At Sprayer Depot, we hear about a lot of different issues that can affect the proper functioning of sprayers. The most common issue however, is one which is easy to prevent and one of the simplest to fix: a clogged and neglected strainer. Before we discuss the steps to take to ensure that your strainer is in tip top condition, lets briefly go over the reasons why the strainer is such an essential part of your sprayer and its optimal functioning.
What Does The Strainer Do?
The strainer is a basic component which helps to ensure that your sprayer pump works efficiently. When properly sealed and maintained, it allows the fluid to flow freely by its three basic functions:
- The strainers main function is, as its name implies, to strain larger and smaller particles in the liquid from entering the pump, the flow meter, and other parts of the sprayer.
- The strainer provides proper fluid circulation throughout the pump.
- The strainer prevents the clogging that may occur over time when the large particles enter the other sprayer components.
Strainer Screens and Strainer Types
Every strainer uses a mesh screen to filter out the unwanted particles and most of time, this is where we find problems with the strainer. It is very important to use the proper size screen for your particular strainer and fluid application type. The mesh size refers to the number of squares per inch of screen (for example, 12 mesh has 12 x 12 squares per inch of screen). In addition, using the proper kind of strainer for your application and sprayer is important. There are two main types of strainers which we carry at Sprayer Depot and they are:
- Y-Style Strainers - These can vary in size from 1/2" to more than 12", are corrosion resistant, lightweight, and are commonly made of polypropylene. Our Banjo Y-Strainers are one of our most popular strainer styles and available with several mesh sizes ranging from 12 to 80 mesh.
- T-Style Strainers - Typically more compact in size than other strainer types, T-Style strainers are easy to check for clogs. For high pressure or suction applications, we recommend the Hypro Nylon-line Strainers or the wide selection of Banjo T-Strainers we carry in polypropylene or poly/ stainless steel. The Banjo Poly T-Strainer Clear Bowl line have clear bowls that allow for quick and simple visual inspections for debris without disassembly. We also carry a complete line of TeeJet strainers and components including the TeeJet aluminum head and nylon bowl styles.
Basic Maintenance of Your Strainer
Proper maintenance of your sprayer unit requires both the use of appropriate mesh screens for your application and fluid type as well as regular inspections and cleaning of your strainer. Mesh screens that are not designed to filter out particles for your fluid will be ineffective in preventing the ideal flow of liquid. The recommended mesh size for most pesticides and other agricultural uses is between 16-30 but keep in mind that fertilizers and other chemicals require a larger mesh size screen than water based fluids.
Inspecting and cleaning the strainer is very easy, takes only a few minutes and can save you both time and money. The strainer should be inspected and cleaned after every use. It doesn't require removal from the line but can be flushed by unscrewing the bowl from the cap and taking out the screen. Once all sediments and debris have been flushed off the screen, you can simply reassemble by replacing the screen to the flange in the bowl and then tightening the bowl back onto the cap.
Another helpful tip is to maintain your inventory with extra strainers, screens and gaskets. This could save you many hours of wasted productivity time, especially since these items are very inexpensive components to purchase ahead of time and keep on hand for when they are needed! If you have any questions regarding the proper strainer type, mesh screen size, or any other inquiries about your sprayer needs, we're here to help.