Water Flow Meter

water flow meter

Do I need a water flow meter for my home irrigation system?

At Bekmar Irrigation, we understand all too well that you might be pretty tired of being marketed at continuously. Back in the 70s, it was reported that the average person saw between 500 to 1600 ads per day. Today that number has skyrocketed to between 4000 to 10 000 advertisements every day, depending on how many media channels you frequently visit. That’s a lot.

Suffice it to say, we don’t sell our clients things they don’t need, and we won’t ever try to upsell you on a piece of equipment that falls outside of your express requirements. Which brings us to water flow meters, and whether you need one for your home irrigation system. Most commercial irrigation systems have a flow meter installed to keep track of water usage, but smaller home systems don’t necessarily come part and parcel with this measurement tool. So, do you need one?

The short answer is that a water flow meter is very useful, but your home irrigation system could operate without it. The long answer is there are many benefits associated with the installation of a water meter, even on very small systems. Here are a few of those benefits:

The benefits of installing a water flow meter

  1. It helps you to save water. The major water restrictions we faced a few years ago may be suspended for the time being, but water will never again be a plentiful resource, especially in drought-prone countries like South Africa. Water has also become incredibly expensive, even if you are only irrigating a home garden or small growth operation. A water flow meter can help you to keep track of your usage and save you from any nasty surprises when the monthly municipal bill arrives.  
  2. It shows whether your water-saving initiatives are successful. If you are gathering rain- or grey water to supplement the municipal water you use for home irrigation, you may not have any way of knowing whether your conservation tactics are working. With flow sensors, you can measure exactly how much water you are putting out at all times.
  3. You’ll know if your sprinkler heads are clogged. A water flow meter will pick up if your sprinkler heads aren’t fully operational. This will allow you to fix it before any of your plants start to suffer due to a lack of resources.
  4. You’ll be able to keep your landscape healthy and beautiful. Overwatering is just as dangerous for plants as under-watering. With a flow meter in the mix, you’ll be able to gauge whether certain zones are being overwatered.
  5. And so much more! Ask a Bekmar representative for more info if you need it.

What kind of water flow meter should I get?

The two most commonly-used flow meters that feature on home irrigation systems are electromagnetic and propeller. Mechanical propeller meters have been in use since the early 1900s, and are still very popular in South Africa and around the globe, particularly in the USA. However, it can be a little expensive to repair. Contemporary electromagnetic flow meters are battery powered can be used for remote irrigation applications. It also takes up less space and there aren’t any moving parts that can wear out.

So, which kind is best for you? Here are a few questions to ask yourself when choosing a water flow meter:

  1. What kind of water are you pumping? Mechanical meters work fine in clean water, but if you’re dealing with water from a pond, lagoon or borehole, a magnetic flow meter will provide a more accurate reading.
  2. What is your flow range? A propeller meter needs a certain minimum flow to get the system going fast enough to get an accurate reading. It can also be damaged if the flow range is too low. Magnetic flow meters don’t have this issue.
  3. What is the size of your line? The size of your line determines the style of water flow meter that will be best suited to your needs. Both mechanical and magnetic meters are available in full bore and insertion-style configurations, the latter of which is the better option for larger line sizes.

Find out more about water flow meters from Bekmar

Feeling a little overwhelmed with choice? No problem – we’re here to help. Please feel free to get in touch with the Bekmar team. One of our knowledgeable consultants will be happy to provide you with the info you require. We look forward to discussing your water flow meter needs, as well as finding and providing a cost-effective measurement solution that will round off your home irrigation system to perfection.

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