Vertical Pipes - Discharge Flow vs. Height of Discharge Flow

Volume flow from vertical water pipes

Maximum vertical discharge height for water flow from vertical oriented pipe or tube:

Water discharge from vertical pipe - maximum height

Vertical Discharge - Imperial Units

Water discharge from vertical pipe - maximum height chart - imperial units

  • coefficient k = 0.96

Vertical Discharge - Metric Units

Water discharge from vertical pipe - maximum height chart - metric units

The maximum height for water discharge from vertical pipe can calculated as:

h = (Q / (5.68 k d2))2                                (1)


h = discharge height (inches)

Q = flow (gpm)

k = coefficient ranging 0.87 - 0.97

d = diameter of pipe (inches)

  • 1 in (inch) = 25.4 mm
  • 1 gal (US)/min = 6.30888x10-5 m3/s = 0.227 m3/h = 0.06309 dm3(litre)/s = 2.228x10-3 ft3/s = 0.1337 ft3/min = 0.8327 Imperial gal (UK)/min

Measuring Flow - the Trajectory Method

The discharge from a vertical oriented pipe can be calculated by rearranging eq. (1) to 

Q = 5.68 k d2 h1/2                      (1b)

The challenge with this flow measurement method may be to measure the height h.

Example - Measuring Flow by measuring the Discharge from a Vertical pipe

The discharge height from a vertical oriented 4 inches pipe is 3 ft (36 inches). With a coefficient k = 0.97 the flow from the pipe can be estimated to

Q = 5.68 0.97 (4 in)2 (36 in)1/2  

   = 529 gpm 

Related Topics

  • Water Systems - Hot and cold water service systems - design properties, capacities, sizing and more
  • Flow Measurement - Flow metering principles - Orifice, Venturi, Flow Nozzles, Pitot Tubes, Target, Variable Area, Positive Displacement, Turbine, Vortex, Electromagnetic, Ultrasonic Doppler, Ultrasonic Time-of-travel, Mass Coriolis, Mass Thermal, Weir V-notch, Flume Parshall and Sluice Gate flow meters and more

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