When you need to monitor the flow of liquids through pipes, you need a water flow meter. However, there are several types of flow meters on the market, and each is better suited for different applications. For example, magnetic flow meters are easy to operate and do not inhibit the flow in any way, but they are unable to work with substances without magnetic elements, such as de-ionized water. Turbine-based meters, on the other hand, can work with all kinds of liquids with low viscosity but can be damaged by thick slow-moving materials.
So, there are several factors which determine which kind of water flow meter will work best within your operation. Material flow experts can help you find the right meter for your needs, but they will need specifics about your operation to make that determination.
These are the most important pieces of information they’ll need to know.
Five Critical Pieces of Information to Provide When Purchasing A Water Flow Meter
- The material being measured
This is the first and most important piece of information: what will be flowing through the pipes? This answer alone will likely rule out one or more types of flow meters.
- Pipeline size
The size of the pipe will also have a significant impact on the choice of flow meter, as some function better with smaller pipes. Particularly large pipes will probably receive a vortex disruption meter since those are generally best suited for wide pipes.
- Expected flow rates
Turbine-based meters are excellent for fast-moving fluids but will often provide inaccurate information for low flows. Also, there may be the question of whether you want a meter which is physically in the flow, potentially creating an obstruction, or if a meter clamped to the outside would be better.
- Operational temperatures
Obviously, temperature will have a huge impact on the effectiveness of different meter types. If you will be moving material which is significantly hot or cold, your vendor needs to know this.
- What extra features would you want?
There are numerous extra features you might desire, including:
- Digital display readouts
- Battery-powered vs DC or AC power
- HART Protocol compatibility
- RS 485 Modbus RTU functions
Knowing your needs will help narrow down the selection!
Our team at FloRight Pump & Controls are your flow control experts, with extensive experience creating automated and semi-automated flow control systems. Consult with us before purchasing a water flow meter.