Inspection Training

Evaporative Cooler Intake Clearances

Verify that the location and orientation of intake openings for the evaporative cooler itself meet the applicable standard for distances and clearances. Mechanical and gravity outdoor air intake openings should be located a minimum of 10 feet from any hazardous or noxious contaminant, such as vents, chimneys, plumbing vents, streets, alleys, parking lots, and loading docks. Exceptions: The 10-foot separation is not required where the intake opening is located 3 feet or greater below the contaminant source. The exhaust from dwelling unit toilet rooms, bathrooms, and kitchens should not be considered as hazardous or noxious. In the picture above this would be acceptable if the inspector verified that the plumbing vent pipe extended 3 feet above the evaporative cooler intake.