Cooling Tower Cleaning Services: Reasons Why Drift Eliminators Must Be Well-Maintained

17 April 2019

Vigorously administered housekeeping assignment don’t just clean cooling towers, they entirely disinfect their inner workings. That’s how the various equipment sections stay sanitized, no matter the time of the year. Drift issues, however, take a fraction of that medium out of the primary cooling stream. The drift content evaporates, then it recondenses elsewhere. Fortunately, those tiny droplets are captured by drift eliminators. Keeping this cycle operational, a maintenance strategy takes charge of matters. 

Reconciling Mist Capture Wear

As the tiny droplets evaporate, the cooling tower leverages a change in the airborne stream’s velocity. The drift loss changes direction and falls back to the moisture collection media. But this isn’t pure water, it’s loaded with chemicals. Those toxic compounds keep the equipment clean, but they’re not meant to float freely. Trapped in the drift eliminators, the caustic condensate ages the water-absorbing media. It becomes brittle. Clogs come next. The stack of fluted material becomes less than effective, so the formerly “eliminated” fluid saturates any and all nearby components. Meant to display clear lines of systemic demarcation, those lines between the various cooling tower sub-systems blur until cross-contamination incidents rise precipitously. Frustratingly, all that was needed to contain this system-destabilizing scenario was a properly maintained set of drift eliminators.

Drift Elimination: Planned Maintenance Proficiency The objective here is to keep the media inside the moisture collection assembly porous and resilient. The moment the fluted material becomes brittle and frangible, a losing battle is being fought. At this point, only a replacement package will restore evaporative capturing functionality. However, made from nested cellulose or fluted PVC, there are expenses incurred when a planned maintenance program is overlooked. Anyway, the package of moisture-absorbent materials is checked for clogs and/or material-brittleness. Are they fitted correctly? Has the moisture loosened a fastener or damaged a spring-loaded clasp? The checks continue apace until the media receives an industry-standard passing grade.

Without a well-maintained set of drift eliminators, a major breakdown incident is inevitable. The brittle PVC or cellulose breaks down and oversaturates. Those frangible bits of detritus become partially responsible for the clogs that follow. Now, without the media performing optimally, the drift escapes into the environment. Local water supplies receive potentially tainted clouds of water condensate. Those chemicals will also cause an escalating series of problems back at the cooling tower. The evaporate condenses on the interior walls, not in the drift eliminators, then it drips down to contaminate the cooling tower. Like an infection, one that’ll spread internally before it takes flight, the disseminating chemicals diffuse. Comprehensive cleaning procedures correct such problematic issues, but well-maintained equipment assemblies rarely need worry about such issues in the first place.

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