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What is a Rusco Spin-Down Filter and How Does It Work?

Posted by John Woodard on April 01, 2019

A Rusco spin-down filter or sediment trap captures dirt, debris, and sand from water. A spin-down filter or sediment trapper removes large particles from water before it enters your other treatment systems and equipment. John Woodard, our Master Water Specialist, teaches you how spin-down filters work and how to install and clean your Rusco sediment filter. 

What is a spin-down filter and how does it work?

A spin-down filter is made to capture large particulates like sand or rust chunks from a decomposing well. It's designed to do the heavy lifting. Unlike a fine micron sediment filter, a spin-down filter is designed to trap large chunks of debris and sand. 

how a spin-down filter works

Water comes in the top of a spin-down filter and spins in a centrifugal motion. The design of the head diverts water into the chamber in a fashion that circulates the water through the filter housing. With centrifugal force, the dirt and debris are pushed to the outside of the clear housing and allowed to settle in the bottom. You periodically open the valve to release all of that dirt and debris from the housing.

What is a sediment trap and how does it work?

The concept of the head and housing of sediment traps and spin-down filters are identical. The sediment trap varies from the spin-down in that it has more capacity for accumulating debris. You'd want to use a sediment trapper when you have a lot of debris and want to avoid opening the valve to release the dirt as frequently. Both the filter and stem of the sediment trap fit into the housing, allowing more dirt and debris to accumulate in the bottom. The filter in a spin-down covers the entire of the housing.

installing a spin-down filter

How do you install a spin-down filter or a sediment trap?

The head goes on to your plumbing, and the type of connection you need is based on the size of the head. For example, three-quarter inch is the only threaded version of a spin-down or sediment trapper that you can get. One inch, one and a half inch, and two-inch heads are slip, or a glue and solvent connection on PVC pipe.

Typically, you install a spin-down filter or sediment trap right after the pressure tank on a well system. Or, you may install it before a whole house filtration system in an area where you get a lot of debris out of the city water supply. A Rusco sediment filter should be the first filter for a water treatment plan on either application.

where to use a spin-down filter

What do spin-down filters and sediment traps remove from water?

All Rusco spin-down filters and sediment traps remove is sediment. The filters come in a variety of screen mesh. Mesh refers to how many holes or openings (picture a screen door) are in a square inch. A thousand-mesh filter has one thousand small holes in one square inch of material, which is equal to about 15 microns. Rusco filters go all the way up to 24 mesh, which is close to 711 microns. What mesh size you need depends on the kind of debris you're dealing with. Sometimes, you may have to experiment with a different mesh size to capture the type of debris in your water.

How do you clean a spin-down filter?

As with any water treatment device, you're going to have to provide a little maintenance from time to time. On occasion, you might have debris clog the filter screen, and then you have to clean it. If the screen clogs frequently, your filter may not have the right mesh size or your water may need additional filtration.

To clean your Rusco sediment filter:

  1. Remove the filter housing.
  2. Remove the screen.
  3. Scrub the screen with a brush. 
  4. Put it back together.

Tip: If the proper flow rate is not restored, you may have to replace the screen.

What size spin-down filter and mesh should you use?

Well, the answer to that question is twofold, based upon your existing conditions. Rusco spin-down filters are sized based on plumbing size. If you've got a three quarter inch line that you plan to attach the filter to, then, of course, you'll a three quarter inch cap. Caps also come in half an inch, one inch, inch and a half, and two inches, based on plumbing size. The right mesh size is determined by what kind of debris or particulate needs to be removed from your water. A one thousand mesh or 15-micron filter would be an unusual size to use for a spin-down because 15-micron is small, considering a human hair is 75 to 80 microns in diameter. Spin-down filters and sediment trappers are designed to remove large particles, and then afterward, you may need a smaller micron filter for tiny particles. Occasionally, a 15-micron mesh screen works well in a spin-down filter housing.

filter mesh size chart

Why did I lose pressure after installing a spin-down or sediment filter?

Losing water pressure after installation could mean many things. Maybe you didn't have a lot of water pressure or flow, to begin with. The slight restriction that happens in any type of filter will reduce the flow rate slightly. It may even result in some pressure loss, but typically, not a significant amount. If you experience a large pressure loss on installation, something's up. The problem could result from improper installation or something in the water clogging the screen. Typically, pressure drop and flow reduction on a new installation are marginal.

Who is Rusco Inc.?

Rusco designed and manufacture spin-down filters and sediment traps. You might even see spin-down filters in the marketplace as Vu-flow. The only difference is the logo on the head. Rusco offers a variety of filter options. Some Rusco sediment filters are made for hot water. Other filters are chemically resistant. If you're filtering out water with chemical content, then you may need something like this. The chemical-resistant filter head fits some regular sizes. Water flows in one end and out the other of the Rusco T-style head. This head allows you to change the direction of flow to provide easier installation options. Rusco filters are also available with an automatic flush valve. This valve is beneficial if you have a filter installed that accumulates so much sediment that you have to frequently open the flush port to clear the housing. The automatic flush valve can be set to automatically flush every five minutes to 24 hours.

Comments 1-10 of 6

can a spin down filter be installed on suction side of well pump?

robert arick on April 10, 2023

Do we need a tool to remove the filter housing unit?

T Amos on March 27, 2023

If I have 3/4 inch tubing can I use the 1 1/2 or 2 inch filter head and just step it down or would this create a pressure or flow issue. I ask only because I think I would prefer a larger filter with more surface area and longer use between cleanings.

Mike on April 22, 2021

Is there a minimum water pressure required? Water is coming out of a spring. Was planning to place it just below the spring, but it could be placed lower for more pressure.

Spring User on September 21, 2020

Great point, John! If a Rusco spin-down filter is exposed to direct sunlight or prone to algae growth, a Sun Shield is a fantastic way to mitigate this problem. Thank you for your valuable feedback!

John Woodard, Master Water Specialist on October 08, 2019

Thanks for the video. You might want add a comment about the solar shield. I kept having algae growing in my sediment filter and was having to clean it once or twice a week mid summer..or risk watching the lawn die (we irrigate from the lake). Once I shielded the filter from the sun, my problems went away!!

JOHN WELLSFRY on October 08, 2019
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