attaching 4x4s to stucco?

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Old 03-23-17, 10:27 AM
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attaching 4x4s to stucco?

I have a bonaire durango evaporative cooler currently installed through a hole cut out in the wall (approx 22"x22") . The entire unit size is about 47"x35", here is a link to the product:
Bonaire Durango 4,500 CFM 3-Speed Window Evaporative Cooler-6280030 - The Home Depot

the fan portion of the unit extends about 4" out from the inside wall, and it looks really ugly. I was hoping to have the inside part flush with the wall, so it doesn't protrude

to do that i will have to make the outside wall "thicker" by about 4", so the cooling-pad portion of the cooler can sit flush with the outside wall (a requirement)

i was hoping to attach a few 4x4s i have, and was wondering what the best way to do this is. i plan on using some really long screws and some liquid nails to the stucco

the unit gets pretty heavy when the pads are saturated with water, but not that heavy since i can lift it. i'm going to guess 100lbs, with a max of 150lbs

i can post a pic of the current set up if that helps, the swamp cooler is still installed as is
 
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Old 03-26-17, 04:21 AM
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that's for window install, not wall. The excess is meant to protrude into the home and you said the requirement is the cooling pad larger side is flush/tight against the outside wall. Even though the whole face of the outside portion is apparently ok to be hit by rain, I don't think it's safe to put the excess 4" outside. It's kind of like saying "I have a window AC and don't want it sticking 4" into the room, so I'ma stick it all out the window flush with the wall and put a bracket to hold it sticking more outside."

Looking at the picture, the 22x22" box area has a fan (electric) right there. I mean you could probably caulk the joints of the 22x22 section but why risk an electrical fire? I would honestly just return that and get one meant for the thickness of you walls (2x4 or 2x6, likely 2x4, plus the stucco and sheathing and interior drywall). Home depot takes almost anything back if you still have the original box and everything. Talk to the manager if you have a problem.


If you still decide to stick the excess outside, which I recommend %100 not to do, but if for some reason you still do, caulk the heck out of all the seams on the backside you are exposing to the elements (which are meant to be installed inside a window).


To answer your question how to attach a 4x4 (which is only 3.5" and would need to add .5" more material, or also put .5" picture frame trim moulding around the inside), just predrill the 4x4 and the house wall framing (there should be horizontal 2x4s top and bottom of your rough opening otherwise the unit is resting on just sheathing and done wrong). Just make sure you don't hit a pipe or wire, go super slowly and/or use a stud finder from the inside and transfer the locations to oustide.

Predrill and install 1/4" lag bolts about 2" into the 2x4 framing in the house wall right in the center of the 1.5" sides, so around 6" lag bolts includes the stucco thickness (might need masonry bit to drill the stucco) and use hot dipped galvanized lags if your 4x4 is pressure treated otherwise they'll rust. Screws to hold weight like that is a no no, nails are much stronger than screws, screws could break, but if you put enough exterior grade decks screws it'll probably be ok if you find the lbs rating for the brand of screws. 1/4" lag bolts should be plenty though because it's 86 lbs and I think it even collets water, so can become heavy. Honestly I wouldn't even feel comfortable doing it with lags though, it's basically like tongue weight of a truck trailer hitch, like when you see just a floating platform on a trailer hitch holding a wheelchair or ATV etc - it poses the question of what tongue weight can your framing hold (not the actual lag bolts)- maybe someone will chime in with a spec, but personally with something 86 lbs that fills with water, I would put two legs/posts instead. And stucco likes to hairline crack so the weight of it can be a problem.

But not only is the fan section then exposed (even if caulked) but so is the whole backside of exterior portion and thus you should probably completely picture frame around the outside portion and caulk well the joints. And also you don't want flat wood on the top of it outside because water can collet. You would have to cut the top wood (non supportive wood, just to enclose the unit from rain) as sort of a gable peak so it sheds water, or just slightly shim the whole unit a bit sideways so water sheds to one side but doesn't interfier with the pump and resevoir if applicable. Finally, you can even membrane and then lath and stucco over the wood (or a bunch of tubes of stucco caulk should stick better to the pressure treated lumber than trying to use a textured paint and primer).

Honestly I wouldn't mess, return it for a wall one. You might have to replace parts on it etc and thus need to break caulk joints now and then would be much easier if it just had one simple caulk bead around it being tight to the house. Even if the instructions/manufacturer say you don't have to caulk the outisde and thus it's sort of all waterproof, I still wouldn't stick it 4" outside without enclosing and caulking all 4 sides outside. You can email the manufacturer but I'd bet they'll say you shouldn't stick it 4" outside. You already said it was a requirement to be flush with the wall.

You can also just leave the 4" excess inside and picture frame the inside with two 2x4s on the flat (3" total), plus .5" drywall (also drywall the sides of the 2x4s which now creates an inside corner where they meet the existing drywall) and tape and mud those inside corners and then put .5" trim moulding would total 4" (but depending on height might be an eye poke hazard fora child with the bottom corners of a 4" picture frame...).


edit: I just looked for examples of wall install of these and stumbled on another thread you posted in last year I skimmed through (where the other person has it 4" sticking out and wall installed with no trim on the inside) so I guess you can't return it for a wall unit.
http://www.doityourself.com/forum/ev...ve-cooler.html
you say possibly to convert it to a portable, which I know nothing about that, but about repairing the stucco in the wall, I think you can do it. Check out kirk giordano on youtube. He'll make it easy for you.
 
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Old 03-26-17, 05:03 AM
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I am sure there is a Cliff Notes version of that response, but in short order, attaching anything to stucco may not be a good idea, due to water infiltration possibilities. I also think using something bulky like 4x4's would exacerbate the "ugly".
 
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Old 03-29-17, 02:58 PM
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thanks for all the advice. i was actually going to do something like 2x6's doubled on top of each other, but i may scrap the whole idea.

i've had this unit for almost a year and it has more than paid for itself with electricity savings, no kidding. so i want to keep it

i wouldn't have thought the motor part would be susceptible to water since it's all plastic and because it's a swamp cooler it would be water tight. but that would just be a guess.

i am now looking at just removing it from it's current spot and patching up the wall. and i will look at kirk giordano on youtube vids

trouble is, there aren't too many suitable spots for the swamp cooler to go

i have a glass sliding door that i would love to use, if i can somehow build a frame for the swamp cooler. but i would not know where to start.

not sure where else i could install it since most of the windows are up on the second floor which would make it nearly impossible
 
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Old 03-29-17, 10:04 PM
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I would honestly just put trim on the inside.
Double 2x3s on the flat equals 3"
plus half inch drywall
plus half inch moulding makes the 4 inches.

But if it's eye level the corners could be a hazard for kids or adults, but then again, so many things could also be.
 
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Old 04-08-17, 02:31 AM
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So i went against the suggestions here and proceeded with my original plan

I used pressure treated 2x4's and built a frame on the outside wall with lag bolts going into studs

Then I used 2-3/4" cabinet screws to affix another set of 2x4's on top of the frame

I have sealed it well with caulk and will also apply versatape all around it once the caulk has fully cured

The swamp cooler is now more sturdily attached and is actually level. The previous install was poor

On the inside it sticks out about 2 inches still, my measurements were off because the smaller housing was not fully extended (poor initial install). Hopefully the new install improves performance. I haven't done the inside trim yet.

On the outside, the cooler is somewhat protected from rain by the side overhang of the roof, but I will monitor it to ensure there isn't any pooling of water on top, and will consider affixing a rain shield of some sort, just for piece of mind

Constructive feedback appreciated, I know I may still have a lot of work to do from a safety standpoint, I'm here to learn
 
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Old 04-08-17, 07:54 AM
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We can't see the install, so feedback on it would not be possible.
 
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