I have a swamp cooler… except it is not a swamp cooler.

Home Inspector with NCW Home Inspections, LLC

I have a swamp cooler… except it is not a swamp cooler.     East Wenatchee Home Inspections

This is a Swamp Cooler

Well the cooling season is now upon us on the Eastern Flanks of the Cascade mountains. With that I have to get back into my Air Conditioner/Heat Pump testing mode.


So on this recent home inspection I get inside the home and go to the thermostat and switch into cooling mode so I can run the AC for a while as I perform other aspects of the home inspection.

HVAC Components

After a good 1-½ or more of testing the AC I go check some registers to see what temperatures I am getting to prepare to take a cooling split reading. This is a temperature difference between the return air and the closest register to the air handler.


Then I go open the Air Handler to see what is going on in there and this is when I find that the air handler is actually a swamp cooler. The AC evaporator coil condensate drip pan has water running over it. This is most likely a blocked condensate line but the pan is also rusted which is not helping.


A little lake in the housing

From the photo you can see the water has now collected in the fan housing and causing rusting.

Better yet is now is dripping into all of the electrical wiring and breakers below. This is not necessarily very good for the electrical connections to say the least.


Here is the stain in the crawlspace from past leakage. Coupled with the rust in the air handler this has been going on for a while.


The dripping pan


I always let my client know that Air Conditioning systems need yearly maintenance and that when that maintenance is performed that all condensate lines and trays are checked to ensure they are working properly.


I had a client’s brand new kitchen floor become destroyed because of a clogged condensate line so this can be a bigger issue than many would think.


Here is a couple of good links-






Here is a very quick little video.

“If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.”

Red Adair

NCW Home Inspections, LLC  is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Oroville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…  


Your Wenatchee and Chelan Professional Real Estate, Home and Structural Pest Inspection Service


Instructor- Fundamentals of Home Inspection-  Bellingham Technical College

www.ncwhomeinspections.com                                                   509-670-9572

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Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Great information! I  am glad you shared your post!  Happy Monday to you too!

Jun 01, 2015 12:17 AM #1
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I had a condensate pan full of water just today! 

But you can't fool me.  Nothing on a roof or in a yard will cool a swamp.

Jun 01, 2015 08:33 AM #2
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Kristin, Thank you.

Jay Markanich I still can't believe you are out going after it. You are the man!!!

Jun 04, 2015 11:20 PM #3
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Wow! Thanks for sharing your photographs and explaining this condition.

We always recommend an annual service contract for heating and air conditioning equipment.

Jun 09, 2015 11:59 PM #4
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Well Donald, I think it is safe to assume that this has not been maintained on a regular basis.

Jun 14, 2015 11:39 AM #5
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Roy, It really does pay off to have annual servicing.

Bob, Yeah think that is a pretty darn safe assumption.

Jun 14, 2015 12:35 PM #6
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Donald Hester

NCW Home Inspections, LLC
Home Inspection Services and Inspection Questions
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