Cooling tower repairs: Common cooling tower maintenance problems

Cooling towers may be the most efficient way of removing heat from a facility, but like all mechanical equipment, they can occasionally break down. Towers constructed from galvanised steel are often exposed to air, water, chemicals and heat, which can cause them to corrode over time. This leaves some cooling tower components more susceptible to damage than others. 

Since 2002, Marley Flow Control has been an industry leader in the manufacturing of cooling towers. We are an Australian-owned and operated brand that offers a high level of expertise and an extensive range of products that are ready to order. Our wealth of knowledge has allowed us to work with some of the country’s largest businesses and corporations we are pleased to call our clients.

As industry leaders, we have a high level of expertise and can provide a wide range of cooling tower services – including repairs. If you need help with your cooling tower repairs, contact our highly experienced team to discuss your options today. 

So what are the most common cooling tower maintenance problems, and how can you solve them? Read on to learn more about cooling tower repairs. 

Internal corrosion

Without the proper precautions, the internal environment of a cooling tower is vulnerable to damage. This is why many of the tower’s components – especially those in high exposure areas – are made from galvanised steel. 

Despite being made from steel, it is still common to find areas with perforations and holes, often resulting in severe metal wastage on units once in service. This is due to the chemicals used within the water treatment system, which accelerate the deterioration of the metal and lead to premature corrosion. Not only can this cause your cooling tower to become unreliable, but it can also affect the safety and efficiency of the entire cooling process.   

If not maintained correctly, this corrosion can leave your tower’s hot wells, hot water basins and overall framework exposed, resulting in unsafe and costly leaking.  

Marley Flow Control offers cooling tower repairs on the fill, structure, and mechanical components. We can also replace your tower’s parts in the field, so your facility can continue operating without hassle.  

Erosion by impingement

The leading edges of your cooling tower’s fans are often damaged by impingement from moisture and dust particles, causing erosion-corrosion. This is when a fluid flows at such a high velocity that it strips away the protective film of a corrosion product. 

If left unrepaired, the fan will eventually become inefficient. In some extreme cases, the entire fan will need to be replaced.     

Marley Flow Control can repair your mechanical components, like your cooling tower’s fans, as well as recondition your large diameter fans at our in-house facility in Western Sydney. And to ensure your fan is running smoothly, we can also dynamically balance your fan of up to 10m diameters in our factory – all without the need for in-situ dynamic balancing.  

Mechanical damage

Just like any machine, cooling towers can break down if not properly maintained. Lack of bearing lubrication, loose pulleys and fan hubs can result in scored and worn fan shafts. Monitor, replace or repair the following parts to keep your tower running efficiently:

  • Fan
  • Gearbox or belt drive
  • Fan cylinders 
  • Inlet louvres 
  • Nozzles or water distribution system 
  • Fill
  • Drift eliminators

At Marley Flow Control, we can repair your mechanical components such as gearboxes and fans and even recondition your large diameter fans. We also have the resources to fit new motors, driveshafts, gearboxes and fans in the field. 

We can even tailor a maintenance program to repair your cooling tower during an industrial plant shutdown – so your facility will be back to production in no time. 


Just because you can’t see them, doesn’t mean your cooling tower’s pipelines aren’t susceptible to damage. A combination of external and internal corrosion can result in thin pipes and wall defects, impacting the efficiency and functionality of the entire cooling system. Pipes are also prone to movement, which can lead to cracking and leaking.

Be cautious of which paints are used to protect your pipes. A poorly specified paint system will almost definitely cause pipe failures due to the warm, humid and immersed environment.    

Our comprehensive cooling tower repairs service offers a full functional annual inspection. We can also assess your tower’s thermal capability and identify the best methods to upgrade the performance of your existing cooling towers. 

Maintenance tips for cooling towers

Modify the operating regime

Your facility is constantly growing and evolving. The same control logic that worked years ago may not be suitable today. Review and modify your operating regime to ensure the efficiency of your cooling tower. 

Monitor the cooling tower fill for clogging and degradation

When it comes to cooling fills, two issues can affect your tower’s efficiency:

  • The wrong type of fill – A simple replacement of your fill can have your tower running back to its full potential.
  • The fill is clogged – Remember to clear the fill of any blockages or build-up.

We can repair and inspect your cooling tower

If your tower should exhibit any of these common, or not so common, maintenance issues, we’re here to help.  

Marley Flow Control offers comprehensive cooling tower repairs and inspection service. We offer repair work on the fill and mechanical components and a full functional annual assessment. Afterwards, we provide a comparison between a comprehensive refurbishment or a new cooling tower.

We can perform repairs during industrial plant shutdowns and can tailor a programme to suit you. We can also repair your mechanical components, such as gearboxes and fans, as well as recondition your large diameter fans at our in-house facility in Western Sydney.

Our experienced team has the skills and equipment to fit new motors, driveshafts, gearboxes and fans in the field, including long laser alignments of up to four metres.

Find out how we can use our engineering experience to help find the right solution for your business needs. Contact us here for a free quote.