Any individual who is responsible for the operation of a cooling tower carries a large responsibility, not only to keep the tower safe but to maintain it for as long as possible in order to prevent costly repairs and replacement. Business owners and commercial building owners who require assistance with cooling tower maintenance should rely on experienced technicians; while some maintenance can be performed on your own, maintaining a cooling tower can be dangerous and time-consuming and so is best handled by professionals. Here is a cooling tower maintenance checklist to ensure your system.
Why Is Cooling Tower Maintenance Important?
Cooling tower maintenance is critical to the long-term efficiency and safety of the tower as it operates. When towers are not regularly maintained, they can become breeding grounds for a dangerous type of bacteria called Legionella. Legionella causes a severe and potentially fatal illness in humans who contract Legionnaires’ disease; however, regular maintenance can prevent the occurrence of Legionella in a cooling tower.
Additionally, cooling towers that are not regularly cleaned and inspected could experience corrosion, scaling and deposits that interfere with their proper function. From fan blades becoming clogged to scale on metal surfaces causing thickening, heat may no longer be able to transfer through the system as intended. This impacts its ability to cool, requiring the tower to draw more energy in order to create the desired level of output. The increased energy expenditure will be reflected on your monthly energy bills, as well as the early failure of system parts that require costly replacement.
For these reasons, it is important that your cooling tower is regularly maintained. Not all aspects of the tower must be maintained daily or even weekly. Keep the following list in mind as you consider how to schedule your maintenance effectively.
Things to Check Weekly
Every week, you should clean the screen of debris and quickly evaluate whether any unnecessary or unusual rumbling or vibration is present so that it can be addressed before it causes damage. The water can be tested at this time to ensure proper composition, and you can perform a visual inspection checking for proper belt placement and the formation of rust.
Things to Check Monthly
At least once per month, check the fans and motor supports for wear, and make sure that the equipment around them is tightly fastened. Be sure to completely power down the fans for your own safety. It is also wise to check for motor alignment and coupling issues at this time, as well as whether scale has begun to build up in the drift eliminators.
Areas to Evaluate Quarterly
Once every three months, be sure to inspect the pulleys and belts; these should be examined weekly for placement, but their overall condition and wear should be checked quarterly. Spend some time adding additional lubricant to the bearings, and clean all of the system’s nozzles so that they do not become clogged. The gear reducer box may need additional lubrication at this time as well.
Maintenance Required BI-Annually/Annually
The annual inspection can be the most time-consuming, but it is no less important than the more minor inspections done throughout the year. At this point, you should entirely remove and clean the strainer in the sump, and fan blades should be thoroughly cleaned and replaced if they are beginning to crack. Some power washing can go a long way at this point, so wash down the tower hot and cold decks as well as the tower fill; scale remover may be needed depending upon the condition. The hot and cold decks may have corroded or rusted over the previous year, and this should be examined and promptly addressed. The gear box likely needs additional oil at this time, and you should also take the time to perform a meg-ohm test on the motor windings.
These maintenance tasks are more advanced, which is why working with an expert is recommended. Relying on a regular maintenance technician you can trust will free up your time and ensure more comprehensive and skilled maintenance whenever needed.
Work with the Cooling Tower Maintenance Experts For More On Cooling Tower Maintenance Checklist
Whether you are attempting maintenance on your cooling tower for the first time or are establishing a regular schedule for year-long maintenance, be sure to locate a cooling tower expert that you can trust. The technicians at Tower Water set the standard in water treatment and would be happy to assist you in evaluating some of the most critical aspects of your tower, such as the presence of potentially deadly Legionella bacteria. Reach out to schedule an appointment to discuss the risks specific to your system and develop a strategy.