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Basket Strainer Vs Y Strainer: All You Need to Know


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A strainer is a tool that is used to remove debris from liquids and gases in a piping system. The strainer works to protect equipment such as valves, pipes and pumps from getting damaged by solid particles. It is a very crucial part of a production system and should not be ignored. There are different types of industrial strainers available in the market today. The most common strainers include basket strainers, y strainers, and t strainers, among other types.

Depending on your system configuration and the amount of filtration work you have, you will be able to choose an industrial strainer that works for you. In this blog, we are going to compare the basket strainer vs y strainer and help you choose between the two. We will also look at how the two types of strainers are applied in different industries.


The Basket Strainer

A basket strainer is an equipment that uses a mesh screen to trap solid particles from liquids and gases in a horizontal piping system. They are used to protect other critical parts of the system from damage by solid debris. Basket strainers are used in pipelines with high-velocity flows. They can be installed as one basket, also known as a simplex strainer, or two baskets, known as a duplex strainer. 

The duplex basket strainer has the upper hand to the simplex type due to the fact that you can actually clean one side of the strainer as the other basket continues with the filtration process. With the simplex strainer, the system has to stop during cleaning which results in frequent system downtimes. While buying a basket strainer, you might want to consider investing in the duplex strainer as opposed to the simplex version. Various basket filter manufacturers also provide guidance on the best strainer for your needs.

The mesh screen of the strainer is designed depending on the job purpose. A mesh with extra tiny spaces usually requires more cleaning due to the frequent clogging, while one with large spaces will most likely allow some particles to pass through. Basket filter manufacturers understand this perfectly and will always ensure that the measurement of the mesh openings is in good proportion with the kind of filtration job the strainer will perform.


Applications of the Basket Strainer

The basket strainer is used in different industries and is considered the most effective type of strainer for large pipelines with high flow velocities. Some of the most common applications of the basket strainer include;

Power Generation Pipelines: During power generation, water needs to be filtered so as to protect the equipment used in the process. Basket strainers, mostly duplex strainers, are used for this purpose as they are able to keep up the process without any interruptions to the production process.

Irrigation: Basket strainers are used to filter out sand and rocks during irrigation in large farms. This ensures that the solid particles do not find their way into pumps, hence preventing damage to the critical parts of the system.

Food production: Industrial basket strainers are used in food production to remove solids from liquid. However, it is important to ensure that the mesh size of your strainer will be able to handle extra-large particles to prevent them from getting mixed into the final product.

Military sector: Basket strainers are used by the navy ships to ensure that the systems run smoothly. The oil used by the engine has to be filtered to prevent damaging the engine parts.

Automotive Fluid Processing: Different kinds of fluids are used for vehicles to keep them running. In order to keep the sensitive automotive parts safe, these fluids have to be constantly filtered to remove harmful particles from accessing them.

The Y Strainer

A Y type strainer

Source: XHVAL

The y type strainer gets its name from its configuration( y shape). It is the most common industrial strainer that is found in most pipelines. The y strainer is also price friendly making it a preferred choice for many. The Y strainer is also flexible and can be installed in horizontal and vertical pipelines, as opposed to basket strainers which are only used in horizontal pipelines. This kind of strainer is used in high-pressure systems due to its capability to handle up to 6000 psi pressure levels. 

Y strainers do not require constant maintenance procedures, as long as you ensure that the screen of the strainer is cleaned frequently to prevent clogging of the mesh. Cleaning of the y strainer requires one to remove the screen; this leads to a pause of the process which results in system downtimes. The y strainer can also be designed with blow-down valves to ease the cleaning process. The blowdown enables you to flash out the trapped debris down the drain without having to remove the screen of the strainer.

The Y strainer can be made out of a variety of materials, including cast iron, steel, stainless steel for the meshing; carbon is also used to make strainers. The kind of material depends on the system and the client’s preference. Y strainer manufacturers also offer custom-made strainers that fit a particular brand according to the client’s specifications and needs.


Applications of the Y Strainer

As we have discussed, the Y strainer is the most common industrial strainer that is applied in most production pipelines. It is therefore widely used in various industries including;

Oil Production Pipeline: The Y strainer is used in oil processing to protect the main parts of the system from damage by solid particles. Large oil production firms use y strainers in their processes due to the flexibility of the strainer.

Gas Production Pipeline: Y strainers can be used for both liquid and steam services for gas production. However, y strainers used for steam systems come with special housing to enable them to withstand the high temperatures.

Mining Industry: During mining, the y strainer is used to prevent solid particles from accessing delicate parts of machines.

Pulp and Paper Industry: The y strainer is used in paper production to filter the chemical used in the paper processing to protect the system parts.

Power Production Pipelines: A strainer is used to filter the water that is used in power production.

Chemical Production Pipelines: The y strainer is used to remove the debris from chemicals to prevent them from reaching the delicate parts of the system.

Basket Strainers Vs Y Strainers: Which Is Better

Two question marks

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These two types of strainers both serve the same purpose of filtering out impurities from liquid and gas pipelines. However, they are different in ways that make each of them unique in their own way. For instance, we have determined that basket strainers can only be used in horizontal pipelines while Y strainers can be used in both horizontal and vertical pipelines. Depending on the configuration of your system, you will be able to choose the basket strainer vs y strainer

The Y strainer is also built to withstand high pressure levels of up to 6000 psi, while the basket strainer can only handle pressures of up to 1500 psi. The basket strainer is efficient for high-demand systems that should not be interrupted due to the fact that the duplex strainer comprises two basket strainers that enable the process to resume even as one basket is being cleaned. The Y strainer however requires the system to pause for a while as the strainer is getting cleaned. This makes the basket strainer an ideal option for high production lines. 

The Y strainer is also used in pipelines that do not require a lot of filtration work as it cannot handle very large particles, the basket strainer on the other hand, is built for even the toughest of straining works. Basket strainers are the go-to choice for most liquid filtration systems, while Y strainers are perfect for gas systems. 


Frequently Asked Questions

How can you monitor the differential pressure level of a Y strainer?

The differential pressure of a strainer can be monitored by installing a pressure gauge that will alert you when there are pending pressure build-ups in a strainer.

How often should a basket strainer be cleaned?

The only sure way of knowing when to clean your strainer is by monitoring and measuring the differential pressure. Once the pressure hits about 6 psi, then that’s your cue to clean your strainer.

How do you clean a y strainer?

The screen of the y strainer can be easily accessed by simply loosening the plug at the filter leg of the strainer. You can also install blow-down valves to enable you to flush out the trapped debris without having to remove the screen of the strainer.

How can you determine the right strainer size?

You can determine the strainer size that will work for you by counting the opening on the mesh of the strainer. The more the opening, the smaller the particles that will be filtered using the strainer.

What is the difference between an industrial strainer and a filter?

A strainer is used to filter medium to large particles that can be seen by the naked eye, while a filter is used to trap impurities that are invisible.

What are the major types of industrial strainers?

There are three major types of industrial strainers which include y strainers, basket strainers, and t strainers. Y strainers and basket strainers are the most common strainers found in most pipelines.

Why do you need a strainer for your pipeline?

 A strainer is a very critical part of your production system as it works to protect delicate parts of your pipeline from getting spoilt by solid particles. The absence of a strainer will result in frequent repairs of your pumps, valves and nozzles due to constant damages.


There is no general answer as to which type of industrial strainer will work for you. It is up to you to determine the structure and needs of your piping system before you settle on one particular type of strainer. In some instances, you can use both strainers if you have different processes running simultaneously. The end goal of the strainer remains the same, to trap particles that are dangerous for your system parts. An industrial strainer is a very crucial part of a system that you cannot do without. For more information on basket strainer vs y strainer, check out our website.

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