Swamp Cooler Smells Like Fish – What to Do?

When using your swamp cooler, you always feel good when it produces a sweet smell for the nose. If your cooler is fresh, you feel better than maintaining it well because it makes cool air that must smell fresh. However, you can use the cooler for a while when you notice a terrible odor that feels like disgusting fish.  With such an issue, the swamp cooler must have problems that you need to fix immediately to help provide the room with cool air.

If you have the swamp cooler smelling like fish, you need first to identify the causes of the smell in the cooler before trying to find a way of solving the problem. Some of the issues can be that there is mold or bacteria that grows on the walls of the tubes that water passes through them or so. Therefore, you need to solve the problems after citing the causes to reduce the time you will take troubleshooting the swamp cooler. One of the ways is cleaning the whole swamp cooler system using vinegar to remove the smell.

The article below shows the reasons for the fishy smell in the swamp cooler where; it is because of the minerals or the contents of water passing through the tubes in the swamp cooler that stay for long, causing the smell after that are the possible ways of solving the problem to reduce the smell in the swamp cooler.

Causes of the fishy smell in the swamp coolerswamp cooler smells like fish

 The reasons why the fishy smell comes from the swamp cooler are that there can be the growth of bacteria, mold, or algae that is in the cooler, failure of air intake in the cooler, water source for the cooler can have chloramines that cause the smell, overheating of the electrical component and poor plumbing of the cooler. Follow the guide below to get more details of the reasons:

1. Growth of mold and bacteria on the surfaces of the coolerGrowth of mold and bacteria on the surfaces of the cooler

The most common cause of the fishy smell in the swamp cooler is the bacteria and mold that grow and stick on the surfaces of the cooler. The bacteria come from the air that passes through to the cooler, where some contain these particles that grow to mold.  To reduce the smell in the unit, you need to clean the whole swamp cooler removing the molds. Below are the steps you can follow in cleaning the cooler.

  •  Please switch off the cooler and gently remove its cover panel to access the inner parts of the cooler.
  • Remove the cooler pads and fiber to check if they have the bacteria to remove them.
  • Remove the water in the overflow pan.
  • Clean the debris and another visible part in the cooler using a brush that rubs the hard stains.
  • Consider using soap and water to clean the pan and other parts like the plugs. Safely clean the details to avoid damaging them.
  • Rinse the pan thoroughly. Add vinegar to the pan and give it time to work on the dirty particles it contains.
  • Remove the vinegar and rinse again with clean water.
  • Fix new pads to the areas where the places are old.
  •  Put back the whole unit in place.

2.  Air filters taking foul odorAir filters taking foul odor

Sometimes the fishy smell can be because the air filters taking since some of the air has to smell.  If the cooler is clean but there is a fishy smell, consider checking the cooler’s vents.

  1. Switch off the swamp cooler.
  2. Check the air intake vents.
  3. Change the direction of the vents to face a direction that provides cool air.
  4. Fix a carbon filter to help provide cool air in the house.

3. Minerals in the water are coolerMinerals in the water are cooler

Some water sources the swamp cooler uses contain minerals containing chloramines, which causes a fishy smell. The minerals in the water are because of the treatment people tend to do for the water. So if the cooler smells fishy, check the water in the cooler.  However, it depends on the age of the plumbing tools in the cooler such that when the cooler is old, it will produce some smell that you need to change the parts having the corrosion.

To help solve the problem, consider installing a water filter that will help filter the water that enters the cooler to remove impurities causing the fishy smell. To install the water filter, do it with the ways the cooler receives water. You can also install an inline filter depending on the assembly you are using with the cooler.

4. It is overheating of the electrical component in the coolerIt is overheating of the electrical component in the cooler

The fishy smell in the cooler can be because of the electrical components in the cooler that experience overheating that gives the scent.  To identify the problem, check the air intake that can produce the smell showing that the issues are with the electrical components. To repair anything with electricity, consider following the proper procedure to do it. Avoid touching the wires since they cause some more damages or injuries to the user. Consider asking a technician to help repair to avoid some cables that can lead to faults or any other damages.

How to reduce the fishy smell in the swamp coolerHow to reduce the fishy smell in the swamp cooler

After checking on the possible causes of the fishy smell in the swamp cooler, consider getting the possible ways of reducing the odor in the cooler to get the fresh cool air.  Below are the few things you choose to use to reduce the fishy smell in the swamp cooler.

1) Switch off the swamp cooler by unplugging all the power cables from the power source to avoid touching some parts with the swamp cooler that can cause injuries to the user.

2) Open the inner parts of the swamp cooler by removing the cover panel to access the interior features of the cooler.

3) Clean the inner parts of the cooler to remove the bacteria and mold that grows in the inner surfaces by using vinegar and rinse the veneers with water.

4) Install water filters to the cooler to help filter water that flows through to the cooler to remove the minerals that contain chemicals that make the surfaces smell fishy.

5)   You can use it to buy a swamp cooler deodorizer so that you place it in the swamp cooler. The deodorizer helps in reducing the fishy smell that the swamp cooler produces.

6) Allow the pads to dry when they are wet to avoid water from the places to flow to the fan that later the cooler sprays to the house when cooling it.

7) Reassemble everything and switch on the swamp cooler to confirm if it is working.

8) If everything in the cooler is not working correctly, consider consulting a technician.   

Read also our another article of: Swamp Cooler Spraying Water

Frequently asked questions:

  •  What are the preventive measures to take after using the swamp cooler in the summer season?

After the summer season, you need to keep the cooler in a good place to store it for the next summer season. Therefore, when you have the swamp cooler and need to store it for the next season, you need to follow some steps to make the cooler good for use. Below are the steps you can follow to keep the cooler:

  1. Drain the swamp cooler properly after using the swamp cooler for the following year.
  2. Clean the dirt in the cooler like mineral deposits using a brush that rubs the ground.
  3. Cover the swamp cooler in a particular place to prevent dust from getting in touch with.
  4. You can always check on the cooler by starting it to ensure it is still working.

Conclusion

 The article above covers all the causes of the fishy smell in the swamp cooler, which can be dirty particles and the minerals in the water the cooler is using. There are also the steps of fixing the smell in the guide.

Follow the steps carefully to remove the smell in your cooler. You choose to buy a deodorizer to help reduce the smell in your cooler.

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