Your Guide to Cooling Tower Cleaning

July 02nd, 2018
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Cooling towers are a fantastic invention. If a cooling tower is incorporated into your air conditioning system at home or at work, it can drastically improve your quality of life.

However, this is only true if your cooling tower is properly maintained. Otherwise, the tower can be a hotbed for mold and bacteria. They are particularly susceptible to be infested with the bacteria that eventually leads to Legionnaire's Disease, a severe and often fatal form of pneumonia.

In this brief post, we'll guide you through the basics of cooling tower cleaning. This way, harmful bacteria will never enter your home or workplace.

Cooling Tower Cleaning 101

Cooling towers, when in use, rarely pose a problem in regard to bacterial contamination. It's in periods of disuse, as in the winter months, that cooling towers become nests for mold and bacteria.

OSHA recommends that cooling towers be cleaned quarterly, or at the very least, twice a year. In these periods of stagnation, however, special attention should be paid to your cooling tower(s). You should inspect your cleaning tower on a monthly basis to make sure there hasn't been any rapid growth of mold somewhere.

To clean the tower, you need to first shut it off and drain it. Then, you need to spray the tower with spray and scrub the tower with biocides to kill present bacteria and prevent future bacterial growth.

You should also use a rust inhibitor to prevent corrosion of the tower. With so much standing water in the tower, it's easy for it to rust.

Parts of the Tower That Need Special Attention

The cooling tower fan is one of the most common problem areas for bacterial growth in a cooling tower. It can be hard to get disinfectant into all the nooks and crannies of the fan, so you need to be extra vigilant when scrubbing the fan.

The distribution pan is not necessarily as susceptible to bacterial growth, but it is commonly clogged with debris. This can restrict water flow through the cooling tower, reducing its effectiveness. It also has the side effect of making your tower horribly inefficient and jacking up your energy costs.

The tower's basin is perhaps the area most commonly infested with bacteria. This is because this area is often covered by large amounts of stagnant water. The water is also very oxygen-rich, which makes it fertile for bacterial growth.

Cleaning and disinfecting this area is a crucial task to undertake at the end of a period of disuse, and right at the end of your cooling season.

The Bottom Line

The truth is that cooling towers are complex systems that are difficult to clean. It requires in-depth knowledge of cooling towers, bacteria, and biocides. All this is to say that, unfortunately, you should probably outsource your cooling tower cleaning to an expert team.

If your cooling tower has been suffering from neglect and you think it needs a thorough cleaning, consider contacting us. We'll disinfect your tower and prevent dangerous bacteria from harming your coworkers or family.