What is a Basket Strainer?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 14 October 2019
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A basket strainer is a device which acts as a filter for a flow of liquid or slurry. Large particles are trapped in the strainer and not allowed to continue through the system. There are a number of uses for such devices, ranging from household kitchens to industrial facilities, and they come in a range of sizes and designs. Many hardware stores carry basic basket strainers and can order special items by request. Manufacturers are also capable of filling custom orders for unique situations.

As the name suggests, a basket strainer looks rather like a basket. The depth of the strainer can vary, depending on the system, and it is made from mesh or perforated material. Many are designed to lock in place, and some can be adjusted to block the flow of fluid altogether or to allow liquid to pass through the strainer as needed. The strainer typically has a handle so that it can be manipulated, and it may have a lip to prevent it from sliding into a pipe or tank.


As liquid passes through a basket strainer, it will slowly clog with material which is held back. The strainer needs to be periodically removed and cleared to keep the system running. Obviously, one does not want liquid moving through the system while the strainer is in place. There are a number of options which can be used to deal with this situation. One is to stop the flow of liquid at another source; in the example of a kitchen sink, for instance, one could turn off the tap so that water will stop pouring into the sink. Another option is to use a duplex basket strainer.

With a duplex basket strainer when a basket becomes full the system automatically diverts the fluid to a second strainer which is clear. This allows the operator to remove the clogged strainer, clear it, and replace it. The system switches off as needed to allow the liquid to flow continuously. This style of basket strainer may be used in industrial applications where shutting down a line to clean a filter is not practical or safe.

Basket strainers can be used on a wide variety of systems where liquid or slurry needs to be filtered as it moves through. They trap materials which could clog or damage the plumbing to keep the system clear. It is important to clear the strainers regularly so that they will not become clogged and impede the movement of fluid through the system.


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