Cooling towers are significant components in many commercial buildings and industrial facilities. While they keep spaces and process water cool, they’re also susceptible to fouling which can lead to inefficiencies and breakdowns. In addition to a properly designed chemical treatment program, an in-depth maintenance program will keep your cooling tower in working order all year.

The Importance of Cooling Tower Maintenance

A functioning cooling tower is essential to the HVAC systems and processes in your facility. With the proper, routine maintenance, you can ensure your tower is functional, efficient and safe throughout the year.


Preventive maintenance of a cooling tower is the best way to catch potential problems before they cause excessive wear. Extended periods of wear can reduce your tower’s overall life span. A comprehensive maintenance program will help you identify issues and respond with immediate solutions, keeping your cooling tower functional for longer.


Beyond preventing malfunctions, maintenance can optimize performance. When all components are clean and functional, your tower will cool your building precisely as needed. Fouled fill, blocked distribution nozzles, buildup or broken parts may cause your cooling tower to work harder to achieve the same result, leaving you with higher running costs. Basin fouling can lead to under deposit corrosion that can cause irreversible damage to the cooling basin.


Open recirculating systems are a common area for Legionella and other pathogens to grow and proliferate. Maintenance programs should include cleaning practices that clear your tower of any potential deposits and build-up that provide an area for microbiological activity to flourish.

How to Maintain a Cooling Tower

Cooling tower maintenance requirements include several cleaning processes and areas to examine. Creating a defined maintenance process ensures that every scheduled procedure is effective. Work through the following steps on a regular basis.

1. Talk to the Experts

Refer to your system documentation and/or consult with the equipment supplier for unit-specific precautions and/or procedures. Consult your water treatment professional prior to adding any products to your system as undesired reactions could occur if incompatible products were to be introduced to the system.

2. Inspect the Tower

You should begin by taking some time to perform an inspection of the entire tower. This initial step can help you identify any areas that require immediate attention, such as cleaning or repairs. Your maintenance program will likely include the same basic steps every time, but the inspection will reveal which areas might need extra attention.

3. Follow Safety Procedures

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has guidelines for handling lockout or tagout on hazardous energy sources. The pumps and fans in a cooling tower can lead to severe injury if they start-up during maintenance. Make share you follow the lockout procedures thoroughly so you can protect yourself while you work. It’s also vital to wear eye protection and respiratory gear during maintenance so you can protect yourself from any airborne bacteria. In many cases, a cooling tower will be considered a confined space. If this is the case, all confined space procedures should be followed.

4. Disinfect to Eliminate Bacteria

With the possibility of Legionnaires’ disease, disinfection should be a priority during every maintenance cycle. OSHA, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) all detail how to handle the disinfection process for Legionella. Find a disinfectant product that’s effective on your tower surfaces. Many products are designed specifically for cooling towers and are able to kill up 99.9% of Legionella.

5. Remove Fill Deposits

Cooling towers remove heat through evaporation, which leads to scale buildup. The level of scale buildup will depend on the mineral levels in your water, and some types of scale can be more severe than others. The fill is an area that may foul over time. Since this surface area is primarily responsible for passing the air into the system and cooling the water, a clogged fill can lead to extensive performance and efficiency problems. Deposits on the outer edges of the fill (non-water contacting surfaces) can be caused by drift and evaporation. These deposits do not typically affect performance but can be unsightly and add weight to the tower fill. Extreme caution should be taken while cleaning tower fill. High-pressure nozzles can cause damage to the tower fill. This damage can affect the performance of the tower system and result in the need for fill replacement.

6. Clear the Basin and Other Components of Sludge

Sludge is another substance that often forms during the cooling process. It often appears in the basin, and it can be a major cause of performance issues. Cooling tower vacuums can help you remove sludge efficiently. In many instances, a pool vacuum can be used by creating a siphon to a roof or outdoor drain. Always make sure that the selected drain or drainage is approved for the water and debris being discharged. The water being discharged may have a pH, conductivity, or halogen level that exceeds the levels acceptable for the drainage.

7. Inspect and Clean Heat Exchange Tubes

Debris, scale and biofilm can build up in the tubes, causing fouling and reduced performance. Again, the buildup relates to your water quality, so your cleaning needs will vary depending on the type and amount of the substances found in your tubes and exchangers.

8. Check Airflow

If the airflow in your cooling tower is not up to standard, the performance declines. Loose parts, misaligned fans and failing gearboxes can all relate to airflow problems. Making sure these components are in working order will keep your tower functional.

9. Examine the Water Pump

The pump moves water back and forth — another process that’s essential to your cooling tower. Lubricating the water seal, bearings and pump can keep the system running efficiently, helping you cut back on operating expenses in the long term.

10. Keep a Regular Schedule

While you may not need to do an in-depth cleaning or repair process at every scheduled maintenance procedure, a consistent program is crucial. Twice a year is generally a reliable schedule, but you may need to do it more frequently if buildup occurs more often.

Find Water Testing Kits at AquaPhoenix Scientific

At AquaPhoenix Scientific, our water testing kits for cooling towers help you understand mineral contents and treat your water as necessary. Place an order for yours today or get in touch with us for more information.

Concerned About Dissolved Oxygen Corrosion? Learn How to Test For Dissolved Oxygen to Help Control Corrosion.

When it comes to controlling and monitoring dissolved oxygen levels in boiler feedwater, it pays to get it right. For power plants that use fossil fuels or nuclear power to heat purified water into pressurized steam, the quality of boiler feed water must be carefully controlled in order to optimize your system performance and extend the lifespan of your equipment. Learn more about how CHEMetrics low range dissolved oxygen test kits detect trace levels of dissolved oxygen in boiler applications down to the parts-per-billion range, and that’s without the need for equipment maintenance or calibration.

Watch the short video below to learn more and see our kits in action.

AquaPhoenix Breaks Ground on Corporate Headquarters Expansion

image of the AquaPhoenix headquarters from aboveAs part of its community commitment and dedication to continuous improvement, AquaPhoenix officially broke ground for an expansion of its corporate headquarters. The project will add a further 90,000 square feet of warehousing and manufacturing facilities to the existing 200,000 square feet footprint.  

“Through our years of incredible growth, we’ve called Hanover home, so to be able to expand our headquarters in my hometown, is important,” said Frank Lecrone, CEO. “We never imagined outgrowing the warehouse when we moved into this new space in 2017, and five years on, I don’t expect the new expansion to be vacant for long.” 

“It’s been a challenge to meet the needs of our growing business with our existing space,” added Henry Bushinski, Vice President. “This investment in our corporate headquarters allows us to better plan for the future and increase efficiency. It will give us more room to grow and fix storage-related issues.”  

Construction is officially underway on the warehouse expansion project for AquaPhoenix headquarters and is set for completion by the end of 2022. AquaPhoenix has once again partnered with Conewago Enterprises to complete this project. Conewago constructed our two-story office and renovated our modern, climate-controlled warehouse in 2016. We can’t wait to give you a tour.

overhead image of the AquaPhoenix warehouse and headquarters
AquaPhoenix Named one of Top 50 Fastest Growing Companies for 2021

We are happy to announce that AquaPhoenix has been named as one of the Top 50 Fastest Growing Companies in Central Penn Business Journal. Central Penn Business Journal Fastest Growing Companies 2021 logo

Central Penn Business Journal’s Top 50 Fastest Growing Companies is an annual list designed to recognize the top regional businesses by revenue growth. To qualify for the 2021 list, companies were required to show revenue growth over three years ending with the fiscal year 2020. 

“It is an honor to have been recognized by CPBJ as one of the Fastest Growing Companies. AquaPhoenix has achieved strong growth since its inception in 2003, and this award reflects the tireless efforts and commitment of everyone at the company,” said Frank Lecrone, CEO of AquaPhoenix. 

AquaPhoenix was previously named to the list in 2017, 2013, 2012, and 2010.

See the full list: