Cooling towers offer the most efficient ways to cool industrial plants and large facilities like corporations and hotels. It’s great to have them, but something to remember is that you must maintain them.
Regular repairing and maintenance to keep equipment and employees safe is vital. While undertaking any repair and maintenance jobs, it’s of paramount importance that precautions prevail.
If you want to learn about safety precautions while cleaning and maintaining cooling towers, read on to know.
The Safety Precautions to Take
Performing maintenance, cleaning and disinfection tasks requires you to know something about safety precautions. Whether you have an external service conduct this on your behalf, or you do it yourself, some mandatory precautions are advised.
The main safety precaution before you undertake any maintenance work is to wear PPE, personal protective equipment. PPE used for the inspection of cooling towers is different from that of medical workers or other industrial workers.
The following PPE is used by those who maintain cooling towers:
- Safety goggles
- Hard hat/cap
- Gloves for work
- Leather boots with high-tops and anti-slip soles
In case a worker enters the structure of cooling towers, the following is recommended:
- A harness for the full body
- Two lanyards (shock-absorbent) of 6 feet (1.83 meters) in length.
Maintaining Cooling Towers
Safety inspections carried out regularly ensure that cooling towers remain clean, safe and functioning as they have to. Regardless of the result of inspections, the disinfection of cleaning towers is of serious consideration. All parts of cooling towers are the breeding sites for Legionella, a bacterium that causes Legionnaires’ disease.
With regular disinfection, other maintenance issues go hand-in-hand:
- The removal of limescale build-up. This occurs in cooling towers over time, effecting how your cooling tower works. With too much build-up, efficiency is compromised due to corrosion.
- Water pump inspection. Water pumps, aligned and lubricated properly, give you the assurance of the prime operation of cooling towers. The motor bearings and seal should be in good working order. The pump should be on when the chiller works and not unnecessarily at any other time.
- Water quality checks. Routine water quality checks are a must as poor quality can make limescale build-up and scum worsen.
- Clean tubes. Chiller tubes can fill up with mud, scale, algae and other debris. This may lead to clogging and poor efficacy of your systems.
The safety precautions taken while maintaining cooling towers are of great importance for workers who are undertaking such jobs. On the other hand, the safety of your facility depends on the maintenance and upkeep of your cooling towers that regulate cooling for your plant. If these systems are not maintained often, a number of diseases and bacteria are set free to infect the environment around, not to mention make your employees very ill.
If you are hiring a service to clean your cooling towers, see that it is a certified company that is proficient at the task. When you get the job done, you don’t want trouble-shooting such as having your mechanism shut as debris aren’t removed appropriately. Furthermore, if you try to undertake maintenance yourself, see that you are sure of what you are doing.
The cleaning and maintenance is better handled by experts and professionals with experience to back them up.
It’s important to remember that cooling towers may have slight variations from plant to plant. Different facilities use different ones, although distinctions are marginal. Services for the maintenance and cleaning of cooling towers focus on the structure and should match your cleaning job.
Disinfection should be done at least a few times a year, while repairing done if there is a specific issue.