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What is a Float Switch?

float switch

Most household water pumps use one of three different types of attached automatic switches: vertical floats, tethered floats, and electronic floats.

Vertical Float Switchs

Vertical float switches slide up and down on a rod. As fluid enters the basin, the float rises to trigger a switch that turns the pump on. Once the pump has lowered the fluid level to a certain point, the float triggers the switch to turn the pump off.

This type of switch is recommended when space is an issue. The most common application for a vertical float switch is in a narrow sump pit. Some sump pump basins are not very wide. Consider a vertical float switch if your sump pump basin is less than 14 inches in diameter.

Tethered Float Switchs

The second type of switch is a tethered float. The float is attached to a bent rod, mechanical trigger, or a cable. Similar to the vertical float, a tethered float triggers the pump to turn on and off based on the rise and fall of the fluid level. Because of its design, a tethered float can also provide greater consistency; however, it should only be used in a basin that is large enough for the float to have full movement.

Electronic Float Switches

Electronic float switches are primarily used in sump pits which are too narrow to accommodate a tethered or float switch. They have no moving parts and switch on and off when the switch detects a rise or fall in the water level.