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HVAC School - For Techs, By Techs

Feb 28, 2019

In today's podcast episode, Mark Roth from Goodway talks about chiller and cooling tower cleaning best practices and techniques. Goodway makes industrial maintenance equipment for the HVAC industry, especially tube-cleaning equipment.

A chiller has water running through the tubes, and debris from the cooling tower can build up in the tubes. When scale or debris buildup occurs, heat exchange becomes much less efficient. Water hardness can also interfere with heat transfer; harder water will lead to more mineral deposits. So, tube cleanliness is important, especially in high-traffic areas. In those areas, cleaning should happen at least once or twice per year.

To access the tubes, you have to take the heads off the chiller. Cleaning the tubes is usually easier than taking the heads off the chiller. When cleaning the chiller and cooling tower, the water flows onto the floor and to a drain. So, floor cleanliness is important when wrapping up a job. "Chiller bibs" also exist to catch the water and transport it to the drain with less of a mess.

Cleaning machines often have foot-pedals, and people commonly put toolboxes or other heavy objects on foot-pedals, which is a bad practice. People also need to tighten the brushes to their cleaning machines with channel locks; when techs don't tighten those brushes properly, the brushes can fall off, which is not good for the chiller.

Cooling towers act as filters, so they collect a lot of debris in the basin. Goodway has a vacuum that collects the debris in the basin without having to drain the entire thing.

Mark and Bryan also discuss:

  • Basic chiller and cooling tower anatomy
  • Legionella
  • Using machines for cleaning
  • Enhanced tubes
  • Nylon, brass, and stainless steel brushes
  • Makeup water and filtration strategies
  • Cooling tower media
  • Descaling strategies and products
  • pH balance

Learn more about Refrigeration Technologies HERE.

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