Cooler weather means that many large facilities are preparing to shut down their comfort cooling systems and fire up their heating systems for the fall and winter. Whether that means draining the cooling water system or leaving it full for wet layup, Cortec’s Cooling Loop Gator® is an important tool to ensure a successful layup that extends cooling tower service life and minimizes problems at startup.
The Corrosion Problem
Seasonal layup is a sensitive time for cooling water systems because the normal chemical operating program is not in place. The absence of circulating corrosion inhibitors and the presence of residual moisture left in a system that has been drained (as many are to avoid water freezing in winter climates) are a recipe for corrosion. Efforts to protect the system by chemical loading of extra polymer or phosphate inhibitors just before draining fall short because these inhibitors only protect metals when in direct contact with them. As a result of inadequate protection, chip scale and other corrosion products can lead to clogging or fouling issues when the system is started. They also represent metal loss, which can reduce the potential service life of the system or lead to leakage problems. By far, corrosion prevention is a better choice than trying to correct irreversible problems.
An Easy, Effective Corrosion Solution for Cooling Towers
The Cooling Loop Gator® makes protection of metal internals during cooling tower layup incredibly simple and easy. This Cortec® VpCI® “reptile” is a Vapor phase Corrosion Inhibitor powder packaged in a polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) water-soluble bag. When applied to the cooling water, the bag and powder dissolve, allowing Vapor phase Corrosion Inhibitors to adsorb on all metal surfaces, including recessed cavities. These inhibitors form a strong molecular layer on the metal that offers protection in both the liquid phase (below the water) and vapor phase (above the water). When applied properly, Cooling Loop Gator® can provide a year of protection, amply covering the fall/winter/spring protection period needed for seasonal layup of comfort cooling systems.
Seasonal Layup Made Easy
Cooling Loop Gator® can be applied without disrupting formal cooling tower operations. One water-soluble pouch per 250 gallons (0.95 m³) should be added to the tower basin, then allowed to dissolve and circulate throughout the system for 12-24 hours. This enables the “Gator” to form a protective corrosion inhibiting film on the metal surfaces within. Afterward, the tower can be drained (dry layup) or left partially or completely full (wet layup). All openings and valves should be covered to minimize the opportunity for Vapor phase Corrosion Inhibitors to escape. If the cooling tower needs to be temporarily turned on for a few days during a sudden early spring warmup, protection can be renewed by testing the corrosion inhibitor concentration and reapplying Cooling Loop Gator® as needed to make up for any corrosion inhibitor loss.
Spring startup with the Cooling Loop Gator® is much easier than it is for unprotected cooling water systems because no product removal is needed, and startup is smoother simply by avoiding complications from seasonal corrosion. For additional corrosion protection and cleaning assistance—specifically during the startup period— the new Cooling Loop Croc™ is a great companion to the Cooling Loop Gator®. The powerful combination of corrosion inhibitors and organic dispersant provides a surge of protection and cleaning during those first days of startup before the regular chemical treatment program is back in normal operating condition.
Advantages of Cooling Loop Gator®
In addition to the obvious advantages of easier protection and reduced startup costs, Cooling Loop Gator® has many side benefits. For example, water-soluble packaging prevents direct contact with water treatment chemicals when the worker applies the product. Furthermore, Cooling Loop Gator® is nitrite-, phosphate-, and chromate-free. A molybdate-free version, Cooling Loop Gator® MF, is also available for use in areas with molybdate restrictions. Cooling Loop Gator® is compatible with most materials of construction in cooling towers (e.g., rubbers, polymers, etc.) and protects multiple metal types, including ferrous metals, galvanized steel, copper, and brass.
Prepare for a Successful Layup!
Rather than follow inadequate methods of corrosion protection or none at all, make this seasonal layup a relief and success by applying the Cooling Loop Gator® to your cooling tower. Contact Cortec® for further assistance on performing a successful cooling system layup this season!
Keywords: seasonal layup, cooling water system, corrosion protection, cooling tower layup, corrosion problems for water treatment, water treatment, layup best practices, Cortec, corrosion inhibitors, industrial AC maintenance
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