Friday, June 1, 2007

The Great Swamp Cooler Debacle

Highs are supposed to get up into the mid 90's in the next couple of days and there is no air conditioning in the house other than a portable, one room swamp cooler. Considering we are living in one room, I guess it's not as bad as it could be.

The Engineer and I had quite a tussle over how to cool our remodeled house. He wanted central air, I wanted a swamp cooler. I won.

My overly sensitive nose bleeds all heating season. If we had central air, it would bleed all cooling season too. That wasn't my only argument (though it was the trump) for a swamp cooler: they're cheaper to buy and install, less expensive to run, better for the environment, and they work very well where we live.

The Engineer decided that our new swamp cooler should not go in the usual place, on the roof, but rather be hung under the back gable.This necessitate buying a side draft rather than a down draft swamp cooler. I didn't think it would be too difficult to find one, all the swamp cooler manufacturers' web sites showed most models in both down and side draft configurations.

Was I ever wrong.

After searching the whole Salt Lake valley, I finally located one at a heating and air wholesaler two weeks ago. I drove all the way across the valley to pay for it, only to discover the only one they had in stock was in another city. Not a problem, I was told, they'd just ship it over and have it ready for me on Monday...

Today my general contractor was finally able to spare a couple of guys to come and install it. They picked up the materials to build the platform to hold the swamp cooler then swung by the heating and air place to pick up the cooler.

They were told no order had ever been placed and turned away. I called with the order number and date to try to figure out what was going on and was told that the Orem store had sold it out from under me, but that they had a scratch and dent special, same model, that they could sell me for $50 less. This was not what I wanted, but the Engineer told me to go over there with the digital camera and take some pictures so he could see if it would do.

When I got there, I went to the guy who had sold it to me, He said, "What do you mean they told you we don't have it? It's right in the warehouse."

So into the warehouse we went and, sure enough, not 20 feet from the scratch and dent special, was the still in shipping carton swamp cooler with my name on it. (The scratch and dent special, by the way, looked like it had been rolled down a hill and left to rust for a couple of years.) To make up for the run-around, they told me they would deliver it free of charge that very afternoon.

I drove straight home and not ten minutes later, the delivery truck arrived.

One little problem...

As you may be able to tell from this picture, the swamp cooler is wider than the access door to the back yard where the cooler is to be hung. Oops.
And, of course, Murphy ruling in all things, when the Engineer got home from work he examined the cooler crate on all sides including the bottom. Turns out that the bottom of the package was missing and the bottom of the swamp cooler was, well, more than a little dented. Which, of course, is totally unacceptable to the Engineer.

I feel like I've been visited by that old Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times."

No comments: