Cooling Tower Maintenance Plans
Following the Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak in New York City this past summer, there is a great deal of concern and uncertainty about what's required for proper cooling tower maintenance. As a building or facility water system manager or owner, you are mandated, to protect your employees, visitors, guests, and/or patients from known hazards, such as these deadly bacteria. Further, you will need to stay in compliance with your local and/or state Health Department regulations, which includes a cooling tower maintenance plan.
In addition, many states are now requiring the testing and inspection of cooling towers as well as implementation of a cooling tower maintenance plan. Building or facility water system managers or owners with a cooling tower are required to implement a cooling tower maintenance plan sometime in 2016.
The Components of a Cooling Tower Maintenance PlanDefinitions in Cooling Tower Maintenance Plans
Monthly Water Treatment
- Once a month, the water in your cooling tower needs to be treated with a corrosion inhibitor and biocides to insure that bacteria levels are low.
- If tests reveal bacteria levels that are too high, your cooling tower will need to be professionally disinfected.
- The exact test that will be required by law are still being defined, but Legionella testing is recommended at least every quarter and sometimes even monthly.
- Include full water analyses and document and record everything. Preferably use an electronic recordkeeping system (ERK) such as our product, IntelliMetrics.
Cooling Tower Inspection
- Cooling towers need to be regularly inspected for the presence of dangerous bacteria as part of a water treatment plan.
- The components, including nozzles, basins and drains, need to be inspected for scale buildup and corrosion as part of a preventative HVAC maintenance plan.
Deep Cleaning & Winterizing
- Seasonal cooling towers need a deep cleaning of all interior surfaces of the tower at least once per year, and 12-month cooling towers should be cleaned twice per year.
- The process involves adding cleaning chemicals and circulating for 6 to 24 hours, depending on the system and usage, then draining and flushing out the system.
- Pressure washing and vacuuming may also be needed, with special attention to basins, nozzles and spray tree, as well as cleaning the fill material.
- Seasonal cooling towers need to be drained and sanitized at the end of the cooling season. Also, be sure to drain water from pipes to prevent freezing up.
- Some new cooling tower maintenance regulations may require sanitizing a cooling tower that is being replaced before disposing of it.
- Mechanical components such as fans, motors, belts and gears need to be cleaned, adjusted and replaced if worn.
- Electrical components such as wiring and capacitors need to be checked and replaced if needed.
Reasons for a Cooling Tower Maintenance Plan
As a building or facility water system manager or owner, you need to mitigate the threat of Legionella or other waterborne pathogens caused by the growth and spread of bacteria in your cooling tower. Implementing monthly water treatment with biocides as part of regular cooling tower maintenance will eliminate that concern and keep your employees, visitors, guests, and/or patients safe.
A polluted cooling tower will lead to a reduced cooling capacity which negatively influences the reliability of the system and can create health risks. However, this can easily be avoided by performing regular preventive maintenance.
If you own a building or facility with one or more cooling towers:
- You must disinfect all of your cooling towers.
- You must keep records at the building(s) you own of the inspection and disinfection of all cooling towers. If City officials ask for these records, you must show them.
- You must maintain records of the inspection and remediation, and make them available to the City upon request.
Efficient & Reliable Operation of your Cooling Towers
When you neglect cooling tower maintenance, all the accumulated mineral scale, mud, dirt and debris will eventually get into your air conditioning condensers. Scale buildup can also cause blockages and uneven water over the fill media. When that happens, it impedes the operation of the system by forcing it to work harder to cool your space. Not only will you experience cooling issues, but you can only let it go for so long before the system will break down. At that point, you will be faced with repair bills in addition to cooling tower maintenance.
Did you know that when your system water temperature is raised by as little as 2°F, it can cost you as much as 6 percent more in energy consumption? That's because your chiller and your cooling tower fan need to work harder and run longer trying to get to the required leaving water temperature, which uses more energy.
What Is A Integrated Water Management System
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- Securing you with the most evaluated and proven Legionella management system on all water systems, coupled with monitoring services and continuous protection.