Fluid Switch Blog

What is a Vertical Float Switch?

FLOAT SWITCH

A vertical float switch is a mechanical device that monitors liquid levels inside a reservoir tank. Regardless of the application, vertical float switches have one main purpose: to trigger an event when the liquid reaches a certain level.

What kinds of events can vertical float switches trigger? Refills, ceasefires, and discharges. Consider a typical dishwasher for example. Most modern dishwashers use vertical float switches as a backup for the fill timer. In the event that the timer fails to work properly, the float switch shuts the water off so that the dishwasher does not overflow.

How Vertical Float Switches Work

Vertical float switches are made up of two main components: a center tubed magnetic float and a reed switch. Both the float and the reed are operated by magnets. When the float reaches a predetermined level, the reed switch reacts by closing or opening.

In the dishwasher scenario, the float rises as the water fills; once the float reaches a certain level, it triggers the reed switch, and the process ends: the reed switch sends a signal to open or close (depending on how it’s configured by the manufacturer), and with that, water ceases to fill the dishwasher.

Common Applications

Due to their versatility and trustworthy design, vertical float switches are used by many different industries for a variety of different applications, like:

  • Boilers

    Like dishwashers, boilers require safety measures to work properly. If nothing existed inside the boiler to monitor and stop high water levels, then houses all over the country would flood. This is where vertical float switches come into play. The vertical float switch can trigger alarms that regulate pump controls, prevent overflow, and shut the system off entirely if extremely low water levels are reached.

  • Fish Tanks

    Water in fish tanks evaporate over time, and when water evaporates, salt is left behind. Unfortunately, even saltwater fish can only handle so much salt. Since fish can die from an excess of salinity in the water, fish tanks are often built with a top-off system that pumps freshwater in if salinity levels are heightened. Top-off systems use vertical float switches to automate the pump: when a risky amount of evaporation occurs, the reed switch closes, and the pump activates. Freshwater then gets pumped into the sump until the float switch opens. When this happens, the pump deactivates.

  • Water Wells

    Many water wells use vertical float switches to activate and deactivate well pumps. Two float switches are often used: one near the top of the tank, and one toward the bottom. The switch at the top cuts the electrical connection to the pump if the water level gets too high; the switch at the bottom connects to the pump if the water level gets too low. These two switches work simultaneously to keep the tank filled at an optimal level.

SMD Has The Right Vertical Float Switch For You

If you’re curious as to how a vertical float switch can meet your unique needs, then SMD has you covered. Not only do we manufacture a variety of different float switches, but we know these devices inside and out. We can also create custom applications based on your specific application needs. Don’t hesitate to contact us today. We will help you select the float switch that’s right for you.

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