electric flow switches

Flow measurement is essential in industrial processes that utilize liquids, gases, and steam. Since there are various types of fluids with varying properties and conditions, the plant operator must clearly understand the requirements of the flow system before selecting an electronic water flow meter. The flow switches are mechanical switches. That is activated or deactivated in response to the flow or absence of a fluid such as air or water.

This post will explain to you some flow meters available in the market today, focusing more on electric flow switches. Our aim is to help you have an easy time picking the right type of flow switch for your flow system. Read on for greater knowledge.

What is a Flow Measurement Switch?

Whether you measure solids, liquids, or gases, finding an ideal measuring solution will help you increase efficiency in your industrial system. When measuring, monitoring, or controlling flow, devices called flow switches are essential. They help get accurate and repeatable flow rate readings. These flow controlling instruments are designed to manipulate the flow of water or gases in a flow system. To simply put it, an electronic water flow meter controls the direction of a flow within a pipe or a flow channel.

Flow Switch Types and Their Applications 

With many types of flow switches, it is important that the plant operator chooses a reliable type of flow switch that matches the plant’s needs. Each category of flow switch type has a specific approach when controlling liquid or gas flow passing through a pipeline or a flow channel. Flow switches do this in measuring the volumetric, linear, nonlinear, linear, or mass flow rate of gases and liquids.

Considering the type of electronic water flow meter that you want to use and the flow system requirements is vital as it will determine the efficiency of the flow switch device. The different designs that flow switches make it hard for one flow meter to cater to all applications. That said, let’s look at the different flow switch types.

Water and Fluid Flow Switch Types 

Although most flow meter types are designed physically with pedals, others are direct to the flow channel where water or other fluid types pass through. The transducer gets the flow rate from the movement speed of the paddle. The transmitter then converts the information into action or signals. Here are some of the flow switches used in the liquid or gas industrial processes.

Water Pump Flow Switches 

Most flow switches used in water pumps work automatically to adjust the operational volume or speed of the attached electric pump in the flow system. This type of switch can send on or off signals to the pump. This is done by sensing the flow system’s gravitational movement and overall flow rate. The pump will then lower or raise the internal fluid pressure in the system. By doing so, it prevents pump damage during water supply failure.

Flow Switches Used in Sprinklers 

These types of liquid flow switches are often found in automated sprinkler systems used in fire systems. They are used to detect flow that exceeds the required set parameters. This shows that the sprinkler functionality within the flow system has been triggered.

A signal is then sent to the fire department to come and find out what is going on. A delay timer is usually incorporated with this system, which will only send out emergency signals if continuous flow interruption is detected. A delay timer is necessary for the sprinkler system to help prevent false-positive detections from harmless or unrelated pressure changes within the flow system.

Magnetic Flow Switch Types 

These types of flow switches work based on Faraday’s Law of Electromagnetic Induction. The law states that the voltage induced is proportional to the speed of movement. This happens when a conductor such as water goes through a magnetic field. By doing so, flow volume rate or the speed of water movement is obtained by generating a magnetic field from the conductor. Based on the given reading, an electronic water flow meter will trigger an action. These types of flow switches are usually found in wastewater plants because they function effectively with conductive fluids.

Inline water Flow Switches

Since it’s an integral part of the flow system, an inline water flow switch is usually installed permanently. This type of flow switch is contrasted with an ‘insertion’ flow switch. Insertion flow switches use an external paddle or probe which is not installed permanently in the flow system.


While using flow switches, the type of application or flow system will determine the choice of the flow switch. This means that the flow operator needs to understand the flow system needs to make the right decision. If you are unsure which type of flow switch is required in your flow system, consult a reliable vendor to get the best and high-quality flow switch solutions.