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  1. #1

    Stubborn build-up on cooling tower media

    Hello everyone,

    We occasionally clean cooling towers, which involves using a pressure washer (carefully) on the delicate tower media. Often we have to choose between either obliterating the media or removing all of the buildup (we choose to just leave extra stubborn buildup). I've heard of people using wire brushes (urban legend?) to remove this stuff, but in reality we aren't ever given enough time for that. I'm curious as to how all of you handle this? Special chemicals?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Keeping after the water treatment goes a long way toward preventing a lot of these kinds of problems.

    I realize that you are probably not involved in this and are doing the best you can with it. I haven't cleaned a lot of towers lately but remember we used a lower pressure to clean the panels which were a plastic type. We have used softer brushes. Typically they would clean up ok with low pressure water.

    Just a FYI...Legionnaires disease is always a concern especially if brushing off dry panels. If you aren't doing so, wear a mask.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Starise View Post
    Just a FYI...Legionnaires disease is always a concern especially if brushing off dry panels. If you aren't doing so, wear a mask.
    I've heard about that a little. We don't ever wear masks and have probably swallowed quite a bit of that gunk as it splashes back on our face.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Morgan Hill Ca.
    I wont touch a tower I don't maintain without hitting it with a good dose of bromine a day or two before we do any work.

    The stuff ain't worth dieing over..

    As for the build up, you must first know what it is before you can clean it off....
    If a day goes by and you have learned nothing, I hope you got a lot of sleep.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    East coast USA
    I dealt with this a lot..and there is no easy answer. First you need to look at the chem treatment. But that can only offer so much...what you have is buildup from over spray or where water only flows very little...So even with a good chem program the chemical cant reach those areas to dissolve...

    You also may want to look at how the water flows down over the fill is it even? at all times. How many cells? if one cell is primary and only runs only a little there is more time for the water to dry and build up silica/dirt and calcium carbonate

    your chemical company may offer a disbursement..but unless you have issues in the lines this will offer no help so don't fall for it..Unless the water treatment can effectively run over the scale all the time it will not dissolve it

    depending on the age the only real good way is to replace the fill....the next best way is to try and use this stuff RYDLYME dissolves water scale, lime, mud and rust deposits safely, quickly and effectively... You could try and spray it on and let it soak and it may help....I can tell you it works GREAT on tubes and lines!. used it last year on a carrier chiller...I don't sell this BTW

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Dude, wear a mask. Legionnaires is not something you want to risk. It isn't worth risking your life over.

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