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Frequently Asked Questions -
Separator Operation, Efficiency & Sizing


Q: Do I want a separator?

A: Separators save money. They are physically smaller than media filters with the same flowrate. Separators offer continuous filtration without media. Therefore, separators offer lower initial and operating cost. Separators have lower operating cost because they do not require maintenance labor, do not experience the ongoing cost of media replacement, do not require as much pump horsepower, and do not use as much water for cleaning as media filters, sand, cartridge, or automatic screens.



Q: Do separators work?

A: Yes, separators do work. Separators work by increasing the velocity of the contaminated fluid. Lakos uses "accelerator slots" to increase velocity, a patented design. J.L. Wingert increases velocity by use of a velocity plate. This device increase the fluid velocity without trapping particles. Heavier than water particles are flung to the sides of the unit. To exit, the fluid is forced to change direction. Because of the increased velocity and the change in direction the particles that are heavier than water are forced to separate from the fluid. Gravitational force then pulls the separated solids downward, past the spin trap plate, and into the solids collection chamber. Cleansed fluid then rises through the vortex locator and returns back to the system. The collection chamber is routinely purged to waste, or continuously purged through a J.L. Wingert recovery tank. The recovery tank removes solids and returns cleansed fluid to the system.



Q: Are separators efficient?

A: Separators rely on both flowrate and internal design to achieve removal efficiency. Separators, like filters and pumps, are range devices. The operation range for separators is expressed in flowrate, the efficiency is in particle remove-by size and weight also referred to as specific gravity. Separators typically remove particles that have a specific gravity of 1.8 and greater with micron size of 45 and larger. The flowrate reflects a psid pressure drop. The pressure drop across the unit is a result of the flow through. As flowrate increases, the pressure drop increases. While particles can be removed within a wide flowrate range, an "ideal" range exists for each manufacturer's design. As the flowrate decreases away from the "ideal" range the efficiency changes, just as that of pumps, filters, and other range devices. J.L. Wingert Separators can remove 98% of solids when operated at flowrates producing 4-12 psid. Solids removed are 45 micron and larger with specific gravity of 1.8 and heavier. Smaller solids with a high specific gravity than 1.8 can be removed. A 45 micron particle is about .0016", the size of very fine sand.



Q: How do I size a separator?

A: Separator sizing is based off of one criteria - system flowrate. The system line size has no bearing on model selection. Match the systems flowrate to the separator model, with a range that covers the required flowrate. If two separator models overlap the system flowrate, choose the model closest to the "middle" of the range.



Remember: Design and operating point variances exist between brands of separators. Different operating ranges translate into different unit connection sizes between brands. The separator design operating range must always be compared. Existing pipe size is not important for proper separator selection.

These tips are provided as a courtesy to our customers. J.L. Wingert Company makes no guarantee and assumes no obligation or liability for the information contained therein.
J.L. Wingert Representatives can assist you with the selection of equipment best suited to your specific needs. Contact our customer service department by e-mail at customerservice@jlwingert.com or call us Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PST at (714) 379-5519, or fax us at (714) 379-5549.

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Copyright © 2004 J.L. Wingert Company - Last modified: 3/25/08