Keeping your cooling tower in good shape requires more than just the annual inspection before startup. Stick to a regular maintenance schedule to reduce the risk of Legionella and prevent premature failure, recommends Dan Glover, technical services group manager for Southland Industries, a national mechanical engineering, construction, and service firm.
- Be sure all equipment is operating and safety systems are in place.
- Physically clean the screen of all debris.
- Operate float or electronic make-up to ensure proper operation.
- Check for excessive vibration in motors, fans, and pumps.
- Check for loose fill, connections, leaks, rust, corrosion, etc.
- Check all belts and pulleys and adjust as needed.
- For an open cooling tower, test the water for proper concentrations of dissolved solids and chemistry.
- For a closed tower, adjust blowdown and chemicals as necessary.
- Check motor supports and fan blades for excessive wear and secure fastening.
- Inspect motor alignment and coupling.
- Inspect drift eliminators for proper positioning and scale build-up.
- Inspect the condition of pulleys and/or belts.
- Check gear reducer box for lubricant level and add if needed.
- Assure that all bearings are lubricated per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Inspect and clean nozzles as needed.
- Inspect fan blades for cracks and clean as needed.
- Remove and clean strainer in sump.
- Change gear reducer lubricant with factory-recommended oil.
- Clean gear reducer sight glass and check shaft thrust and play.
- Power wash tower hot deck and cold deck.
- Power wash tower fill and use scale remover as needed.
- Check bottom of hot and cold decks for corrosion and rust.
- Check the condition of the fan motor through temperature or vibration analysis and compare to baseline values.
- Perform meg-ohm test motor windings.
- Change oil in gear box if applicable.
- Inspect vibration safety device.
Credit: Southland Industries