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Media Replacement

Determining when evaporative cooling media needs to be replaced can be tricky, but knowing what to look for and taking a proactive approach, makes it easier and avoids costly delays.

Certain factors contribute to the need to replace evaporative cooling media

Life expectancy of media is three to five years depending on industry, site and maintenance. Over time, pad performance may remain somewhat close to original, but effectiveness will begin to degrade and pressure drop will increase.

There are four main contributors to the need to replace media: Scale, Softening, Age and Odor.

Scale on evaporative cooling media can be caused by:

  • Water evaporation
    • Areas of highest evaporation
    • Areas of lowest water flow
  • Poor water quality
    • Calcium
    • Silica
  • Operational sequences/poor water distribution
    • Wet/dry areas
    • On/off cycling
  • Pressure drop increases



Scale formed on media

Softening of evaporative cooling media can be caused by:

  • Harsh cleaning chemicals
    • Acids/caustic/chlorine
  • High purity water or softened water
    • Aggressive
    • Leaches mineral from pad
  • Increase in pressure drop
  • Gaps form and pressure drop decreases


Media experiencing softening

Softening can also present as fuzzy sheets or collapsed sections:

Fuzzy Sheets of Evaporative Cooling Media

Fuzzy Sheets


Collapsed Sections

Age of evaporative cooling media

Typical pad life is three to five years.  One of the simplest ways to determine if the media is reaching end of life is the appearance of the factory markings on the pad such as logo, airflow lines and date codes. Faded markings or those that have become obscured by scale are indicators of replacement time.

Odor of evaporative cooling media

Biological growth in the sump and surrounding framework can cause odor.

To mitigate odor:

  • Dry pads at least weekly - typical drying time is one hour
  • NON-OXIDIZING biocides are good for cleaners and for maintenance
  • Avoid chlorine as it breaks down the pads and it becomes food for “bugs”
  • If pads cannot be cleaned, they will need to be replaced

The right evaporative cooling pad for the job

Munters newest generation of GLASdek® media, GX30, is an ideal choice for many applications such as data center cooling where adherence to fire codes is required. This latest generation provides increased strength and durability along with exceptional cooling and humidification rates due to its design, manufacturing and materials. It is made from a flame retardent material fortified with special rigidifying agents and is the evaporative cooling and humidification media choice where strict adherence to fire codes is required.

What can I do?

  • Monitor water quality per factory recommendations.
  • Be aware. Log hours of usage.
  • Order replacement pads to have on-hand for critical installations.
  • Perform bi-weekly visual inspections.

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