- Dennis Griffin
Maintenance the Key to Cooling Tower Efficiency and Safety
Proper water treatment and a regular maintenance program are important requirements when it comes to operating a clean, efficient cooling tower. During routine operation, cooling towers collect dust, pollen, and other pollutants from the air. These accumulated contaminants can cause scale and corrosion, which decrease energy efficiency and provide prime breeding grounds for fungus and bacteria including deadly Legionella. Regular cleaning and maintenance improve energy efficiency, extend the lifespan of the tower and HVAC system, allow water treatment chemicals to perform better, and reduce serious health risks.
It is important to maintain an effective water treatment regimen to prevent corrosion, scale, fouling, and microbial contamination. This can be achieved using chemical inhibitors or with chemical-free, environmentally-friendly methods that remove microbes and particles by applying electrical pulses to tower water. Cooling towers can be metered to measure the quantity of water put into and discharged from the tower to conserve water, better manage tower efficiency, and eliminate sewer charges for water that does not enter the sanitary sewer system.
Cooling towers should be inspected, cleaned, and disinfected twice a year to remove accumulated scale and debris. Components and piping should be visually inspected and checked for vibration, leaks, and noise. Drift eliminators should be power washed, and nozzles should be inspected, cleared of debris, and replaced as needed. Sump screens should be cleaned to allow maximum flow to the pump. Heaters should be cleaned and inspected for broken or cracked elements, a common problem. Change belts and grease motors as needed.