It is common practice to install a coarse filtration system downstream form a pump. The purpose of this inclusion is to remove any solid particles that might cause problems even further downstream, such as clogging up a valve or damaging a pressure gauge. Sometimes, however, the pump may also need protection. In such cases, the practical solution will be to attach a suction strainer to the inlet side of the pump. This elementary but valuable precaution serves to remove any particles present in the incoming fluid stream that may be large enough to block the flow of liquid or damage the pump’s components.
Despite the important role they play in protecting a pump’s integrity, the design of these devices is fairly basic. In its simplest form, the suction strainer resembles a drum with its head and sides perforated, and a narrower outlet pipe attached to the opposite end. The strainer’s outlet pipe is designed to be joined to the pump’s inlet using either a threaded or flanged connection.
Typically, this sort of device will be required when employing a pipeline to transport water from a river or dam. Sources such as these often contain large particles that could pose a threat to the pump. In contrast to the inline filtration devices often installed downstream of the pump, the perforations in a suction strainer are comparatively large. A diameter of around 3 millimetres or so should generally be quite sufficient to keep out anything large enough to cause a problem without significantly affecting the flow rate or water pressure.
After a period that will depend on the size and concentration of the particulate matter present in the source, it will become necessary to clear away any accumulated detritus that might be blocking the perforations of the suction strainer. In the more basic models, this will usually require halting the pumping operation in order to wash away the superficial solids, with a pressure washer.
While its usefulness is limited, there is a self-cleaning version of this device. This version relies on the motion of the source to continuously wash away any surface matter that might otherwise clog up its pores. Consequently, the self-cleaning effect depends on the constant movement of the source water moving as in a fast-flowing river, for example. However, this type of suction strainer will need to be cleaned manually when used to pump water from a stationary source such as a dam or lake. Flow Clear Filtration can supply these devices and other high-quality filtration equipment as standard items or manufacture them to your required specifications.
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