Cooling towers are a critical part of many commercial and industrial buildings because they rely heavily on them for cooling. To prevent these massive systems from failing it is important you prioritize regular maintenance.
Routine maintenance of cooling towers reduces the risk of system damage and health issues and increases safety and health, durability, performance, and efficiency. Failure to do so can incur high costs and, even worse, someone’s life put in danger due to dangerous bacterial growth. Regular checks help you use your equipment to the fullest while also creating a safe, compliant, and clean environment.
Legionella or other microbe-borne diseases can spread rapidly through air conditioning systems. One of the most common sources for Legionnaires’ disease is an infected cooling tower, and poorly maintained towers can lead to a potential outbreak. The warm waters in these buildings create perfect conditions for bacteria like algae or mold, which help grow dangerous pathogens such as Legionella that could spread through the air released when a cooling tower is in use.
A fully functioning cooling tower maintenance program ensures detection of problems early on and assures optimum performance during its lifetime. Frequent maintenance enables you to discover issues at an early stage that can cause excessive or undue wear and tear on your cooling tower systems, allowing for prompt correction.
A cooling tower working at optimum performance delivers the desired results. However, minor faults or damages can affect the undertaking, and if overlooked, it can lead to expensive repairs and high running costs.
Cooling tower cleaning is a complete process, not just one task. To maximize your maintenance efforts, you will have to make sure to provide attention to all components of the system. To help facilities optimize the process of cooling tower maintenance, here are some steps to ensure adequate cleaning of your cooling tower system.
Step 1. Inspect The Tower
The initial step is to inspect carefully during the cooling tower cleaning process. Ideally, this should be done once per month at least. However, make sure you don’t skip this step on the actual cleaning day. Inspecting your cooling tower system reveal parts that require particular focus throughout the cleaning process. That way, you can pay adequate attention to the areas that need improvement.
Step 2. Protect Yourself
Once you have identified the areas that demand additional attention, don’t overlook your protection. Before you start with the cleaning process, make sure to turn off the pumps and fans in the tower using OSHA tag/lockout procedures. They are extraordinarily potent and can drastically endanger or even kill someone. The moisture and heat coming from the tower can also be harmful, especially Legionella germs. You need to ensure respiratory safety and eye protection features like masks with a suitable filter grade.
Step 3. Treat for Bacteria
Cooling towers can be a dangerous breeding ground for bacteria, making it essential to reduce the nutrients available for Legionella growth. BioSpray® Tower can kill 99.9% of Legionella and is on the EPA list of disinfectants for use against SARS-COV-2 when appropriately applied on hard non-porous surfaces. It offers a labor-saving, no-rinse formula. Protocols for the disinfection of Legionella are well defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Step 4. Remove Sludge
The most common area is the basin where sludge can accrue and can impact the longevity and performance of the cooling tower system. You can use specialized vacuums to remove the sludge in cooling towers.
Step 5. Fix Clogs and Fouling
The most predominant part of the heat exchange within a cooling tower system occurs in the cooling tower fill. The fill is what leads the passing air in the system to produce cold water and remove heat efficiently. When the fill becomes fouled or clogged, the cooling doesn’t take place because the air can’t touch the heat source as planned. As a result, it generates higher electricity bills. If sediment is visible, the basin needs to be cleaned, and cooling tower vacuums make it easier to remove contaminants without shutting down or draining your system.
Step 6. Plan The Next Cleaning
Once you clean the cooling tower, you will be better able to assess how frequently it becomes fouled or dirty so that you can plan and schedule the next cleaning agenda. Most cooling towers operate the best when cleaned twice a year apart from frequent water treatment to combat issues like algae growth and Legionella. If you are still unsure how often you should be servicing your cooling tower, speak to skilled technicians to gauge your system adequately and its unique risks.
Whether you require reactive cooling tower maintenance or are planning to develop a routine preventative maintenance schedule, it’s imperative to have sound knowledge about cleaning cooling towers. What is going to make your maintenance easier to complete is the right tools. Our Cooling tower basin cleaning systems provide a solution that allows cleaning without having to shut down towers. When cleaning cooling tower fills, industrial descaling chemicals paired with cooling tower fill cleaning systems will provide complete product from efficiency-robbing foul and dangerous bacteria. Our cooling tower products help you keep cooling towers clean and meet ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 188-2015, a standard for maintenance and the remediation of Legionella in commercial building water.
Learn how to choose the right system for your cooling tower needs with our Buying Guide.
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