A hydraulic pump strainer typically refers to a mesh strainer used as a filter at a pump inlet. The purpose of the hydraulic pump strainer is to filter out contaminants from the hydraulic fluid as it nears the suction side of the pump.
The downside of a hydraulic pump strainer on the suction side of the pump is the potential for cavitation in the intake line. Cavitation is when bubbles form in a liquid in areas of relatively low pressure. Intense shockwaves inside the pump cause these bubbles to collapse and can result in significant damage. A hydraulic pump strainer can cause a pressure drop. When it’s clogged, it can lead to a severe pressure drop that starves the pump and causes damage.
The hydraulic pump strainer is not intended to capture finer contaminants but larger objects. As such, the hydraulic pump strainer will effectively prevent severe damage to the pump from debris like nuts or gravel.
Hydraulic pump strainers can prevent the free and complete filling of a pump’s chambers that reduces effectiveness and efficiency. Grease is often the main culprit in clogging hydraulic pump strainers. The grease will eventually disintegrate within the hydraulic fluid. Still, if it needs to pass through a hydraulic pump strainer, it can quickly blog the strainer, leading to cavitation, as explained above. In a worst-case scenario, the hydraulic pump strainer can fail, and steel mesh particles introduced into the hydraulic fluid. This can lead to catastrophic damage.
The importance of hydraulic pump strainer maintenance
It is no small task to check and change hydraulic pump strainers, as they are located within the hydraulic reservoir. As a result, maintenance may not be done often or thoroughly enough. So, if you use a strainer, it must be carefully maintained to prevent problems rather than introduce them.
Cleaning hydraulics pump strainers
Hydraulic pump strainers should be inspected frequently and cleaned as necessary.
Start by placing the hydraulic pump strainers into the solvent tank. Next, use a small brush to remove any debris and dirt. The solvent will also dissolve the dirt, so apply it generously. Once the cleaning is done, shake off the excess solvent.
Finally, pour hydraulic fluid into the bucket and place the filter into it, swishing it around for a few minutes to help remove any traces of solvent.
Contact Sealtec Hydraulics today
If you’d like to discuss whether hydraulic pump strainers are a good option for you, get in touch with our team today.