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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    25

    Cooling Tower Maintenance

    Hi guys! I've searched the forum for about an hour now and didn't see an answer for this so any help is appreciated.

    How do most of you clean the scale out of your cooling towers? Normal procedure here is to shut down the tower and valve it off, then add a descaling compound into the basin. After it soaks for a few days, then we drain the tower and scrape off the scale with paint scrapers. Does that seem ok to you?

    The problem right now is that some of the crews didn't do their annual cleaning, and my crew is picking up the slack. The daily temps are rising here and we don't really have the luxury of letting the unit soak, so we are having to scrape the scale off without first using the descaler.

    I'm curious as to what you guys normally do, and what you would do in this situation.

    2nd question: Occasionally the units begin to leak. We remove the old silicone from around the inside of the basin and reseal everywhere, but when we refill the unit, there is still a little seepage. Is there a trick that we should be doing to help ensure that the units seal well?

    Background info: I am a new supervisor at a utility plant. My background is in electrical and generators, so some of the HVAC equipment is new to me. Any information that you have is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Vinton, La.
    Posts
    17
    Manual labor as you are doing it. We use an electric pressure washer on the fill (the honey comb stuff) and flush everything into the sump (with the pump off of course), we stick the wand into every crevice and spread the fill open with our hands. Then clean the header pipe real good, drain the sump and scoop all the crap out. As far as sealing I would use this caulk called "Vulkem" or I think that is how you spell it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    1,815
    Quote
    “Engineers like to solve problems. If there are no problems handily available, they will create their own." Scott Adams

    "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."
    Albert Einstein

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    25
    Thanks for the replies. I have no problem with the labor part of it. We usually are able to soak it for at least a week with a scale remover before the manual labor. But unfortunately since the other crews did not do their maintenance during the cool months we are stuck like this now.

    Would you suggest maybe using a sander or other product to speed up the process or is that a bad idea for this type of application?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Western NY
    Posts
    4,356
    Do you have a water rep?
    "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."
    -Abraham Lincoln

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    west hartford, ct
    Posts
    74

    Scale

    If you are treating the condensor water and have that much buildup fire the person doing water treatment if not find a company to treat the water. What do the chiller tubes look like??

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    phoenix az
    Posts
    429
    Quote Originally Posted by smarks View Post
    If you are treating the condensor water and have that much buildup fire the person doing water treatment if not find a company to treat the water. What do the chiller tubes look like??
    I agree and yes tubes are bad bad since you may understand electrical savings just know that a scale thickness of .006 increases energy consumption by 5.3 %
    .012 = 10.8% .024 = 21.5% now are you gonna fire that treatment guy or show some leadership skill teach him the right way to do it and nudge him in the right direction

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    ottawa canada
    Posts
    2,081
    find a better water treatment contractor

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    San Jose, Ca
    Posts
    2,089
    Quote Originally Posted by graham View Post
    find a better water treatment contractor

    It is seldom the water treatment company. He only comes in once a month. The man on sight should be testing on a schedual to get treatment under control.

    right now I am trying to get two towers where I want them, so I test one or two times a day. Next week I should be able to test daily and the week after I will be able to skip a day when time is tight.

    I have never had scale in a tower that I have been able to get under control, mud now that is different.
    Old snipes don't die they just loose their steam

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    2,603
    I've used the Karcher electric power washers, with the rotating tip on the steel. Fan tip on the fill. If its real bad, you'll have to go up to a gas powered washer. I agree you need to shop around for water treatment.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    25
    I will check into the water treatment.

    About question #2...anyone have any tricks to ensure that I get a good seal and no more leaks?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Western NY
    Posts
    4,356
    I've had good luck with TremPro/Vulkem polyurethane sealant. Seals great and holds up against boicides with no problem. A BAC rep recommended it to me years ago. Give it a try.
    "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."
    -Abraham Lincoln

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    25
    Thanks for the suggestion, I'll look into that. It's possible that we are just using the wrong product for the type of application.

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