I Want to add flowmeter, Recommendation brand & placement

plsbcheap

Well-known member
Jun 24, 2007
75
0
#1
I have an Intelliflow 4X160 pump. This pump is designed to help you save money on energy by a variable speed RPM setting. It appears the best way is to observe the GPM with a flow meter. So, I want to add a flow meter and need recommendations for the brand and placement.

The things I have read say for 2" pipe I really need 20" of straight pipe before the flow meter and 8" after as recommended by Blue/White. I am attaching my set up and hopefully you can see what I am doing.

The best place seems to be where my SWG is today after the actuator valve which would only give me flow in the “pool” mode. That is a vertical pipe. The horizontal pipe right before the actuator is only 20 ½” long (between the 2” elbows). I have 15 ½” between in suction side actuator and the pump basket. I have a horizontal pipe from the pump to the Pentair Multiport that is 19 ½”.

What do you think about the brand/model and placement? I don't want a really expensive one.

Do some need less space?

Also can they go right after a SWG? It is straight pipe but would that affect the flow meter?
 

Aquaman95

Well-known member
Feb 20, 2008
249
0
#2
Re: I Want to add flowmeter, Recommendation brand & placemen

plsbcheap said:
I have an Intelliflow 4X160 pump. This pump is designed to help you save money on energy by a variable speed RPM setting. It appears the best way is to observe the GPM with a flow meter. So, I want to add a flow meter and need recommendations for the brand and placement.

The things I have read say for 2" pipe I really need 20" of straight pipe before the flow meter and 8" after as recommended by Blue/White. I am attaching my set up and hopefully you can see what I am doing.

The best place seems to be where my SWG is today after the actuator valve which would only give me flow in the “pool” mode. That is a vertical pipe. The horizontal pipe right before the actuator is only 20 ½” long (between the 2” elbows). I have 15 ½” between in suction side actuator and the pump basket. I have a horizontal pipe from the pump to the Pentair Multiport that is 19 ½”.

What do you think about the brand/model and placement? I don't want a really expensive one.

Do some need less space?

Also can they go right after a SWG? It is straight pipe but would that affect the flow meter?

The Blue-White is by far the least expensive flowmeter on the market that will give you the signal you need for the pump. All flowmeters have the same space constraints.

I would not install one right after the SWG. Chemicals aren't my concern because it is made out of PVDF, but I think the SWG generator cell will probably create turbulent flow which will result in incorrect flowmeter readings.

You could consider adding a standpipe loop in the larger horizontal run pre SWG, the only downside of this is that it will reduce your piping efficiency by increasing TDH (adding 4 more 90's).

The Blue-White is a good economical unit. The only downside is that the paddle wheel will tend to clog up over time with small grains of sand, hair, etc. that gets past the filter. It will need to be removed and cleaned periodically. It's not a big deal to remove it and clean it because it has a quick removal housing but it is extra maintenance. The only option to avoid this is the use of a magmeter, but those are about 2x the cost of the Blue-White.
 

Sabot

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 3, 2007
343
0
Austin, TX
#3
I went with the Blue-White unit as well. Found a new one on ebay for $25. If time is no problem, watch ebay for you might get a more expensive meter. I have not found a meter that can go into a smaller space that does not cost above $500.

I had to redo my plumbing on the return side to ensure that I met the requirements. Otherwise it's not worth installing the meter for it won't work correctly.
 

plsbcheap

Well-known member
Jun 24, 2007
75
0
#4
Re: I Want to add flowmeter, Recommendation brand & placemen

Aquaman95 said:
I would not install one right after the SWG. Chemicals aren't my concern because it is made out of PVDF, but I think the SWG generator cell will probably create turbulent flow which will result in incorrect flowmeter readings.

You could consider adding a standpipe loop in the larger horizontal run pre SWG, the only downside of this is that it will reduce your piping efficiency by increasing TDH (adding 4 more 90's).

The Blue-White is a good economical unit. The only downside is that the paddle wheel will tend to clog up over time with small grains of sand, hair, etc. that gets past the filter. It will need to be removed and cleaned periodically. It's not a big deal to remove it and clean it because it has a quick removal housing but it is extra maintenance. The only option to avoid this is the use of a magmeter, but those are about 2x the cost of the Blue-White.
What about if I put the SWG in the horizontal run out of the heater and then put the flow meter where the SWG is today on the vertical return line? That means the water would go thru the valve T and then thru a 90 and then I could install it 20" down the pipe? Is that a good option for accurate readings?

The other option would be in the ground I have a horizontal run between the filter and the heater of 30+". It is slightly under the dirt and you can't see it in the picture but it is horizontally right in front of the concrete pad and then elbows up into the heater. I would have to dig down 3 or 4" and I might hold water there when it rains etc. Thoughts?
What is a magmeter and do you have info on it? If it is $100 I am okay with that but if it is $500... no way.
Thanks guys,
 

Aquaman95

Well-known member
Feb 20, 2008
249
0
#5
Re: I Want to add flowmeter, Recommendation brand & placemen

plsbcheap said:
Aquaman95 said:
I would not install one right after the SWG. Chemicals aren't my concern because it is made out of PVDF, but I think the SWG generator cell will probably create turbulent flow which will result in incorrect flowmeter readings.

You could consider adding a standpipe loop in the larger horizontal run pre SWG, the only downside of this is that it will reduce your piping efficiency by increasing TDH (adding 4 more 90's).

The Blue-White is a good economical unit. The only downside is that the paddle wheel will tend to clog up over time with small grains of sand, hair, etc. that gets past the filter. It will need to be removed and cleaned periodically. It's not a big deal to remove it and clean it because it has a quick removal housing but it is extra maintenance. The only option to avoid this is the use of a magmeter, but those are about 2x the cost of the Blue-White.
What about if I put the SWG in the horizontal run out of the heater and then put the flow meter where the SWG is today on the vertical return line? That means the water would go thru the valve T and then thru a 90 and then I could install it 20" down the pipe? Is that a good option for accurate readings?

The other option would be in the ground I have a horizontal run between the filter and the heater of 30+". It is slightly under the dirt and you can't see it in the picture but it is horizontally right in front of the concrete pad and then elbows up into the heater. I would have to dig down 3 or 4" and I might hold water there when it rains etc. Thoughts?
What is a magmeter and do you have info on it? If it is $100 I am okay with that but if it is $500... no way.
Thanks guys,
The installation after the SWG and after the 90 may work; it's far enough away from the 90. The only part I'm not sure about is how much the SWG cell affects flow. If it makes it more turbulent, etc. from passing over the plates then it will not work. If it doesn't it will work. Whether 20" is far enough away from a SWG cell I don't know. You may try asking your salt cell manufacturer or calling Blue-White; they have some helpful and knowledgeable techs.

This is a magmeter:

http://www.seametrics.com/flow_meter/ex80.html

It is about $500.

I wouldn't put the flowmeter down in a trench unless you can prevent it from ever becoming submerged. The wires would corrode eventually.
 

JasonLion

LifeTime Supporter
Platinum Supporter
TFP Expert
May 7, 2007
37,879
5
Silver Spring, MD
#6
Keep in mind that you need to order slightly different flow meters for horizontal, vertical flow up, and vertical flow down locations.

The vertical pipe where the SWG is now sounds great as long as you move the SWG.
 

plsbcheap

Well-known member
Jun 24, 2007
75
0
#7
ideas?

I had another idea of where to put the flowmeter. In this photo, the flow meter base would be at ground level. I could dig out the dirt around the pipe to install the bands around it and then just put gravel back under it and around it. I don't think water would ever sit around it. This would give me the 20" before the meter and 8" after that it requires. I assume? that between the filter and the heater would be the same "flow" as after the heater where I was thinking about putting it (where my SWG is today).

Any thoughts about completing this project according to this picture?


Thanks,
 

JasonLion

LifeTime Supporter
Platinum Supporter
TFP Expert
May 7, 2007
37,879
5
Silver Spring, MD
#9
Aquaman95 said:
Flow will be a bit less after the heater vs. before it.
Umm . . . are you thinking of pressure? Pressure will be less after the heater, but flow has to be the same. Unless the pipe branches into two pipes the flow is the same throughout the plumbing.
 

Aquaman95

Well-known member
Feb 20, 2008
249
0
#10
JasonLion said:
Aquaman95 said:
Flow will be a bit less after the heater vs. before it.
Umm . . . are you thinking of pressure? Pressure will be less after the heater, but flow has to be the same. Unless the pipe branches into two pipes the flow is the same throughout the plumbing.
Yes, that's correct. I didn't articulate myself very well. Actual flow in the system won't change, but because of the disturbance caused by the heat exchanger to the flow pattern the measured flow will be less than the actual flow.

Paddlewheel, mag, and turbine drive electronic output flowmeters are different than the standard "floating ball" manual type flowmeters we see a lot of in the pool industry. The OP needs either a paddlewheel, mag, or turbine because he needs an electronic output to his intelliflow pump.

These type of flowmeters measure the flow of the water very close to the inner wall of the pipe. That's why the flow velocity profile is so important and disturbances like elbows, reducers, valves, etc. cause problems. That's my concern with the heater and the salt cell. I think they will cause his measured flow to be less than actual because he doesn't have enough run before them. Electronic flowmeters require what is called a "fully developed turbulent flow". Basically, a flat water profile coming down the pipe is ideal. Some electronics packages can compensate for laminar flow - where the center of the pipe consistently has more fluid ahead of the walls but I don't know if the intelliflow has this capability.

The rule of thumb for electronic output flow meters is 5x the pipe ID on the outlet side and 40-50x the id on the inlet side for a major disturbance like 2 elbows, a pump, or a gate type valve. I'm basing my assumption that his heater core or salt cell is going to cause an equal disturbance to the flow pattern on experience with heaters/flowmeters. I've never done it with a salt cell...that is total assumption based on the plates. As a point of reference one elbow requires 20x the id.

Also, electronic output meters can be placed horizontally or vertically on a pipe. There are no different models for this like with the "floating ball" 90 degree elbow type. As long as the pipe is full of water and the flow profile is correct, you're golden.
 

plsbcheap

Well-known member
Jun 24, 2007
75
0
#11
Aquaman95 said:
Paddlewheel, mag, and turbine drive electronic output flowmeters are different than the standard "floating ball" manual type flowmeters we see a lot of in the pool industry. The OP needs either a paddlewheel, mag, or turbine because he needs an electronic output to his intelliflow pump.

These type of flowmeters measure the flow of the water very close to the inner wall of the pipe. That's why the flow velocity profile is so important and disturbances like elbows, reducers, valves, etc. cause problems. That's my concern with the heater and the salt cell. I think they will cause his measured flow to be less than actual because he doesn't have enough run before them. Electronic flowmeters require what is called a "fully developed turbulent flow". Basically, a flat water profile coming down the pipe is ideal. Some electronics packages can compensate for laminar flow - where the center of the pipe consistently has more fluid ahead of the walls but I don't know if the intelliflow has this capability.

The rule of thumb for electronic output flow meters is 5x the pipe ID on the outlet side and 40-50x the id on the inlet side for a major disturbance like 2 elbows, a pump, or a gate type valve. I'm basing my assumption that his heater core or salt cell is going to cause an equal disturbance to the flow pattern on experience with heaters/flowmeters. I've never done it with a salt cell...that is total assumption based on the plates. As a point of reference one elbow requires 20x the id.

Also, electronic output meters can be placed horizontally or vertically on a pipe. There are no different models for this like with the "floating ball" 90 degree elbow type. As long as the pipe is full of water and the flow profile is correct, you're golden.
Ok Aquaman95 I'm now a little lost. :? I just want to know the flow so I can change the RPM's and match it to the right speed to save energy and turn the pool over at least once a day. I guess it will help determine filter status of dirt too. I could just use the charts and experience of others using the 4x160 and have some rough #'s I guess.

When you say "The OP needs either a paddlewheel, mag, or turbine because he needs an electronic output to his intelliflow pump." Does that mean Output Pressure? and doesn't electronic mean big $$$? My intelliflow is a 4x160 (variable speed). I don't remember a variable flow "VF" model when I bought mine other than the regular intelliflow "Infinity?" model that had to be used with the intellitouch control system. It was a lot more $$. If I knew then what I know now maybe I would have dropped the extra money because I was told by the PB that the EasyTouch would run and control two intelliflow pumps and do what I wanted to do. BUT when they were both installed he learned thru Pentair that the second one can't be on a control cable and is basic second pump running on a relay that can be manually changed speeds. So it is better than a single stage pump for efficiency but not auto control.

Assuming I'm not going to spend above $100 what would you do? I was planning on a Blue/White F-300 series in one of the two locations I have shown in the photos. Direction?

Thanks,
 

Aquaman95

Well-known member
Feb 20, 2008
249
0
#12
plsbcheap said:
Aquaman95 said:
Paddlewheel, mag, and turbine drive electronic output flowmeters are different than the standard "floating ball" manual type flowmeters we see a lot of in the pool industry. The OP needs either a paddlewheel, mag, or turbine because he needs an electronic output to his intelliflow pump.

These type of flowmeters measure the flow of the water very close to the inner wall of the pipe. That's why the flow velocity profile is so important and disturbances like elbows, reducers, valves, etc. cause problems. That's my concern with the heater and the salt cell. I think they will cause his measured flow to be less than actual because he doesn't have enough run before them. Electronic flowmeters require what is called a "fully developed turbulent flow". Basically, a flat water profile coming down the pipe is ideal. Some electronics packages can compensate for laminar flow - where the center of the pipe consistently has more fluid ahead of the walls but I don't know if the intelliflow has this capability.

The rule of thumb for electronic output flow meters is 5x the pipe ID on the outlet side and 40-50x the id on the inlet side for a major disturbance like 2 elbows, a pump, or a gate type valve. I'm basing my assumption that his heater core or salt cell is going to cause an equal disturbance to the flow pattern on experience with heaters/flowmeters. I've never done it with a salt cell...that is total assumption based on the plates. As a point of reference one elbow requires 20x the id.

Also, electronic output meters can be placed horizontally or vertically on a pipe. There are no different models for this like with the "floating ball" 90 degree elbow type. As long as the pipe is full of water and the flow profile is correct, you're golden.
Ok Aquaman95 I'm now a little lost. :? I just want to know the flow so I can change the RPM's and match it to the right speed to save energy and turn the pool over at least once a day. I guess it will help determine filter status of dirt too. I could just use the charts and experience of others using the 4x160 and have some rough #'s I guess.

When you say "The OP needs either a paddlewheel, mag, or turbine because he needs an electronic output to his intelliflow pump." Does that mean Output Pressure? and doesn't electronic mean big $$$? My intelliflow is a 4x160 (variable speed). I don't remember a variable flow "VF" model when I bought mine other than the regular intelliflow "Infinity?" model that had to be used with the intellitouch control system. It was a lot more $$. If I knew then what I know now maybe I would have dropped the extra money because I was told by the PB that the EasyTouch would run and control two intelliflow pumps and do what I wanted to do. BUT when they were both installed he learned thru Pentair that the second one can't be on a control cable and is basic second pump running on a relay that can be manually changed speeds. So it is better than a single stage pump for efficiency but not auto control.

Assuming I'm not going to spend above $100 what would you do? I was planning on a Blue/White F-300 series in one of the two locations I have shown in the photos. Direction?

Thanks,
I totally misunderstood what you wanted to achieve. I thought your intelliflow had an input for a flowmeter and would self adjust RPM's based on the flow input to consistently achieve desired flow.

What you really want to do is just measure your flow visually with the flowmeter and then statically program the RPM's. No dynamic control at all.

Ignore everything in my last post. The F300 will work well enough after the heater or after the SWG, just get your 20" and 8".



I'm very sorry to have added the extra confusion.
 

plsbcheap

Well-known member
Jun 24, 2007
75
0
#13
I just wanted to close this post out with a photo of my finished project. I didn't see a whole lot of information on flowmeters or installation on TFP so I thought I would update my post.

It took me one year to get around to putting in a flow meter but finally I got around to it and it turned out great. I would highly recommend a flowmeter to know how long it takes to turn your pool over and if you have a variable speed pump you can adjust the speed to match the desired flow. It is also much more accurate than a pressure gauge to know when your filter is getting dirty.

You will see where I ended up putting the flowmeter in the photo if you look carefully. It is just underneath the pump on the right. I also cleaned up the area after I dug it out and put in stone and marble chips. Let me know if you have any questions installing one for your pool. I also posted more photos and information in the "coffee bar" area of the forum. Go with the flow!