How to Service a Cooling Tower - Tips for HVAC Technicians

- by tiger61

Nowadays most of the buildings are centrally Air-Conditioned. These types of Air- Conditioning system need water to cool its compressor and condenser. If we have a look at the top of these buildings; we see three or four dome / square shaped metallic structure. All the time water is spraying in it and being cooled by atmospheric air or by blower motor.

This article will help HVAC (Heating, Ventilating and Cooling) Technician to service a cooling tower in a nice way. However, any one can do this, if he/she has a basic knowledge electricity and function of its various parts and must be well familiar with the cooling tower; also with the specialized tools and equipments required to do the job.

For the better performance of the cooling tower; it is necessary to service electrical blower, pump, piping accessories and water supply circuit at a time.

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Necessary tools, equipments and materials: Adjustable wrench, Open end wrench set, Flat/Star screw driver, Combination pliers, AVO meter, Anemometer, Pipe wrench, Scrapers, hand brush, Ladder, Air compressor, Water pressure jet system, Caustic soda solution, sponge and cotton waste etc.

Steps to follow:

1. Switch OFF the power of the cooling tower fan motor and lock it for your safety. Hang a tag to indicate that work is in progress.

2. Switch OFF the water pump.

3. Check and clean all plumbing fittings; change it if corroded.

4. Check the electrical connections of blower fan motor and pump motor. Replace the wire if you found faulty.

5. Clean the fan motor and itís blade with hand brush and cotton waste.

6. Close the water inlet valve and drain water from the basin/reserve tank.

7. Clean the basin with hand brush. Use wire brush if required. Remove the soil dirt and water clog.

8. Apply caustic soda solution on the basin. Wait 10/15 minutes and wash with pressurized water.

9. Check the spray nozzles. Clean the nozzles with orifice cleaner. Replace it, if found corroded or not working.

10. Check the float bulb that ensures the water supply to keep the level to the basin. Replace it if corroded.

11. Clean the drain line. It may be blocked with mud, sludge etc.

12. Clean the entire area with pressurized air (i.e. interior fence, basin floor etc)

It is good to check the working performance /ability of the cooling tower before its goes to normal operation.

Checking the ability:

1. You have to switch ON the blower fan and measure the air flow. You must compare it with the manufacturer manual.

2. You have to switch ON the water pump motor and observe it spray nozzles. Also you have to measure the inlet and outlet water temperature and compare it with the manufacturer manual.

Finally, follow all safety procedures, wear apron, hand gloves, safety goggles, safety shoes and safety helmet. Extreme precaution should be taken while cleaning with caustic soda solution. Check for your missing or forgotten tools. You must bear in mind that proper servicing of cooler tower increases the cooling efficiency of the machine.
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