Cutting a hole in the wall for swamp cooler

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  #1  
Old 04-18-12, 03:41 PM
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Cutting a hole in the wall for swamp cooler

I have a Bonaire Durango swamp cooler, which is designed to be installed in a window, but the windows in my house are not suitable for this, so I want to install it through the wall.

Unfortunately the hole needs to be around 20" and the studs only have 15" between them, so I believe I have to basically make a window frame. I've been watching videos and reading about it and I think I have the basic framing concept down, but I think I would need to install flashing to keep the moisture out. The part I don't understand is the bottom of the window. I've read about some kind of groove down there and shims and whatnot that are intended to let moisture work it's way out, but I'm not really sure I get how to do it. Would I actually make the bottom of the window frame slope outward so the water would run downhill and back outside?
 
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Old 04-19-12, 03:01 AM
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Welcome to the forums! You need to install flashing on the top edge to keep "water" out. Keeping moisture out can be accomplished by using a sealant around the perimeter and then trimming out the entire box on the outside. Inside trim as well. The unit itself would sit at a slight tilt, but that can be accomplished with square framing a little larger than the unit. It doesn't take much tilt to make water run out. Consider exterior support as you plan this as well.
 
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Old 04-28-12, 03:29 PM
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What do you mean by "trimming out" the box? And you're saying I should have the sill slope slightly to the exterior?
 
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Old 04-28-12, 04:22 PM
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What I did was simply prime and paint some 1 x 2(?) to match the exterior color and after the unit was installed and the gap between the stucco and unit was spray foamed or caulked, I installed the 1X in a simple box around the part of the unit that penetrated the wall. 2 or 3 tapcon screws per board. I didn't miter the corners..just butt joints. Caulk between wall and wood and wood and unit and any joints. Hint...use clear caulk on exterior...I didn't and it's now about 4 shades darker due to the sun and dirt.

On the interior...I picture framed it with mitered corners with common 2 1/4" ranch casing. Used finish screws into the framing. Don't want to nail it as it will prob block the screws that hold the front panel on.

Chandler is mistaken in one thing....swamp coolers should be level when installed. Put a level on the bottom of the pan as you are adjusting the support legs and chains. Measure side to side and front to rear til it's as close as you can get. Window A/c units tilt down to the outside slightly for drainage...you don't want that on a swamp cooler.

I imagine this is under the overhang of the roof? I doubt you will really need much in the way of flashing, but if you do you need to get it behind the siding material (hard to do for stucco). I don't have any sort of window sill under mine. Its sitting in a flat frame much like you probably did. Nothing goes from the inside to the outside or from within the wall to the outside except the cooler.
 
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Old 04-28-12, 05:11 PM
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Right, Vic, y'all use the water to recirculate and cool. I forgot. You DON'T want to get rid of the water like we do on window units. I stand corrected. Thanks.
 
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Old 04-30-12, 04:56 PM
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Thanks for your help guys!

I do have another issue that cropped up, and it's regarding the drywall. Not sure if I should make a new thread in the drywall section or not, so tell me if you prefer I do.

But apparently my house has no plywood sheathing. Just studs, wire, and stucco. Unfortunately this means that the inside of the stucco wall is wavy, and thicker in some parts. So where I installed some 2x4's to make the framing to hold my cooler, those 2x4's are hitting a thick lumpy part of the stucco, which is making them stick out further than the existing studs. I think this is going to be a problem when installing the drywall. I have 1/2" drywall around the hole I made, but even 3/8" drywall will still not be thin enough to be flush with the existing drywall. would I just put mud over the window framing parts? Would you be able to tell?
 
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Old 05-03-12, 01:03 PM
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Hi, Why not use 2x3 and keep the edge flush with the inside.
Good Luck Woodbutcher
 
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Old 09-25-13, 09:16 PM
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Yes, you're right. I think 2x3's would've been the smart thing to do if I'd anticipated this problem before the installation, which I didn't. So now I'm wondering if there's anything I can do to save the installation? Can you plane down 2x4's while they're still in the wall? Is there any way to fix this without having to rip everything out and start over?

Here are some pictures of the 2x4's and how they stick out too far to install the drywall over them.

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Old 09-26-13, 12:59 AM
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As seen in the picture below....a 2x4 and a 2x3 are both the same thickness. So using a 2x3 wouldn't have helped the issue.

Not sure what you can do now. That wood will be pretty hard to plane on the wall.

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Old 09-26-13, 02:48 AM
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You also could use 3/8" sheetrock if you can find it. Often it is an obscure product, but available. The one 2x4 in PJ's pix can be driven back 1/4" it seems to be flush with the sheetrock, not sure.
 
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Old 09-26-13, 03:24 AM
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Our local big box stores stock 3/8" drywall .... or did the last time I checked 1/4" drywall is also an option although you might have to go to a drywall supply house to get it. Looks like you'll need to add 2xs at the very top to attach the drywall too.
 
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