Flow Switches

A flow switch are flowmeter devices used to measure the flow rate and pressure of liquid, gas or vapour that passes through them. They measure flow rates over a set time, or they can continually measure the medium passed through. They operate by sending signals to another component elsewhere in the system (e.g. pumps) telling it to stop/start in order to adjust flow rate and pressure to the desired and programmed levels.

Common types of flow switches

  • Water: uses a paddle (physical or ultrasonic), for water pumps and sprinklers.
  • Gas and air: HVAC and ducting, paddle air, boilers, inline air flow switches
  • Thermal dispersion: involves a sensor probe, allows the rate of gas or liquid flow to be calculated according to how quickly heat is carried away by the molecules flowing past.
  • Oil: can operate at higher temperatures with robust seals and housing.
  • Ultrasonic, Magnetic: emits an ultrasonic signal to the medium, this is then bounced back and converted by the primary device. Commonly used in dirty applications such as wastewater
  • Mechanical: need to be tested regularly as continual movements of parts will lead to wear and tear.
  • PVC: basic type ideal where a quick visual confirmation of flow/no flow status is needed. Designed for cleaning and maintenance.
  • Industrial: larger more robust so can withstand higher volumes, pressure and flow rates, designed for heavily contaminated or hazardous materials.
  • Pneumatic: for applications where there is a necessary pressure differential between different areas of ducting.
  • Adjustable: quickly and easily recalibrate the desired flow settings
  • Rotary: functions as a basic turbine, ideal for low flow liquid monitoring.

Some basic rules to install a flow switch:

  • Install on a straight section of pipe or duct
  • Make sure there is a good length of straight pipe in front and behind the switch
  • Avoid fitting or wiring near to bends, other fittings, valves, drains, narrower or wider sections of pipe

Each type of flow switch has its own specific applications and installation constraints. The way to select the right one is to think about the application as a guide, not the technology. Starting with the application, will help to select the technology based on accuracy, cost, durability and reliability, rather than trying to make the technology fit the application you have.


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Description Price Media Monitored Device Type Minimum Flow Rate Maximum Flow Rate Supply Voltage Pipe Diameter Range Connection Type Maximum Pressure Material Minimum Media Temperature Maximum Media Temperature Minimum Operating Temperature Maximum Operating Temperature Current Rating
RS Stock No. 510-0571
BrandRS PRO
TWD7,389.00
Each
units
Liquid Piston Inline 0.5 L/min 3 L/min 200 V ac 1/4 in 1/4 BSP 300bar Brass - +100°C - +120°C 1 A
RS Stock No. 744-0717
Mfr. Part No.PFM750S-C8-A-W
BrandSMC
TWD8,911.00
Each
units
Dry Air, Gas Integrated Display 1 L/min 50 L/min 24 V dc 8 mm One-Touch Fitting 750kPa PBT 0 °C +50°C 0°C +50°C -
RS Stock No. 395-6940
Mfr. Part No.166701
TWD1,838.00
Each
units
Liquid Piston - 0.2 L/min 120 240 V ac/dc 1/4 in 1/4 BSP 10bar Noryl - +100°C - +100°C -
RS Stock No. 395-7202
Mfr. Part No.020-3491
TWD9,351.00
Each
units
Liquid Shuttle 7.5 L/min 30 L/min 250 V 1 in 1 BSP 27bar Bronze - - -20°C +80°C -
RS Stock No. 395-7173
Mfr. Part No.020-0315
TWD4,881.00
Each
units
Liquid Piston 0 L/min 55 L/min 220 V 3/8 in 3/8 BSP 0.3bar Brass - - - +90°C -
RS Stock No. 780-0282
Mfr. Part No.FSVPLC30
BrandCynergy3
TWD3,583.00
Each
units
Liquid In-line - 80 L/min 5 V ac G1 1 BSP Female 8bar Brass - +85°C - +85°C -
RS Stock No. 395-7016
Mfr. Part No.166703-A
TWD1,578.00
Each
units
Gas Piston - 158 L/min 120 240 V ac/dc 1/4 in 1/4 BSP 10bar Noryl - +100°C - +100°C -
RS Stock No. 122-8438
Mfr. Part No.26600
TWD8,407.00
Each
units
Liquid AdjustableShuttle 0.75 gal/min 4 gal/min - - 3/4 NPT Female 27.6bar Bronze - - -29°C +82.2°C -
RS Stock No. 906-8327
Mfr. Part No.197082
TWD2,168.00
Each
units
Liquid Piston - 0.5 gal/min - 3/8 in 3/8 NPT 8.6bar Glass Reinforced Polypropylene - +21°C -18°C +100°C -
RS Stock No. 744-0701
Mfr. Part No.PFM710S-C4-B-W
BrandSMC
TWD9,423.00
Each
units
Dry Air, Gas Integrated Display 0.2 L/min 10 L/min 24 V dc 4 mm One-Touch Fitting 750kPa PBT 0 °C +50°C 0°C +50°C -
RS Stock No. 613-4216
BrandRS PRO
TWD5,685.00
Each
units
Gas, Liquid Paddle 4 L/min 5.5 L/min 250 V ac 10 mm 3/8 BSP Female 25bar Nickel Plated Brass - +110°C - +110°C 5 A
RS Stock No. 906-8207
Mfr. Part No.168432
TWD4,469.00
Each
units
Liquid Piston - 0.25 gal/min - 3/8 in 3/8 NPT Male 107bar Brass - - -28.8°C +135°C -
RS Stock No. 906-8342
Mfr. Part No.197094
TWD2,165.00
Each
units
Liquid Piston - 1.5 gal/min - 1/4 in 1/4 QDC 8.6bar Glass Reinforced Polypropylene - +21°C -18°C +100°C -
RS Stock No. 907-3701
Mfr. Part No.25359
TWD18,662.00
Each
units
Gas, Liquid Piston 0.5 gal/min 20 gal/min - 1/2 in 1/2 NPT Female 69bar Brass - - -29°C +148.9°C -
RS Stock No. 122-8441
Mfr. Part No.51582
TWD9,439.00
Each
units
Liquid Piston - 0.1 gal/min - 1/4 in 1/4 NPT Female 69bar Brass - - -29°C +148.9°C -
RS Stock No. 907-3773
Mfr. Part No.26941
TWD11,595.00
Each
units
Gas, Liquid Piston - 0.045 gal/min - 1/4 in 1/4 NPT Female 69bar Brass - - -29°C +148.9°C -
RS Stock No. 613-4238
BrandRS PRO
TWD5,970.00
Each
units
Gas, Liquid Paddle 5.5 L/min 7 L/min 250 V ac 15 mm 1/2 BSP Female 25bar Nickel Plated Brass - +110°C - +110°C 5 A
RS Stock No. 906-8282
Mfr. Part No.179995
TWD13,934.00
Each
units
Liquid Piston - 1.5 gal/min - 3/8 in 3/8 NPT Male 107bar Stainless Steel - - -28.8°C +135°C -
RS Stock No. 744-0714
Mfr. Part No.PFM725S-C6-B-W
BrandSMC
TWD9,423.00
Each
units
Dry Air, Gas Integrated Display 0.5 L/min 25 L/min 24 V dc 6 mm One-Touch Fitting 750kPa PBT 0 °C +50°C 0°C +50°C -
RS Stock No. 849-9398
Mfr. Part No.PFM711-N02L-A-A
BrandSMC
TWD9,344.00
Each
units
Dry Air, Gas Integrated Display 2 L/min 100 L/min 24 V dc 1/4 in NPT 1MPa PBT 0 °C +50°C 0°C +50°C -