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Five Steps to Handle Cooling Tower Maintenance

March 15, 2019
If you operate cooling towers on your HVAC or industrial systems, now is a great time to make sure you are ready for cooling tower cleaning.

Spring may have sprung for some, but for others, it still seems far away. If you operate cooling towers on your HVAC or industrial systems, now is a great time to make sure you are ready for cooling tower cleaning.

Goodway Technologies is sharing the five steps it recommends for performing proper cooling tower maintenance, which can have a big financial—and safety—impact when ignored or skipped. Not only can it increase energy costs, but it decreases efficiency and shortens the equipment's lifespan.

“By failing to perform the proper cooling tower maintenance, you not only impact performance but also open up the risk for overgrowth of infectious bacteria, such as Legionella,” said Ray Field, director of liquid solutions at Goodway Technologies. “This is about more than your bottom line. It’s about taking the right steps to prevent an outbreak and protecting the health of your occupants and the surrounding community.”

A survey implemented by Goodway Technologies shows that Legionella prevention is a big concern for management and a frequent discussion point among leadership. It’s become a focus industry-wide with the introduction of ASHRAE Standard 188-2015. The standard establishes minimum risk management requirements for building water systems. These specifications provide guidance on logging, maintaining, and cleaning cooling towers to mitigate Legionella breakouts.

Cooling towers are one of the more common sources for the growth of bacteria, which is why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends performing cleaning and disinfecting at least twice a year.

Typically, this occurs at the start of the cooling season and after the equipment is shut down in the fall. Whether you are handling the cleaning and maintenance yourself, or hire a contractor, make sure you have a complete maintenance plan in place.

Five Steps to Proper Cooling Tower Maintenance

1. Inspect Towers At Least Monthly

Sediment, scale, and slime can lead to buildup and help Legionella grow and thrive. Regular inspections will help determine when to schedule cleaning.

2. Clean Tower Basin Surfaces 

If sediment is visible, the basin needs to be cleaned, and cooling tower vacuums make it easier to remove contaminants without shutting down or draining your system.

3. Descale the Fill

The tower fill provides the perfect environment for bacterial growth, especially Legionella. A descaler will dissolve the scale and mineral deposits, that Legionella likes to hide in, leaving the surface ready for cleaning.

4. Clean the Fill

A cooling tower fill cleaner will remove dirt and debris and inhibit the growth of other bacteria when utilized in conjunction with appropriate biocides.

5. Disinfect the Tower

Cooling towers can be a dangerous breeding ground for bacteria, which makes it important to reduce the nutrients available for Legionella growth. BioSpray Tower can kill 99.9% of Legionella pneumophila when applied properly on hard non-porous surfaces and it offers a labor-saving, no-rinse formula. Protocols for the disinfection of Legionella are well-defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Getting Started

Before you even begin, take the time to review the maintenance solutions you have in place. The right equipment can make the job easier and more effective. It’s a win-win. From cooling tower vacuums and tower fill cleaners to cleaning solutions and descalers, Goodway has simpler options to efficiently clean towers without shutting down the system. Cooling tower cleaning doesn’t have to be a lengthy, labor-intensive process anymore.

Visit the website to learn more about Goodway’s complete line of cooling tower maintenance products. Goodway also has a free, on-demand webinar on “Preventative Maintenance for Cooling Tower Systems.”


Balitmore Aircoil Company, Inc. (BAC)
Goodway Technologies Corp.
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