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Hey, you're in the home improvement zone--YOUR HANDYMAN ZONE!

Cooling and Ventilation Systems Category:

Evaporative / Swamp Coolers


Cooler belt squeals, is worn out, damaged or otherwise split/cracked.

Tools / Materials (See Below for Applicability):

  • Appropriate cooler belt (see section on how to identify the right belt size for your cooler)

  • Screwdriver (or other fastening device as determined by the manufacturer's use of fasteners)



A component of the evaporative / swamp cooler that usually requires more service and replacement than any other component is the cooler belt.  A cooler belt that squeals, is splitting or cracked, has already split completely apart or otherwise is damaged requires replacement with a new cooler belt of the same size.  The following are steps that you can follow in order to replace this old cooler belt with a new one:

Caution: When dealing with any device that requires electrical power, make sure you take precautions before you work on it, including disconnecting the power.

  1. If you have not already done so in heeding the above cautionary statement, in addition to turning off the power, unplug the plug of the cooler motor, or, if the motor has no plug, disconnect its power wires from the wires that are a part of the cooler, making sure you note what was the arrangement of such wires before you disconnect them for easy re-connections later on.

  2. In order to remove the cooler belt off of its pulley, the motor must be loosened.  To specifically do this, the motor mount--either in bolt form, slide form, or pivot form--must be loosened; as may be applicable, with the use of a fastener device (e.g., a screwdriver), loosen the motor mount fasteners just enough so that the motor, itself, can be pushed toward the pulley of the blower house (which is really the center of the blower house) so as to be able to pull the cooler belt off the pulley system (i.e., two pulleys) with the increased "slack" of such a belt created as a result of this pulling-forward action.

  3. With the motor mount still loosened and having the motor, itself, pulled toward the pulley of the blower house just as before, install the new cooler belt replacement by "looping" it around both pulleys, one and then the other, and then pull the motor squarely back into place on the motor mount, just barely hand-tightening the mount fasteners.

  4. Before you actually tighten the motor mount fasteners as tight as possible (even with a fastening device) for the relative future (until another need to remove the motor arises), make sure the motor is positioned into place on the motor mount just enough for the belt, itself, to have about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch of slack when it is pulled on:  If the belt slack is less than 1/2 of an inch, pull the motor closer to the blower pulley until at least 1/2 of an inch is met in belt slack; if the belt slack exceeds 3/4 of an inch, pull the motor further away from the blower pulley. When you are certain the cooler belt has about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch of slack when it is pulled on, you can now actually tighten the motor mount fasteners as tight as possible (even with a fastening device) for the relative future (until another need to remove the motor arises).

Note: Steps 1-3 may not always be the efficient way to remove an old cooler belt and have it replaced with a new one, particularly when you have adjustable pulleys.  With an old cooler belt that has split completely (or if just seriously cracked, can be cut to be replaced without waiting for an all-out crack-split), all you have to do is simply pull it off--if not already partially off because there is no circular band of resistance, having been severed--and just install the new belt by putting it on one of the pulleys and whirling this pulley and belt in a circular fashion so as to have the rest of the belt easily loop onto the other pulley with your hand's guidance.

  1. Take the plug of the cooler motor and plug it into the receptacle for its use or otherwise make the necessary power wire connections of the cord with those of the cooler electrical output, as may be applicable.

That's what you do to maintain a cooler with a good-working cooler belt.


Ed the Handyman


Your Handyman Zone Team


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