Common Problems with Flume Installation

parshall flume

A proper installation is the key to having a flume function correctly and offer the accurate flow rate measurements you need. While other factors still play a major role, of course, improper installation can throw off measurements even for flumes that would otherwise be the perfect fit for your flow channel. Check out the common problems with flume installation and discover some things you should try to avoid.

Flume Is Off-Center

One of the most common installation problems is failing to properly center the flume. In order for the flow rate to be tranquil and uniform when it reaches the point of measurement, the flume needs to be centered in the flow channel. When it’s not, the flow will have to come in at an angle, which creates turbulence and makes any readings inherently misleading. Additionally, the flow may fail to transition to supercritical, remaining subcritical throughout the entire channel.

Upstream Conditions Are Poor

Criticality is essential for flume measurements to be accurate. If the flow is already supercritical by the time it reaches the flume, all your measurements are going to be thrown off significantly, rendering the entire endeavor useless. When you’re looking for the best place to install a flume, you’ll need to make sure it has favorable upstream conditions. Failing that, however, you can implement several flow conditioners if necessary. Of course, the best strategy would be to optimize the location as much as possible before utilizing flow conditioners.

Channel Is Closed

In order for a flume to function properly, it must be set within an open channel. If the channel is closed, you’re not going to find any reliable measurements from the flume. Put simply, an open channel is one in which the liquid is free-flowing with free surface, while a closed channel is pressurized. A full pipe flow would be pressurized by default, so if you’re installing a flume in a pipe system, you’ll need to make sure the flow within has a free surface. Keep in mind that pressurization is still a problem even if it occurs intermittently.

Flume Isn’t Level

Leveling the flume is absolutely necessary no matter what kind of flume style you opt for. It must be level from both front to back and from side to side. There are some workarounds to this depending on the type of flume you have. If you have a Cutthroat Flume or Parshall flume, for example, there are some alterations you can make to still get reasonably accurate measurements. These alterations are for flumes that have shifted over time, however, as there’s never a reason for a flume to be installed unlevel to begin with.

Get Your Flume With Tracom

Now that you know the common problems with flume installation to avoid, it’s time to get one of your own. At Tracom, our team will work with you to find the best fiberglass flume for your flow channel conditions whether something in our catalog fits or you need something custom-made just for you. Contact us today to get started!