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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    35

    Winterizing cooling towers

    Usually dont work on this type of equipment but recently one of our customers aquired a building with with heat pumps that go back to a cooling tower.

    Is it necessary to drain the cooling tower for winterizing purposes? or will the heater suffice?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    ottawa canada
    Posts
    2,043
    Quote Originally Posted by GastecD View Post
    Usually dont work on this type of equipment but recently one of our customers aquired a building with with heat pumps that go back to a cooling tower.

    Is it necessary to drain the cooling tower for winterizing purposes? or will the heater suffice?
    What kind of tower open loop of fluid cooler with flooded sump for summer operation ?
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    35
    its a closed loop system

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    69
    Drain tower, shut off make up water and sump heater. Check dampers on tower outlet for operation- usually broken. Allow fan to operate if you get those warmer days. Check glycol level in closed loop.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    northern Ohio
    Posts
    113
    i service several systems like you described along the southern shore of lake Erie. They use Climatmaster water source heat pumps, small boilers, and cooling towers to keep the loop between 75df and 95df. Never drained the towers unless there was a problem. Using a Novar system to keep the loop active and alarm for high or low temp. Most of the air handlers are a pain to work on, usually in the ceiling of an office with white carpet and a glass top desk. Preety reliable system, as long as they don't overload the capacity of the loop.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    527
    Quote Originally Posted by GastecD View Post
    Usually dont work on this type of equipment but recently one of our customers aquired a building with with heat pumps that go back to a cooling tower.

    Is it necessary to drain the cooling tower for winterizing purposes? or will the heater suffice?
    There are a lot of factors that go into your decision on this. Your equipment is probably fine with water in it. Make sure heat traces are all working, floats or sensors are okay as well as the stat for heaters. Check heaters and contactors too. Often the hubs on heaters rot out, but they are easy to change. Winter is the time to do it. Its no fun changing heater hubs on a running tower! Recently i saw a customer change all four heaters in a tower because they did not know you can change hubs...DOH! Draining towers saves money not having to heat water you may not use and gives you some time to do heavier maintenance and cleaning. It really is a toss up for you to decide. It may not be real fun to run back to fill the tower because they needed it when you weren't expecting it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    1,460
    Does your system bypass the tower in colder months?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    35
    We isolated the cooling tower and left the heater on. It was a good thing we didnt drain it, A week later we got a call that it was too hot because of a mild spell here - ended up having to reactivate it

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    1,460
    When I worked in Mass, we left the towers filled. Sump heaters are supposed to be sized to keep sump from freezing.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Greenville SC
    Posts
    431
    If you have water source heat pumps don't you need the tower for the heat to work? Like Refrig John stated the tower is part of the system for both cooling and heating.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    1,460
    In my experience, the tower is typically bapassed in the heating season. The tower rejects heat in the cooling season. In the heating season, we add heat to the loop via a boiler. Running the tower during the heating season would reject the heat that we just put into the system, and throw away money.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,060
    In our area, lot of buildings are rejecting heat even in very cold weather. You'll see steam coming out of the tower in single digits.

    Sent from my HTC VLE_U using Tapatalk 2

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Greenville SC
    Posts
    431
    Quote Originally Posted by BaldLoonie View Post
    In our area, lot of buildings are rejecting heat even in very cold weather. You'll see steam coming out of the tower in single digits.

    Sent from my HTC VLE_U using Tapatalk 2
    Thats what I have seen in my area. I didn't think about a colder area where you probably don't need the tower.

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