There are a few different water flow meters out there, but this one has one obvious feature that sets it apart – it’s brass! Many of the flow meters you can find online are plastic, or have substantial plastic parts, but this one from Adafruit is mostly brass. This allows it to
function in a much harsher environment, and it should last a lot longer than its plastic equivalents.
The flow sensor consists of a little pinwheel that spins inside the pipe fitting. You can count the rotations, via a small magnet and a Hall effect sensor, and get a good estimation of the amount of water that has passed through. The key here is estimation. Each pulse of the pinwheel represents 2 millilitres of fluid. That estimation is dependent on the flow-rate, orientation, and pressure. You can calibrate the sensor for your application and, for most gardening purposes, it is accurate enough with minimal calibration.
They give the sensor a 9/10, saying “Robust enough for outdoors.”
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