cooling tower
Proper maintenance will help keep energy costs low.

Save up to 15 percent on electricity costs with these simple preventive maintenance tips for cooling towers. Routine maintenance also helps to conserve water and extend the operating life of cooling equipment.

Over time a neglected cooling tower’s leaving water temperature will increase, raising energy costs by up to 6 percent for every 2°F increase. However, a well maintained cooling tower will continue to function at the original optimum efficiency, keeping energy costs low.

Follow these 10 simple maintenance tips to get the most out of cooling towers.

1. Check the overall condition of the unit and listen for any uncommon noises to establish a baseline of any potential issues.

2. Before beginning any hands-on work, be sure to follow proper lock out procedures and disconnect motor switches to ensure your safety.

3. Inspect and clean debris from strainers to keep the system free of excess materials.

4. Inspect the water distribution system and check for dry areas over the fill coil section to avoid scale build up and increase system capacity. If the surface is not fully wetted, check the nozzles for cracks and clogs.

5. Flush dirt and debris from the cold water basin through the tower drain or sump strainer to maintain water filtration and keep dirt from collecting. Installing a basin sweeper piping in addition to a filtration system will function as automatic maintenance.

6. Check the make-up water supply for the appropriate pre-determined water level to conserve water and reduce air entrainment

7. Adjust the bleed rate accordingly for your local water quality and evaporation rate regulations, preventing accumulation of solids in recirculating water.

8. Fix any tension problems on the belt to ensure optimal belt drive system performance.

9. Routinely check oil level, oil quality, and shaft alignment for a gear drive system following the manufacturers’ recommendations to assure reliable service.

10. Lubricate fan shaft bearings every three months at a minimum to maintain proper operation. Installing automatic bearing greasers is easy and can eliminate monthly bearing maintenance.

Maintenance frequency varies depending on the condition of the circulating water and the environment in which the unit operates. Good maintenance habits will help prevent equipment failure and extend equipment life. Storing critical parts in inventory will also help reduce downtime in the event of an emergency.

Save time, money, and energy with these 10 easy tips and get the most out of cooling equipment.

Courtesy of Baltimore Aircoil Co., Baltimore, Maryland. For more information, visit

Publication date: 8/4/2014 

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