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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Auburn, New York
    Posts
    241

    Cooling tower leak

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    Big inn and spa. Five years ago new maintenance man shuts down cooling tower for the winter and freezes the coil. We replace coil. $30,000 job. Poor maintenance no water treatment. Water leak underground for a year that they don't address. Water make up running full open to keep loop charged. Get called this week. Coil leaking (rust hole). You can see the picture. (The picture is looking down into the tower with the decking removed showing the coil). The galvanized tubes are all corroded all ready.
    Any ideas why? I did set them up with a good water treatment guy that has been on them to repair the leaks from the last year so he could treat the loop. He is stumped as of right now and looking into what the corrosion is from.

    Time for a new tower....thank God winter is coming.
    once you think you know everything, you'll never learn another thing!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    North Carolina Piedmont Area
    Posts
    450
    Electrolysis

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Auburn, New York
    Posts
    241
    Where would the electrical current be coming from to creat electrolysis ?
    once you think you know everything, you'll never learn another thing!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    North Carolina Piedmont Area
    Posts
    450
    You will need to verify that the building and equipment is properly grounded. There are many instances when equipment is failing and insulation of motors has deteriorated that voltage leakage is present. This is leakage is very low and is usually no more than a few Milli-amps.

    I am not saying that this is the problem altogether, but needs to be considered.

    You definitely want to check the PH and condition of water treatment.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Auburn, New York
    Posts
    241
    Thats one direction to look thanks.
    once you think you know everything, you'll never learn another thing!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    up in the hizzy
    Posts
    1,390
    It could be something in the air side, like exhaust from dryers.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Northern Indiana
    Posts
    82
    Not sure of your setup , the water guy should be able to answer that question if he really is a good treatment guy. I've had a cooling tower underground tank leak and contaminate the loop water causing major corrosion problems. The water guy should first be checking pH conductivity and other water parameters. the water bill must be astronomical but, The customer doesn't seem to mind though he already got hit with a 30k tab. If your adding heat to the loop water and it's not treated. plan on replacing that tower every couple years.
    _____________________________
    PHMTECK

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Auburn, New York
    Posts
    241
    They are adding heat to the loop water. Water treatment guy is very reputable but no use treating water going down the drain. Water bill through the roof. Very rich customers... More concerned with the appearance of the place. Don't listen to anything. Water treatment guy came up with a possible theory on electrolysis. They were using city water from hose with a brass end to constantly over flow sump to keep with load....brass....galvanized pipe.....? Possibility ? Tower is way undersized. Have to put in new tower but don't want this to happen again..
    once you think you know everything, you'll never learn another thing!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Dallas,Texas
    Posts
    4,972
    If the make-up is running wide open to keep up with the leak, chemical use must be enormous also. It's hard to treat water that is constantly being diluted.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    evansville indiana
    Posts
    943
    Quote Originally Posted by wolfdog View Post
    If the make-up is running wide open to keep up with the leak, chemical use must be enormous also. It's hard to treat water that is constantly being diluted.
    +1,,given there is evaporation and drift present and make up is inevitable and part of it a huge leak will imitate a larger loop/tower and consume that much more chemical.... But then again im not sure evaporation removes chemicals the same as a leak whether it be stuck open blow down ,overflowing or a busted pipe...

    Electrolysis or improper or impossible water treatment...
    mikeacman

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Auburn, New York
    Posts
    241
    To top it all off the two boilers have aluminum heat exchangers. Water treatment has to be perfect for that. This place is a disaster.
    once you think you know everything, you'll never learn another thing!

  12. #12
    This could be caused from a number of issues, but the first thing to start with would be to consult a good reputable water treatment provider. Second, was the coil passivated once the new coil was installed? This appears to be an EVAPCO coil so you can find information relating to passivation and water treatment at the company’s website.

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