Cooling Tower Spring Maintenance

Winter layup of cooling towers can create an environment susceptible to growth and incubation of corrosion causing bacteria. Cooling tower cleaning and maintenance prior to spring start-up is recommended by OSHA to remove biofilm and prevent Legionella bacteria, and by most cooling tower manufacturers to maintain system efficiency during the summer cooling season.

Cleaning and disinfecting the cooling tower basin is critical in reducing and removing biological activity and enhancing your treatment program. Shovels, brooms, and hoses can be used to remove any debris or dirt and clean strainers and filters.

Due to condensation, cooling tower fan housings are often difficult areas for chemical treatments to prevent bacteria growth, which can lead to the spread of airborne pathogens and corrosion. Scrubbing and disinfecting fan housing and lubricating fans and motors will assist in preventing biological growth.  Removing any excess oils and grease will also eliminate future bacteria food sources. It is recommended that the system's sacrificial anodes on chiller heads be replaced in the spring as well.

Clogged distributors can weaken the cooling tower's ability to cool water and increases overall energy use. Typical system filtration may not always remove debris, opening and cleaning distribution pans is recommended to ensure reliable water flow.

Metal cooling surfaces are exposed to air and humidity during the off season, creating thin or missing protective coatings. There are a variety of options available to re-passivate both the steel and copper surfaces to prevent corrosion, deposits and bacterial growth. Contact U.S. Water to learn more about your facility's options for rebuilding your system's surface protection.

Most controller manufacturer's recommend sensors be replaced annually, and seasonal maintenance can be easily incorporated into your spring routine. Calibrate, inspect and replace (if necessary) controller sensors, especially pH and ORP sensors, to ensure accurate and efficient treatment program.

Contact U.S. Water for more information on getting your cooling tower ready for the season, or to learn how our integrated solutions can help you maintain a clean system year-round.

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