Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Ultrasonic Flow meter

Options
RayWohlfarth
RayWohlfarth Member Posts: 1,552
Has any tried using an ultrasonic flow detector to measure water flow through a hydronic pipe If so what do you use? 
Thanks
Ray Wohlfarth
Boiler Lessons

Comments

  • Brent H.
    Brent H. Member Posts: 161
    Options
    @RayWohlfarth

    There was a thread about this subject back in 2017 that might get you started:

    https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/160915/ultrasonic-flow-meters
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,241
    Options
    No but I'd love to get one. Mad Dog
  • RayWohlfarth
    RayWohlfarth Member Posts: 1,552
    Options
    Thanks @Brent H. I will check it out
    @Mad Dog_2 I have always been intrigued by the technology since it first came out I remember the first ones couldn't do water and they were expensive
    Ray Wohlfarth
    Boiler Lessons
  • 109A_5
    109A_5 Member Posts: 1,388
    Options
    Hello @RayWohlfarth,

    Years ago I've seen them on the pipes in a Wastewater lift station. The paint on the pipes had to be removed to accommodate where the sensors were mounted. Seemed to work good when the pump(s) started up.
    National - U.S. Gas Boiler 45+ Years Old
    Steam 300 SQ. FT. - EDR 347
    One Pipe System
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,833
    Options
    Ultrasonics.... Don't waste your money. Highly inaccurate. They don't work with glycol or if there are any bubbles in the pipe. Been there done that. Just inaccurate

    We had a job with a 250 ton chiller. Carrier start up guy showed low flow going through the chiller barrel by liquid filled gauges on the chiller. We did have low flow the "engineer" undersized the pump head. Had a balancer there with an ultrasonic said the flow was fine......it wasn't.

    We pulled the tags off the existing evaporator coils in the two AHUs and called the MFG. The PD through those coils was much more than what the "engineer" thought. We got it going by changing the pump impeller but it was still borderline low. Customer wouldn't pay for a larger pump (the right fix) so it stayed that way because engineers don't make mistakes and he got the pump he specified.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,472
    Options
    There are a lot of online rental places for portable flowmeters, if you want to try before you buy.

    After much research and opinions were just bought an Onicon for portable work.
    https://www.onicon.com/process/ultrasonic-flow-meters

    We will use it mainly for determining DHW loads for sizing and troubleshooting mixing valves. Also for hydronic troubleshooting. I suspect it will be as handy as a good thermal imaging camera for accurate date.

    Unfortunately ours will be in the Milwaukee office, so not much availability for me.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • RayWohlfarth
    RayWohlfarth Member Posts: 1,552
    Options
    @109A_5 They intrigue me and I wondered how they worked
    @EBEBRATT-Ed Guess you answered my question. LOL Thanks
    @hot_rod Thanks I was thinking it would be helpful is diagnosing a trouble hydronic loop
    Ray Wohlfarth
    Boiler Lessons
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,472
    Options
    There are pros and cons to all the different types of flowmeters. We have a Badger brand at the lab in Milwaukee. I compared it to a certified turbine style, a BTU meter and the Quicksetter.
    On new copper pipe with a Discal air purger they were all within a few %.

    Air in the fluid does throw off the ultrasonic, and if the cuffs are not attached properly.

    https://www.rfwireless-world.com/Terminology/Advantages-and-Disadvantages-of-Ultrasonic-Water-Meter.html
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • RayWohlfarth
    RayWohlfarth Member Posts: 1,552
    Options
    @hot_rod Your wealth of knowledge amazes me. Thank you sir
    Ray Wohlfarth
    Boiler Lessons