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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    17

    Default Swamp cooler located in shallow basement setting

    My first post to all you guys out there. Here we go....

    How would you document this unit, other than it was operable, ducted to the interior of dwelling (guest house) and corrosion noted to the exterior housing. I did defer to HVAC just because of the corrosion btw.
    First time that I ever saw a swamp cooler under a house in 9 years of inspections. on a multi million $ Napa wine country property. Not that that has anything to do with it. This inspection was for the seller of the property. I did tell them I thought it was a lousy place for the unit, ventilation wise IMO. They said they had the blessing of a local HVAC firm in the area. I said 'really' huh....

    Let 'er rip guys.
    swamp cooler in shallow basement.jpg

    NHIE Practice Exam

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,251

    Default Re: Swamp cooler located in shallow basement setting

    Not being familiar with Swamp Coolers ... but being familiar with equipment, I have this question: Did you take a photo of the label?

    I ask because I suspect that the label states "Suitable For Outdoor Use", "Outdoor Use", "Listed For Outdoor Use" or wording to that affect.

    Such wording does not mean it is suitable for indoor or outdoor use - that wording means it is suitable for outdoor use, and is not suitable for any use other than outdoor use ... I.e., not suitable for indoor use.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Swamp cooler located in shallow basement setting

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Not being familiar with Swamp Coolers ... but being familiar with equipment, I have this question: Did you take a photo of the label?

    I ask because I suspect that the label states "Suitable For Outdoor Use", "Outdoor Use", "Listed For Outdoor Use" or wording to that affect.

    Such wording does not mean it is suitable for indoor or outdoor use - that wording means it is suitable for outdoor use, and is not suitable for any use other than outdoor use ... I.e., not suitable for indoor use.
    No sir Jerry.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,549

    Default Re: Swamp cooler located in shallow basement setting

    A swamp cooler blows a lot of air over a pan of water. The operating manual for the Champion swamp cooler shows it mounted on a shelf outside a window. The manual explains how to open other windows in the house for proper air circulation.

    That crawlspace unit is drawing air out of the crawlspace and blowing it into the living space. It is also creating negative pressure in the crawlspace, drawing air in, maybe thru vents in the walls? It is keeping the crawlspace air fresh, at least.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Swamp cooler located in shallow basement setting

    Yes there are screened vents at the perimeter of structure, with HVAC type filters on them. The crawlspace was super clean and moisture free. Maybe all that wine stored in there is liking that rusty old unit.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    389

    Default Re: Swamp cooler located in shallow basement setting

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    . . . .

    That crawlspace unit is drawing air out of the crawlspace and blowing it into the living space. It is also creating negative pressure in the crawlspace, drawing air in, maybe thru vents in the walls? It is keeping the crawlspace air fresh, at least.
    Great summary. Looks like a good install to me.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,251

    Default Re: Swamp cooler located in shallow basement setting

    Re: Swamp cooler located in shallow basement setting

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Ryan View Post
    The crawlspace was super clean and moisture free.
    Mark,

    Is that in a basement as the title says, or in a crawlspace as this post says?

    Makes a difference as to its location of being "outdoors" or not as a basement is not considered "outdoors", while a crawlspace could be - of course, that opens up a real can of worms if the crawlspace is considered "outdoors" as many furnaces and heaters - which are not rated for use outdoors - are installed in crawlspaces.

    If the crawlspace is not "outdoors", then the swamp cooler may still not be allowed to be installed in a crawlspace.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    1,258

    Default Re: Swamp cooler located in shallow basement setting

    It would depend heavily on how much ventilation was available into that room where the swamp is located. If there was enough ventilation, it wouldn't be any different than if it were outside. However, if the water heater / furnace / boiler are in that area, that makes a huge difference. Hopefully there are no gas appliances in there.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Swamp cooler located in shallow basement setting

    Jim,
    No gas fired appliances located in the basement. Just a water softener system and a electric water heater. Heating in the dwelling was supplied by electric baseboard heater.
    Ventilation appeared to be adequate in the area. My ears didn't pop when the system was operating due to negative pressure. John Kogel's comments above were spot on.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    389

    Default Re: Swamp cooler located in shallow basement setting

    I'd like to add one little tidbit. A swamp cooler is allowed wherever the user decides to put it. It is a totally inert piece of HVAC equipment. Its function is to cool air by dropping the dry bulb temperature and it does that by evaporation.

    Some places where people choose to put them are better than others, but there is nothing in any code that says they can't be placed somewhere. (grammer?)


    Last edited by Rod Butler; 04-09-2014 at 05:58 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,251

    Default Re: Swamp cooler located in shallow basement setting

    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Butler View Post
    I'd like to addone little tidbit. A swamp cooler is allowed wherever the user decides to putit. It is a totally inert piece of HVAC equipment. Its function is to cool airby dropping the dry bulb temperature and it does that by evaporation.

    Some places where people choose to put them are better than others, but thereis nothing in any code that says they can't be placed somewhere.
    An appliance, air conditioner, electrical equipment, etc, is only permitted to be installed where it is approved and listed for.

    They are not allowed to be installed outdoors unless listed for outdoor use. If listed for outdoor use it is not allowed to be used indoors (other than outdoors) unless dual rated for indoor use too.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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