Cooling Tower Spring Startup

May 29, 2024 | General Water Treatment

You shut your cooling towers down for the winter and now it’s time to start them back up for spring and summer use. Starting up  your cooling towers is more involved than just turning them on. Here are some steps you can take to ensure your cooling tower startup is as successful as possible.

Conduct preliminary inspections. Open the tower and look for any structural damage that may have occurred over the winter. Look for items that may be loose or need to be replaced.

Inspect and Calibrate Controllers. Tower controllers that have been down for the season need to be inspected to ensure that they’re working properly. Calibrate conductivity meters, replace PH and ORP probes to ensure that they’re reading properly upon startup. Clean strainers and filters in front of the controllers to make sure you have good flow.

Perform a Deep Clean.  Dirt and debris will settle in your tower system over winter. I have looked in many towers that were shut down for the winter, and since the tower fans were not running, to find the towers full of leaves. This material prevents your chemical additives from working properly, increasing the risk of biological activity and corrosion.  This debris will collect in your tower even if you cleaned your system last fall.  If you didn’t clean your tower before the fall shutdown, this step becomes even more critically important.  Use this opportunity to clean out the inside of the cooling tower system prior to start up.  Pressure washers, shovels, and shop vacuums have all been used effectively to do this dirty job. Your cooling towers are home to some very unhealthy microorganisms and contaminants that can present some serious health risks, so remember to always wear a dust mask, protect yourself from scrapes and scratches, and thoroughly clean up after working with your cooling system. Starting and keeping tower systems free of dirt and debris is one of the keys to minimizing risk of corrosion and biological contamination.

Treat for Bugs. Bacteria are remarkably resilient.  These disease-causing creatures will hide out beneath soils, in biofilm, and in system dead legs, patiently waiting for you to add water in the spring.  This provides the perfect recipe for increased risk of disease (Legionella) and MIC (Microbiologically Induced Corrosion. To create an un-friendly environment for these unwelcome guests, regular applications (two to three per week for the first two weeks after start up) of your non-oxidizing biocide along with continuous feed of oxidizing biocide (bromine) will minimize these bacteria risks.

Treat for Tower Metal Passivation. Inhibitor chemistry minimizes the risk of corrosion by creating a very thin barrier between your tower system metal and the water.  This “mono-molecular” protective film is temporary and is rapidly degraded when the system is stored dry over winter. When starting up a system in spring, establishing proper chemistry immediately is critical.  If you know your system’s operating volume you can apply a slug dose of your corrosion inhibitor chemistry, and quickly establish your initial treatment level.

Take Ownership of your Water Treatment Outcomes

Buckman Digital Water has the expertise to help you properly start up your cooling tower . We can design the best treatment program to help ensure your cooling tower starts up and operates smoothly and keep your system’s scale- and corrosion-free and running efficiently. maintenance expenses.

Powered by Ackumen, we can also help develop an optimum water treatment program to extend the life of your equipment, provide safety for your employees, and prevent unnecessary downtime and maintenance expenses. We offer an innovative approach to water management by fully leveraging digital to the extreme. Our unique, comprehensive water management system delivers actionable insights and recommendations to your mobile device, 24/7 monitoring and analysis by a team of water experts, a safety chemical offering and management plan, and service when and how you need it.