HVAC, Building Performance: Cooling Tower Maintenance & Goodway’s Cooling Tower Vacuum

We’ve talked about cooling tower maintenance quite a bit on the Goodway blog. And now that it’s spring and we’re starting to think about air conditioning maintenance, the subject is on our minds once again.

iStock_000022676282SmallIf you look back at past posts, you’ll see that the top two reasons for cooling tower maintenance resonate through them all: energy efficiency/system performance and health.

Often the importance of cooling tower efficiency is a bit overlooked because the focus is on chiller efficiency.

“Chillers use about five times the energy of the cooling tower. Consequently, more attention is paid to the chiller than the cooling tower in most facilities,” Steve Spielmann, Goodway’s Customer Service/Technical Manager, explains in this post about cooling tower maintenance.

However, “the reality is that the chiller’s efficiency improves with cold condensing water, which comes from the cooling tower,” he says. “It is estimated that for every degree cooler the water supplied by the cooling tower to the chiller is, chiller efficiency will increase two to three percent.”

When the accumulated algae, mold and bacteria in a dirty cooling tower mix with the tower’s warm water, the combination provides an ideal environment for bacterial growth. The system can then aerosolize the bacteria into the air, infect building occupants and become the vehicle to spread Legionnaire’s Disease.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) receives more than 1,000 reports of Legionnaire’s Disease each year, we note in this post.

And the CDC’s position is that there’s a clear connection between evaporative devices like cooling towers and the transmission of Legionella pneumophila, the bacteria that causes Legionnaire’s Disease. Read more about how to reduce legionella in cooling towers in our guide, “Are Your Cooling Towers Clean.”

In past years, cooling tower maintenance was labor and time intensive. But that all changed when Goodway introduced its Cooling Tower Vacuum.

Cooling tower maintenance used to involve shutting down the cooling tower and draining it. Not only is that process time consuming, it’s also particularly problematic if there’s a demand for cooling and the process compromises the comfort of the occupants.

However, using Goodway’s Tower Vacuum means there’s no need to drain the tower, and all the cleaning is accomplished while the tower is still on line.

In this post we spotlight the use of Goodway’s Tower Vacuum by the facility operators at JPMorgan International Plaza in Dallas.

“This vacuum system enables our engineers to schedule predictive maintenance at our facilities during normal operating hours, saving overtime labor fees and reducing HVAC down time, which is critical in a 24 x 7 operation such as we maintain,” notes Dwayne Bratton, Chief Engineer for the Wilcox Realty Group (who managed the JPMorgan International Plaza), and a user of the cooling tower vacuum, in the post.

Goodway provides innovative products for chiller tower maintenance.

We have a complete line of cooling tower cleaning equipment. Use our foaming detergent, TowerShine, on the tower to dissolve tough deposits. MoldTek or MoldTek-XC can be used on cooling tower surfaces to kill bacteria, or they can be added into the water before cleaning.

Add ScaleBreak into the water after cleaning to prevent scale buildup. Adding a biocide product, such as our Pancare, to the tower water after cleaning the basin prevents bacterial growth.

Download our “How To Clean Cooling Towers” checklist for more details on the step-by-step tower cleaning process.

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3 comments


  • […] HVAC, Building Performance: Cooling Tower Maintenance […]

    May 18, 2013
  • Good post. I become aware of one more fact about bacteria. Cooling tower cleaning equipment is a nice idea.

    May 28, 2013
  • Giovana Correia

    I think that it is important to know how to clean cooling towers if you’re in the industry. They’re very big and need a lot of scrubbing down. Thanks for the advice.

    October 22, 2014

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