Mega Breezair Evaporative Cooler Troubleshooting Guide and Tips.

As an electrician, I am often called out to repair and troubleshoot Breezair evaporative coolers. Now I have one of these units myself and I just wanted to say never again will I purchase another Breezair unit. They are made cheap and fail a lot of the time. Not only that the replacement parts are very expensive.

I have replaced every single electrical part of my Breezair evaporative cooler over the last 5 years. Most were covered under warranty in the first 2 years. When I purchase an expensive appliance I want it to last. I have repaired more Breezair evaporative aircon models than any other brand. What does that say? Maybe the newer models are more reliable.

The parts that have failed are shown below. I will show you how to test each one further down in this troubleshooting repair guide.

Often it is easy to see why these parts have failed but other times it will need some Breezair evaporative cooler troubleshooting to work out the problem. So let’s look into how and why these parts fail so you can fix this piece of junk yourself. These swamp coolers are easy to repair so give them a go.

Now if you have a Coolair or Braemar evaporative cooler many of the parts are the same as the Breezair as they are from the same parent company Seeley International. So the parts and evaporative cooler troubleshooting guide will be the same for these brands.

Breezair evaporative cooler troubleshooting guide

Tools required

  • Multimeter with Diode Test Mode
  • Medium Flat Screwdriver
  • Pliers

The most common problem I come across is the dump valve is not seated. This can cause a whole heap of problems such as water leaking, and the evaporative aircon not starting.

Warning

Always isolate the power before working on any evaporative cooler. There are electrical hazards and mechanical moving parts.

Breezair evaporative aircon runs for a few minutes then stops.

Breezair evaporative aircon runs for a few minutes then stops
Test running the Seeley Breezair evaporative air conditioner without the cooling pads on.

So you may be wondering why my Breezair evaporative aircon runs for a few minutes then stops. This is a classic case of the dump valve that is not reaching the limit switch. There are two limits in the dump valve one for the open position and one for the closed position.

By default, the cooler will wait 8 minutes for the water to be detected at the salinity probes, before shutting down. As such, if you are DIY testing the limit switches and it takes longer than 8 minutes, you will need to turn off the cooler. This will let you re-start it on COOL mode before continuing.

The most common failure of the drain valve is that the bucket inside the drain valve assembly continually moves up and down, rather than either staying in the up position (open) or down position (closed).

Breezair dump valve moving up and down not reaching the closed limit
Breezair dump valve not reaching the closed limit. This will cause it to move up and down a few times.

Breezair drain valve problems

There are five reasons for a limit switch not reaching the closed position.

  1. Object or dirt stuck in the dump valve drain
  2. Dump valve plug has gone hard should be soft
  3. Dump valve electrical motor failing
  4. Return spring has come off the drain plunger.
  5. Limit switch failed.

The motor inside the drain valve is a synchronous motor that has the ability to run clockwise or anti-clockwise depending on the limit position. They are similar to the synchronous motors found in my automatic projector screen that stopped working just smaller.

I’m my case the 24V AC motor has failed and didn’t have enough torque to drive closed the plunger. It would work on the beach but as soon as a load was applied the motor would stall and then open.

If you go up and take off the Breezair cooling filters to the evaporative cooler you can watch the dump valve. It should close and remain closed while the aircon is running. If it opens and goes up and down a few times you have a dump valve problem. Replace the whole dump valve unit.

I have replaced many of these genuine Breezair 24VAC dump valves it is an easy job, but be warned it is not a cheap part. Just use your screwdriver to open up the top tabs and pull out the dump valve. You can now unplug the electrical connection and replace it with a new one.

Preliminary Control Module & Communication Test (Wired and Wireless)

Turn on the cooler at the wall control/remote control and put the cooler into Manual and COOL modes (press the AUTO or MODE button to change to Manual mode, then press the COOL or COOL/VENT button to change to COOL mode).


Wait 10 minutes and then turn off the cooler. If you find that the pads are dry or that there’s no water in the sump at the bottom of the cooler, then you may have a communication problem, faulty solenoid valve, or faulty salinity probes.


If you did the above test and found that the pads are now wet, the next test to do is to turn on the cooler and put it in VENT, Manual mode. Leave the cooler on and check if the “POWER” LED on the front of the control module is illuminated. If the “POWER” LED is not illuminated, then the control module has failed.

Wireless remote controller

Make sure that the remote control is paired to the Breezeair evaporative cooler and a signal can be received at the unit.

If you press the power button or any other button on the remote control and the remote display turns off you may need to change the batteries.

Sometimes the remote battery terminals can get corroded and will need to be cleaned up with some fine sandpaper.

How to reset ID code in the Breezair wireless Harmony remote

How to reset ID code in the Breezair wireless Harmony remote

Sometimes the Breezair remote control fails to talk to the evaporative air conditioner. This can be due to a few reasons such as low battery power or that the remote is too far away from the evaporative cooler.

Electrical interference can also cause issues like a faulty Tornado water pump. Once they get noisy they can cause electrical interference. I have seen a Breezair cooler not communicate properly with a wireless remote until the old water pump was replaced.

If the batteries are not replaced quickly when they go flat the remote control can lose its stored info. This includes its ID code.

To set the ID code again and pair the remote to the evaporative unit do the following.

  1. Turn off power to the Breezair evaporative cooler for at least 10 seconds
  2. Remove all of the batteries from the remote control
  3. Repeatatly press the power button on the remote control untill the screen goes blank
  4. Turn on the power to the Breezair evaporitive cooler and replace the batteries into the remote control within 4 minutes.
  5. The remote control is now paired to the Seeley Breezair cooler.

Next time you are ready to replace the batteries make sure they are charged and ready to go. Otherwise, you may need to pair the Breezair remote again.

Another problem with these Breezair remote controls is corrosion on the batterie terminals. You can use some fine 400 grit sandpaper to gently rub off any corrosion on the terminals.

Seeley Tornado water pump not working

Breezair Water pump not working
Breezair tornado water pump often fails within a few years. Later models seem to last longer.

The Breezair water pump starts to run after the water level is at the correct height. This is detected by either a float switch or the salinity terminals.

Clean the salinity terminals first otherwise you will need to replace the Breezair Tornado Water Pump No. 110783. Make sure to only replace the pump with another genuine Breezair Tornado water pump as it has the correct plug connection. This makes it a true plug-and-play installation.

The pump will only start once the control module senses that water has been present at the salinity probes for approximately 30 seconds. If the control module is unable to sense the presence of water at the salinity probes, either due to faulty salinity probes or a fault in the salinity sensing circuitry inside the control module, the pump will not start.

Compatible part numbers 110783 and 095806.

This water pump will be noisy when there is not enough water level. When it begins to fail excessive current draw or internal sparking of the brushes will cause the Breezair protection circuit to trip the cooler.

There also could be dirt trapped in the impeller stalling the pump. Give it a gentle tap to see if it can start running again. If you have 24V AC at the output to the pump and the water pump is not running but turns by hand it will need to be replaced.

Water inlet Solenoid Valve Test

Breezair Water inlet Solenoid Valve Test
Water inlet valves often leak and get stuck in the closed or open position. Test for 24v AC.

When the cooler is turned on and set to COOL mode, the control module should close the drain valve and then supply approximately 24V AC to the solenoid valve, causing it to open and allow water to fill the tank. There is a small delay of around 15 seconds to allow the drain valve to close before power is sent to the solenoid valve. To save water going down the drain.


By default, the cooler will wait 8 minutes for the water to be detected at the salinity probes, before shutting down. As such, if testing takes longer than 8 minutes, you will need to turn off the cooler and re-start it on COOL mode before continuing.


In some cases, the solenoid valve may only open for approximately 10 seconds, and then shut off. If this happens, it is usually due to a fault within the control module. The solenoid valve can become stuck in either the open or closed state or not open fully.

It is common for the valve to become stuck closed, in which case no water can enter the cooler. If the water flow is restricted, this is usually due to the solenoid valve only opening partially, which requires that the solenoid valve be replaced. The solenoid valve is supposed to open fully and allow the cooler to fill up quickly.


To determine if the solenoid valve is faulty, first ensure that the cooler has been drained of all water. You can do this by pressing the DRAIN button on the wireless remote, or by turning off the cooler on the hard-wired remote and pressing and holding the “UP” and “DOWN” buttons together, until dr starts flashing on the display. Alternatively, you can turn off the power to the cooler for 10 seconds, then turn it back on, and the cooler should drain (when operating on default settings).


Once the water has been drained, turn on the cooler and put it into Manual and COOL mode.

After approximately 15 seconds, the solenoid valve should be energized and water should flow into the cooler. The cooler will generally fill most of the way within 30-45 seconds. If the cooler takes a long time to fill, the solenoid valve is probably faulty.
If no water enters the cooler, then using a multimeter and with the cooler still turned on, check that there is 24V AC present at the solenoid valve terminals.

If 24V AC is present, but no water is flowing into the cooler, then the water supply to the cooler may be turned off. Other reasons could be because the solenoid valve may have failed or the float seal is stuck closed.


If 24V AC is not present at the solenoid valve terminals, disconnect the solenoid cable from the control module and check if there is 24V AC present at the solenoid valve connector on the control module. Now if there is 24V AC present, then the cable going to the solenoid valve should be repaired or replaced. If 24V AC is not present, then the control module is likely faulty, though this fault is rare.

Make sure that when replacing the water solenoid valve that it is installed the correct way. The valve should have a water flow arrow on it.

You can buy a new Breezair water solenoid valve from Amazon. They are cheap and should last another 10 years.

Ball Float leaking

Breezair Ball Float leaking
Float valves leak over time and will need new seals.

Another common fault is the ball float leaks after the correct level is reached. This is due to the rubber seal getting worn out. Just like on a toilet ball float these will need to be replaced after about 5 years or more.

What you will find that is water is overflowing from the ball float and either coming over the edge of the water cooler or going down the overflow drain.

To replace this seal isolate the inlet water to the Breezair evaporative cooler.

Pop off the blue plastic cover on the ball float and remove the black plastic pin. Be careful as this is usually a tight fit. I like to use some lubricating spray and a small pin punch to manually push out this pin, Make sure to support the fragile plastic supports that the pin goes through so you don’t break them off.

Breezair ball float pin remove
Remove this plastic pin to get access to the rubber seal.

Remove the float arm and remove the square rubber seal.

If you don’t have a spare rubber gasket you can flip this rubber seal over and use the other side. This will give you another few more years of trouble-free operation.

Breezair ball float rubber seal replacement procedure
Flip this rubber seal over for extra life and to stop the leak.

Replace the float arm and press the plastic pin back into place. The blue plastic cover can now be pressed back onto the top.

Turn the water isolation valve back on and test out the water level. Adjust the ball float as necessary.

You can replace the whole Genuine Breezair, Braemar, Coolair vertical float valve part No. 901114 but it is cheaper and mare easy to just swap over the rubber seal.

This is a common fault and with some basic Breezair evaporative cooler troubleshooting, it can be fixed in 10 minutes.

Salinity Probe Test

Breezair Salinity Probe Test

The salinity probes are used to sense the presence of water in the cooler as well as how electrically conductive the water is. The cooler will not start the pump unless the water is detected by the salinity probes.


When there is no water in the cooler, the “SAL” LED should be solid red on the speed controller motherboard. When the cooler is full of water, the “SAL” LED should blink red once every 5 seconds.


If the cooler is full of water, but the “SAL” LED is solid red, then the salinity probes are faulty or the salinity sensing circuitry inside the control module has failed.


There are currently two different versions of the salinity probes. Test the 2-prong version by ensuring that the black and blue wires each have continuity to one of the metal contacts on the bottom of the probe assembly. Resistance would normally be less than 1 ohm. The brown wire is not used and can be ignored.


Test the 3-prong version by ensuring that there is continuity from each wire in the cable to one of the metal contacts on the bottom of the probe assembly.

I have yet to see one completely fail but often the salinity probe electrical connections will need a clean.

Speed Controller Testing

Turn off the control module, using the isolation switch on the front of the module. Wait 30 minutes before proceeding with the following test.


The following set of tests allows you to check the motor power output circuitry within the control module for internal short circuits. This is one of the common failure modes of the control module. If any fault is found while doing these tests, the motor will also need to be checked for short circuits in the windings.

Unplug the motor cable and test the output from the speed controller using a multimeter.


With the multimeter set to diode test mode, place the positive (+) and negative (-) multimeter probes at the locations shown in the illustration below. Wait for the reading on the multimeter to stabilize before moving on to the next test. It will usually take 5-10 seconds for the first test reading to stabilize.


The following tests should all read as “OL” (over-limit) or a high mega ohm on the multimeter. Readings of low values indicate an internal short circuit in the motor output circuitry within the control module.
If you believe you have a faulty control module you will need to get it repaired or replaced.

Breezair Speed controller testing
Seeley Breezair Speed controller testing diagram

Direct Drive Motor Testing

Breezair Direct Drive Motor Testing procedure

The motor used in the direct drive coolers (EXD, EZD, EXH, EZH, EXQ) is a brushless DC motor (BLDC).  These motors are similar to a 3-phase motor, as they are internally wired in a “star” configuration.

The direct-drive motors in the Breezair evaporative coolers have been known to develop short circuits in the windings. This is particularly the case with the older green-colored motors. The white motors are better but can still fail.

When short circuits occur in the motor windings, it can also damage the control module. A common symptom of a short circuit in the motor windings is a stalling buzzing sound with no movement in the motor.

There are two methods described below to test the motor for short circuits within the windings.
There’s no need to do both tests, however, the resistance test is recommended.

Motor Test 1: The Flick Test

This test does not require any test equipment.

  1. Turn off the power to the control module, using the isolation switch on the front of the control module.
  2. Wait until all LEDs on the front of the control module have turned off.
  3. Disconnect the motor power cable from the control module. This is the round cable that plugs into the second connector from the left at the bottom of the control module.
  4. Remove one of the cooling pads to get access to the fan blades.
  5. Give the fan a modest flick.
    You should get approximately 1 – 1.5 revolutions out of the fan fairly easily. If there’s a short circuit in the windings, the motor will stop very quickly, usually within ½ a revolution. The fan motor should spin freely, but will feel heavy.
  6. You can confirm whether or not you have a short circuit in the motor windings by checking the winding resistance, as described below.

Motor Test 2: Check Winding Resistance

This test requires a multimeter.

Breezair Motor Test Check Winding Resistance
Image showing short circuit thanks https://blog.logisense.com.au/2013/11/breezair-icon-exh-130-problems.html
  1. Turn off the power to the control module, using the isolation switch on the front of the
    module.
  2. Wait until all LEDs on the front of the control module have turned off.
  3. Disconnect the motor power cable from the control module. This is the round cable that
    plugs into the second connector from the left at the bottom of the control module.
  4. Using a multimeter, measure the resistance between pins 1-2, 2-3 and 1-3 at the plug on
    the end of the motor power cable.
    The resistance between all pins should be about the same and within the range of 15 – 25
    ohms. Lower values, such as 2.5 ohms, would indicate a short in the motor windings. This
    would mean that the motor needs to be replaced.

Breezair Fault Codes

Fault codes can be displayed on the hard-wired indoor controller and on MagIQtouch touchscreen controllers. The wireless remote control does not have the ability to display fault codes.

Breezair Fault Codes 116655


Fault codes can also be read from the front of the control module (inside the cooler) once the cooler shuts down due to a fault. Under normal operation, the “DIAG” LED on the front of the control module is green and will continually flash twice, followed by a longer pause. This sequence repeats indefinitely.


When a fault condition has been detected by the control module, the “DIAG” LED will turn red and then flash a number of times before a longer pause. One red flash would mean fault code 1, two red flashes would mean fault code 2, and so on. The flashing sequence will repeat until the cooler is turned off and back on again.


Be mindful not to confuse the “DIAG” LED with the “SAL” LED. The “SAL” LED is always red and this is normal.

Breezair Fault Code 1:

Communications problem. Check the communication cable between wall control and cooler for damage.


Breezair Evaporative Cooler Service Code 2 Fault:

Water was not detected at the salinity probes. The water supply to the cooler may be turned off, the solenoid valve may be stuck closed, not allowing water into the cooler, the salinity probes may be faulty, or the control module salinity sensing circuitry may be faulty.
If you receive fault code 2 within 10-15 seconds of turning the cooler on, then you likely have a faulty control module.


Breezair Fault Code 3:

EEPROM failure. The control module stores a small amount of data related to settings for the operation of the cooler. If this data becomes corrupt, you will often receive fault code 3. The control module will need to be repaired.


Breezair Evaporative Cooler Service Code 4 Fault

The cooler has failed to drain the water from the tank/sump. After waiting 4 minutes for the water to drain, water was still detected by the salinity probes. This suggests either a faulty drain valve (not opening) or a blockage in the drain pipe.

Remove the drain valve and check that the water can drain from the evaporative cooler. If it does check for a fault limit or failed synchronous 24V AC motor on the dump valve.


Fault Codes 5 & 6

These aren’t documented and probably aren’t possible. I have never seen a fault code 5 or 6


Breezair Fault Code 7:

Mains power supply frequency is incorrect. In Australia, we have a nominal 50Hz power supply frequency. Fault code 7 will be produced if the mains frequency is outside the limits of 46-54Hz. This can be caused by contamination to the circuit board inside the control module (eg. spiders and other insects), generators, a loose/bad connection at the power entry connector or other internal faults.

Electrical arcing on the cooler pump circuit in the premises can generate this fault as well. Replace the water pump.


Breezair/Breamer Fault Code 8:

A brief power failure has been detected (nothing to worry about in general).

How to reset Breezair evaporative cooler

To reset a Breezair evaporative cooler you need to turn off the mains power to the cooler. Waite at least 2 minutes and then turn on the main power.

The Breezair evaporative cooler will perform some self-checks. If the remote is set for cool the Breezair unit will close the dump valve, fill with water and start the fan.

Conclusion

Hopefully, you can fix your Seeley Breezair swamp cooler with the above troubleshooting guides. They are easy to work on but the parts cost a fortune.

Many of the older units have a lot of problems. The old green motors tend to fail within a few years if run at maximum speed. The internal windings tend to short out. This is a manufacturing fault that should never happen. The white motors are much better.

I brought my Breezair Icon evaporative cooler to save money but over the years it has cost a small fortune on repairs. I’m just glad I could do it myself.

This is why I have written out this Breezair evaporative cooler troubleshooting guide so you can save on some labor costs.

Let me know in the comments below if you require any help or extra information.

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16 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Mathew. I have an older Seeley belt drive cooler. The problem I have is when I turn the power on the motor will jolt about a quarter revolution and then won’t run. Have you any thoughts. Regards Ian

    • The starter capacitor could be faulty if it has one. I presume it spins free by hand.
      Looks like the motor could be faulty. Take the belt off and see if the motor spins unloaded by its own power.

  2. hi mathew,
    if you have time to answer it be appreciated
    breezair evap is turned off
    keeps dumping water.
    we just recieved a $880.00 dollar watyer bill
    i think that is the prob
    can u have aguess at what it could be
    im going to get on the roof tomorrow and check it out
    paul

    • 3 Possible reasons. Either the ball float seal is faulty, the solenoid is not shutting off when the unit is off, or the dump valve is leaking. Possibly a combination of all three.

  3. Hi Mathew, I have a Breezair Mod # EXH 210-B Evap Cooler. Recently when we switched from vent to cool or visa-versa, the fan would sometimes not start up. I wouldn’t turn off from wall controller and then turn on, all ok. Now the fan will not start up at all. I have no fault codes on either wall controller or unit control box. All LED’s say it is normal. I have checked the motor windings, all appear within range. Also checked outputs of motor via Multimeter diode test. Again all ok. When unit is turned off at wall controller I have noticed the dump valve motor continually going up and down. When on cool it does seat in the closed position. Checked water sensors all good. I am at a bit of a loss now as do not want to replace things that do not need it. Many thanks if you could reply. Dave

  4. Hi. How much less power do the newer icon motors draw than the older belt drive? I have an approx 17yr old 210. Has had 2 inlet valves and 1 new rubber in the float valve only in that time.Have changed belt and pads once.Does the water quality sensor detoriate as it does drop water fairly often ?
    Thanks

    • That’s excellent run time out of that old unit. I have had so many issues with my Icon breezair unit that I would not recommend that brand. Maybe they are better now?
      I have found that it does not drop much water. In fact, I like to dump the water myself on the controller every few days just to keep it fresh. You would lose more water due to evaporation.
      Saying that icon is a very efficient motor due to the design so you do save electricity over a belt drive.

  5. Hi Mathew , thanks for your help , my breeze air shows fault #2 and wouldn’t start cooling , after getting a new probe which didn’t help . I decided to consider the water was to pure ( live on a farm and use rain water from tank ) , I placed the probe into a glass of salted water and bingo it started straight away , I then removed the glass and it runs fine . I need a idea how to get around the water been to pure to conduct to circuit between the probes , without having to trick it with salty water . Hope you can help . Cheers Peter

  6. Matthew,
    Thanks for the detailed info on these units.
    I am a HVAC tech and as a love job looked at an EXQ unit with the Magiqtouch controller fitted. On high fan speed (10) the unit draws 6 amps but the fan short cycles every 5 sec with the power, OL and fan speed LED’s cycling with the fan (power LED off, fan stops. Power LED comes on again, fan runs 5 sec and cycles off. Cooling turned off but does work.
    SAL LED is red.
    Wall controller does not cycle off.
    This unit failed two weeks out of warranty. Must have a timer inbuilt.
    Any assistance is appreciated as any service manuals online are incomplete.
    Cheers
    David

  7. I have an older unit with a motor/fan belt. Ongoing issues with the remote frizting out at times and the AC turning off. Always worse when really humid. I have had batteries leak in my controller before and read where this could have leaked onto remote PCB causing issues with shorting when humid. I pulled the remote apart…PCB looked clean but I cleaned it with Metho and 400 grit on the battery terminals which had residual corrosion from leaking batts. Put back together and the remote worked well for about 6 hours then freaked out again, turning off thus turning the AC off. Put hairdryer on the unit, batteries back in, it worked and then I placed in a ziplock bag with rice (what they say you do with a phone if you drop it in water) and over 24 hours later and everything is working 100%. AC not turned off once and the LCD screen on the remote looks normal.

    Had this not worked I was going to install hard wired controller which I’ve been advised would work with the current AC PCB/Controller unit…still would have cost $420 in parts… rice and ziplock bag the winner at the moment!! LOL

  8. Hi Matthew,
    I bought a S/H EXH 170 that was supposed to be working, but its not.
    Motor will not run. Can hear a relay click when motor is supposed to start.
    Motor checks out ok. All windings the same resistance. Motor coasts fine when spun by hand.

    Control Module check reveals one output shorted in both polarities. ID is hard to read but chip appears to be a 10UP60B.
    A Google didn’t bring up any Aussie suppliers. Farnell says they are NLA.

    Do you know if they are avaialble here? Ailexpress migh be an option.

  9. I have two exq type unit and have maintained them for 7 years, mostly solenoids. Last week I cleaned and serviced them for the summer. The first one, no problems. The second one, when I went to the wall mounted control and tried to turn on, I got no back light or text. Nothing. I took that control to my good/working unit and tested it there. It worked. It appears I’m getting no power to the control unit. Where do I look/test for power? I hope you can help. I have very little “good” literature to work from. Thanks so much.

    • You will have to take a multimeter up to the evaporative unit and check for power at the main switch. I have seen in the past that rats and mice do chew through cables. So maybe a remote control cable issue

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