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Article #1:  Suggested Flow Finder Uses

June 19, 2006
Recently, we've begun to see a renewed interest in the use of Flow Finders for leak locating. This latest spurt in Flow Finder popularity affirms the value of the product for tracking air consumption in a route and providing accurate flow readings. Because many visitors to Airtalk.com may not be familiar with the full capabilities and benefits of Flow Finders, we're posting the most relevant articles from our Flow Finder Tip of Week collection here. The original articles were first mailed to our customers in printed form back in 1989, and eventually reformatted and added to our website in 2006. We think you'll find the information they provide just as helpful and useful today as it was for our customers back then.

Here's some information you may find useful:
  • Flow Finders are extremely effective for identifying leaks in the air pipe. The air flow entering a section of air pipe should equal the air exiting. If it does not, you've got one or more leaks in that section of pipe. With Flow Finders we have identified leaks as small as 1 or 2 Standard Cubic Feet per Hour (SCFH).
  • Flow Finders are also helpful in verifying flow transducer readings. In fact, flow transducers that are out of calibration may explain the majority of situations where air flow doesn't add up. Having a poor air pressure index (PressureMAP System Quality Index) based upon a bad flow transducer is especially disturbing, considering all the work that goes into improving system indexes.

    One thing we would like to stress is that a flow transducer cannot be calibrated in the field. If you find a transducer that is out of calibration, send it back to the manufacturer.
  • The Flow Finder should begin to give an accurate reading 5 to 10 minutes after it has been installed. It is important to install the Flow Finder as quickly as possible to reduce the time needed for the system to stabilize. If installed quickly and properly, the Flow Finder can be used to "sectionalize" the air pipe before moving to another location. By sectionalize, we mean verifying total air consumption in a specific length or section of pipe (one defined on both ends by Flow Finders).

    For example, we recently isolated a section of air pipe that registered 52 SCFH at one end and 39 SCFH at the other (identifying a pipe leak of 13 SCFH). A Flow Finder placed at the midpoint of this section indicated a flow of 52 SCFH. This information reduced the section of the pipe down from to the field side of the midpoint location (by confirming that the CO side had now leaks). Without the responsive and accurate information provided by the Flow Finder, several additional flow readings at different locations would have been required to sectionalize the pipe.
Please give us a call if you have any questions about the information in this Tip of the Week, about Flow Finders in general, or any of our other products and services.