Water flow meters are essential tools that help companies measure flow rates and the total usage of water and different media. Whether they are referred to as water flow meters, water meters, water flow gauges, or water flow sensors, they are used as monitoring devices for everything from wastewater plumbing to critical systems, such as cooling lines for generators.
Choosing a water flow meter starts with finding one that is close to available flow ranges and matches the connection size and type of your piping. GPImeters offers flow ranges starting as low as 0.13 GPH and as high as 800 GPM in sizes from 1/8” threaded to 4” flanged. For much higher flow rates, GPImeters has insertion-type flow meters that can measure up to 780,000 GPM. Most of GPImeters water flow meters measure the rate of flow and batch and cumulative totals. Some economy water flow meters measure only totals.
Body materials and wetted parts play an important role in durability requirements or compatibility needs if used for media other than water. Different body materials of the meter will vary in temperature and pressure ratings.
The accuracies of water flow meters correlate with pricing. GPImeters economy meters have accuracies in ±5% range, and the high-end meters have accuracies as low as ±0.5%. Other meters fall in between those ranges.
Remote or local display configurations are options for many of GPImeters water flow meters which also include different signal output options such as 4-20mA and pulse outputs.
But which water flow meter types are best for your application? We list some of their applications, look at the five most common water flow sensor varieties and discuss other media some can measure.
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Water Flow Meter Uses
Dozens of industries use water flow meters to monitor the movement of liquids in hundreds of different applications. Here are a few of the many uses for water flow meters:
- Residential water meters
- Liquid coolant
- Fire suppression systems
- Food and beverage
- Gravity feeds
- Commercial irrigation
- Landscape irrigation
5 Different Water Flow Meter Type
Several different kinds of water flow meters exist for different media types. Choosing the correct water flow meter type for your needs will depend on the type of liquid you are measuring and the required accuracy needed for your media. The five primary types of water flow meter include:
1. Positive Displacement Flow Meters (Oval Gear Meters)
A water flow meter uses a wheel or gear that spins due to flowing liquid. The spin rate of the gear is proportional to the velocity of the liquid. Using a simple conversion process, the gear's spin rate can be converted into the flow rate of the liquid.
Positive displacement flow meters are well-suited for low viscosity liquids without abrasives or other solids that can damage the internal components. Positive displacement meters require no field calibrating; even if the media or viscosity changes, the meter’s accuracy is unaffected.
2. Vortex Volumetric Flow Meters
Vortex water flow meters use advanced scientific principles to measure the flow of liquids. An obstruction (sometimes referred to as a bluff) is placed inside the pipe. Liquid flows around the bluff, creating pockets of low-velocity fluids that generate vortices rotating in the liquid. These vortices are measured by the water flow meter to determine the rate of flow. Volumetric water flow meters are extremely useful in moderately viscous media.
3. Ultrasonic Flow Meters
Ultrasonic water flow meters eliminate moving parts or bluffs entirely. Two water flow sensors are placed on the exterior of the pipe. One of them generates an ultrasonic pulse angularly directed into the media. It bounces off the far wall of the pipe and into a second water flow sensor that measures the time delay between pulses caused by the liquid.
One of the greatest advantages of some types of ultrasonic water flow meters is that they can be placed on installed pipes without cutting or interrupting service because no parts need to be placed on the inside to measure the liquid.
4. Magnetic Flow Meters (Electromagnetic Flow Meters)
Similar to ultrasonic water flow meters, some types of magnetic flow meters (also known as Magmeters) attach to the exterior of a pipe and don't require physical parts to be suspended in water. Flow sensors generate a magnetic field and electrodes read the rate of flow of the media as it passes. Additionally, magnetic water flow meters may come in complete packages that are unique, offering unobstructed flow through the meter as they have no moving parts to wear out.
Magnetic water flow meters are expensive but well-suited for industrial applications where the water flow gauges could be damaged by abrasives and contaminants within the water. Flow sensors utilizing magnets are also capable of measuring non-flammable, electrically conductive liquids.
5. Turbine Flow Meters
Turbine flow meters are one of the most basic and best values in digital water flow meters. Turbine meters typically contain a magnet inside one of the turbine blades. As the media flows through the meter and spins the turbine, a pickup coil detects the magnet passing with each turbine rotation. This creates a pulse that the computer converts to a flow rate and/or totalization of the media flowing through the meter.
Use GPImeters for Your Water Flow Gauges and Sensors
Regardless of your application or industry, GPImeters carries the water flow meters you need to get the job done. We stock everything from economy water flow gauges to ultra-precise meters for monitoring critical systems. High pressure, low pressure, high viscosity or low, GPImeters has water flow sensors for every type of media. Place your order online and get free ground shipping on our water flow meters today.Contact Us