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Keeping Your Evaporative Cooler Running: Repair Costs

Last Updated: December 11, 2023

Ryan Maguire
Fact Checked By: Ryan Maguire
15 Year Expert in construction, landscape design, home improvement and maintenance.

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A swamp cooler, or evaporative cooler, is an energy-efficient alternative to air conditioning.

The machine lowers indoor air temperatures by blowing air that's cooled through the process of evaporation.

With few moving parts, an evaporative cooler requires very little upkeep. Regular use does, however, necessitate routine cooler maintenance, including winterization and summer preparation.

If the unit's cooling ability dips or the machine stops working altogether, a service professional should be able to fix the problem for a modest cost.

Swamp Cooler Repair Cost #

Typical costs for common swamp cooler repairs:

Pump Replacement

  • Parts + labor: $150 - $300

Motor Repair

  • Diagnosis + parts: $200 - $450

Blower Fan Repair

  • Fan blades and bearing rebuild: $250 - $600

Float Valve Fix

  • Adjust or replace: $100 - $200

Pad Replacement

  • Pads, water, cleaning: $75 - $150

Full Troubleshooting/Tune-Up

  • Identify all issues: $200 - $350

Major repairs over $750 may indicate it's time to replace an aging swamp cooler vs continuing to fix issues as they arise. Get multiple bids.

Swamp Cooler Repair Cost

Real-World Swamp Cooler Repair Costs #

Here are some real-world quotes from homeowners on how much they paid to have their swamp cooler (evaporative cooler) repaired:

  • "The motor went out on my older cooler. I paid $385 for a replacement blower motor and to have it installed." - Anne S., Arizona

  • "I was having water drainage issues with my swamp cooler on the roof due to a stuck float valve. They charged $145 for the diagnosis, valve fix and servicing." - James D., New Mexico

  • "The pump was making noise and needed replacement on my 5 year old Mastercool unit. I paid $210 parts and labor to have their technician replace it." - Brandon P., Utah

  • "I had problems with my cooler turning on properly when it got really hot. They cleaned the algae out of the pads, checked all connections and replaced a control board for $325." - Sabrina T., Nevada

  • "Full seasonal swamp cooler tuneup, cleaning out debris, inspecting the motor, replacing pads, adjusting floats. Annual service was $250." - Mark K., Colorado

Swamp cooler repairs typically range from $100 to $600+ depending on if it is minor fixes vs replacing major components like blowers or motors. More extensive electrical troubleshooting and HVAC tech work pushes costs higher as well.

Swamp Cooler Maintenance #

For starters, on days the cooler is in use, you need to make sure that the water tank is full, as a swamp cooler can use a dozen or more gallons of water a day depending on conditions.

On a weekly basis, or at the very least once per month, you should perform a visual inspection of major swamp cooler components. Pads and filters wear out and need to be replaced; the frequency of replacement depends on factors such as how much use the cooler receives, water hardness, and air quality (i.e. pollution, dust, and pollen).

The tank and all moving parts should also be cleaned of mineral deposits.

To prepare a swamp cooler for the winter, the unit should be drained and covered.

Even if you've diligently kept it clean throughout the summer and fall, the cooler should be thoroughly cleaned and the pads replaced before wintertime inactivity. Fresh pads installed in the fall reduce the amount of rust that occurs on the louver panels during the winter.

If winter is the season for preventative swamp cooler maintenance, then spring is the time for a tune up service. This can include inspecting the pads, filters, and moving parts, replacing the belt if necessary, adding motor oil and lubricant, and thoroughly cleaning the cooler of rust and buildup both inside and out.

Use Our Free Service and Find Swamp Cooler Companies Near You #

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