Spring is just around the corner! It’s time to start thinking about cooling tower cleaning. Spring is an ideal time for a thorough cleaning of your cooling tower and air cooling systems to ensure safety, improved indoor air quality (IAQ) and more energy-efficient systems.
Even though cooling towers are highly efficient at rejecting heat-producing cooling water, they’re not maintenance-free. Over time, nutrients, airborne dirt and debris collect within different components of cooling towers.
If not properly cleaned, these contaminants can cause blockages and corrosion, which impairs the operating efficiency and can lead to significant damage and possibly failure of the system. When a system is neglected or not cleaned properly, motors burn out. Sometimes, the damage is so severe that towers need to be rebuilt.
Another important reason for proper cooling tower cleaning is to prevent the spread of bacteria, including Legionellapneumophila, which can cause Legionnaires’ disease. Legionella, which is found in moist environments and water sources, can spread over a vast area due to drift (aerosols) carrying the bacteria from the tower.
Frequency of Cooling Tower Cleaning
Before powering on your air cooling systems, be sure to have them properly cleaned. While some cooling towers require more frequent cleaning due to continual operation throughout the year, OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) recommends cooling towers be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected at least twice a year.
Cooling tower cleaning should be performed before the start of the cooling season and after shutdown in the fall. Systems with heavy biofouling or high levels of Legionella may require additional cleaning.
Any system that has been out of service for an extended period should be cleaned and disinfected. New systems require cleaning and disinfecting because construction material residue can contribute to Legionella growth.
How to Properly Clean a Cooling Tower
Here are some of the fundamental steps to properly clean cooling towers:
Prevent sediment or algae from collecting in the water basin by flushing it out through the tower drain every two to three weeks
Stop scale buildup on the surface of the cooling tower
Clear debris from the air outlet and inlets
Check the pump to ensure it’s working properly
Check the belt drive system and oil level per manufacturer specifications
Inspect the water distribution system, and clean water nozzles frequently
Cooling Tower Cleaning Services From a Reliable Partner
Service-Tech Corporation has been servicing cooling tower systems for nearly 60 years. Our technicians are fully trained and experienced in OSHA protocols (e.g., lock out/tag out, containment, proper use of recommended equipment, respiratory protection, personal protective equipment (PPE) and other safety measures).
Cooling tower cleaning processes include, but are not limited to:
High-volume pressure washing
Our capabilities include servicing different components throughout the systems, from the rooftop fan housing down to the sump pit. Project leaders assess how to best serve the needs of each system and assemble the right team for the project.
With proper cooling tower cleaning, you can extend the life of your cooling towers. We’ve saved numerous customers from having to replace their systems by applying several different cleaning techniques for the different components in a system, including fans, spray nozzles, basins and fill and drift eliminators.
If you want to learn more about our cooling tower services or schedule an appointment, feel free to contact us.