Flow rate can be measured in several ways when using a flume or weir box, but one of the most common methods is with a staff gauge. These simple measuring devices don’t require advanced technology or power; you just need a clear line of sight. While convenient, they won’t last forever. Whether worn down over time or otherwise damaged, they’ll have to be replaced eventually. Here’s everything you need to know about replacing staff gauges.
Adhesive Staff Gauges
If you’re looking for easy installation, there’s nothing quite like an adhesive staff gauge. All you have to do is stick it to the wall of your flume or weir box at the right spot, and it’ll start offering measurements immediately. These gauges may come with the adhesive already applied, or you might have to apply it in the field. No matter which scenario you’re dealing with, however, the process isn’t difficult.
When applying an adhesive staff gauge, there are a few factors to consider. The surface that the gauge is being applied to must be smooth and clean. No bumps or debris can be behind the gauge. Otherwise, the readings will be off because the gauge’s measurements can look distorted from a distance. That also means that water can’t be on the surface behind the gauge. It’s generally best to use residue cleaners behind the application area, then dry the spot before applying. During the application, make sure to smooth out any air bubbles as well.
Mechanically Fastened Staff Gauges
While adhesive staff gauges function almost like stickers, mechanically fastened staff gauges are much more rigid. These gauges must be connected to the surrounding flume or weir box wall, usually through brackets or fasteners. Thanks to their rigidity and non-adhesive nature, you won’t have to worry about prepping the flume first because they don’t need a clean surface to stick to. This is especially helpful if there’s no convenient way to stop the flow in a flume or weir box during installation.
If you’re looking for longevity, mechanically fastened staff gauges are generally the better option. Adhesive gauges have to be completely flat when installed or the flow will eventually rip them off the surface. Additionally, a rigid, mechanically fastened staff gauge can be easily outfitted with protective coatings on all sides, while an adhesive gauge can only be coated on its outward surface.
When you have to replace your staff gauge, it’s important to consider the material of your replacement device, whether you’re opting for an adhesive or molded staff gauge. Durability should be your primary concern, of course, but sheer durability compared to cost is hard to measure considering the variety of flows people have to deal with.
Imagine you have a particularly caustic flow to measure. In that scenario, it may be best to opt for a stainless steel staff gauge. In other instances, however, a fiberglass molded staff gauge can get the job done and resist more corrosive flow properties. Don’t forget to consider the type of protective coating that is on the new gauge as well.
Staff Gauges From Tracom
When you’re replacing staff gauges, you can find the perfect replacement at Tracom. Our selection of staff gauges includes both adhesive and mechanically fastened gauges that can be customized to fit your unique flume or weir box conditions. Contact us today to get started!