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We recently used a low-level and barrel strainer in training. We found it easier to leave our barrel strainer attached and ready for service instead of leaving it in a compartment. After doing some research we found it is advised to leave a 24" clearance around the strainer. I am looking to see what other people are doing and any pros or cons either way. Thanks.

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Barrel strainers are good for lakes and streams. You can float them closer to the surface of the water if you have a barrier (like a large beach ball in a net or a piece of plywood) floating just above the strainer. It will not allow a whirlpool to form and let air into the hard suction, thus causing you to lose prime.

If your low level foot has a jet siphon , you can attach the float to it and use an 1.5 inch line to pump the hard suction. Makes it easier to get and hold prime and you have water moving thru the pump even if your attack lines are shut down. Keeps your pump from getting hot.
It would depend on what your typical drafting application is. Here we primarily draft out of porta tanks so we do not leave our barrel strainer attached to the hard suction. Our low level strainers also come equipped with the jet siphon and we attached the 1.5 inch line that Larry is talking about to help maintain prime and also achieve a quick draft.
We used barrel strainers for the longest time in are porta tanks. After working with a neighboring dept. that used a low level with the jet siphon we purchased one. Why doing this we purchased a new wye and put it on the end of are pumper and purchased a 25' section of 1 3/4" hose that we keep attached to the low level in the side compartment. When using it we hook it up and keep a minimal charge on the 1 3/4 line to keep the prime going. Great investment.

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