How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask AssuredElectrical Your Own Question
AssuredElectrical, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4241
Experience:  Contractor-42+ Years in the ElectricalTrade
Type Your Electrical Question Here...
AssuredElectrical is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My evaporative cooler pump wont turn on (brand new). The blower

This answer was rated:

My evaporative cooler pump won't turn on (brand new). The blower fan works fine. Tried different wiring schemes. Help, please.
Welcome. My name is XXXXX XXXXX would be glad to assist.

Is there any way for you to post how it is wired?

And is there a nameplate.label on the motor with information?

Pictures can be posted right here in the chat box using the paper clip icon on the toolbar.
Get you pictures on the PC and they can posted here.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Tommy, I can do all of those things, but at this moment in time my extended family is due here for a birthday party. I'll get the info, likely by Monday evening. Will that work? Photos and nameplate(s)?

Absolutely, no problem whatsoever.

This is done all at your convenience and time.

I will be notified when you post and will answer as soon as possible afterwords.

As much info as you can post, like old motor wiring, new motor make and model?

What wires are available and any pictures of nameplates, labels etc.

Should be able to clarify and get you going.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Will do, and thanks.

Great, will await the posting.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Test; I've tried twice to upload photos and access is denied. Are you getting these?

Nope. Have had other customers with the same issue.

Sometimes if the picture is too large in size kbytes or mbytes, it gives an error.

See if you can upload them to and then once it is uploaded, they will give you a link, copy that link and post it here.

The picture needs to be on your PC to upload to tinypic.

This is best alternative and used it twice today with other customers.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I'll do that, Tommy, as soon as the battery in my 2004 digital camera recharges. In the meantime, let me tell you about the photos in advance. The wiring consists of 4 sets of wires (black, white, red and ground), all common to the blower motor and the power source. I've tried the wires from the pump to the black and white, switching around to double check. Nothing. I didn't use the red set because in 20 years the wire nut on that set has never been removed. I honestly suspect the wall switch, because when I first tried to turn on the (old) pump, there was a definite noise...not a good one, either. Then silence.


Anyway, photos on the way.

Ok, will await on the photos, not a problem.

Does the entire cooler have a switch for power?

The post sounds like they have 2 separate switches?

Usually the pump is running when the blower is on as long as there is water.

Is there a low water level switch or another failsafe to keep power from the pump?


Make and Model may help to find a manual?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Water level is high. The blower and switch are two-stage; low and high. I've tried pump only and low and high cool; nothing coming out of the pump.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Pictures are up, but the label picture is so close, I cannot even read it. All a blur.

Anyway to get back a little bit for a clear picture?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Dang. I'll have to climb back up on the roof, and that won't happen until tomorrow (left knee is shot). It's an Emerson with 2 speed connection. Low speed to red, common to white, high speed to black.

Ok, well that gives the information, no need since you posted the information.. That is what I was trying to read, the speed connections.

I would first do this:
Get a drop cord and connect a couple wires to the low speed connections white and red.

Stick the ends in the female end of the drop cord.
Then plug it in and see if the motor runs.
Do the same for the high speed.

I do that when quick testing motors only, just to verify that they run ok.

Unplug as soon as it runs for a couple seconds.

You will need a voltage tester if it runs fine on the cord, to test the leads going to the motor in the cooler.
Something would be interrupting the power at that point and the tester will help to isolate and find the issue.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Okay Tommy, I can do all that. But, as I said, the blower motor is running fine; high cool, low cool, high vent, low vent; all from the wall switch. Just no water from the pump. I'm not that great with electricity, but doesn't that verify the problem isn't in the blower connection?

Without seeing a wiring diagram of the internals, it would be difficult to assess what is happening.

That is why I was asking on the water level etc, as most times there is a level switch to keep the pump from running when there is no water. Other wise, it would burn out the pump.

The wiring may branch off and the blower will still operate, but the connection may be broken to the pump motor by way of a safety, limit or broken wire.

That is why the use a tester will help to diagnose the power is indeed at the pump motor.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Okay, I'll give it a shot. Couple days of cooler temps coming up, good time to check this stuff out. Thanks, Tommy.

Let me know what you find. Hopefully come across the problem, but post and we will see what else there could be causing the issue.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Another day, another tripped breaker. Stand by, checking it again tomorrow (turns out some of my outside plugs in my 35-year old house are not as reliable as others). I want to give it one more shot, this time with the high-speed connection first. Should the little pump itself work using the drop cord trick? (p.s. I had to find out that a drop cord is what I call a heavy-duty extension cord; regional differences, right?)

Thanks again for your attention to detail on this.

Yep, heavy-duty extension cord is the same and the motor should operate on the cord as well for testing.

I keep a special cord, which has a male end from the extension cord on one end and just the wires on the other. That way, I can wire a motor, then actually plug it right into an extension cord and not fool with wire ends.

Maybe you have an old cord that can be cut and used to add some safety to it?

Also, the circuit you use should not be loaded to allow the motor to run with no tripping of the breaker.

You didn't list the Horsepower and cant see what it is on the label.

Make sure the amps on the label are under around 10 or so for plugging into a receptacle for testing.
AssuredElectrical and other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Tommy, I hooked up the drop cord as described to each component; water pump, high speed blower, and low speed blower. All work fine. So I re-wired the pump:

Pump hot lead to high-blower hot lead (black), pump common to blower common (white). No response (except when I turned the pump on at the wall switch, I thought I detected a click). I didn't hook anything up to the low-blower hot wire (red).


Think the problem is at the switch? I have an 8-range multi tester for further exploration.


Thanks again. Hopefully our issue won't extend much longer.


Is the switch a different one for the pump motor than the blower? You have 2 different switches?
Or maybe different terminals on the same switch?

Trying to see if the pump motor is wired differently at the switch or switches than the blower.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Okay, good intel! The ONE switch has five settings: pump only (water pumps to the pads), low cool (pump and blower), high cool (pump and blower), and low and high vent (blower only). So I'll take the switch apart (it has blue electrical tape around the wiring) and see what's inside...after I turn off the juice.

That may be the issue, since the switch is a specialty switch with multiple contacts for the different settings.
We know the pump motor runs, but when on the switch it doesn't come on.
I suspect the switch is indeed faulty.
Need to test the wire going to the pump when setting the switch in any of the positions.

Related Electrical Questions