Every type of flow meter has its benefits, application, advantages, and disadvantages. But their very principle doesn’t change, and that is to measure.

There are several types of flow meters to choose from if you want to measure the water that runs through a pipe or in an Oilfield. It is essential to check the budget, maintenance, and application before choosing the right flow meter for you.

There are four flow meters that are most commonly used for measuring water, whether it is for industrial, residential, or commercial purposes. And before choosing what is best for you, it is vital to know its applications and benefits.

What is Water Flow Meter?

All industrial plants, commercial buildings, and residential areas require a supply of water. The public water system provides the water needed in all places to meet everyone’s water supply. To do this properly, they need to monitor the water by estimating the volume to be used and distributed, and see if they are providing enough for everyone.

The public water system needs to measure the water accurately which calls for the use of flow meters. In its primary sense, a water flow meter is installed in a water supply system or in the water pipelines to measure the water that passes through them. Typically, the water is measured as liters or cubic per hour.

Turbine Flow Meter

Probably the cheapest and low maintenance flow meter that can be used to measure water flow is a turbine flow meter. Not only is it the most practical choice in the Oil and Gas industry, but it is also among the most used flow meters across several sectors.

A turbine flow meter operates by measuring the water flow by the use of a rotating turbine, piston, propeller, shunt, or a paddle wheel. The volumetric flow is regulated by the movement of the turbine itself.

The volumetric flow of the water is then determined by the turbine’s RPM (revolutions per minute). It is essential to know that a turbine flow meter works best when dealing with uncontaminated water in a low and steady flow. Measuring contaminated water can be a hassle since it damages the structure and integrity of the flow meter.

Electromagnetic Flow Meter

An electromagnetic flowmeter operates by the use of a magnetic field along with using Faraday’s law of induction to measure the flow of water. As the liquid passes through the tube with a magnetic field, it creates a charge. And as the water pressure increases, the voltage will increase as well. The flow rate is determined by the energy the pressure is giving off.

However, one of the concerns of using an electromagnetic flowmeter is its accuracy. Also, it doesn’t work well with pure water as it does not contain any ions. Before using this flow meter, make sure that the situation meets the standards of using an electromagnetic flowmeter.

Ultrasonic Flow Meters

Ultrasonic flowmeters measure the flow rate of a liquid by the use of ultrasound. An ultrasonic flow meter operates by sending a signal both upstream and downstream. The meter then compares both the travel time of the signals and is used to determine the flow’s velocity. After that, the meter then finds out the volumetric flow with the data given.

Ultrasonic flow meters are capable of being used in a wide range of processes, especially with big pipes. This flow meter has a clamp-on feature that measures the volumetric flow rate of the water outside the pipe that sends signals through the walls of the pipeline.

Vortex Flow Meter

Vortices are the swirls that you see in a body of water when two flows meet in a similar location or when water encounters an object. With this idea, vortex flowmeters use a sensor tab that will flex from side to side whenever a vortex passes by inside the pipe. The frequency that the sensor tab gives is directly proportional to the volumetric flow of the water.

There is also a version of the vortex flowmeter, which is called a multivariable vortex flow meter. It measures five different processes at once: volumetric flow, density, pressure, mass flow, and temperature. There also exists another kind of vortex flow meter called insertion vortex flow meter. They are inserted into pipes with a large diameter by hot tapping a retractor.


The best flow meter that should be used depends a lot on the specific situation and environment. Each type of flow meter has its application and standards to be met in order for them to be used correctly. Before choosing one, make sure to evaluate all factors that needed to be reviewed. Be sure to read up all the information about flow meters from smartmeasurement to know all the things you need.

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