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Steel Pipes - Maximum Water Flow Capacities vs. Size

Maximum water flow capacities in steel pipes - pipe dimensions ranging 2 - 24 inches.

No single recommendation will be correct for all possible circumstances, but the table below can be used as a general guidance for water flow capacity in Steel pipes schedule 40.

Steel Pipes - Maximum Water Flow Capacities vs. Size
Pipe Size
(inch)
Maximum Flow
(gal/min)
Velocity
(ft/s)
Head Loss
(ftH2O/100ft, m/100m)
2 45 4.3 3.9
2 1/2 75 5.0 4.1
3 130 5.6 3.9
4 260 6.6 4.0
6 800 8.9 4.0
8 1600 10.3 3.8
10 3000 12.2 4.0
12 4700 13.4 4.0
14 6000 14.2 4.0
16 8000 14.5 3.5
18 10000 14.3 3.0
20 12000 13.8 2.4
24 18000 14.4 2.1

It is common to use maximum friction (head) loss to determine maximum flow and velocities in pipes. But be aware of that with

  • increased friction loss - the installation cost is decreased and the operating cost is increased
  • decreased friction loss - the installation cost is increased and the operating cost decreased

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