10 November 2012

Installing a swamp cooler in the snow

Yep it snowed yesterday and there I was, up on the roof installing a swamp cooler in the middle of November. I was lucky to even get the swamp cooler, actually. Home Depot and Lowes stopped carrying them in their summer seasonal section long before our roof was put on, so I had to order it online and have it drop shipped. And the roof jack (the duct for the air) and leg kits were available from one, just one website on the whole internet after summer was over. Lucky they still had some in stock!

I also had a hard time finding 1/2" pipe jacks. (Those are the things that let pipes stick up through the roof without letting water leak in around the pipe.) Most jacks are designed for plumbing vents and are thus way too huge for a little electrical conduit and an even smaller water pipe. Finally I found "solar" jacks (for installing photovoltaic solar cells, presumably) that were the right size, and they were actually local.

Last night I got the roof jack leveled and the base pan attached, then ran out of daylight (shakes fist at the US Congress for their Daylight "Savings" shenanigans). Then this morning Tiffany and I braved the frosty roof and she helped me assemble the corners and top.

The cooler is currently empty inside. The blower assembly that normally goes in the middle will be stored in the garage this winter -- it's too cold to rig up ropes and things to haul it up onto the roof right now. We'll finish in the spring.

And there it is, up there on the back of the house. Yeah, not the most attractive thing but I think it's better to be up there than stuck on the side of the house where it's right in your face. Traditional A/C condensers are just as ugly, and are also louder than a swamp cooler, so this is actually better in my opinion.

Oh and below is a slightly better shot of the roof now that it's daytime. We finally finished patching siding and painting everything (just one coat in many places, so we'll need a second coat in the spring) too, so the house looks pretty darn presentable now if I do say so myself! I included a "before" shot for comparison:



By the way, on the 19th and 20th of November we get new windows. The window installers are adding green trim (to match the fascia) around the windows, so the appearance will change yet again, shortly.

Also, here's the finished water heater install. Plumbing may not be sexy but I think it turned out pretty well, for a rank newbie.

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