An annual inspection of your chillers, and especially of your condensers, is a preventative maintenance endeavor that must never be overlooked.
Before shutting your cooling system down, you took the correct steps to protect the piping and the condenser, right? As we’ve discussed here, you should always lower your cycles and add inhibitor and non-oxidizing biocide in anticipation of season shutdown.
Avoid a Spring Surprise
Now the cooling season is over and it is time to inspect the system. You may be tempted to put it off. Don’t. We have an expression for that in the industry. It’s “Spring Surprise” and it’s not nearly as good as it sounds.
You need to inspect and clean soon after shutdown. Why?
Letting water sit idle for months is an invitation to magnify any potential problems. It’s normal to find sludge or other material in the tubes. It’s much easier to remove it before it has caked on for the season. If it’s left in the tube for months, the possibility of corrosion multiplies exponentially, and it may cause serious problems.
Clean and Inspect Your Chiller after Shutdown
For these reasons, you want to the brush the tubes. Brush every single tube, every single year. You will be glad you did.
Normally, you will not find a lot of debris in the condenser. If you do, you may need to open the piping end.
After brushing is complete make your plan to get the unit back on line before demand returns, so you aren’t surprised if there is and early spring.
The last thing you want to have happen is see the weather change, recognize that the units are needed again, and realize that they were never opened nor inspected. Spring Surprise!
Autumn Effort Pays Off
In conclusion, our bottom line advice is: Prepare your cooling tower system with proper treatment and care before shutting it down for the season. Once you do shut it down, get right to work opening, inspecting, cleaning and preparing the system for the next season. Please, don’t wait for weeks or months before opening your condensers. Even with proper treatment, stagnant water can cause issues. Follow our advice and it will result in a more pleasant surprise-free spring.
As always, reach out to us at Chemtex if you have any questions about your seasonal maintenance, or anything else about your chillers and boilers.