Troubleshooting Guide For Dealing With Clogged Vibratory Screeners

17 June 2015
 Categories: , Articles


If the factory you work for uses vibratory screeners to sift materials, you may come across a time when they become clogged up with debris. If so, use the following troubleshooting guide for determining the cause and cleaning the screens.

Determine The Cause Of The Clog

Before you begin cleaning out a clogged screen, the cause of the clog should be determined. Whether or not the debris is solid particulates or fibrous lint materials will determine how you go about removing them.

First. look at the screens. Sometimes, visualizing the clogs will tell you what type of material is clogging them up. For example, you may see strings hanging out of the openings if fibers are the culprit. However, if you see tiny balls lodged in the screens, this would indicate solids.

Second, if you are unable to see what is causing the blockages, put on a plastic, disposable glove. Then, rake your hand over the top of the screen. Look at the material on your hands to see the type of material, based on the examples in the previous paragraph.

If you discover fibrous materials, go on to the next section. However, if you find solid particulates, proceed to the third section.

Use A Rotary Brush To Remove Fibrous Material

After discovering your vibratory screeners are clogged up with fibrous materials, a rotary brush can be used to pull the lint and fibers out of the holes. When the bristles of the brush hook onto the strings, they gently pull the clog away from the screen. They then wrap around and stick to the brush.

After turning on the brush, slowly and carefully pass it over the top of the screen. Do not use too much pressure because this could damage the screen. Also, do not go too fast because you may miss tiny fibers caught in the screen's material.

While using the brush, make sure you stop and clean it before the bristles become full. This helps prevent clogging up the brush, as well as reintroducing the fibrous material into the screener's openings.

Once you have passed over the top of the screen, clean the brush thoroughly. Then, repeat the process from underneath. This will ensure you catch any fibers hanging from the bottom.

Use A Pressurized Water Sprayer With A Stationary Nozzle For Solid Particulates

If you have found out that the screener is clogged up with solid particulates, use a water sprayer to remove them. The pressure from the water will force the plugs out. Since no cleaner is needed, you will not contaminate your production materials with chemicals.

A stationary nozzle is used for this job because it gives you better control of water's direction. While using a rotary nozzle might eliminate some of the clogs, it would not give you enough control to push them out completely.

While spraying the screen, start at one corner. Slowly work from side to side, repeating each row in both directions. This will increase the likelihood that you will remove solids that have hardened.

Once you have completed your first sweep of the entire screen, repeat the process one more time. This will remove any residual film around the mesh that could catch materials during future use, possibly causing the screener to clog up faster.

After going through the above steps, you should have clean screeners that are ready for use and steps can be taken to prevent clogging in the future. However, if the screen seems damaged or still clogged up, you may want to contact the vibratory screeners' manufacturer. They may have recommendations on how to proceed with repairs or replacement, depending on the problem.