The flow switch is an instrument used to control the flow of liquids and send a signal to other devices. These devices are a pump to protect them. A Flow switch is also called a flow sensor, and you can use them to measure the flow of liquids, gases, and steam. You can also use flow switches to trigger an alarm and give protection to a system.
All flow switches are flow meters, but not all meters are flow switches. This is because they cannot control the flow rate. The switch has a valve body, a sensing device, and a switching unit connected to a pipeline. Flow switches are used to sense the flow of fluids through a valve contained in the switch. Flow switches are mainly used for inflow or blockage detection, and you can also use them in reservoirs and tank storage systems to ensure the continuous flow of liquids. You can find large flow switches in commercial and large buildings.
The Working Principle of a Flow Switch
To understand how flow switches work and what they do, it is essential to outline the things that make up a flow switch. Most flow switches will include a paddle or a magnetic trigger of some kind, which is then connected to a circuit and is then put in the path where liquids or gases pass. The liquid flowing through the pipe will rotate this paddle. After rotating, it will then send the signal reading back to a secondary component referred to as a transducer.
The transducer will then take this actual signal from the paddle and will then pass it on to a transducer in a readable way. Flow switches can monitor, report, and control the flow of liquids in a system. There are different types of flow switches. Each flow switch works differently, and they are also used for different applications. Not all flow switches consist of a physical paddle. A non-intrusive version of flow switches such as ultrasonic is common. They operate by bouncing a signal back off the fluid being controlled. They are usually used where the fluid is contaminated, physically destroying, or if the fluid is dangerous. It is also for meters that do not have moving parts that may tear or wear.
Variable area flow switches are the simplest, and they use a pipe with an afloat. The float will allow or restrict the free flow of fluids. Several types of magnetic flow switches are available and can also be effective in many applications as long as the fluid can conduct electricity.
How to Install and Test a Flow Switch
There are different types of flow switches, and also you can install them in many different ways. Before installing a flow switch for your application, always make sure to understand the type of flow switch you are using. Also, make sure you understand the purpose of the installation.
When installing a flow switch, there are some basic rules that you should apply. These rules are;
· Installing the flow switches in a straight section of the tube
· Ensure that there is a perfect length of straight pipe both in front and back of the flow switch. It should be equivalent to ten times the diameter of the pipe.
· Make sure not to install the flow switch near the bends or other fittings. Also, avoid installing them near the valves, narrow or wide sections of the tube, or any other features that cause disturbances in the flow of liquids.
The exact way of installing flow switches depends on the type of switch that you are using. To understand the testing process of a switch, you will have to know what you are testing for. Mostly, you can confirm if the flow switch is working well by observing it in action and checking that the correct responses are triggered when the flow of liquids starts or stops. In some cases, you will need an ohmmeter to determine the flow switch’s resistance and confirm that there is a complete circuit that has been registered when the switch is activated.
Types of Flow Switches
There are many types of flow switches in the market today. Each one of these switches is different and measures different types of flow. Before you buy a flow switch, make sure you understand the type that you want. Also, make sure to use a flow switch where it is needed. Using flow switches for wrong applications will lead to poor performance.
Mechanical Flow Switches
Mechanical flow switches are switches that have more than one moving part. These switches are directly triggered by the medium they monitor. These meters usually work by using the movement of components that cause a complete circuit. This will then trigger the action required. The paddle types flow switches are a typical example of mechanical flow switches. Always test these flow switches often and replace them when needed because they may lead to wear and tear.
Paddle Type Flow Switches
Paddle type flow is a type of mechanical flow switch. This switch is usually activated by pressure from the fluid passing in the pipe into which you inserted the switch. The paddle is usually a tiny piece of metal or plastic hanging in the tube and is either fixed in a tensioned spring or a series of magnets.
Vane Type Flow Switches
Vane-type flow switches are intended for regular supervision of liquid flow through pipelines. In addition to general environments, these flow switches can be used in unfavorable weather conditions. If you are finding the Best type of flow switch, I’ll prefer to buy this type of flow switch for better results.
Flow switches come in many types. Before you choose one of your applications, always make sure to use it where needed. Doing will help them to work appropriately and also give you the best results. Flow switches also come in different brands. It is always good to seek advice from the sellers to direct you to the right switch.