If you’re looking to get accurate readings out of your flow meter, the first place to start is in flow meter maintenance. Your flow meter will only perform as well as you treat it, and inaccurate readings can start when a flow meter isn’t properly taken care of. Between installation, usage and calibration, there are a lot of areas to look after when it comes to proper flow meter maintenance.
Accuracy and efficiency of a flow meter can be affected by where the device is installed. The best place to install a flow meter is where there are few straight, unobstructed pipeline, both upstream and down. It’s important to make sure that when installing a flow meter for liquid service that the meter will always be filled with liquid, in order to have no gas or vapors effect the accuracy. The opposite is true if installing the flow meter for gas or vapor service. Installation is the first step to ensuring proper flow meter maintenance.
Specific rules for proper usage will vary by meter, so be sure to check with the manufacturer on special usage instructions for your flow meter. In general, however, there are three main things you should be aware of when using your meter to ensure proper flow meter maintenance.
- Be sure that your flow meter is correctly calibrated at all times
- Your flow meter should be calibrated to the conditions under which it will be used. If needed, the meter should have compensations applied for any deviations.
- The flow meter accuracy requirements should be defined based on your intended application. An instrument cannot give an accuracy in which it is not designed to give.
The most important aspect of flow meter maintenance is ensuring the instrument is calibrated. The number one reason a flow meter will become inaccurate is if it is not properly calibrated. There are numerous reasons why a flow meter can be thrown off of calibration, as well. Deposits of salt or other minerals can cause a flow meter to drift, chemical wearing, age of a meter, change in fluid property between calibrations, extreme temperatures or abuse of the meter such as dropping it even if the outside seems undamaged. Calibration should occur on a regular basis for proper flow meter maintenance. Further, the best way to assure that the meter is properly calibrated is by sending it to an accredited facility.
If you are in an industry that must have accuracy at all times, proper flow meter maintenance is a must. To keep your flow meter in the best condition, installation, usage and calibration should be paid attention to and treated with care.