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. 907-3748
Mfr. Part No.26615
SGD448.97
Each
units
Liquid Shuttle 1 gal/min 6 gal/min - 1 in 1 NPT Female 27.6bar Bronze, Stainless Steel - +37.8°C -29°C +93.3°C -
RS Stock No. 122-8443
Mfr. Part No.51590
SGD420.64
Each
units
Liquid Piston - 0.5 gal/min - 1/4 in 1/4 NPT Female 69bar Brass - - -29°C +148.9°C -
RS Stock No. 906-8106
Mfr. Part No.135805
SGD182.15
Each
units
Fluid, Liquid Shuttle - 0.5 gal/min - 1/2 in 1/2 NPT Female 8.3bar PVC +21 °C +37.8°C - +48.9°C -
RS Stock No. 122-8441
Mfr. Part No.51582
SGD420.64
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. 122-8444
Mfr. Part No.51594
SGD420.64
Each
units
Liquid Piston - 0.75 gal/min - 1/4 in 1/4 NPT Female 69bar Brass - - -29°C +148.9°C -
RS Stock No. 183-7327
Mfr. Part No.FTS-I200F14A
BrandSick
SGD524.62
Each
units
- Flow Sensor - - - - - 100bar - - - -40°C +70°C 100 mA
RS Stock No. 510-0559
BrandRS PRO
SGD344.92
Each
units
Liquid Piston Inline 0.04 L/min 0.13 L/min 200 V ac 1/4 in 1/4 BSP 300bar Brass - +100°C - +120°C 1 A
RS Stock No. 510-0565
BrandRS PRO
SGD344.92
Each
units
Liquid Piston Inline 0.1 L/min 0.6 L/min 200 V ac 1/4 in 1/4 BSP 300bar Brass - +100°C - +120°C 1 A
RS Stock No. 906-8285
Mfr. Part No.179993
SGD321.17
Each
units
Liquid Piston - 0.5 gal/min - 3/8 in 3/8 NPT Male 107bar Stainless Steel - - -28.8°C +135°C -
RS Stock No. 256-578
SGD101.08
Each
units
Liquid Control Valve 3 L/min 6 L/min 240 V ac 22 mm - 10bar - +5 °C +85°C +5°C +70°C -
RS Stock No. 906-8282
Mfr. Part No.179995
SGD629.67
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. 613-4244
BrandRS PRO
SGD317.16
Each
units
Gas, Liquid Paddle 14 L/min 18 L/min 250 V ac 25 mm 1 BSP Female 25bar Nickel Plated Brass - +110°C - +110°C 5 A
RS Stock No. 906-8301
Mfr. Part No.192562
SGD129.41
Each
units
Liquid Piston - 0.25 gal/min - 1/2 in 1/2 NPT Female 107bar Brass - - -28.8°C +135°C -
RS Stock No. 907-3802
Mfr. Part No.27056
SGD374.41
Each
units
Liquid Shuttle - 5 gal/min - 1 in 1 NPT Female 27.6bar Bronze, Stainless Steel - +37.8°C -29°C +148.9°C -
RS Stock No. 395-7202
Mfr. Part No.020-3491
SGD429.52
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. 906-7734
Mfr. Part No.V4-2-U
SGD535.70
Each
units
Air, Liquid Vane Operated 8 (liquid) gal/min, 32 (Air) gal/min 15 (liquid) gal/min, 65 (Air) gal/min 125/250 V ac 2 in 1-1/2 NPT Male 69bar Brass -20 °C +73°C -20°C +73°C 10 A
RS Stock No. 906-8294
Mfr. Part No.181130
SGD129.41
Each
units
Liquid Piston - 0.15 gal/min - 3/8 in 3/8 NPT Male 107bar Brass - - -28.8°C +135°C -
RS Stock No. 906-8086
Mfr. Part No.129660
SGD168.91
Each
units
Liquid Piston - 0.5 gal/min - 1/2 in 1/2 NPT Male 13.8bar Polypropylene +21.1 °C +65.5°C -17.8°C +100°C -
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