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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Kansas City, Kansas, United States
    Posts
    13,832

    cooling tower start up

    I have been cleaning ,pressure washing and filling cooling towers this week.
    It is a lot of work and seems to take forever.
    I worked 8 hard hours on a small cooling tower Friday and used $200.00 worth of chemicals.
    my hands are sore and I am tired. I still feel like I did not get it as clean as I would like.

    Unfortunately our competitor , the squawking blue thunder chickens underbid everything so badly by hours and hourly rate, we have to low bid everything, to get the work, our industry is getting run into the ground. I most likely went over by 4 hours already.

    We bid stuff usually to do a good job and make money.
    I guess nobody else does? at least around here.

    my question is!

    Are there cheap chemicals that do a good job?

    something like vinegar?
    I WILL SELL WORK,GENERATE BUSINESS, GO GET NEW CUSTOMERS!
    YOU SHUT THE HELL UP AND QUIT RUNNING YOUR MOUTH!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    SouthEastern Virginia
    Posts
    1,075
    It's not necessarily the chemicals but the labor, belts, etc. that cost. No one can thoroughly clean and service an average size cooling tower in 8 hours. Travel time to supply house and to job, getting everything on the roof, drain the tower, clean the tower, purge the bearings and replace the grease, remove the belts and inspect bearings, clean spray nozzles, put new belts on and check/adjust sheave alignment, put tower back together, clean up and put tools back on truck, write ticket. I do a good job on my towers regardless of the alotted time. It puts pressure back on the salesman to up the hours at contract renewal. Nothing more embarrasing than having a service call on a hot day because you skipped an important task because the office is down your throat about time. Just do the right thing. If the customer thinks your charging too much for the service well then let them help you do a pm one time so they can see what pain we go through to do a good job.
    It might get loud!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Kansas City, Kansas, United States
    Posts
    13,832
    Quote Originally Posted by duke of earl View Post
    It's not necessarily the chemicals but the labor, belts, etc. that cost. No one can thoroughly clean and service an average size cooling tower in 8 hours. Travel time to supply house and to job, getting everything on the roof, drain the tower, clean the tower, purge the bearings and replace the grease, remove the belts and inspect bearings, clean spray nozzles, put new belts on and check/adjust sheave alignment, put tower back together, clean up and put tools back on truck, write ticket. I do a good job on my towers regardless of the alotted time. It puts pressure back on the salesman to up the hours at contract renewal. Nothing more embarrasing than having a service call on a hot day because you skipped an important task because the office is down your throat about time. Just do the right thing. If the customer thinks your charging too much for the service well then let them help you do a pm one time so they can see what pain we go through to do a good job.
    thanks duke!
    I do not want people to think i am slow.
    i work hard.
    pm contracts are being bid so low, if the comp is a huge union shop, how can i tell the customer they are not going to be able to do the job correctly in that time for that price, we are just a little shop!
    it is dog eat dog!
    I WILL SELL WORK,GENERATE BUSINESS, GO GET NEW CUSTOMERS!
    YOU SHUT THE HELL UP AND QUIT RUNNING YOUR MOUTH!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Mixing oil and fire with a big spoon.
    Posts
    4,353
    Quote Originally Posted by duke of earl View Post
    ...I do a good job on my towers regardless of the alotted time...
    make sure that you give the customer a hint of this.

    Quote Originally Posted by duke of earl View Post
    ...Nothing more embarrasing than having a service call on a hot day because you skipped an important task because the office is down your throat about time...
    make sure that you give the customer a hint of this.

    Quote Originally Posted by duke of earl View Post
    ...If the customer thinks your charging too much for the service well then let them help you do a pm one time so they can see what pain we go through to do a good job.
    not a bad idea. i like to tell customers something that is wrong (thank god you hired me, i will get you a quote), something that is right (you are doing a great job, tell your boss that i, the hired expert, said so) and something that is minor but i fix it for "free" (don't tell my boss).
    "Mother" is the name for God on the lips and hearts of children....The Crow

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Kansas City, Kansas, United States
    Posts
    13,832
    Quote Originally Posted by jayguy View Post
    make sure that you give the customer a hint of this.



    make sure that you give the customer a hint of this.



    not a bad idea. i like to tell customers something that is wrong (thank god you hired me, i will get you a quote), something that is right (you are doing a great job, tell your boss that i, the hired expert, said so) and something that is minor but i fix it for "free" (don't tell my boss).
    that is my trick
    i patented it in 1985
    I WILL SELL WORK,GENERATE BUSINESS, GO GET NEW CUSTOMERS!
    YOU SHUT THE HELL UP AND QUIT RUNNING YOUR MOUTH!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    117
    Take a lot of digital photos before and after to show customers and salesmen as to what is involved. Customize your tools to be more efficient like make a short 45 degree pressure washer wand or various long handle scrapers and scoops or vacuum attachments. Get on GlobalSpec search engine to find chemical companies to bid supplies.
    Most evap condensers I see are bridged with scale. We try to fix refrigerant leaks in them as long as we can, then sell them a new tower. Yet they keep trying to save money by going cheep with the water treatment. Walmart seems to be trying the electric ion thing on some shell & tube condensers. I don't trust it yet. We have very hard water here. Albertson's has learned and has tower guys every two weeks instead of once a month. they do a good job. I would like to kill Recold for making such a hard to service tower. I am getting too fat to get in there. They haven't improved their design much in a hundred years. Also, why do we have alarms on everything in the stores except that little chemical pump, that I find laying sideways on an empty barrel? They have alarms for high head pressure. But it's too late, ha ha. The tower is a ball of scale.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Kansas City, Kansas, United States
    Posts
    13,832
    Quote Originally Posted by mccann View Post
    Take a lot of digital photos before and after to show customers and salesmen as to what is involved. Customize your tools to be more efficient like make a short 45 degree pressure washer wand or various long handle scrapers and scoops or vacuum attachments. Get on GlobalSpec search engine to find chemical companies to bid supplies.
    Most evap condensers I see are bridged with scale. We try to fix refrigerant leaks in them as long as we can, then sell them a new tower. Yet they keep trying to save money by going cheep with the water treatment. Walmart seems to be trying the electric ion thing on some shell & tube condensers. I don't trust it yet. We have very hard water here. Albertson's has learned and has tower guys every two weeks instead of once a month. they do a good job. I would like to kill Recold for making such a hard to service tower. I am getting too fat to get in there. They haven't improved their design much in a hundred years. Also, why do we have alarms on everything in the stores except that little chemical pump, that I find laying sideways on an empty barrel? They have alarms for high head pressure. But it's too late, ha ha. The tower is a ball of scale.


    great idea!
    and you can use the pictures later if the new company does a cr@ppy job!
    I WILL SELL WORK,GENERATE BUSINESS, GO GET NEW CUSTOMERS!
    YOU SHUT THE HELL UP AND QUIT RUNNING YOUR MOUTH!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,572
    Pictures will save your a$$, not only from the customer, but, sometimes from your own company.

    Boss: "Hey, why did it take you 16 hours to do that job, we only bid for 8?"

    You: "Hang on. I'll send you before and after pics."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Kansas City, Kansas, United States
    Posts
    13,832
    JP,
    you are a wise man!
    I WILL SELL WORK,GENERATE BUSINESS, GO GET NEW CUSTOMERS!
    YOU SHUT THE HELL UP AND QUIT RUNNING YOUR MOUTH!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,572

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Kansas City, Kansas, United States
    Posts
    13,832
    Quote Originally Posted by jpsmith1cm View Post
    To be wise, first you must get burned.

    I've been THERE.

    then I am hella smart,
    wicked smart
    off the hook smart!
    I WILL SELL WORK,GENERATE BUSINESS, GO GET NEW CUSTOMERS!
    YOU SHUT THE HELL UP AND QUIT RUNNING YOUR MOUTH!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    SouthEastern Virginia
    Posts
    1,075
    I take pics also. I like to bring the customer to the work area so they can see the condition before servicing and then after. I hate it when an armchair mechanic in the office tells me they can do it in half the time that I can and do it better too.
    It might get loud!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Posts
    27

    Smile Cooling Tower Start up - ease the pain!

    If you're looking for a real solution, check out cottonwood filter screens that mount over the intake opening of the cooling tower - it will stop the debris at its point of entry. Be sure to get the filters from a company that specializes in this product because it is critical that the screens be engineered to accomodate high volume / high velocity air movement with very low impact on static pressure. DO NOT USE window screen, bug screen, or the type of mesh available from a canvas shop - You'll mess up the static pressure and potentially damage the fan motor. The mesh used with the cottonwood filter is specifically engineered for use in HVAC Mechanical applications.

    The cool part of the product is that it stops the debris before it can become a problem - cleaning is reduced to a few swipes of a broom, brush, shop vac or you can spray it with a garden hose - even the rain will rinse them clean if fans are in the off cycle during a storm. Any debris which gets through the cottonwood filter screen is easily managed usuall with only a garden hose and a mild cleaning chemical - Also, because the the filter screens diffuse the sunlight, it helps to manage algae in the tower by thwarting photo sysnthesis - towers with algae problems can reduce the amount of bromine and biocide (reducing water treatment chemical cost). Also works great on air cooled chillers / condenser units and rooftop units.

    From a maintenance contract perspective, the cottonwood filter can help you compete for new business - It will reduce the man hours needed for maintenance - this can give you an edge against your competitor that isn't using the filter and fully loading the contract with labor. Also, by reducing the time that you spend cleaning means that you can increase your band width and handle more maintenance agreements in less time. Yes, the cost of the filters have an off-setting effect, but it normally pays for itself with the first two years - that means every year after that it provides your customer with on-going benefit.

    To find a manufacturer of the product - google: Cottonwood Filter Screens

    Below are a few photo's
    Attached Images Attached Images       

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