A device that automatically activates or triggers the bilge pump once the water level in the boat surpasses the average level. The float switch turns the bilge pump on when the water level rises and off when the water level falls.
top features of the Bilge Pump Float Switch
What is a Float Switch for Bilge Pump?
It is a device that provides added security by detecting the water level in the bilge pump and automatically triggers the pump when the reaches a certain level, for instance, if there is excess water in the boat. It also turns off when the water in the boat dried up.
Why do you need a float switch of bilge pump?
Afloat switch is important because it helps in sensing the water level that might increase and result in the sinking of the boat.
When the water level increases above the average point, a float switch will automatically activate the bilge pump by turning it on and can also turn the bilge pump off in case the water level reduces below a certain point.
why should you Buy the best Bilge Pump Float Switch
The type and size of the boat
When purchasing a bilge pump float switch, you must consider the type and size of the vessel and also the depth of water you are going to use. However, a small boat used on rough water requires a float switch more than a calm large water surface.
Offshore Boats or Coastal boats are more prominent and they can go into deeper water. These boats require an electric pump to help in getting rid of excess water. A smaller boat that operates on shallow water only requires a hand float switch.
Type of switches
Three different switches automatically turn the bilge pumps. The switches are categories into
Integral automatic switch
It is the most common switch pre-wired on the side of the pump. It can easily be installed on tight vertical bilges. The switch automatically acts once it senses the water present. For instance, Rule automatic bilge pump switch their motor every few minutes, the current draw from the motor detects the presence of water.
Separate Float Switches
It helps in converting non-automatic bilge pump switches to automatic. It happens in a situation where there is no float switch. You can add a separate float switch on the current device and it will turn into an automatic electric pump that acts once it senses water.
Initially, the switches use liquid mercury in completing the circuit, but it was stopped due to environmental concerns.
Electronic water sensing switches
Other switches are developed with the ability to sense water presence. By using Mirus TM detector, they can detect the water presence through the plastic housing.
Float switch Installation
Different switches have different installation process. You can go for the switches that are easy to install to avoid the extra charges of hiring an electrician. Most of the float switches come with a manual to guide you on how to fix them, and it is advisable to follow the guide.
The best float switch is one that consumes less installation time and can easily be installed.
How the switches functions
You should go for a switch that can withstand all the water types. For instance, if you were going to use salt water, you can choose a float switch that is waterproof and does not accumulate moisture to prevent it from rust and corrosion.
The prices of the float switch
When looking for a float switch, consider your budget. Some switches are relatively expensive, while other costs were less. You should research a lot on the quality and prices of different float switches.
It is advisable to spend more on a quality switch because you will be sure of the durability.
The detail Reviews of the Bilge Pump Float Switch
#1. Shoreline Marine Bilge Float Switch
One of the best bilge pump float switch due to the high quality. The switch comes with mounting hardware that allows easy installation and marine-grade wiring that makes it the perfect to use on wet conditions.
There is also a manual diagram on the switch that guides you on installation. This is advantageous to someone who does not know more about the switch and has no extra cash to spend on hiring an electrician. The float switch automatically activates the bilge pump. You do not need to turn it on and off manually.
#2. Shoreline Marine Bulge Pump with a Float Switch
The bilge pump comes with an installed float switch that automatically activates the pump to clear excess water from the boat. It has a sensor that triggers the bilge pump in case the water level rises above the reasonable limit and turns off the bilge pump when the water level falls.
It also has mounting hardware that allows easy installation process and marine-grade wiring that prevents the float switch from corrosion or rust in any type of water. The pump has small impellor that helps in reducing heat from the motor and ensures the switch durability.
#3. Rule -A -Matic Plus Float Switch
The switch is among the best float switch in the market. It is 6 inches wide and high with a voltage ranging from 12 volts to 32 volts and automatically turns on the pump when the water level rises to 2 inches and turns off when it reduces to ¾ inches.
The float switch comes with a sleek and rugged cover that helps the ignition from jamming and debris, and an advanced marine grading wire protects the switch from corrosive and harsh conditions. It also has inbuilt test features that guide the float switch functionality.
#4. Rule Super Switch for float Switch
This float is the best choice especially for someone who intends to buy a large switch because it can handle heavy and tight vessel applications. It is a mercury-free switch making it friendlier to the environment.
The float switch comes with 14 gauge marine grade wire that protects the switch from harsh conditions and corrosion and handles high-performance pumps that draw up to 20 amps.
It comes with the necessary hardware and removable base that allows easy installation and maintenance. You can just replace the old switch by the new switch without involving a profession.
#5. Attwood 4201-7 Float Switch with Cover
This float switch converts a non-automatic bilge pump into automatic in minutes and has a test knob that helps in determining if it is functioning before sailing, making perfect for all types of boats.
The float switch has an inbuilt switch mechanism that protects the switch from electric shock, moisture and ignition fumes. The switch can easily be mounted on a horizontal surface with up to an angle of 24 degrees and can draw 6-12 amps on 12V-24V on DC bilge pump
The float switch has improved and unique features that provide safety and make the float switch durable The switch automatically triggers the bilge pump motor when the water level is at 2 inches leaving your boat dry all the time
How do you replace a float switch Bilge Pump?
Float switch replacement requires a lot of attention and should be handled with great care. You are supposed to disconnect the old wiring and connect new wiring.
For you to have a correct operation, you required to ground and fuse the switch. In case of any damages or the switch is flooded, it can stop working.
The following steps are involved in the process of switch replacement:
Ensure you are using the correct Bilge pump Float Switch
The float switch for the bilge pump used for replacement should be the same type as the old bilge pump float switch.
Disconnect and remove the Old Float Switch for Bilge Pump
Ensure the power supply to the bilge pump is disconnected at both the Terminal and the Battery. You then remove the fuse that is inside the Terminal. You disconnect the old float switch wire from the Battery and Terminal. Finish by disconnecting the old switch on the bilge pump
Ensure all Connections are clean
All the connectors at the Terminal and Battery should be cleaned. In case of rust or corrosion on the connectors, you can get rid of them using a wire brush. You also clear the clouds of dust on the pilot holes and fasten them.
The Dashboard Hole should be the Correct Size
The holes used for switch installation should be of the correct size, and the rough edges are sand off using sandpaper.
Insert the Bilge Pump Float Switch
Attach the frontal panel of the new float switch to the dashboard using a galvanized screw. Ensure it is well aligned to the dashboard and can be easily turned on or off without affecting the dashboard.
Correct Wiring of float Switch to the Terminal and the Battery
The wiring diagram provided on the float switch will guide you. In the case of a three-wire electronic float switch for the bilge pump, the red and brown wires are connected to the Terminal lower connectors and the primary cable at the top connectors. The remaining black wire is attached to the pump and used as the ground for the same pump. The brown wire connects the Terminal, and the bilge pump and the ground wire is connected to the top of the Terminal.
Connection of the hot side wire from the Terminal to the Battery
Attach the hot side wires to the Battery positive connectors and ground wire to the negative connectors.
Restore back the power to the new Float Switch and test if it is working
Turn on the switch to test after ensuring that the Battery, the switch and the Terminal are secure. There is a 2ON position on the switch called Auto and Manual.
The switch will turn off the power when released on manual settings or when it drains water to a level under the minimum line in an auto setting. The red light on the switch indicates that the switch is working.
How to Fix a Bilge Pump Float Switch?
When there is a problem in the bilge pump, you can follow the troubleshooting guide to help you identify and fix it. In case you follow the procedure from top to bottom, and you do not identify any problem, it is advisable to rind support from an electrician or professional.
The troubleshooting guides are as follows
How does a bilge pump float switch work?
Bilge pump works with two main components. The two parts are a pump and a float switch, also known as liquid level sensors. When the water reaches a point that poses a threat to the vessel, the sensor is triggered, and the Bilge pump activates.
A small impeller at the bottom of the pump pushes the water through the vertical tube pump over the boat sides. You should take note that water cannot be pumped out directly to protect the pump from leaking through the waterline below the bilge pump.
The majority of boat owners and experience vessel operators do not find it easy when looking for the best float switch for the bilge pump of their boats.
We have analyzed the best bilge pump float switches that are ideal for your boat. The float switches are durable, simple to install, and maintain.