Separator Substantially Reduces Strainer Maintenance for HVAC System

To end the problem of extremely high strainer maintenance, a large communications company in Washington, D.C. retrofit a Lakos Separator into their building’s cooling tower system and has just about eliminated the need for the strainer. In the first year of operation with the separator, the cooling tower’s strainer was pulled twice, but only because they thought it would need cleaning. In both cases, however, they found the strainer remarkably clean … enough so to justify only a once-a-year inspection. A dramatic difference than before the Lakos Separator, when they were having to clean the strainer every 3-5 days.

Coupled with the strainer’s short interval of service was its hard-to-get-at location, requiring two men a minimum of two hours each time the strainer needed routine maintenance. In contrast, the Lakos Separator is easily cleaned by opening a purge valve for 15-30 seconds every 3-4 weeks to flush away accumulated solids without having to shut down the system.

The full-stream Lakos Separator is handling 850-900 GPM (193-204 m³/hr) and is removing unwanted solids material as well as airborne dust and dirt. The separator is installed on the suction side of the system’s pump, before the strainer. This technique is being done successfully because the separator is located eight stories below the cooling tower, allowing ample head pressure for operation. Another twist to this unique application is that the small area needed for the separator was found in their basement’s walkway (see photo).

By filtering their cooling tower’s recirculating water, the communications company is receiving many benefits. Achieving them more efficiently is attributed to the Lakos Separator. And the cost of the separator is seen as minimal in comparison to the hours of strainer maintenance being saved annually.