What Is a Water Flow Meter and How Does One Work?

Caring for your lawn and yard is hard work, but there are tools out there to make it easier!

Consistently supplying your lawn, garden, or shrubs with enough water is a key component to making your yard look its very best.

A water flow meter can help you achieve this.

How? Keep reading for everything you need to know about water flow meters and how they work.

What is a Water Flow Meter?

A water flow meter is a device that measures how much water is traveling through a pipe. Using a water flow meter can help you monitor the water used in your irrigation system and identify any obstructions or leaks.

Different types of water flow meters may look different, but they are usually directly attached to the pipe and have some kind of readout screen to show the water flow. 

What is a Water Flow Meter Used For?

There are a few common uses for a water flow meter.

By monitoring the water flowing through the pipes a water flow meter will alert you when something is not working as expected. If the water flow is unusually high or low according to the monitor, you can make adjustments accordingly

What are the Different Types of Water Flow Meters?

There a few varieties of water flow meters including mechanical, ultrasonic, vortex, and magnetic flow meters.


Mechanical water flow meters are probably the most commonly used because they are affordable and effective. This variety of meter works by measuring the speed of the water through the pipe. The flow of water causes a turbine to rotate.

The amount (volume) of water flowing through correlates with the speed of the turbine spinning. 


Ultrasonic water flow meters use ultrasound to measure the speed of water through a pipe. The process is a bit more complex than the mechanical water flow meter. Essentially, the meter uses sonic pulses to measure the speed of the water flowing through it.


The vortex water flow meter measures the speed of water using a sensor. This sensor measures how quickly the water moves past it as a frequency which correlates to the speed of the flow. 


A magnetic water flow meter uses a magnetic field to measure the speed of the water flowing through a pipe. As the water travels through the magnetic field it created voltage. The faster the water is moving, the higher the voltage.

Water Is a Precious Resource

Hopefully, you now feel more informed about water flow meters and how they work. If you have more questions, you can contact a lawn care specialist and see what will work best for your yard. 

Using your water efficiently can save you money and help preserve an essential natural resource.

For more helpful gardening and water tips, check out our other blogs!