If we want to keep the number of necessary characterisation measurements within acceptable limits, we need to be confident that a flow instrument design reacts in a predictable and straightforward way to systematic influences. In this paper, the important systematic influences for an ultrasonic flow meter (UFM) for feed water flow are identified to decide which characterisations have to be carried out in addition to a typical baseline calibration with water at 20 °C. In heat metering applications where there are temperatures up to 120 °C it is for example known that the temperature influence on the flow instrument is important and this also applies to higher temperatures such as in the feed water control of power plants. One of the critical systematic temperature influences that affects most flow instruments is the thermal expansion of the meter body. From June 2009 to March 2010, the “Heat and Vacuum?department of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt conducted a measurement campaign to characterise the influence of thermal expansion of a meter body on the calibration of an 8 inch (DN 200) five chord UFM for feed water application in the temperature range from 4 °C to 85 °C and flow range from 50 m3 h? to 900 m3 h?. An overview of the procedures and facility used for the calibration is given and the measurement conditions under which the calibrations were performed are detailed. It is shown that a linear model of the thermal expansion effect is appropriate for the investigated conditions.