In the most basic terms, a turbine flowmeter is a gas/liquid measuring device which contains a free-spinning turbine, hence the name. The turbine within the meter turns at a speed proportional to the flow of the material running through it which is how the device measures the flow rate of the material. While these are commonly used and highly accurate meters, there are a few factors that can impact the life expectancy and accuracy of the meter such as operating above or below the range of the meter, calibration of turbine flowmeters, and more.
Before making your flow meter purchase, make sure it is the right meter for the job. This means taking into consideration the conditions in which it will operate, the range you will need to operate in, the type of materials you will be running through it, etc.
Flow meter installation has a huge effect on the life expectancy and especially on the accuracy of the meter readings. Improper installation can lead to operational problems, frequent calibration of turbine flowmeters, and expensive repairs.
If you operate below the range of the meter, performance will be altered and your accuracy may not be where it should be. Because each meter is different, there is no way to predict exactly how the meter will react to operations below its range, but the factor changes as the flow rate does. When you begin to operate above the range of the meter, accuracy is not as much of an issue but you will be wearing the bearings of the meter, shortening its life and increasing the need potential repairs and calibration.
Calibration of turbine flowmeters can only extend the life of your meter so far; it is important to keep the meter clear of trash and fine particles (such as sand) to a minimum.
While there is no rule about how often you must have your meter calibrated, it will need periodic calibration; once a year is a good rule of thumb. The point of calibration is to determine how much your meter readings deviate from the standard and correcting that deviation. The deviation occurs for many reasons such as using it above the range, damage to the meter, a change in the material being run through it, etc. After calibration your meter may sill read exactly how it did before it was calibrated, but now you will have confidence that your readings are true and reliable.
Keep in mind that life expectancy depends on the application in which the meter is being used and the meter size; harsh applications will mean a shorter life expectancy. With that being said, by following the above guidelines and keeping up with routine maintenance such as the calibration of turbine flow meters, your meter can last for many years.