What is a Flow Switch and How Does It work? 

What is a Flow Switch and How Does It work

What is a Flow Switch and How Does It work? 

Meta Description:- Curious to know what a flow switch is and how it works? Read this article to find out more about a water flow switch and how it works in various industries.


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The market is filled with all kinds of measuring tools for measuring matter, mass, and length. In this article, we are focusing on particular water flow measuring equipment called water flow switches. Before we proceed, let’s first define what a water flow meter is.


What is a Waterflow Switch?

Also called a flow indicator or sensor, a water flow switch is used to measure the flow pressure and rate of liquids or gas using a system loop or duct. Water flow switches are used to monitor the flow of water continuously or for a period.

If we will focus on the technical part of a flow meter, then it is not truly a flow switch since it only displays reports. The proper name for such a device is either an indicator or a meter.

To adjust the flow pressure and rate to optimum levels, water flow switches may most often start or stop other components or trigger actions in other parts of the system. Compared to a water flow meter that only records data, a water flow switch does more than making it a true flow switch.

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How does a Waterflow Switch work?

Now that we have defined what a water flow switch is, we will move to its works. We will briefly explain various components that make up a water flow switch to help us with that.

You will find components such as a paddle or a magnetic trigger in many kinds of water flow switches. These are found inside the primary device. The primary tool is usually connected to a circuit and a channel where the liquid or gas passes.

The substance that flows through the pipe rotates the paddle. Signals from the paddle are sent back to a second component called the transducer. The transducer transforms the raw signal from the paddle into a readable format and passes it to the transmitter. Within the set parameters, the transmitter will then measure the reading. If there is any action required to change the device’s behavior, the transmitter will take it.

When this happens, it allows the water flow to switch to monitor, report, and control, through specific parts, the flow rate of liquid or gas. The water flow switch also ensures the flow stays within the pre-set parameters by monitoring the entire system.

A series of actions are triggered when the flow goes below or beyond the required levels. These actions include powering the pump, diverting flow, shutting off parts of the system, or activating an alarm.

The type of water flow switch and what it was designed for will determine the action(s) that the switch will take. The physical paddle is not always found in all water flow meters—some non-intrusive versions of flow switches such as ultrasonic bounce back off signal of the monitored medium.

Such flow switches are commonly used where the liquid or gas is physically damaging, contaminated, or hazardous. They are also preferred where there are no moving parts exposed to wear and tear.

We also have other simple water flow devices with tapered tubes and afloat to restrict, measure, and allow free water flow. The type of liquid flow switch you want to use will determine how it’s going to be installed. The same applies to testing the accuracy of a device that is already installed. Before you test a machine, you need to know the exact parameters you are trying it for.

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Mostly, observing the device while it’s working will tell you whether the flow switches as required or not. You can also confirm if it’s working well by checking its response when water starts or stops flowing.

Sometimes, using an ohmmeter allows you to confirm whether there is a complete circuit by measuring the device’s electronics’ resistance. This is done when the liquid flow switch is activated. You may be forced to replace or repair the water flow switch if the two steps don’t work.

Flow switches used in public places such as a fire station should be tested regularly to ensure that they are operating at optimum levels.

What is a Flow Switch and How Does It work

Types of Flow Switches

We have various types of water flow switches in the market today. These vital tools used a different approach when measuring volumetric, linear, mass, or nonlinear flow of liquid and gas. Understanding the type and application of the liquid flow switch required is the first thing you need to consider before buying a flow switch.

One variety of flow switch won’t perform all kinds of measurements to the required standards. To get accurate results, you need the right flow switch for the right job.


Water and Fluid Flow Switches 

Paddles are used to run most water flow switches. Although most flow switches use physical paddles, we also have ultrasonic, which is also placed where the liquid passes. The paddle’s speed indicates the flow rate to the transducer. The information is then translated into a signal by the transmitter.

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Types of Water Flow Switches

We had several kinds of water flow switches in the market today. Let’s look at two of them.


  • Water Flow Switch for Pumps 

This kind of liquid flow switch is designed to automatically adjust the volume or speed transfer on-the-fly. It is used with an electric pump placed within the system. The button will then send on or off signals to the pump by sending the system’s overall gravitational movement and water flow rate. This action will then lower or raise the internal water pressure of the system.


  •  Sprinkler Flow Switches 

This type of liquid flow switch is used in automatic fire sprinkler systems. It detects whether the water passing through the pipeline and valves exceeds a specific flow rate, which will trigger the sprinkler system.



Water flow switches have made it easier to regulate and improve water flow rates to minimize or stop water wastage. We hope to satisfy your curiosity about what a waterflow switch is and how it works.

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