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Cooling water Treatment Troubleshooting and Action Plans

Industrial cooling water treatment is a big chapter to learn completely. I worked in this field for more than 10 years & practically observed some problems facing ongoing treatment programmes. I have summarised all these problems, the possible sources of the problem & corrective action plan. If you are working in this field, this guide is very helpful.

Cooling water Treatment Troubleshooting and Action Plans

Problem-1: Test results indicate the Cooling Water system is not within the control range

POSSIBLE SOURCECORRECTIVE ACTION
a.Test results may be incorrect – system may be within specifications.Repeat tests to verify results prior to taking any other action.
b.Lab pH meter is out of calibration.Calibrate meter.
c.pH meter will not hold calibration.Ref: Instrument troubleshooting guide.
d.pH probe is not functioning.Replace pH probe & check warranty for return to the manufacturer.

Problem-2: Cooling water System pH is below
Specification

POSSIBLE SOURCECORRECTIVE ACTION
a.Acid feed system malfunction or Make up water pH low.Repair acid feed system:
Analyze the water for iron, zinc & orthophosphate.
If pH is (was) below 6.0 – add a 10  ppm slug of Corrosion inhibitor chemical to the system. Blowdown system heavily. Recheck for Fe, pH.
Increase blowdown and adjust pH with alkali to lower end of control range.
b.Lab pH meter is out of calibration.Calibrate meter.
c.pH meter will not hold calibration.Re: Instrument troubleshooting guide.
d.pH probe is not working.Replace pH probe & check warranty for return to manufacturer.
e.pH meter will not hold calibration.Re: Instrument troubleshooting guide.

Problem-3: System pH is above Specification

POSSIBLE SOURCECORRECTIVE ACTION
a.Acid feed system malfunction.Verify acid feed system functionality – begin feeding acid manually if the acid feed system is malfunctioning
Analyze for total hardness, and alkalinity.
Slug feed double the dosage of polymer.
Increase the blowdown /or adjust the alkalinity with acid to the lower end of the M-alkalinity/pH control range.
b.Blowdown measurement is not accurate, is shut, and/or is in operation.Verify functionality of blowdown system.

Problem-4: Recirculation water conductivity level is above the limit

POSSIBLE SOURCECORRECTIVE ACTION
a.Increase the conductivity level in the makeup water.If calcium or silica is high in the recirculating water, blowdown rate is (was) inadequate – increase blowdown rate. Increase the blowdown rate to control the ionic load.
b.Blowdown valve is fully open but conductivity (cycles) continue to rise in the recirculating cooling water.Blowdown line is fouled (plugged).  Open bypass, free blowdown line, place in service & close bypass.
c.Chemical overfeed.Verify chemical federates.
d.Blowdown valve is stuck in open position.Repair blowdown system.

Problem-5: Recirculating cooling water conductivity is below specification

POSSIBLE SOURCECORRECTIVE ACTION
a.Tower basin overflow.Verify functionality of tower make-up valve.
b.Excessive use of recirculating cooling water in the process.Verify usage of cooling water by all process users.

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