The basic purpose of a water flow meter is simple: giving yourself an easily-accessed way of monitoring the speed and consistency of water – or other liquids – flowing through a pipe. However, there are several different types of flow meters on the market, and not all of them are suitable for all applications.
A reliable pumping specialist can help you find the right flow meter for your needs, but for the best results, you should have some information on the situation. Here are the factors you should consider before making a purchase.
The Most Important Factors When Choosing A Water Flow Meter
1 – Do you need the meter?
Occasionally, we see water pump sales staff pushing flow meters as though they’re standard, but they aren’t. There’s no reason to have a flow meter at all unless you genuinely have a need to monitor the flow and pressure within your pipes. For example, most small pumps for private water wells have little or no need for a flow meter.
2 – The substance being measured
Some types of water flow meters simply will not work with certain types of liquids. For example, an electromagnetic flow meter is great for “touchless” monitoring that doesn’t disrupt the flow at all – but the liquid must have ionized particles in it that the meter can react with.
3 – The viscosity of the liquid
One of the big distinguishing characteristics between different types of flow meters is what viscosity they’re rated to handle. This is often expressed as a number called the Reynolds Number, which rates the level of viscosity for which a flow meter is designed. As long as you know either the viscosity of the fluid or the desired Reynolds Number for your meter, finding the right one is easy.
4 – The desired measurement range
What are the minimum and maximum measurements you expect to take from your pipes? This is another important distinguishing feature of various flow meters that’s often called their “turndown.” As with most meters and monitoring devices, you’ll be paying for larger ranges of measurement – so don’t pay for more than you actually need.
5 – Your desired level of accuracy
How critical are the measurements you’re taking? How many significant digits of accurate readout are called for? This is another area where it’s worth taking a step back and asking, “What do I really need?” Ultra-precise water flow pumps are available, such as for industrial manufacturing use, but they are considerably more expensive. This is another situation where there’s no reason to pay for more capabilities than your application calls for.
FloRight Pump & Controls are your experts for pumps and accessories. From home wells to industrial applications, contact us and tell us your needs.