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Water flow meters are necessary to measure and regulate surface and groundwater use in new and existing agricultural irrigation operations. This has been endorsed by water agencies around the world. Resources must be conserved, water needs of agriculture must be balanced with those of other industries, and household use. This is now more important than ever, for water conservation.

Every irrigation system owner should have a proper flow meter placed on their irrigation system. Flow meters detect the amount of water that is flowing through the irrigation system, a measurement that is necessary for proper system programming. This can help the system to ensure that the right amount of moisture is maintained in the soil, while also conserving water. The flow meters also aid in the identification of systemic issues including leaks and obstructions.

There are two types of flow meters that are offered by agricultural irrigation system providers to meet a range of systems:

  • Mechanical propeller meters
  • Electromagnetic meters

Consider these important recommendations while choosing the best irrigation flow meter for your particular requirements.

  1. Use of Irrigation Systems
    How and where the irrigation system is being utilised, are two very important factors to consider when selecting irrigation system components, such as a flow meter:
    • What is the medium? – Electromagnetic meters are a superior option because mechanical meters work better with clear, clean water sources than with sources like groundwater, ponds, or others where debris, plant matter, and other materials might block them.
    • Does the meter need to output a signal? – In order to connect with the data tracking component of the irrigation system, many meters, including some mechanical meters, must send a signal output. These criteria must guide the flow meter selection.
    • What is the line size? – Propeller meters typically require more installation area than electromagnetic meters due to their bigger size and associated add-ons like strainers etc. Both are offered by irrigation system service providers, but electromagnetic flowmeters score when one needs a full bore flowmeter.
    • What is the maximum and minimum Flow Range? – Mechanical meters need a minimum flow range to turn the propeller, and they can be damaged if the flow rate is too high and the propeller is spun too quickly. Flow rate has no effect on magnetic meters. Hence these can handle very low or high flow rates.
  2. Is accuracy important?
    Mechanical meters are typically less precise than electromagnetic meters. Most electromagnetic irrigation meters provide +/-1% flow rate accuracy over a wide flow range. Propeller flow meters are the mechanical meters that are most frequently used in irrigation. In a given flow range, propeller meters typically offer +/-2% accuracy. Electromagnetic meters are able to retain accuracy for a very long duration because there are no moving parts.
  3. Arranging for flow meter maintenance
    Moving parts of mechanical propeller or prop meters might deteriorate over time and under various irrigation conditions. They must be regularly checked, and when their internal components become worn out, they must be repaired or replaced. Electromagnetic meters normally need no maintenance, since they have no moving components.
  4. What is the cost of flow meter?
    Although mechanical propeller flow meters often cost less than electromagnetic ones, their entire functioning cost is significantly more. Higher installation costs, longer maintenance and repair times, higher costs, need for add-ons like strainers and lesser accuracy all have the potential to be expensive.
    Due to its superior accuracy, cheaper maintenance requirements, and greater adaptability to different water sources and system components, electromagnetic flow meters initially cost a little more but can end up saving you a lot of money over time.
  5. Which is best flowmeter – Electromagnetic or Mechanical?
    Although flow meters are rather straightforward in terms of technology and operation, there are a lot of things to consider when deciding which one to use for your irrigation system.
    Agricultural irrigation services find that each application has varied needs and might benefit differently from either a mechanical or electromagnetic meter, starting with the water supply and cleanliness. In either case, irrigation system services discover that electromagnetic flow meters are more versatile, accurate, and need less actual maintenance to keep them running properly—even though costs can balance out when the various technologies are used appropriately! Also electromagnetic flowmeters can offer remote communication facilities, which make it more useful for managing a large water distribution network.
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About Manas Microsystems Australia

Manas offers a selection of irrigation flow meters. These are manufactured, assembled and calibrated totally in-house by our experts and sold all over the world. For more information do visit or write us at

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