How Much Does Swamp Cooler Repair Cost?

Typical Range:

$103 - $295

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 1,160 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated October 24, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

The average cost to repair a swamp cooler is $192, while it's normal to see a range of costs between $103 and $295. Your total bill will depend on the specific problem that needs to be repaired and the cost-of-living factors in your area. A swamp cooler produces effective cooling by combining water evaporation with a simple, reliable air-moving system. Like any home system, you'll occasionally need to repair it.

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National Average $192
Typical Range $103 - $295
Low End - High End $50 - $595

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 1,160 HomeAdvisor members.

Swamp Cooler Repair Costs by Part

Swamp cooler repairs average between $100 and $300, including labor. Some repairs you can do as DIY projects, but others will require a professional. If the number or price tag of repairs becomes too high or significantly above the average cost, consider replacing the whole system.

Cost to Repair an Evaporative Cooler Motor

Repairing your motor will run between $50 and $70. This is the hourly cost for a pro to repair the unit by:

  • Adjusting the pulley

  • Oiling the motor bearing

  • Fixing wiring

Unless you’re a skilled mechanic or local electrician, a pro should complete this work. It may make more sense to completely replace the motor, depending on what’s broken and the cost of the repair.

Swamp Cooler Motor Replacement

A motor replacement costs anywhere from $50 to $600. Depending on the extent of the damage to your swamp cooler motor, it may be advisable to choose replacement instead. Replacing your motor will increase the longevity of your swamp cooler and ensure it’s functioning as well as possible. Larger, more specialized systems require more expensive motors.

Swamp Cooler Water Pump

The cost to replace a water pump will run from $15 to $480, depending on the type of unit you own. Sometimes, you’ll need to replace the pump tube/hose as well, adding between $0.50 and $1 per foot to your total.

Swamp Cooler Float Valve

Float valves for evaporative coolers run between $5 and $16. The float valve is located next to the wall of your cooler. It can leak if the seal becomes cracked, dried, and damaged. You can repair it, but it’s almost equal to the cost of an entirely new float valve component.

Evaporative Cooler Panels or Pads

Replacement pads or panels can run anywhere from $5 to $80 each. A pro can complete this work for a total of approximately $65 to $100, including parts. Changing your own swamp cooler pads is a great DIY project that can save you the cost of labor. A single system can have anywhere from one to six.

Bearing Replacement

To replace the bearings in your swamp cooler, expect to pay between $5 and $20 each, not including labor. There are two common types:

  • Shaft: $5–$10

  • Spider: $10–$20

Belt Replacement

If the belt of your swamp cooler is broken or worn out, you may need a new one. Purchasing a new cooler belt will cost between $5 and $10 for the part alone. A pro will charge another $50 to $70 to change it out for you. Once your belt is replaced, you can anticipate smooth operation. 

Swamp Cooler Covers

New swamp cooler covers cost between $20 and $50. They protect your machine from the elements and can lengthen their operative life. Covers can become cracked, damaged, or worn out over time. Failing to replace your cover can lead to more extensive damage to the machinery inside. 

Thermostat Replacement or Upgrade

Purchasing a new swamp cooler thermostat costs around $200. A swamp cooler thermostat can help you easily set and control the temperature without making manual changes. The cost of repairing a thermostat or replacing or upgrading the thermostat on your swamp cooler will vary depending on the thermostat system you choose, including the price of smart thermostats

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Swamp Cooler Startup Cost

Spring swamp cooler startup maintenance will run about $150 to $200 and includes:

  • Checking the pads and motor

  • Replacing cracked belts

  • Cleaning and rust removal

  • Oiling and lubricating

Cost to Winterize a Swamp Cooler

Winterizing a swamp cooler will cost about $100 to $150, not including parts. This will save you maintenance during the following summer, extend the life of the unit, and will include:

  • Draining the unit

  • Cleaning out sediment and dirt

  • Changing pads

  • Attaching a cover

Swamp Cooler Maintenance Cost

An evaporative cooling service cost is between $50 and $500 per year. Swamp cooler maintenance includes seasonal preparations and replacing broken or malfunctioning parts as needed. Keeping your cooler in good shape can reduce the amount you’ll spend on repairs. 

Common Swamp Cooler Problems

Check out these common problems and the potential reasoning behind the issue:

  • Motor problems: Broken; bearings need oil; shorted wiring

  • Not cooling: Humidity too high; not enough water; outside temperature is too low

  • Not blowing air: Broken motor; bearings or belt needs replacement

  • Overheating: Dirty pad; broken motor; not enough water

  • Won’t turn on: Tripped breaker or other electrical wiring problem

  • Leaking: Broken float valve; old or cracked tubing; tubes not sealed properly

  • Smells like burning: Dirty or clogged pad; motor overheating; not enough water

  • Not pumping water: Clogged tubing; broken float valve; broken water pump

  • Mildew smell: Dirty pads; dirty housing (standing water at bottom of unit)

DIY Troubleshooting

Your swamp cooler will only work if the following conditions are met:

  1. The outside air is dry (i.e., less than 30% humidity).

  2. The windows in the home are open so warm air can exit.

  3. The swamp cooler gets enough water.

Check your circuit breaker and replace the parts you can. If these repairs don’t fix the problem, contact a pro for a consultation.

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DIY Swamp Cooler Repair vs. Hiring a Pro

Depending on your skills and expertise, you may be able to repair your swamp cooler yourself. If you have experience and feel comfortable removing and replacing parts of your machine, you’ll only have to pay the cost of parts. 

If you’re not confident or experienced in your swamp cooler repair skills, hiring a pro will ensure the job gets done right. Hiring a swamp cooler pro near you will cost more than doing the project yourself since you’ll also have to pay for the pro’s time.

FAQs

How do I know if I need a swamp cooler replacement or repair?

If you have tried to replace parts in your swamp cooler and it hasn't fixed the problem, contact a professional to get an accurate diagnosis. Some repairs, such as replacing the motor, may be close to the price to replace your swamp cooler.

How much does it cost to remove a swamp cooler?

If your swamp cooler needs to be replaced or you’re removing it for another reason, you can expect to pay about $70 to $150 to have a local HVAC professional remove it. This price typically includes the labor associated with hauling it away as well as any disposal costs, such as leaving it at a dump or other similar facility. 

How much does it cost to run a swamp cooler all day?

Swamp coolers will cost about $2 to run for 24 hours. To run a unit 24 hours a day every day for an entire month, it would cost roughly $60. In comparison, a central AC costs about $330 per month at this rate. Using a swamp cooler as opposed to a central AC unit is an effective way to reduce your overall costs. 

How much does it cost to run an evaporative cooler per month?

It costs roughly $20 per month to run a swamp cooler in most areas, but this total can vary based on a number of factors, including the price of water and electricity in your area. This $20 total accounts for about $5 in water and $15 in electricity for a unit running eight hours and using 80 gallons of water per day.

How much water does a swamp cooler use?

The amount of water a cooler will use depends on the humidity of the outside air, the unit size, and the frequency of use. Swamp coolers may use anywhere from 90 to 450 gallons of water per month. Your water bill will be a good indicator of how much water your unit uses each month. 

Who fixes swamp coolers?

You can’t count on just anyone to have the knowledge and expertise needed to repair a swamp cooler. A swamp cooler technician in your area can repair your unit. Be sure to get several quotes and speak with several pros about what the problem may be before choosing the swamp cooler repair pro that’s right for you.