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Paddle flow switch, and how does it work?

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A paddle flow switch is a device that is mechanically made to activate, control, and monitor the liquid viscosity flowing through a pipe, where there is the insertion of the switch. The paddle is a small metal strip connected to the magnet series and is located in the tube or spring tension.

The movement of the liquid through the pipe with sufficient or insufficient force makes the paddle switch complete a circuit by rotation and sending an alarm response to the user. A paddle flow switch is cheaper and safer for various industrial plants applications.

     Features of a paddle flow switch

1.Paddles flow switch has threaded and socket weld style of connection.

2.A paddle flow switch can monitor the flow of gases ( insertions), air, dry materials, water, and oil.

3.The location of the mounting is the top, side, and insertion.

4.A paddle flow switch is made from plastic and stainless steel materials.

5.The connection type of the paddle flow switch is the pipe and conduit.

6.The mounting orientation should be vertically and horizontally located.

7.The paddle flow switch has a voltage of 120 to 240V AC.

8.The type of electrical connection on the paddle flow switch are; Screw terminals, wire leads, terminal block, cable, etc.

9.A paddle flow switch works under corrosive, dusty, hazardous, damp, outdoor, and washdown.

10.The paddle flow switch body comprises brass, stainless steel, aluminum, and plastic.

 How to install a paddle flow switch

i)Create a flow switch unit by approximating the length of the paddle built. You should consider the lowest point of the paddle to make the angular diameter of the reed switch and the pipe. Mark the paddle in the line and observe a medium size of one inch from the left.

ii) Place the paddle in such a way that it is parallel to the face of the cutting pipe and the screw mounting in one-inch NPT.

iii) Ensure that the flow mark is parallel to the pipe and the ground on the screw hexagon.

iv) Ensure that you seal and tighten the screw using tape before installing the unit to the pipeline.

 How a paddle flow switch works

A paddle operates by being connected to the level of liquid suspended in the pipe where the streaming liquid accelerates the microswitch contact after deflecting with the paddle level. A flexible metal then divides a microswitch from the liquid.

A paddle flow switch identifies the movement of liquid flowing through a pipe using the liquid flow power for propelling the paddle. The expansion and pressing up of the magnet in the downer part occurs when there is no fluid flow.

The pipe diameters can help adjust the length of the paddle when there is liquid flow, and the paddle has pushed up at an angle of 20 to 30 L where the magnets are triggered up to activate the reed switch connected to the circuit.

     Applications of a paddle flow switch

i)A paddle flow switch is used in industrial cooling circuits.

ii) Used in applications of potable water.

iii) Used in heating processes.

iv) A paddle switch is used in treatments of water.

v) Used in pharmaceutical manufacturing industries.

vi) Used in the production of steel.

vii) Used in food processing.

viii) Used in marine technology.

 Precautions to take when installing a paddle flow switch

The ranges in temperature and pressure should not be higher for the paddle switch to operate effectively.

i)You should lower the shock and vibration in the paddle flow switch before you start using it to ensure safety and avoid any destruction that may occur.

ii) You should consider the operating temperature and pressure changes on the liquid flowing through the pipe.

iii) Prevent moisture from getting into the electrical mounting by providing a sealing tape to stop any interference during the operation.

iv) Ensure that there is no liquid contamination in the pipe that would otherwise make it hard for the paddle flow switch to control and monitor the flow.

Examples of paddle flow switches

i)Compact insertion flow switch for water

Compact insertion flow switches are installed in clearance areas within the pipe outlets.

ii) Insertion flow switches for water

Insertion flow switches are installed in pipe outlets to sense the liquid flow rate in contact with the sensing paddle, where they stop and start the device when the flow rate reaches the set limit.

iii) Level switches for dry materials

The rising of the dry material to the paddle rotating activates the switch.

iv) Hazardous location insertion flow switches for air, water, oil, and inert gases

The flow switches are employed in hazardous locations where there is combustible dust and flammable gases.


A paddle flow switch is essential in many applications, and it provides accurate results on flow rate measurement. One should ensure the proper calibration of the device to enhance effective operation. The type of application will determine the paddle flow switch to use.

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