Why can’t we just fill up the tower and start the chiller?
All the debris in the tower from the previous season could be washed into the strainers and cause major pump problems. Each tower that is shut down for the winter season should be thoroughly cleaned before restarting for the current season. The tower should also be disinfected during the cleaning also.
What else should we do to start up the cooling system?
Review the water treatment controller for proper operation. Initiate each relay to insure proper operation of each relay. Check the operation of the flow switch (check with paddle in hand) and clean the probes. Calibrate the sensors in a separate container of city water. Do not calibrate with system water from the flow line as this line may contain some chemical which could cause a false conductivity reading.
Check the output of each pump, prime each pump if necessary. Check the level of chemical in each batch. During the off season, the water in the batch will tend to evaporate. That will cause the chemical to be abnormally concentrated and may also cause the chemical to become far more viscous than normal. You may have to add a minimal amount of water in order to make the chemical easily “pump-able”.
Check all tubing for cracks. Repair/replace if necessary.
Read the water meter for cooling tower makeup.