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Water Flow Meters

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Water flow meters are designed to measure the flow rate of water, slurries, or other fluids that flow through a pipe or channel in cubic feet or cubic meters. The type of water flow meter used depends on the usage volume and environment. They are used at water sources and various parts of a water system to calculate the flow rate. In recent years, a great deal of emphasis has been placed on monitoring, measuring, and controlling the flow of water, which has led to the increased use of water meters. As technology has advanced and more sophisticated methods have been developed, the accuracy and reliability of water meters have significantly improved. Read More…

Water Flow Meters Water flow meters are designed for measuring flow rates of water in a variety of locations.
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Leading Manufacturers

Monterey, CA  |  831-373-0200

Sierra manufacturers high performance mass flow meters and controllers for nearly any gas, liquid or steam. Customers choose Sierra when they need an accurate and repeatable flow measurement, short delivery lead times, expert flow advice and long term support. When it matters, choose Sierra. Visit www.sierrainstruments.com.

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Sierra Instruments $$$

Sturtevant, WI  |  262-886-2695

SIKA is a developer and manufacturer of flow control products and a wide variety of other measuring and monitoring systems. Our inventory includes flow sensors, flow meters, flow switches, and many more. We know that flow solutions aren't one-size-fits-all, which is why we provide consultation and flow management solutions that are individualized and customized to your requirements. When you choose SIKA, you will receive efficient, durable products and customer service tailored to your needs.

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Kent, WA  |  800-975-8153

SeaMetrics, a flow meter manufacturer, produces turbine flow meters, paddle wheel flowmeters, insertion flow meters, low-flow meters, water flowmeters, pulse flowmeters, flow sensors and electronic controls.

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SeaMetrics, Inc. $$$

Huntersville, NC  |  800-325-1405

The flow meters that we are able to provide will withstand the tests of time in order to provide a long lasting value! We have locations in thirty five countries worldwide and we are dedicated to being wherever you need us to be! We have the knowledge and the capability to work with you closely in order to come up with the perfect product to suit your needs! Visit our website today to learn more about what we may do for you!

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Burkert Fluid Control Systems $$$

Wadsworth, OH  |  888-429-5538

Hawk Measurement (HAWK) is a manufacturer and supplier of several types of flow meter technologies such as variable area, magnetic, mass, positive displacement, ultrasonic, and open channel. Connect your flow meter to our CONNEX 3D™ wireless monitor to remotely monitor your application on a web portal, from anywhere in the world. Contact HAWK today for a complete, reliable, and cost-effective solution: (888) 429-5538 // www.hawkmeasure.com

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FLO-Corp $$$
placeholder image Sierra Instruments SIKA USA SeaMetrics, Inc. Burkert Fluid Control Systems FLO-Corp

water flow meter

Mechanical Water Meters

Mechanical water meters measure the flow rate by placing a mechanical mechanism in the flow stream, which can be a paddlewheel, displacement mechanism, or turbine. As the water flow passes through the water flow meter, the paddlewheel or turbine rotates. Its rotation determines the flow rate. Mechanical water flow meters are the most common and oldest water meters. They are highly accurate but wear down over time due to impurities in the water.

turbine mechanical water flow meter

Positive Displacement Mechanical Water Flow Meters

Positive displacement mechanical flow meters have a chamber that stops water flow. In the chamber is a revolving mechanism that rotates due to the force of the flow. The rate of the rotation of the mechanism determines the flow rate. Several types of positive displacement water flow meters include pistons, disks, vanes, and gears.

  • Piston – Piston-type flow meters have a piston connected to a fill cylinder that fills with water. Once the cylinder is full, it is removed by a stroke of the piston. The various strokes provide an analysis of the water's flow rate.
  • Gear – As the flow of water passes through, it rotates a gear to provide a flow rate.
  • Oval Gear – In an oval flow meter, the chamber contains two oval gears that trap the flow of water and rotate under the force of the flow. As the flow rate increases, the gears rotate faster.
  • Helical Gear – Helical gears have a spiral shape but function like an oval gear mechanical water flow meter where the water flow turns the gears. The rotation of the gears increases as the rate of the flow increases.
  • Nutating Disk – A nutating disk flow meter has a ball in its center with a disk placed through the middle of the ball. The flow of water fills the chamber with the ball and disk. Each time the chamber fills and empties determines the flow rate.
  • Rotary vane – An impeller holds two or more vanes that divide the area between the vanes into distinct sizes. Each rotation of the impeller determines the flow rate.
  • Diaphragm – For a diaphragm flow meter, the flow rate is determined by filling and emptying an oscillating diaphragm.
    various types of positive displacement water flow meters

Magnetic Water Flow Meters

Magnetic water flow meters, unlike mechanical flow meters, do not have moving parts but use a magnetic field to determine the flow rate. The principle of magnetic flow meters is that a fluid produces voltage as it passes through a magnetic field. The faster the fluid's movement, the greater the voltage produced. Therefore, the voltage produced is directly related to the movement of the water. There are certain restrictions regarding the use of magnetic flow meters. They have average accuracy and cannot be used for transfer purposes. In addition, magnetic water flow meters will not work with pure water.

Ultrasonic Water Flow Meters

Ultrasonic water flow meters use sound waves to calculate the flow rate of water. A power supply is necessary to power the ultrasonic waves used to measure the flow rate. They operate on the principle that a frequency shift of an ultrasonic signal is reflected by particles suspended in water while it is in motion, known as the doppler effect.

When water is not in motion, the reflected signal from the fluid is the same. However, the frequency changes under flowing conditions as the water moves faster and grows linearly. The increased frequency of the transmitted waves determines the flow rate.

In a non-doppler ultrasonic water flow meter, the ultrasonic waves are transmitted between transducers located upstream and downstream of the flow. During water flowing conditions, the upstream flow will move gradually and take longer than the downstream wave. As the water moves faster, a noticeable distinction develops between the upstream and downstream times. The variation in times is the flow rate.

types of ultrasonic water flow meters

Water Flow Meter Informational Video


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