The Importance of Measuring Pressure Drop

One of Filtra-Systems’ objectives is to help other companies improve their operational processes by efficiently filtering industrial water. Two solutions we offer our customers, bag filters and cartridge filters, are used in a wide range of industrial processes by companies in varying industries. Even though these filtering solutions are ubiquitous throughout industry, too many organizations neglect or improperly maintain them.

The Negative Effects of Poor Maintenance

Poor maintenance of filtering systems has a measurable adverse effect on business. One of the most overlooked aspects of proper upkeep is tracking the pressure drop across the filter housing. Both bag and cartridge filters are usually sized so that the pressure drop with clean elements is less than 1 psi. As the filter media collects dirt, sediment, and other contaminants, the pores in the media become clogged. The initial result of this is a less efficient system due to the clogged media’s restricted flow and increased pressure drop across the media. The differential pressure increases as more and more material is collected.

If left unchecked, the elements have the potential to rip, leading to a failure in filtering incoming fluid. Not only will no filtration occur, but previously captured contaminants will also be released. The failure of an operation’s filtration system can cause the entire operation to come to a halt, something every business wants to aviod. This can of course lead to missed deadlines and disappointed customers. Such negative effects are entirely avoidable if the proper measurement of pressure drop is observed.

How to Measure Pressure Drop

To prevent bags and cartridges from failing, the differential pressure across the filters should be tracked. This can be done by either using two pressure gauges (one upstream of media, one downstream), or a single differential pressure gauge. A typical bag will need to be replaced when the pressure drop reaches 10-12 psi, and most cartridges need to be changed when the pressure drop reaches 15-35 psi. Following these simple rules ensures that both bag and cartridge filters will continue to operate correctly.