it?

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The Usual Suspects

If your swamp cooler is making a humming noise, then there are typically three potential culprits. A couple of those problems can be minimal in nature and are often easy fixes. They also typically won’t cost a fortune to have done.

It should also be noted here that most swamp cooler problems are not commonly of the DIY variety. Here is a look at those usual suspects and the steps that are necessary to fix those problems.

Swamp Cooler Belt Issues

If a humming noise is coming from your swamp cooler, there is a good chance it is a belt problem. This is good news because not only are belt issues one of the most common reasons for these sounds, but also one of the easiest fixes. Belts can loosen with use, or even be too tight, creating a variety of sounds.

Loose or tight belts in swamp coolers can produce humming sounds, high-pitched squealing, flapping noises, and other audible emissions. These belts can also lead to other problems and costly issues if left unaddressed. In the worst-case scenarios, loose belts can cause wear and overwork motors causing them to eventually fail. An evaporation cooler technician should be contacted to diagnose swamp coolers making noise.

Belt-Related Issues for Swamp Coolers

Another issue for those belts loosening or tightening may have nothing to do with the belts themselves. Bearings can be another cause for that humming, and they are often the cause for bad belts too.

The bearings problem on swamp coolers also leads to another possible issue that should be checked if you are hearing sounds. And this problem, much like the belts and bearings relationship, gets to the cause of the issue (and in this case the noise).

Swamp Cooler Oil-Related Problems

Those familiar with motors have likely already diagnosed where this is headed. Regardless of what kind of motor or engine it is, if it has bearings, it needs oil. Are you hearing humming when the swamp cooler is running? Then the oil levels may need to be checked.

Is the oil level unusually low? Is the oil dirty or is there oil around the oil compartment? These are all indications of a potentially more taxing issue, and another reason to seek out a swamp cooler technician.

Swamp Cooler Motor Issues

One of the biggest concerns, when that swamp cooler starts making new sounds, is that there is always the possibility that the problem is as big as we fear. While the truth is in many cases the motor is fine, sometimes it isn’t. That means that when your swamp cooler starts humming, it may also be pointing to the beginning of a motor failure.

This is also a good time to discuss the process of fixing swamp coolers. From the smaller problems to the most expensive issues, there are many good reasons to seek out a service technician.

Many swamp coolers are located on rooftops, meaning even the most basic maintenance may pose a risk. Another reason to consider seeking an evaporation cooler technician is their ability to troubleshoot issues while they are still small issues.

Wanted for Questioning

There are also a few other less common reasons why that swamp cooler might be humming or making noise. Here are a few of those less frequent issues for a swamp cooler causing a ruckus.

Loose or Broken Parts

Nuts, screws, and clamps can work themselves loose and create a variety of unusual sounds. If there is a common occurrence for loose parts, it might the float valve. More common than loose bolts and fixtures are float valves that lose their seal or that become detached.

Bad Bent or Broken Blades

Once again, an unlikely culprit, but not out of the realm of possibility, bad, bent, or broken blades on the fan can cause swamp coolers to emit some very odd sounds. These are also more examples that will require the assistance of a swamp cooler technician.

Faulty Water Pump

Although this isn’t a common issue for evaporative coolers, it is an issue that can and does occur. It also isn’t likely that a bad water pump will give us the courtesy of making noise, but that doesn’t mean it can be the reason that swamp cooler is whining either.

How to Go About Getting Service for Your Evaporative Cooler

The earlier the detection of your swamp cooler having a problem, like making a humming noise, the better. And like it is with most mechanical equipment, discovering problems sooner than later can save time, money, headaches. And sometimes even the need to replace your evaporative cooler.

So who do you contact, or where do you go when your swamp cooler begins making humming noises or sounds? Unfortunately, you aren’t going to find a listing for an evaporative cooler or swamp cooler technician. Don’t worry, the good news is that most plumbing, HVAC heating, and cooling services can help.

In addition to issues like those aforementioned safety concerns, hiring a licensed technician also means have work done that is generally insured. It also can mean not having to contract help to be back and repair what we attempted to fix.

That doesn’t mean, however, that there isn’t some basic care and maintenance that we can provide. Barring your swamp cooler being in an unsafe location, there are several things we can do to help keep our swamp coolers running properly. In those situations where the swamp coolers aren’t easily or safely accessible, a technician can provide general maintenance services too.

General Swamp Cooler Maintenance

Here are some basic steps we can take to help maintain the condition and performance of our swamp coolers. And they may also prevent those unwanted and unwelcome noises as well.

Check and Clean the Cooling Pads

At least semi-regularly the cooing pads should be checked. If the pads are in poor condition then they will need to be replaced. It is also advisable to clean the pads and container at the start of the season when you begin using your swamp cooler again.

Maintain Proper Water Levels

Water is the essence and lifeblood of every swamp cooler, and checking the water levels is simply another step in maintaining the condition and life of your swamp cooler. Some water may also need to be treated depending on various factors regarding the water condition.

Clean Water Tank

If you have hard water or if your water demands water treatment tablets, for example, it may also be a good idea to clean the tank periodically. A good time to do this is when the system is shut down for the winter season.

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Related Questions

How Much Will It Cost to Service My Swamp Cooler?

The cost to have an evaporative cooler fixed can vary greatly depending on what needs to be done. Typical service rates run around $40 to $50 dollars an hour. That also means a basic service call can be made for under $100.For bigger problems, such as the worst-case scenario, a motor replacement for a swamp cooler will typically be in the $600 dollar range. Most repairs such as a belt replacement, for example, are much more affordable.

Swamp Cooler Isn’t Blowing Cool Air or Has Weak Airflow

If you notice that your swamp cooler isn’t blowing cool air, or if the airflow seems weak, then there are a few things to check. The first thing to check is the swamp cooler pump. Turning off the unit and cleaning it should open the airflow up.The next step would be to inspect the cooler pump itself. Although it is as common of an occurrence, these pumps can fail. If the pump appears to be in normal and good working order and is running fine, then it may be time to call for a service technician. And, as always, it isn’t advisable to attempt any maintenance or work on a swamp cooler located in potentially hazardous locations.

Upgraded Home Team
Upgraded Home Team

We are a team of passionate homeowners, home improvement pros, and DIY enthusiasts who enjoy sharing home improvement, housekeeping, decorating, and more with other homeowners! Whether you're looking for a step-by-step guide on fixing an appliance or the cost of installing a fence, we've here to help.

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