Transitioning Flow from Pipes to Flumes – Common Problems

Flumes are highly accurate flow management tools, and can be installed in almost every application imaginable. One of the biggest drawbacks of flumes, however, is it can be hard to successfully transition flow from a pipe into your device. The majority of flumes styles were not designed to connect pipes, and although you can make this transition using an end adapter, a variety of problems can occur, resulting in inaccurate readings. Here are some common problems that can occur when transitioning flow from pipes to flumes, and easy advice for correcting these issues.

Incorrect Flume Position

When you’re installing a flume, it’s important that your flow management device is positioned correctly. This is especially true when transitioning flow from a pipe because the flow entering your flume must be at the correct velocity and free from disturbances. Otherwise, your device will not function properly.

Installing your flume below the inlet pipe is one of the biggest problems when transitioning flow from pipes to flumes. If the flume is below the pipe, the flow will increase in velocity as it drops to enter the flume. As you can imagine, this will interfere with the functionality of your flume and impact your readings. During installation, ensure your flume is level with the inlet pipe to prevent this problem.

Slope of the Upstream Pipe

Another common problem when connecting a flume to a pipe is having an upstream channel that is much too steep. In addition to being tranquil, the flow entering your flume must be subcritical. This requirement has to do with how a flume functions. A flume is designed to accelerate subcritical flow to a critical state as it passes through the flume. If the flow is already at a critical state when it enters the flume, the device cannot function correctly.

When the slope of the upstream pipe is too steep, the flow will be speeding up as it enters the flume, meaning it won’t be in the proper subcritical state. When connecting your flume to a pipe, check the slope of the upstream channel to guarantee the subcritical state of the flow.

Issues in Flow Conditioning

Whether you’re installing a flume in a natural channel or connecting your flume to a pipe, you must be certain that the flow is distributed evenly across the upstream channel. Several issues exist that can prevent even flow distribution, however. In terms of piped transitions, if your pipe is too close to your flume’s diverging section, even flow distribution will be impossible.

If your flow is unevenly distributed because of a poor installation, there are no easy solutions to the problem. Generally, you will need to start your installation from scratch, which requires both time and money. Be very careful during flume and pipe installation so you won’t have to worry about this problem.

Get the Tools You Need

Now that you know about some common problems can occur when transitioning flow from pipes to flumes, you should be prepared for your installation. If you need help choosing the right flume for your system, you can shop with Tracom, FRP.

We offer a wide array of open channel flow tools, including flumes, and our decades of experience means we know how to help you find the products designed to match your needs. Contact Tracom today to get started.