As a pump applications engineer, oftentimes I find myself immersed in characteristics of a fluid being pumped or customer flow requirements or a myriad of other pump package design conditions. While all these details are pertinent to delivering a properly functioning package, I must also remind myself that this package will be but a small component in a larger working whole.
A package may be simply transporting raw material from a truck to a storage tank or it may be supplying precise quantities of a single additive to a mixing tank filled with other additives. If a single, critical component (such as your pump) fails, the success of the operation is in jeopardy until a solution can be implemented. While some failures are outside of our control, it is my job to limit the risk of preventable failures from causing larger problems. That is the sole reason I quote a strainer on every pump package.
The risk of a bolt, rag or a UFO (unidentified foreign object) becoming lodged in a pump is effectively zero when a properly sized strainer and basket perforation is utilized. For the fraction of the cost of a pump repair, loss of production due to downtime, extra man hours, and/or expedited repair parts, a strainer can be added onto the suction piping to eliminate the threat of these costly outcomes.
Strainers do require regular maintenance to clean out any debris collected, however, the strainer pays for itself after the first chunk of metal or UFO is pulled from the basket. Not only does this limit any damage on the pump, it keeps the production line moving, product flowing, and plant managers happy.
Viking Lidease strainers and y-strainers are basic types that require the pumps to be shut down for maintenance. Duplex strainers can be utilized in situations where shutting down the pumps is not feasible. One basket of the strainer can be cleaned out while flow is diverted to the other basket. This eliminates down time while continually protecting the pumps from foreign materials.
If you are interested in adding strainers to your current pump processes or future applications, feel free to contact me and we can discuss the best suited option for your situation.
Be sure to check out our previous blog post on strainer placement to be sure you don't cause any issues in flow to your pump.