The importance of Y-Strainers use with BPHE setup

A strainer as you can certainly make out is a device which is used for filtering a flowing fluid like water or air. We need strainers in many industries, especially where any impurity in the flowing fluid can affect the efficiency of the process or machinery resulting in productivity losses. However, does it really matter in a domestic setting? Should you be concerned about productivity losses in equipments like heat exchangers at your home? Well, perhaps you should be.

With the ever increasing prices of fuels, stricter norms for emissions and increasing costs of living one must be additionally careful about productivity losses everywhere, especially with heat exchangers. If you have a brazed plate heat exchanger at home, you must have realized that it is extremely important to ensure that the heat carrying fluid must never come in contact with the domestic water supply since it contains some salts and other dissolved particulate matter which can damage the plates of the heat exchanger. It is the level of dissolved particulate matter in the domestic water supply which eventually reduces the life of a heat exchanger or accelerates the process of corrosion of heat exchanger’s plates.

To beat this problem, one of the most innovative, cost effective and popular device that is being used is a Y-Strainer. It works perfectly with a BPHE and helps in increasing the life of the heat exchanger significantly. It ensures that no particulate matter makes its way through to the heat exchanger’s setup, tubes and other parts which brings down the maintenance cost too. A Y-strainer gets its name owing to its design which looks similar to the alphabet ‘Y’.

But how does it work? Well, a Y-type strainer works in almost every condition and is used since it can handle extremely high pressures in spite of being extremely compact in size. Y-strainers are commonly used in processes where pressures can be as high as 400 bar g. Y-type strainers are excellent for use in domestic settings since the amount of dissolved particulate matter or unwanted salts is often low and therefore bulky filters like basket type strainers can prove to be expensive and difficult to maintain.

It is an indispensible part of every BPHE since it ensures an extremely long life as well as highly efficient heat transfer. In domestic settings it should always be installed on both the inlets of the heat exchanger so that pure fluids flow in and flow out. The Y-strainer should always be installed horizontally with the pocket, which contains the filtering device always pointing downwards. This is especially important so that any unwanted matter that is collected while the liquids flow through the pipe does not get a chance to mix with the main fluid stream, especially when the liquids are flowing at low pressures.

Y-strainers are used across the world and are fabricated from several materials like –

  1. Stainless Steel
  2. Carbon Steel
  3. Bronze and other alloys
  4. Cast iron

Y-strainers are also available in several variations like the flanged ones, weld end Y type, Aluminum screwed or a combination of these.