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What Is a Flow Limiter?

By Alex Newth
Updated May 17, 2024
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A flow limiter is a unit used in households and in manufacturing that is capable of slowing or limiting the flow from a faucet or hose. This commonly is achieved by using a special head, the flow limiter itself, which is made to decrease the natural flow to a specific level. This most commonly is paired with a system pumping out liquid, but gas also can be restricted. There are several reasons for using this limiter, including safety, using less resources in a better way, and making the flow easier to control.

The flow limiter itself normally is a special head, but it also may be a unit lodged within the hose or dispenser medium. This works by creating shapes in the device that naturally limit flow by forcing less liquid or gas to pass though the head at once. The limiter normally has several layers, and each layer restricts the material slightly, making the overall discharge significantly lower. Some units are adjustable, allowing the user to choose how much gas or liquid should be restricted, but most are not.

A flow limiter most often is used in manufacturing plants or with large hoses, such as those used by firefighters. This is because the limiter typically is more useful in situations that have a higher usage of liquid or gas. Limiters also can be used in households, specifically with faucets, and such limiters typically are smaller than those used in other areas.

Flow limiter units mostly are made to restrict liquid, and the limiter’s construction typically works best with this use. At the same time, a limiter also can be used to stop gas, primarily in laboratories and manufacturing plants where there are noxious or poisonous gases that can cause injury or death if not limited. Limiters are very rarely used with solids; if they are then the solid must be a paste consistency.

One of the biggest reasons for using a flow limiter is to increase safety. This device not only restricts the flow of poisonous materials but typically can shut off the flow entirely if the need arises. Another major reason for using a limiter is that it forces people to use fewer resources; the limiter’s construction normally allows people to do the same amount of work with less liquid or gas. If the limiter is adjustable, then it also enables people to easily control the amount of resources coming from the pipe, hose or other apparatus.

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