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A complete checklist for starting your cooling tower after a winter shutdown



20 steps to help you start-up your tower after a winter shutdown

The snow is starting to melt... finally. With the melting snow comes spring, and that means it’s time to start up your cooling tower again for the summer and fall months. If you are one of many of our customers who did not run their tower this winter, and completely shut down any or all your towers, please review the following checklist which also provides need to know, professional advice:


1, Complete your preliminary checks. Our Advice: check your gearbox oil level, check for freedom of rotation, look at the water level in the basin, check that no extraneous material is present in your cells, and finally, check that the vibration switch in energized.  

2. Turn your water on.


3. Fill the Cold water basin and circulating water system slightly above the operating water level, allowing for drawdown When filling the water system, make sure to open all riser valves to prevent over-pressurizing on the hot water distribution system.  

4. Start-up the circulating water pumps. DO NOT allow water from the first start-up to be fed to the cells. This water is dirty, likely containing debris that will block the nozzles.

5. Clean the Circuit. The water must bypass the tower and MUST be pumped through the circuit for a minimum of one full cycle through the circulating water system to clean the circuit.  

6. Be sure to observe the water level in the basin to prevent overfilling just in case the sump screens were to clog with debris.

7. Once the initial flush is complete, stop the pumps and empty and clean the basin. Repeat steps 3-7 until all significant debris has been removed.  

8. Once debris has been removed, refilled the basin and start cooling tower operation. Be sure to check all mechanical equipment to ensure that no foreign material is obstructing the fans. If your supplied gear is reversing, be sure that the fan is NOT free spinning before start-up.


9. Start each fan separately. Monitor the fans for any excessive vibration. Excessive vibration will trip the vibration switch and shut down the fan motors.  

10. Check operation of vibration cutout switch. To do this, remove the red cover screw and manually adjust the vibration switch sensitivity setting until the switch trips. Reset the switch by returning the sensitivity setting to its original position and then depressing the reset button located on the top side of the unit.

11. If the Vibration Switch is not working properly, CONTACT COOLING TOWER DEPOT: 720.746.1234  

12. If there is excessive vibration, notate the cell number and notify our service department: 720.746.1234


13. Allow cooling tower to operate for at least 5 minutes.  


14 Then recheck the gear reducer oil levels.


15. If wet-bulb and heat load are near design conditions, you may check the fan brake horsepower.  

16. Allow for a total of 30 minutes of cooling tower operation to pass, then check motor wattage, or voltage and amperage, for calculation of brake horsepower.


17. Start-up the circulating water pumps. To avoid over-pressure in one cell, make sure that all valves to the tower are open.  

18. Check the equilibrium of water distribution between cells. By nature, this system is self-balancing and so all cells should receive approximately the same amount of water. Adjust the valves so that each cell distribution has about the same flow of water.

19. Finally, monitor the circulation water pump KW verses the pump curve to verify that the design flow is not exceeded.  

20. You’re Done! Your cooling tower should be fully operational.

We hope this check list proves helpful for you and your start-up procedures. I you have any questions or concerns at all, feel free to give us call: 720.746.1234.


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