Working Principle of Flow Switch and It’s 8 Best Application

Introduction to Flow Switch

If you want to work in a fluid industry and automatically control the system, you need a flow switch. But what is a flow switch?

And how does it work? We will answer this question in this article. All we want to do is give you as much information as you need to know about a flow switch and its application. Also, you will know if there’s a difference between a flow switch and a flow sensor.

What is a Flow Switch? 

A flow switch is a device that uses a paddle- or another moving part- that responds to a fluid flow by switching on and off.

In many applications, people refer to the flow switch as a pump. The fluid (liquid, steam, or gas) that passes through the switch displaces the paddle making the switch to command action. The most common action is switching on and off. However, some switches set off an alarm.

Some people refer to the flow sensors as flow switches. However, there is a slight difference between the two. When you ask what a flow switch is, you should get the answer above.

But, a flow sensor works under the same principle, only that it does not initiate any action. It will send signals and display the readings on a screen.

 What is a Flow Switch Working Principle?

First of all, you need to study the components of a flow switch to understand how it works. The majority of flow switches will have a magnetic trigger or a paddle.

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You connect the part to a circuit. Once it is set up, you place it on the channel in which the fluid will pass.

The fluid will displace the paddle or the magnetic trigger. It then sends a signal to a transducer, which is a secondary component to the system.

Once the signal gets to the transducer, it is pushed to a transmitter as readable data. The transmitter will measure the readings against the calibrated parameters. It then prompts the switch to do the task it is set to perform.

It is why a flow switch can monitor and control the flow of fluids through a channel. It also reports the flow rate of a fluid to a transmitter. Also, it ensures the fluid flow stays within the calibrated parameters.

When the flow of fluid drops to a certain level, or it shoots beyond the required level. The flow switch triggers an action to rectify the situation.

In some cases, the switch shuts down the parts of the whole system. The switch performs the task it was designed to do.

There is another category of switches that do not have a paddle or a moving part. They operate in a non-intrusive or ultrasonic manner.

They work by sending back a signal to the part that sent it. You work with these flow switches in fluids that are potential hazards or are contaminated. Also, these flow switches last longer as they are not subjected to wear and tear.

Different Types of Flow Switches and Their Applications

As we have seen in the section above, you can find flow switches with a paddle or magnetic sensor.

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However, others are non-intrusive, while the rest uses ultrasonic signals. Below are the flow switches in the market and their applications.

 Flow Switches for Water Pumps

What is a flow switch for water pumps? It is a tool that operates a pump attached to a liquid system.

It is automatic and has on-the-fly adjustments that work with the speed and volume of the flowing fluid. It switches the pump on and off depending on the liquid level in the tank.

 Flow Switches for Sprinklers

There are plenty of automatic sprinklers for overhead irrigation. They need a flow switch that controls the water flow through the sprinkler. They have a delay timer that sends a signal once the water flow stops for an extended time.

Paddle Water Flow Switches

Paddle flow switches are suitable for clean fluids. They send a signal once the paddle moves due to the speed and pressure of the liquid. These switches are reliable but will not function well when subjected to buildup and residue.

Paddle Air Flow Switches

These are quite similar to the paddle water flow switches. The only difference is that they are designed for gases.

Inline Water Flow Switches

An inline water flow switch is a part of the whole system. Once you install it, it will remain there permanently.

Also, you can use it alongside the insertion flow switch. These switches are complex and expensive to install.

Their maintenance is also costly. However, it has the ability to self calibrate to the fluid parameters once you install it.

Inline Air Flow Switches

This is a gaseous flow switch version of the inline water flow switches. They are hard to install but very accurate and efficient in their work.

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Air Flow Switches for Boilers

The airflow switch for boilers acts as a safety measure for the boiler system. A boiler auto-ignites once the fans rotate at a certain speed to expel waste gases from the system. If the pressure is lower, the boiler will not ignite until you address the problem.

Ducting and HVAC Air Flow Switches

HVAC and ducting systems highly depend on airflow switches. They also perform air handling, filter monitoring, and fan monitoring. Usually, they have a small paddle that triggers action.

Final word 

Have we replied to your question about what is a flow switch? With the information above, you know how flow switches work and what you need for your firm. Also, the maintenance depends on the available moving parts.

Author Bio

Naman Modi is a Professional Blogger, SEO Expert & Guest blogger at, He is an Award-Winning Freelancer & Web Entrepreneur helping new entrepreneur’s launches their first successful online business.

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