Produced by BetterBricks, the commercial initiative of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance BOpEqSysWaterDistributionSystem.doc • 1 Operation and Maintenance of HVAC Water Distribution Systems Topics: Introduction Types of Water-Distribution Systems Key Components of Water-Distribution Systems Safety Issues Best Practices for Efficient Operation Best Practices for Maintenance Maintenance Schedule for Water-Distribution Systems References Introduction Many large buildings and campuses have HVAC water-distribution systems, also called hydronic systems. Water is heated or cooled in a central plant, then pumped to air handlers, where ventilation air is conditioned as needed. Maintaining and optimizing the performance of pumps and valves—the key mechanical components of water-distribution systems—can be challenging. These systems often have hidden performance problems that waste energy and cause excessive wear on equipment. As with other mechanical components of the HVAC system, a preventive and predictive maintenance plan is an excellent way to maintain an efficient system, save energy dollars, prevent costly breakdowns, and extend equipment life. f Learn more about establishing a Best Practice Operation-and-Maintenance Program. Types of Water Distribution Systems Water-distribution systems are either closed-loop (cooling- or heating-system water does not come in contact with outside air) or open-loop (condenser water is exposed to outside air, usually in the cooling tower). Water in a closed loop requires less treatment than water in an open system.