I have a portable Honeywell Evaporative Cooler that I tried to take apart and clean today. I unscrewed the backing piece that covers the cardboard media where the water soaks, and took the whole thing out to clean inside the cooler.

However, after putting it all back together and running the cooler, water drips out the back of the cooling media, onto the backing, and drips down the back of the cooler.

I feel like I installed the media backwards or the wrong way somehow but have been unable to figure it out. Does anyone have any recommendations on identifying what I did wrong or how to reinstall these things? Thanks in advance.

  • If you get tempted to run the cooler without the water carrying media in place, don't do it. I once burned out the motor of an evaporative cooler by doing this. Apparently the media acts as an essential restriction and load on the motor. I took the old media out and couldn't get the new one installed. It was the straw mat and it kept snagging. I ran the fan without the media until I could try again to install it and the fan abruptly quit. This was 50 years ago and I don't remember the details, but my landlord was not happy with me. Commented Nov 22, 2016 at 16:18
  • Ha whoops. Thanks for the tip Jim, I'll keep that in mind. I can't imagine that worked to keep the room much cooler though because as I understand, the water evaporating off the media is what gives the cool effect. I could be wrong. At any rate I was tempted to run it this way just to get a better understanding of how it all worked, so I won't do that now that you mention this. Thanks! Commented Nov 22, 2016 at 16:27

1 Answer 1


I ended up getting a replacement unit from Lowes. I think I must've bent the media when I removed it and tried to reinstall initially.

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