Experts in cooling-towers maintenance

Today we interviewed two technicians from Torraval experts in cooling-towers maintenance. They are the ones who know the most about the proper care and maintenance of cooling towers. They clean, inspect and check them to maintain their original conditions.


Juan Cruz and Benjamín, what are the most common problems during maintenance and inspection work?

Benja: Usually, the customer does not know you have to access the tower and enter inside to determine whether or not it is in good condition.

That is to say, you have to access the place where it is, and also the inside, but you cannot enter under operation, can you?

Benja: Indeed, there are two issues. The first one is accessibility to the installation. The cooling tower may be on a roof, for example, and it is necessary to use auxiliary means such as a crane, scaffolding, or a lifting platform. A second issue is access to the inside of the tower. The inspection is at standstill (also in operation) so, it is necessary to isolate the equipment electrically and turn off the water. If the basin is empty, we can carry out the survey and inform the customer of the state. Confirm that everything is correct or that there are elements in bad condition or misalignments in the mechanical equipment.


Juan Cruz: I would say the most common thing is the lack of maintenance in refrigeration equipment. Cooling towers are the big forgotten in industrial plants. The customer remembers the tower when it fails because the process heats up.

Benja nods: Yes, that’s the most common thing.

Juan Cruz: Some organized customers plan annual maintenance. They have detected the usual faults and followed basic maintenance they can’t do without. This way they minimize risks of unwanted downtime.

Do you publicize the possibility of having an annual maintenance contract?

Juan Cruz: It depends on the customer and whether they demand it. Generally, there is little awareness. Some are too hasty. Even when their entire activity depends on a single tower, they don’t even have the essential spare parts. In these cases, we advise them not to risk so much and to have the basics for an emergency. Not all spare parts are always in stock.

Benja: There is often a lot of confusion about maintenance. Many times customer thinks they are maintaining the tower because they have a water treatment service, which is correct and by regulations when our maintenance refers to the tower equipment and not to the water that circulates. They are different things. Both kinds of maintenance are necessary.

What would be the essential care that you would recommend in tower maintenance?

Juan Cruz: It is simple: Periodic cleaning is the best maintenance. Regular visual inspection by the owner is useful. It costs nothing and prevents many problems.

Does this care vary from one type of industry to another?

Benja: The truth is that there is a type of dirty industry, steel, and metallurgy or paper mills, to be cleaned more often. The chemical industry is, compared to them, very clean. The food industry is quite aware of maintenance, for obvious reasons.


Do customers follow your recommendations and advice?

Benja: I think the vast majority do. The maintenance teams are responsible for these towers and know that leaving things until they break down is not an intelligent option.

Juan Cruz: The mistake is maintenance is the first thing to cut. Something unthinkable in a car or a gas boiler.

Perhaps they think it is an expensive service?

Mmm… I don’t think so, but it’s better to ask, isn’t it?




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