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Why Does My Swamp Cooler Smell Like a Wet Dog? (Answered 2024)

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Why Does My Swamp Cooler Smell Like Wet DogSufferin’ catfish! When you fire up that dusty swamp cooler expecting sweet relief from the heat, the last thing you want wafting through your home is a stench like a wet dog. What gives? Well, stagnant water breeding bacteria could be the culprit. Or mildew spreading on them saturated pads.

We’ll get to the bottom of what’s foul in your system and have you breathing easy again lickety-split.

Key Takeaways

  • Stagnant water
  • Mildew growth on the pads
  • Contaminated supply water
  • Dead animals

Possible Causes

Possible Causes
Various issues can make your swamp cooler smell unpleasant.

Stagnant water, mildew growth on the pads, contaminated supply water, and even dead animals getting stuck in the unit are possible culprits behind that unpleasant wet dog smell.

Let’s examine these root causes so you can pinpoint why your cooler reeks and fix the problem.

Stagnant Water

Stagnant water in your swamp cooler can cause a rotten egg smell. This is because the bacteria in the water start to decompose and release sulfur gas.

To prevent this, make sure to drain and clean your swamp cooler regularly.

Mildew

Is your swamp cooler smelling like a wet dog? Mildew could be the cause. Here are 3 possible causes of mildew in your swamp cooler:

  • Stagnant water in the tank or water distribution system.
  • Mildew in the evaporator coil.
  • Pet odor.

Contaminated Supply Water

Contaminated supply water can also cause your swamp cooler to smell bad.

This can be caused by:

  • Bacteria
  • Algae
  • Chlorine
  • Hard water
  • Salty water

To fix the problem, you’ll need to contact your water company or a plumber to fix the issue.

Dead Animals

If your swamp cooler smells like a wet dog, it may be because there’s a dead animal inside the cooler.

To fix the problem, you’ll need to:

  • Remove the dead animal.
  • Clean the cooler thoroughly.

Fixing Swamp Cooler Smells

Fixing Swamp Cooler Smells
To fix a smelly swamp cooler, you can:

  • Drain and clean the tank.
  • Replace the pads.
  • Contact the water company.
  • Remove any dead animals.

By following these steps, you can help to eliminate the foul odor and restore your swamp cooler to its former glory.

Drain and Clean Tank

Drain and clean the tank to remove stagnant water that may be causing the smell.

  • Use hot water to clean the tank.
  • Rinse the tank with cold water.

Clean the tank regularly.

Clean the tank before storage.

Clean the tank after use.

Replace Pads

After draining and cleaning the tank, replace the pads to eliminate the fishy smell from your swamp cooler.

Use clean, fresh water and pads that are designed for swamp coolers.

Replace the pads according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Contact Water Company

If you suspect that the water supply is contaminated, contact the water company.

They can test the water and let you know if it’s safe to use.

If the water is contaminated, you’ll need to have it cleaned or replaced.

Remove Dead Animals

To remove a dead animal from your swamp cooler, you’ll need to:

  • Inspect the cooler for dead animals or objects.
  • Dispose of them properly.

This can be a difficult and unpleasant task, but it’s important to do in order to prevent the spread of disease and to eliminate the foul odor.

Preventing Smells

Preventing Smells
To prevent your swamp cooler from smelling bad:

  • Drain it completely when not in use.
  • Change the water pads regularly.
  • Use clean water.

Drain When Not in Use

Drain your swamp cooler when not in use to:

  • Prevent smells
  • Keep water clean
  • Prevent mold growth
  • Prevent leaks
  • Protect the unit
  • Prevent damage

Change Pads Regularly

Change the pads regularly to prevent stagnant water or mildew from building up and causing a bad smell.

  • Clean pads regularly
  • Replace pads when they’re dirty or damaged
  • Use clean water in the cooler
  • Drain the cooler when it isn’t in use
  • Inspect the cooler for dead animals or other objects that could be causing the smell

Use Clean Water

Ensure that the water used in your swamp cooler is clean to prevent smells.

Clear water is better for your health, taste, and life.

Dirty water can harbor bacteria that can make you sick.

Signs of Problems

Signs of Problems
If your swamp cooler smells like rotten eggs, fish, or has an odd odor from the water, it could be a sign of a problem.

A rotten egg smell is caused by stagnant water in the tank or water distribution system.

A fishy smell is caused by stagnant water or mildew in the water pads.

An odd odor from the water is caused by contaminated water.

Rotten Eggs Smell

A rotten eggs smell is a sign that your swamp cooler has stagnant water in the tank or water distribution system.

To fix this, you need to:

  1. Drain the tank and clean it with soap and water.
  2. Replace the water pads.
  3. Clean the water distribution system.

Fishy Smell

A fishy smell from your swamp cooler is caused by stagnant water or mildew in the water pads.

To fix this,

  • Clean the pads with bleach and water,
  • Clean the tank.

You should also check the water quality to make sure it isn’t contaminated.

Odd Water Smell

An odd odor from your swamp cooler water indicates a problem with your water supply.

  • Contaminated water
  • Clogged drain
  • Dirty evaporator coil
  • Pet dander
  • Air filter

When to Call a Professional

When to Call a Professional
If you’ve tried all of the above solutions and your swamp cooler still smells bad, it’s time to call a professional.

Smell Possible Cause Professional to Call
Rotten eggs Stagnant water Plumber
Fishy Mildew HVAC technician
Odd water Contaminated water Water company
Something died Dead animal Animal control

By following these tips, you can help to keep your swamp cooler smelling fresh and clean.

How to Maintain Your Swamp Cooler

How to Maintain Your Swamp Cooler
To prevent your swamp cooler from smelling bad,

  • Drain it completely when not in use
  • Clean it before and after long term storage.

Clean the unit regularly to prevent build-up and clear out existing build-up. This will ensure water distribution remains efficient and prevent long term damage.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What does a wet dog smell like?

A wet dog smells like a combination of:

  • Bacteria
  • Yeast
  • Other organic compounds

How do I clean the drainage pan under my air conditioner?

To clean the drainage pan under your air conditioner,

  • Remove the cover.
  • Pour a cup of white vinegar into the pan.
  • Let the vinegar sit for 10 minutes.
  • Rinse the pan with water.

How do I clean the evaporator coil in my air conditioner?

To clean the evaporator coil in your air conditioner, you’ll need to:

  • Remove the access panel
  • Disconnect the power supply
  • Use a degreaser or vinegar and water solution to clean the coil.

How do I clean the air filter in my air conditioner?

To clean the air filter in your swamp cooler,

  • Remove it from the unit.
  • Rinse it with warm water.
  • You can also use a vacuum cleaner to remove any dust or debris.

How do I check for leaks in my air conditioner?

To check for leaks in your swamp cooler:

  • Look around the unit for any signs of water damage, such as water stains or dripping.
  • Listen for the sound of dripping water.

Conclusion

Now that you know what’s causing that swamp cooler stench, you can get rid of it and enjoy cool, fresh air again.

References
  • nofly90.com
Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is an author and software engineer from the United States, I and a group of experts made this blog with the aim of answering all the unanswered questions to help as many people as possible.