Dry vs Liquid Gauge - How to Choose?

By Marketing March 26, 2021

There are two main types of pressure gauges. You might consider investing in a liquid filled gauge vs a dry one depending on the environment.

dry and liquid gauge

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Dry gauges are mainly used for industrial machines including air compressors. Ideal for environments where mechanical vibration is not a concern and where there is little to no moisture. ... Liquid filled gauges can absorb vibration and pressure spikes which will reduce the possibility of poor performance or failure.

 Dry pressure gauges are the work horse of the industrial and commercial parts world. Look at most air compressors. Many industrial machines and even some of the fancier bicycle pumps will have a dry gauge. Dry gauges do have some drawbacks, though. The dial can become obscured by moisture inside the gauge. If the temperature drops low enough, the moisture can convert to ice, causing a total failure from the device. 

Liquid filled gauges perform differently.

Liquid-filled pressure gauges do the same job but with greater precision. Liquid-filled pressure gauges are available in pressure ranges equal to or higher than their dry counterparts. Their casings are filled with fluid, usually glycerine, although silicone or other liquids are sometimes used. The liquid coats the internal parts and is visible on the gauge's face. Having the liquid inside works to dampen the effect of pulsation and pressure spikes - which is another advantage over choosing a dry gauge. This means the pressure gauges are less likely to give inaccurate readings due to wear and tear that mechanical vibration and pulsation tends to cause. The liquid in these pressure gauges does double duty when it comes to fighting those effects. Not only does it help mitigate the effect of vibration, liquid also lubricates the gauge's moving parts, reducing everyday friction. The filling also has the benefit of preventing internal corrosion, which adds up to a longer service life and lower replacement costs for liquid-filled pressure gauges over dry pressure gauges.

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An Assortment of 1-1/2″ to 2-1/2″ liquid-filled and dry gauges are available. It includes our most popular gauges from 30# to 5,000#.

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Need help?

Trying to figure out which gauge you need?  Contact your Royal Brass and Hose local sales representative or call 800-669-9650 to speak with a member of our Customer Service team at any of our locations (Knoxville, TN; Marietta, GA; Orlando, FL; Charlotte, NC; Little Rock, AR; Fort Worth, TX; Benton, IL; Madisonville, KY; Princeton, WV; Birmingham, AL; Calvert City, KY)