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Guide on how to Replace Cooling Tower Fills

Aug. 14, 2023

Here, we are going to show how to replace cooling tower fills. You may ask why the need to replace the cooling tower fills. We will also give you the changes and advantages of replacing a cooling tower fill and also the signs that tell you that it's time to replace your cooling tower fill. This will help you to recognize when your cooling tower fills need replacement and also teach you a simple method to replace the cooling tower fills. About cooling tower fill replacement frequency  It is also advisable to replace your cooling tower fills every 10-14 years to maintain the original output. You may not be aware that your cooling tower fills need immediate replacement. This is the main reason we have prepared this guide for you all about cooling tower replacement. It does not matter the repair and maintenance you doing to your cooling tower fill, over time, the fill will begin to degrade and start rejecting heat. A less efficient cooling tower will use more energy and increase your utility bill and eventually, the HVAC system will be unable to maintain the house. First, we will tell you what cooling tower fills are, then the types of fills then the positive impact brought about by replacing old and worn-out cooling tower fills. Then will go to the signs that tell that a cooling tower fill needs replacement and finally the process of replacing fills.

What is the cooling tower fill?

Fill is the core part of a cooling tower. It is also known as a packing, filling, or baffle.  This is where water and air mix to achieve the cooling effect. The greatest heat transfer surface can only be achieved by a cooling tower fill which is in good condition. It increases the surface area of the cooling tower allowing water to contact with air which results in evaporation.

Cooling tower fills

Types of Fills

When you are replacing your fills, it is necessary to know the type of fill to use. This is important because of the design of the supporting grids installed or the initial company that installed the cooling tower. There are 2 common types of fill. 1. Film fill is made of sheets of material shaped in a corrugated pattern for the water to travel across. Film fill can be combined and stacked together to achieve various sizes and heights as per your cooling tower size. The advantage of the film is that it can expose a greater water surface within a given packed volume. It's the most popular fill used in cooling tower units. The cons of the film fill are that there is no way to allow water to redistribute itself.   It is also prone to clogging when there is debris in the water which makes maintenance hard and costly.  The initial water distribution at the top must be uniform; otherwise, it doesn't work. 2. Splash film has parallel splash bars that cause water to splash when it flows through them. It is primarily used for crossflow because it gives the least resistance to airflow in a horizontal way. Splash fill is very good and still works when the initial water distribution is insufficient. This is achieved by the splashing activity which helps the water to move to all bars on every level. Cooling towers that have splash fill installed can effectively handle water containing large debris without blocking. The open nature of splash fills offers easy inspection of water flow and condition of fill which lowers the cost of maintenance. 3. Bar film is a variation of the splash fill which is recommended for extremely dirty water which may contain large debris.  It is the least effective and thus not normally used.

Reasons why you should replace fills

What are the benefits of replacing your cooling tower fills? Replacing the cooling tower fills can significantly impact the efficiency of your cooling tower system. Old or damaged cooling tower fills lower the rate of heat transfer the tower was designed to facilitate. The decline in the cooling tower efficiency can be detrimental to other dependent systems in a dangerous and frightening way. Replacing the cooling tower fills should result in increased performance, and this will also be reciprocated to the dependent system. I also increase the lifespan of the cooling tower unit. Overall, replacing cooling tower fill will save maintenance costs, and utility bills and give you maximum output from your cooling tower unit.

Signs that show your cooling tower fill needs replacement

I know you are wondering when the cooling tower fill needs replacing. There are 5 signs that tell you that your cooling tower fill is worn out and needs to be replaced. If you see any of these signs know that it is time to replace your cooling tower fills. a.Increased energy consumption When the fills are damaged or worn out, they do not cool the water passing through them properly. This means that it will take more electricity to do the same job the cooling tower should do. If you notice a significant increase in your electricity bill, check the cooling tower unit and fill for damages. b.Calcium Build-up Hard water, makeup water contains calcium which builds up in the fill causing a blockage. Air and water will not pass through the blocked fill, and therefore the cooling tower will not meet its purpose. A sever build up requires a total fill replacement. c.Uneven Distribution of Water Cooling towers work by enabling water running through them to contact air. If the fill is clogged or blocked, the water will not be able to circulate throughout the cooling tower. This reduces the performance of the cooling unit and increases energy consumption. d.Warped or Sagging Fill Packs Warping or sagging occurs due to poor quality or old fill. This is easily noticeable visually, and it causes an uneven distribution of water.  There is no other solution to warped or sagging fill but replacement. e.Damaged Support Grids Support grids are the structure that holds the cooling tower fills in place. When the support grids become damaged and do not hold the fill properly, this causes the fill to sag, warp, or fall out of place. If the structure is not made from long-lasting material, it can easily get damaged by water. Fill which is out of place does not perform optimally, invest in a permanent structure and replace your fill.

Guide on how to replace cooling tower fills

Scope of Work • Remove damaged or old fills and dispose of the material. • Remove old Fibreglass fill support • Install the fill support Grids and fill Repacking a Cooling Tower • The first step is to install the Support Grid from the bottom upwards. • The fill is then installed from the bottom upwards, inside and outside following the Support Grid. If you don't have the skills or the knowledge required to replace cooling tower fill, it is advisable you contact companies that specialize in cooling tower fill installation, repair, maintenance, and replacement. The experts will be able to inspect your cooling tower fills and identify problems and advice on the way forward. Use the internet to find top-rated companies that make and install cooling tower fills. Here you will be able to contact them, get more info, and set an inspection appointment. If you are experiencing the signs discussed above, do not hesitate to contact your contractor or cooling tower installer to come and inspect your cooling tower. Hope the article has taught new and exciting information about cooling tower fills. If you feel there is something you didn't understand or you have questions about fills, feel free to leave a comment, and we will help as much as we can.