Bonaire Durango evaporative cooler

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  #1  
Old 04-01-15, 08:39 PM
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Bonaire Durango evaporative cooler

Wow, this is the only dedicated forum for swamp coolers I've found, and it's all but dead around here. Are they that rare anymore?

Anyway, I just installed a Bonaire Durango evaporative cooler through-wall in my uninsulated, 1000 sf, 1955 house. I love it! Installed in the back bedroom, and it shoots straight down the hall to the rest of the house

It was 92 yesterday, and humidity was 10%. The Durango was blowing 58 degree, fresh, clean air. House dropped from 82 to 70 in under two hours. Ran it in fan only mode that night, to bring in the nice 56 degree night air.

I had to frame it with 2x3 because of the uneven stucco surface, and then fill the gap with spray foam. To match the depth of the plaster, and because I had to cut the diagonal corner brace, I used 1/4" drywall over OSB. Once I finish the drywall and add 1x4 trim around the inside part of the unit, it will only stick out two inches into the room.

I didn't want the bleed water just draining next to the house (and have no use for it,) so I made a french drain from a 10 foot section of PVC with holes drilled in it the last 5 feet. Around the PVC I used a drain sock. Laid the PVC in a bed of 50 lbs of fine gravel, added another 50 lbs of gavel on top, and covered it all in another layer of drain sock material. Pipe tape was used to protect the above ground section of PVC.

I used a stainless braided water heater hose to connect the Durango to the french drain.

Here are the power consumption figures for a 4500 CFM Bonaire Durango:

Off. Watts / Volt-Amps / Power Factor:
Manual Mode 0 / 0 / 1.00
Remote Mode .3 / 2 / .15

Fan mode. Watts / Volt-Amps / Power Factor:
Low 191 / 222 / .88
Med 251 / 287 / .87
High 325 / 400 / .81

Cooling Mode. Watts / Volt-Amps / Power Factor:
Low 207 / 245 / .84
Med 265 / 312 / .84
High 342 / 426 / .80

Total project cost was $800. SCE has a $200 rebate, dropping the total to $600.











 
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  #2  
Old 04-01-15, 10:32 PM
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Since this is a help site and evaporative coolers are a pretty basic item we don't see a lot of action in this forum but we are still here to help those that need it.
 
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Old 04-22-15, 04:40 PM
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One feature lacking in the Bonaire Durango is the ability to have only the pump on, to pre-wet the pads. Thankfully, the manual includes a wiring diagram, and it was easy to figure out how to add the feature.

A $1.20 15 Amp toggle switch from eBay just fits next to the rest of the controls. The wire harness going to the motor runs right behind where the toggle switch is mounted. It's wired to the blue (neutral) wire. Cut the wire, added ring connectors and attached to the switch. There is just enough room to add the switch. If I did it again, I would move the switch down a tad more, removing the "OFF" part of the switch label.

Now I can turn it on cool mode to activate the pump, and use the toggle switch to disable the motor.

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Old 04-22-15, 05:01 PM
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I'm not familiar with your unit. I know some have a delay timer to allow the pump to pre-wet the pads before the blower starts.

Looks like you came up with another solution.
 
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Old 04-22-15, 05:47 PM
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Yeah, no delay on these Durangos.

Other than pre-wetting that pads, I hope to take advantage of the high winds up here. Prevailing winds are mostly from the west, and the unit is mounted on the west side of the house. I hope to be able to open a window or two on the east side, and let the 20-30 MPH winds do the work of blowing the air through the house. Probably won't work well enough in the hot summer months, but might just be enough in the fall/spring.

Swamp cooling for 18 watts of power.

Power usage with pump only: 17.7 Watts / 35.6 Volt-Amps / .49 Power Factor.
 

Last edited by bgeery; 04-22-15 at 06:55 PM.
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Old 06-14-15, 02:08 PM
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Need help - Durango won't power up

Hey there - hope you guys might be able to help. I bought my Durango from the previous owner of the house I am renting and as long as I didn't get sold a lemon, I'm wondering why this unit won't power up. I have followed the install instructions to a tee including plugging it into the same outlet the previous owner used for it. I have also tried other outlets and I've inspected the cord for damage but nothing seems to be an obvious source of the problem? Thoughts? Any help (or ridicule for buying this thing untested) is appreciated!

- Jarred
 
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Old 06-14-15, 06:36 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

These units are pretty basic. All the switching is accomplished by the one switch.
Is there a model number on the unit ?

Do you have a meter ?
I'd start by opening the unit and gaining access to the function switch. Check from neutral to the hot wire at the switch. If it is present then the switch is defective.

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Old 06-14-15, 06:56 PM
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Also, if it's one of the newer versions, make sure you are not in remote control mode (the round toggle switch).
 
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Old 07-06-15, 03:52 PM
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High Fan Speed

Hey There, I bought a Durango 5900E model and it works great. The issue that I have though is that the fan is just way too powerful. Even on low it will blow harder than I would like. is there a way to lower the fan speed even more. Like meby installing a VFD in the line to the motor. Any input would be appreciated, thanks.
 
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Old 07-06-15, 04:06 PM
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First, go exchange it for the smaller 4500 CFM model. Second, sure you could lower the speed, but swamp coolers need air exchanges to function correctly. Unless it's a very tiny space, you need the CFM.
 
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Old 07-07-15, 02:49 PM
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Hi!
We have one of these Bon air window coolers and it's literally pouring out water. I have a 50 gal water trough under it and it fills it up overnight. We have replaced the float 3x, pinched the drain tube and tried numerous other things suggested. It just constantly pours gallons of water
Next year we will replace it with a tradiyional one that doesn't waste so much water but in the mean time is there anything we can do?

I liked your French drain idea but we don't have the space or budget for all the gravel. We only have one tree near the cooler to water and it won't drink that much water.

Help!
 
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Old 07-07-15, 04:33 PM
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Why would you replace it instead of adjusting your Durango correctly? All modern coolers discharge water to keep the expensive ($130) pads clear of buildup.

If you "replaced the float x3" then the problem clearly isn't the float valve. You might have too high water pressure and need to add a pressure limiter to the line supplying the cooler.

You also may need to adjust the float level by bending the metal arm. The water reservoir level should be about 1/2" below the top of the overflow tube.

If you don't mind having to replace your pads every couple of years, you can defeat the flushing that keeps them free of buildup by removing the the hose going to the overflow tube, and just placing it back into the water reservoir.

If you want your pads to last, you won't defeat the flushing, and you will use the discharged water to irrigate your landscaping. All it takes is some drip irrigation tubing, emitters, and perhaps a pump (if gravity won't work.) This puts all the "waste" water to productive use.

Finally, if you want to eliminate all discharge from the unit, just screw on a hose bib cap to the discharge tube. Not recommended.
 
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Old 07-07-15, 04:50 PM
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Regarding the french drain. All it consists of is two 50 lb bags of fine gravel ($6.50 total), 10 foot section of 3/4" PVC ($2.50), PVC 90 deg ell ($0.50), 3/4"xMHT PVC Hose Fitting ($1.50), 3"x10' filter sock/drain sleeve (optional $5.50), 2"x50' pipe wrap tape (optional $5). About $20 total cost.

Just need to cut the pvc pipe, drill holes in the pvc pipe for drainage, assemble with ell and hose fitting, and dig a ditch 1'x6-7' down a foot or two.
 
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Old 07-28-15, 09:43 PM
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Bonaire Durango Evap Cooler

Question, has anyone tried to install a thermostat on the Durango?
Several sites say that it is optional, however I don't see one specifically for the Durango.
An example of an advertisement below...

Durango's Best Window/Wall Evaporative cooler. Slim attractive design Easy to install and maintain cools up to 1900 sq. ft. Save hundreds of Dollars over Refrigerated A/C. A Green Healthy Alternative for the 21st Century.
•5900 CFM
•Easy installation
•Cools up to 1900 sq. ft.
•Remote control
•Adjustable louvers
•3 speed controls
Optional thermostat, interior and exterior covers
•USA support for parts and warranty
•Home Depot Protection Plan:

I know that I can use a greenhouse thermostat, but wanted something that will not rely on interrupting AC power from the cord.
Thanks,
Wintun
 
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Old 07-28-15, 11:29 PM
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They might sell the parts for the AU model that you would have to import, and hope no 120/220V incompatibility.
 
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Old 07-29-15, 12:58 AM
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Good thinking...... but all the parts from AU are 230v only.
 
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Old 09-19-15, 11:07 PM
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Changing Out the Pump

Has anyone changed the pump on the Durango? When I call customer service, they say an electrician is needed! Hard to believe that changing the pump is so complex!
 
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Old 09-19-15, 11:22 PM
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It's not as nearly easy as it could be if they had designed things better, but anyone with common sense should be able to accomplish the task. You will have to open up the control unit to get to where the motor wiring harness attaches to the control electronics.
 
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Old 06-05-16, 11:06 AM
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No water on filters

Pump is working but the water is not flowing all the way to the top to wet the filters. Tried taking out the restrictor but did not help. Does anyone have any ideas why the water won't reach top of the unit?
 
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Old 06-05-16, 11:40 AM
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I had this problem after the first time I serviced my unit. My unit was either missing the restrictor, or I somehow lost it. The water would not pump all the way to the top reservoir.

I ended up using a stainless washer carefully inserted into the plastic tee to act as the restrictor and it started working correctly again.
 
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Old 08-01-16, 10:20 AM
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Cooler not working efficiently

Ok, we have had the unit (Bonaire Durango) about 4 years and it is definitely not cooling as efficiently as it once was. Have already completed the following.

Used a De-scaler to remove hard water build up.
Cleaned the Unit.
Replaced the Pads
Cleaned the upper reservoir to make sure the unit was dispersing water.
Verified Water pump is working.
Replaces the Floater/Valve

Any suggestions or anything else I could try to improve performance. Not Sure if there is not enough water (maybe the floater is too low) or too much water (Floater set too high), or if there is just not enough water flow from the pump? The pump is the only thing I haven't replaced.
 
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Old 08-01-16, 09:38 PM
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When hot, dry air passes over water (or better yet, through it) the air cools off.

The more water across and on the pads the better the cooling.
 
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Old 05-21-17, 12:40 PM
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Due to the length and amount of posters here.... a new thread was started. Please feel free to visit and add to that one. It can be found here.. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/ev...cooler-ii.html

This thread will remain in our searchable archives permanently.
 
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