Tower Maintenance Checklist

03/20/2013 |

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

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