There are many industrial and home applications where float switches prove themselves to be useful. In fact, in many cases, float switches are absolutely necessary for the proper operation of certain pieces of machinery. The switches by themselves don’t do very much, but when combined with other pieces of equipment they prove very useful. There are many different types of switches that can be used for a variety of applications.
The most common switch is a small type that plugs in to a wall outlet and runs in-line with an electric sump pump. These are very common in areas where basements are below the water level. When there is a significant amount of rain or the water level rises, if a sump pump isn’t installed, then a basement has the potential to flood. The switch is installed so that the sump pump intelligently turns on and off. This type of switch typically has a small ball inside of a watertight casing, and when the float switch raises with the water level, the ball activates the switch, activating the sump pump, draining the water that could potentially flood a basement.
The same type of switch can also be used in conjunction with pieces of industrial equipment. Often times, two or more switches will be installed inside of a self contained pressure washer system or in a water holding tank. Multiple switches can cause different things to happen based on certain conditions. There are typically float switches for a lower limit and an upper limit in a holding tank. When the lower limit switch is activated, a signal is sent so that water fills the reservoir / holding tank. The water then fills the tank until the upper limit float switch is activated, causing the water source to shut off. Multiple switches or single multi-stage switches allow pieces of industrial equipment to run more efficiently, as relying on a single switch can cause the piece of equipment to activate and deactivate excessively, resulting in premature pump wear and shorter service life.
Float switches are available for a variety of applications and the examples listed are just some of the many common uses for these switches. Many applications involving liquids or fine materials can benefit from the use of this type of switch. Float switches allow a person to control the volume of a material either moving into or coming out of an area, and when set up properly, are very valuable tools.