Flumes are the go-to primary device for most flow management operations. Because flumes come in a wide range of styles, they can be installed in almost every application imaginable, including outdoors. If you’re interested in installing a flume outdoors, however, you need to consider several factors, including how your device will hold up in cold weather.
Although there are certainly some risks when using your flume in cold weather applications, your device should be able to withstand these conditions, as long as you take the proper precautions. Here are some tips for helping you use a flume in cold weather so that you can maintain the accuracy of your readings and protect your device from harm.
Keeping Your Channel Clear
If you want to use a flume in cold weather, you need to prepare for several risks, including the chance that your channel will become blocked. Snow, ice and other wintry precipitation can quickly accumulate in your channel and will eventually block the channel completely and prevent flow from entering your flume.
To make sure that your flume functions correctly during the coldest months of the year, you need to perform regular maintenance on the upstream channel, the downstream channel, and the flume itself. Clearing the upstream channel will prevent flow bypass, and removing snow and ice from the downstream channel will stop flow from backing up into your flume. When you clean snow and ice from inside of your flume, make sure you don’t damage the device.
Protecting Measuring Tools
In addition to protecting your flume from the elements, you need to make sure that the tools that you use to take flow readings make it through the cold season. Many flow measurement tools, including bubbler lines, are at risk for ice buildup during the winter months. When this buildup occurs, your readings will be very inaccurate. When performing your regular maintenance, you should make sure that you clear any ice from your measurement tools so that these devices function properly.
Your primary concern during the cold season should be protecting your flume and other tools from ice and snow buildup. That being said, you should prepare for some other cold weather risks, including frost heave. With frost heave, the soil around your flume can move because of freezing ground water, which can move your flume out of its proper position. If you want to keep your flume in place and eliminate the risk of frost heave, you might want to add larger footings to your device. You could also add insulation around your flume, although this may not be as effective as adding footings.
Choose a Flume
If you want to use a flume in cold weather, you want the toughest, most reliable device possible, which is why you should browse the flume selection offered by Tracom, FRP. Our fiberglass flumes can hold up in the toughest conditions imaginable, including cold weather. We can talk with you about the needs of your flow management operation and help you choose a flume that will meet your requirements. Get in touch with a Tracom professional today to request a quote for one of our flumes.