How to Calculate Water Flow for a Given Pipe Size

Written by steven white
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How to Calculate Water Flow for a Given Pipe Size
Picking the right pipe for the job ensures a longer life for the building's plumbing. (water pipes image by Byron Moore from Fotolia.com)

Water flow is a calculation used for builders when determining the overall fixtures and plumbing for a building. If the building is in an area with lower water flow from the municipal pipes, then use this equation for determining the necessary pipe size for optimal water pressure.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Calculator with pi function
  • Velocity-type water meter

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Multiply pi by 0.25.

    How to Calculate Water Flow for a Given Pipe Size
    The symbol for pi. Not all calculators are equipped with such a key. (pi image by Ewe Degiampietro from Fotolia.com)
  2. 2

    Press the multiply button again and enter the pipe diameter squared.

  3. 3

    Press the multiply button again and enter the velocity of the entering water. The velocity of water is obtained by attaching a velocity-type water meter to the pipe and running the water. Lengths of time necessary for a velocity reading vary depending upon the manufacturer, so review your meter's user manual for testing requirements.

  4. 4

    Press enter. The answer is your water's flow rate.

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