Tips For Maintaining The Cooling Tower

First Posted: Sep 22, 2020 11:07 AM EDT

The cooling towers are an essential part of a building mechanical system. They are crucial to the performance of any commercial or industrial air conditioning system. You can get your cooling tower from a cooling tower manufacturer. Without proper maintenance, they can experience problems that can lead to a complete shutdown of the entire building, leading to a loss.

Here are some of the top cooling tower maintenance tips that should be carried out regularly.

1.     Ensure proper airflow

Insufficient airflow is a prevalent cause of air that doesn't feel cold, poor fan performance, and can even make the entire system to breakdown. Airflow interruptions can be caused by loose components, poor gearbox maintenance, and improper fan alignment.

Damage to the fan can also reduce the airflow. You need to check the unit for debris within the tower or the fill. Your cooling tower may be having sludge buildup on its basin that could be blocking airflow. A tower vacuum can perfectly remove these contaminants. You can also add a biocide to reduce the growth of bacteria and algae in the cooling tower.

2.     Treat your water

One of the most crucial steps when it comes to cooling tower maintenance is a thorough, regular water treatment program. If water quality is deserted, it can affect the entire system, leading to scaling and sludge in the condensers and pipes. Invest in an effective water treatment program to keep the cooling tower performing efficiently and safely.

If your company doesn't have an expert who can handle water treatment, you can outsource to a company that specializes in that line of duty. Again, make sure that the water is tested monthly and is treated with biocide and scale inhibitors. You can also install automatic feeders and sensors.

3.     Remove scale deposits

Since the cooling tower works through evaporation, you will experience periodic buildups of scale deposits on the fill. Minerals in water can also create deposits, especially if you are experiencing water treatment problems. If the limescale builds up in the tower, it can cause a decrease in the performance of your HVAC system, leading to premature deterioration of your cooling tower unit. Remove the scale regularly to enhance energy conservation and keep your monthly bills controllable. 

4.     Clean the tubes

Contaminants such as algae, mud, scale, and lime, can also build up within the chiller tubes and cause partial or in extreme cases, a total clog. When the units are clogged, it can lead to the tower's inefficiencies and even breakdowns. How frequent you should clean the tubes depends on the quality of your water and the rate of buildup.

Each unit experiences varying buildup, it depends on several factors. But by clearing the chiller tubes of deposits regularly, you will significantly prevent total blockages and make the removal of the debris a lot easier. The industrial HVAC system has miles of tubing, so you may need help from a professional to clear the tubes and improve your cooling tower's efficiency.

5.     Inspect the water pump regularly

The chiller system tends to rely on a water pump to carry warmer water to the chiller for cooling purposes. Efficiency during pumping can significantly increase the performance of the air conditioning it can also help you save on monthly energy bills.

A properly maintained pump will not have to work hard to move water back and forth, leading to an efficient process and increasing the lifespan of your cooling tower. Remember to lubricate the pumps more often.

6.     Don't forget about the fan, too

Proper fan maintenance is also very important. If the fan blades are broken, it can destroy bearings and cause other issues such as inefficiencies or breakdowns. So you should ensure that you:

  • Check the blades and clean dirt accumulation
  • Lubricate bearings and check for any sign of wear
  • Replace belts [annually]
  • Check for corrosion
  • Check the condition of drive couplings or belts
  • Check the fan's alignment and balance.

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