Business owners and commercial building managers who are responsible for the operation of a cooling tower at their facility should understand the benefits that come with cooling tower maintenance services. Maintenance is about more than simply repairing a cooling tower when it begins to malfunction. It includes keeping the tower compliant with local and state regulations, but it is also an opportunity to save money and boost the lifespan of the equipment so that it operates at peak performance for years to come.
Is Cooling Tower Maintenance Mandatory?
Cooling tower maintenance is typically mandatory, regardless of which state or county you live in. Cooling towers are responsible for potential public health hazards such as outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease, which is why most state and local governments have established rules surrounding the regular maintenance of cooling towers. However, towers should be maintained regularly, not solely to remain compliant with the law but also to improve their function. Over time, this maintenance offers a number of benefits, from cost savings to reduced repairs and heightened longevity.
Increase Equipment Lifespan
One of the most significant benefits of undergoing regular maintenance for a cooling tower is to improve the lifespan of the equipment in the tower itself. Cooling towers can cost $100,000 or more to replace, which means that caring for them before problems arise can save a significant amount of money by extending the life of the existing tower so that it does not have to be replaced.
Bacteria, dirt and other debris gather inside a cooling tower as part of its regular operation. Maintenance can easily remove this buildup; however, if it is left to continue to overtake the system, it can collect on fans, pumps and filters. When the tower continues to operate with these fouled or severely impacted parts, it will not function efficiently and will require excess energy to produce the same output. Also lubrication of bearings, sheaves, wheels, pulleys, and gears etc are required This exertion takes a toll on the equipment, leading to early wear, breakage and even total failure that could result in the need to entirely replace the tower.
Reduce Environmental and Health Hazards
Cooling towers are one of the most prolific spreaders of Legionnaires’ disease, a severe and potentially fatal illness caused by Legionella bacteria. This microorganism thrives in freshwater, and even slight deviations of temperature can provide the opportunity for it to grow. Regular cooling tower maintenance includes a comprehensive strategy for tackling Legionella that already exists in a system before it can impact the local community and visitors to the facility.
Maintenance also provides the opportunity to create a Legionella prevention plan to stop the bacteria from gaining a foothold in the first place. The high fatality rate and quick development of illnesses related to Legionella are the driving force behind the recommendation to clean cooling towers at least twice a year. Experts recommend paying particular attention to the presence of Legionella bacteria after the off-season, when the tower has been working less due to reduced demand.
Save Money on Bills and Repairs
Another benefit of cooling tower maintenance is its ability to save business owners money in both the short and long term. When cooling towers are not regularly maintained, the buildup of scale, corrosion, bacteria, biofilms and sludge will foul equipment and reduce the tower’s efficiency. Metal parts covered in sediment cannot transfer heat as intended, and filters clogged with biofilm cannot process water as quickly.
This means that the tower must work harder to produce the same result, drawing more energy for less output. Building owners will see this process reflected in their monthly energy bills, which can climb quickly due to a poorly maintained cooling tower. And as parts continue to experience degradation, they too will need to be replaced at the owner’s expense. By performing regular maintenance, a cooling tower can function at peak efficiency, using as little energy as possible to produce an ideal output.
Work with Experienced Cooling Tower Maintenance Experts
Whether you are in need of cooling tower maintenance right now or you would like to develop a regular maintenance schedule, it is important to work with experts who are familiar with repairs and cleaning of cooling towers. Due to the risk of Legionella, personal protective equipment and other safeguards are necessary, which can make the process cumbersome for a building owner to undergo alone. Regulations also typically require that a professional company perform maintenance from time to time. In order to achieve the most reliable and effective results, be sure to work with an experienced cooling tower maintenance company such as Tower Water. They can advise you on issues from water treatment to long-term maintenance plans; reach out to schedule an appointment.