California Cooling Towers Now Need Overflow Alarms

On July 1st, 2014, California Building Energy Efficiency Standard’s most recent revision went into effect. One of the adjustments from the 2008 standard that was implemented was “increasing cooling tower energy efficiency and water Savings” (Section 140.4.(k)2). The updates to Title 24, Part 6 aim to improve water use and conservation in large cooling towers. According to Section 110.2(e), “Open and closed circuit cooling tower installations must … Be equipped with an overflow alarm to prevent overflow of the sump in case of makeup water valve failure. Overflow alarm shall send an audible signal or provide an alert via the energy management control system to the tower operator in case of sump overflow” (California Energy Code, p. 28). This standard is now mandatory on cooling towers 150 tons or greater.

The Waterline Controls WLC series is a perfect solution for an overflow alarm. The WLC5000 and WLC6000 both include not only a high alarm, but a low alarm as well. The units have dry contacts that connect directly to the Building Management System, as well as LED indicator lights on the controller itself and optional audible alarms. What’s more, they also function as an automated water level system that is much more reliable than any mechanical float switch. All units have an Expected Useful Life (EUL) of 15 years backed by a 5 Year Limited Warranty, matching the analysis life cycle proposed during the 2013 Standard prerulemaking (Codes and Standards Enhancement Initiative, sec 2.7.6-2.11). WLC4000, 5000, and 6000 series currently in the field meet these requirements, and no updates or upgrades are necessary.

California’s Energy Commission website states “ [Our] energy efficiency standards have saved Californians more than $74 billion in reduced electricity bills since 1977”. Waterline Controls aims to help programs like these by providing an efficient and reliable water level control system to save water not only in California, but around the world. To upgrade your cooling tower with a Waterline Controls unit, visit our website at or call our toll free number at 888-905-1892.

For more information on California’s Building Energy Efficiency Standards, visit the links below.


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