Cooling towers should be washed down with a pressure washer on a yearly basis. This ensures that the tower performs as it should. This, in turn, reduces the inefficiency of the tower and can save money. For some businesses, washing the cooling tower also helps to improve the overall cosmetic appearance. This article looks at the steps involved when mechanically cleaning a cooling tower.
Pre Wash Preparations
There are some things you must do prior to washing the tower. These are:
- Isolate the tower from the rest of the system by turning off the electrical power. Check that the tower's pumps and fans are inactive.
- Close the tower's supply valves that move water to and from the tower.
- Open the tower's bottom drain and remove the overflow pipe.
- If possible, locate and remove the grate that covers the suction intake.
Once this has been done, make sure you are wearing the appropriate clothing and have a squeegee, brush and sponge (as well as the pressure washer) close to hand.
Begin The Cleaning
You are looking to remove all traces of dirt, debris, scaling and algae. Go to the hot deck of the tower and switch on the power washer. Use a concentrated stream of water to thoroughly clean the hot deck. Then move on to clean the blades of the screen of the cooling tower. Once this has been done, carefully clean the inside and outside parts of the exhaust collar. Use a brush or broom to remove any stubborn dirt or debris and clean away anything that has collected on the ground.
You will have to switch to a fine mist spray to clean the fill, as it is a little more delicate than the other parts. Carefully work your way across the fill, giving it a good clean with the pressure washer. If you do use the concentrated stream of water, this – in combination with the steam – may serve to damage or even break the fill.
Inside Of The Tower
Next, it is time to clean the inside of the cooling tower. Use the concentrated stream of water to clean from the top to the bottom of the tower, remembering to use the squeegee or brush for hard to remove dirt. Ensure that all algae is removed. Move on to the float valve and continue to use the washer to clean this area, as well as the sump. Lastly, switch back to the fine mist spray and clean the underside of the fill.
It is a good idea to check that dirt or debris has not fallen from the exterior clean and is lodged between the fill. Clean the inside of the fill to remove this clog.