Sometimes, cooling tower preventive maintenance is not enough, or perhaps has been overlooked too long, and the cooling tower begins to hinder the process more than help it. In these cases, replacing the cooling tower may become the most practical solution.

Once again, think of a cooling tower like a vehicle. When spending more than a couple of thousand dollars a year maintaining a car, it may make sense to weigh that expense against spending a couple of thousand dollars a year in payments for a brand-new car. The same consideration applies to cooling towers, particularly the old, metal-clad designs that require, and are very sensitive to, frequent chemical treatments, patching and welding.

If this is the case, consider a cooling tower with a seamless, engineered-polyethylene shell. This type of construction offers a much lower cost of ownership because overall maintenance is minimal and the tower shell does not require preventive maintenance, nor does it ever have to be relined or repaired.

However, even a cooling tower as durable as these seamless engineered plastic models should receive some inspection and maintenance. PVC fill or packing material must still be cleaned, louvers should be inspected and cleaned for optimum air flow and to minimize the need for the electric fan, and drift eliminators should be inspected to ensure they are operational. Tackling these simple steps on a routine basis will go a long way toward avoiding cooling tower "fatigue" for many years to come in a cooling tower replacement.