Winter, with the toll it takes on outdoor equipment, is now behind us, but the arrival of spring means spending some time preparing the startup of your evaporative cooling system. No season is completely maintenance-free.

Baltimore Aircoil Co., in Baltimore, offers six practical suggestions for the spring startup of your evaporative cooling equipment.
  1. Inspect the Unit.

    • Check the position of strainer screens and air-inlet screens to be sure they did not shift during winter shutdown.
    • Check fans, bearings, fan motors and pumps (if applicable) for lubrication. (See item No. 6.)
    • Rotate all fan shafts by hand to make sure they turn freely.
    • Check fan motors for proper rotation. Directional arrows on fan cowls or housings indicate correct rotation.
    • Clear fans of any trash or debris that may have accumulated during shutdown.
    • Check make-up valve for shut-off ability. Check float ball for buoyancy.
    • Check spray nozzles for proper distribution.
    • Check surface for scale, sludge or debris and clean if necessary.
    • Check access-door gaskets and replace, if necessary.
    • Check the condition of the cooling tower fill. If it is clogged or has deteriorated, replace it with factory authorized replacement fill.

  2. Inspect the Casing.

    • Inspect the unit casing thoroughly, while the unit is still drained. Clean and touch up any areas showing signs of deterioration. For galvanized steel construction units, any damaged area should be cleaned to bare metal and refinished with zinc-rich compound (ZRC). This is also the time when any casing joint leaks can be repaired easily.
    • Remove any deposits that have built up and were not cleared by flushing the basin. Touch up the area beneath deposits as required.

  3. Fill the Cold Water Basin with Fresh Water to the Overflow Level at the Following Times.

    • At initial startup or before re-startup when the basin is completely drained, apply the initial biocide treatment.
    • Following a shut-down period where the basin was not completely drained, administer an initial shock treatment of appropriate biocides at re-startup to eliminate accumulated biological contaminants.

  4. Fill the Basin with Water and Check Float-Valve Level.

    • Check the operating water level after the unit has been in operation under load for several days. The operating and maintenance manual gives you the proper operating water level.

  5. Adjust Belt Tension of Fan Motors.

    • Proper belt tension is determined by pressing against a single belt midway between sheaves, which should deflect the belt between 0.25 and 0.375" with moderate pressure. To adjust belts, loosen locknut on the motor base and rotate the exterior nut as necessary. Retighten locknut and recheck tension.

  6. Lubricate Bearings.

    • Sleeve Bearings. Use oil that was shipped with the unit. During the first week of operation, refill each bearing cup several times to saturate the felt wick in the bearing cartridge. Do not use oils containing detergents for lubrication.
    • Ball Bearings. Purge bearings with new grease.
    • Fan Motors/Pumps (if applicable). Lubrication should be in accordance with motor manufacturer’s recommendations.