Written by webtechs

How Does a Float Switch Work?

How Does a Float Switch Work?

A float switch works to detect the level of liquid in a tank by using a float, magnet, and reed switch system that automatically opens and closes when water levels rise and fall inside the tank.

According to WikiPedia, “A float switch is a type of level sensor, a device used to detect the level of liquid within a tank… One pattern uses a reed switch mounted in a tube; a float, containing a magnet, surrounds the tube and is guided by it. When the float raises the magnet to the reed switch, it closes”.

Basically, float switch systems work by opening and closing dry contacts. Once the dry contacts are opened or closed, they will send an electrical signal to set off a water level alarm. The water level alarm is used to tell the control panel whether the water level is too low or high. If you have an automatic water level control system, the control panel will tell the pump to turn on or off automatically to begin refilling or emptying the water.

How New Float Switches Work

Never replace another float switch or water level controller again with 99% uptime over 15 years. Water Line Controls is the leader in float switch and water level control technology.

Water Line Control’s revolutionary Float switches work by using stainless steel probes (instead of float switches) to detect and sense water levels in a tank (water, oil, gas, etc).

The sensor probes act as their own sensors and do not pass electricity through the stainless-steel probes which keeps them from fouling, degrading, and deteriorating.

All the electronics for the controller are built into the head of the unit so you can connect directly to your control panel. Once the water level is detected by one of the sensors, this causes one of six alarms to be triggered (Low Alarm, High Alarm, Fill Start, Fill Stop, etc.). Depending on the type of water level control system you have, it can be set up to trigger a single point alarm or multi-point alarm.

Different alarms control the different start and stop mechanisms. For example, if a low alarm was triggered in a water tank, that alarm could do one of 2 things (or both in some setups).

  • In a single point float switch, a low alarm will trigger an LED light on your control board
  • In a multi-point float switch, a low alarm will trigger the LED light to turn on, and also send a signal to automatically turn on or off a water pump to refill or empty the water back to the preprogrammed water level.

Float switches and water level controls usually start out closed, meaning there are no alarms that need to be triggered because the water level is at the predetermined height.

New Float Switch Working Principle

  1. The water level starts to drop. No alarms are triggered at this point.
  2. Once the water level drops below the sensor probes, a conductive signal is passed between the probes telling the low alarm to trigger.
  3. Once the low alarm is triggered, it can be programmed to tell the “fill start” to begin filling the water.
  4. Finally, once the water reaches the predetermined height, the “fill stop” kicks in, and the process starts all over again.

With proper maintenance, your float switches/water level controls can last for years of operation. Most float switch failures usually happen due to fouling, degrading, or deteriorating in poor water conditions. Our water level controls can replace your float switches for good and will never foul, deteriorate or degrade due to any water quality.

Why Choose Water Line Controls

All of our water level controls and water level control systems are assembled right here in the U.S.A. where we monitor every step of the process. The are many reasons to choose Waterline Controls™ for all of your float switch and water level controller needs include:

SIMPLE DESIGN

No moving parts or mechanical floats to break or rust!

BEST TECH SUPPORT

No runaround, no guessing, no stupid answers. You’ll talk to the guy who’s been designing and installing these units for over 20 years.

BUILT TO LAST

Makes it easy to integrate with existing Building Management Systems and has an expected useful life of 15 years.

TOUCH TO TEST

One push of the button starts a complete validation cycle to ensure all systems are working properly.

RELIABLE & ACCURATE

Will not foul, plate, or deteriorate regardless of water quality.

what is a liquid level sensor type
Written by jeremy

What is a Liquid Level Sensor? Level Switch Types

Liquid level sensor definition: Level Switches, also known as liquid level sensors, are a way to regulate and monitor levels of liquid like oil or water.

Liquid Level Sensor Types | Level Switch Types

Tuning fork models, tilt, vibrating rod, paddle, optical, inductive, float, displacer, diaphragm, conductive, and capacitive are the different types of level switches available.

Capacitive Level Sensors

Capacitive level switches or sensors use a probe with electrical contacts to monitor tank levels for powders or liquids. Traditionally these are low maintenance sensors and are used in for non-conductive materials like wood, ceramic, plastic, and other chemicals.

Conductivity Level Sensors

Conductivity level switches use electrical contacts with sensors to measure liquid levels. You can see these used in oil tanks, water reservoirs, ponds, pressure vessels, pharmaceuticals, and closed tanks.

Displacer Level Sensors

Displacer level switches are sensors with electrical contact and suspended coil springs to monitor liquid levels. Since they are surrounded by coils they are undisturbed by outside pressure and other forces. These sensors are used in viscous applications like oil refineries, chemical plants, and paint factories.

Tuning Fork Level Sensors

Tuning Fork level sensors are cost-effective and reliable switches with an electrical control connected to alarms and pump shutoffs. Due to their versatility and low cost, they are found in several different areas including construction, chemical, mining, and agriculture.

Float Level Sensors

Float level switches are sensors with an electrical contact output at a specific liquid level. Applications include level control, valve control, deaerators, condensate tanks, oil level control, drip legs, and boilers. A few models are designed for the automation of pumps, specifically filling and draining of tanks, wells, and reservoirs.

Optical Level Sensors

Optical level switches do not use any moving parts to detect changes in levels since they rely on infrared light. These types of sensors are not recommended to measure liquids that can crystallize or harden on the sensors since this will lead to incorrect levels being reported. However, these sensors are perfect candidates for applications that need to be accurate and tight fitting like dialysis machines, HVAC systems, pharmaceutical operations, and hydraulic applications.

Paddle Level Sensors

Paddle level switches are side or top-level mounting and use sensors with electric contacts. These are often found in grain silos, mining applications, and the beverage industry.

Diaphragm Level Sensors

Diaphragm level switches also known as a pressure switch works off of tiny sensors connected to an electric contact. These switches are usually used in granular materials because of their economical cost and versatility. Typically found in grain silos, mines, agriculture, and the beverage industries. The flexibility also comes from the areas they can be mounted internally or externally as well as in combination with horns, lights, and alarms.

Rod Level Sensors

Rod level sensors are economical switches that use vibrations to measure bulk solids and powder levels. These models are highly accurate and require low maintenance since they do not allow for build up and are based on a rod moving up and down for measurement.

Tilt Level Sensors

Tilt level sensors are connected to electric contacts to measure the presence or absence of materials based on pressure levels. Since they have high accuracy levels and can be delayed based on timers you will find these sensors in multiple industries like food, agriculture, hoppers, and other bulk solids like pellets or stones.

Never Replace Liquid Level Sensors Again with Waterline Controls™

Our level sensors and controls aren’t just for use in residential potable water holding tanks; some of the other applications include cooling towers, sump pumps, wastewater, boilers, water storage tanks, and building fire protection water tanks.

Written by webtechs

Water Level Controller Failure at Swan Lake

Water controller failures are all too common. Consider the incident in Dunbar Cave’s Swan Lake in Tennessee last December. The lake had just undergone a restoration project only three months before. Included in that project were repairs to the lake’s dam and spillway to allow the water levels to be raised. The pipe that controls those water levels failed, and the lake then drained itself. The incident at Swan Lake which was disappointing but not critical. However, many water controller failures result in serious problems. That’s why it is so important to invest in water controllers that are reliable.

Reliability is Key

If your application is critical to you, then you need the most reliable water controllers that you can find. Waterline Controls water level controls offer the kind of reliability that many of our customers have learned to depend on. In fact, our controllers are so well designed that they have a mere 1% failure rate even after 15 years.

What Makes Our Controllers Different

Waterline Controls designs water controllers to last. As part of our commitment to this goal, we developed a completely new electronic switch sensor with an emphasis on simplicity and reliability. Unlike other water controllers on the market today, our controllers have stainless steel sensor probes will not plate, foul, or deteriorate, regardless of water quality.That means no more sensor cleaning, no more replacing sensors, and no more worries about how water quality will impact your control system.
In addition, our controllers use solid-state electronics because of their durability and dependability. Another benefit of solid-state electronics lies in the extremely low voltages involved, which minimizes or eliminates the rusting, mineral fouling and deterioration of sensor probes. The water controllers also have an easy-to-use troubleshooting switch should any problems be encountered. Finally, we also aim to minimize the number of moving parts that are involved. The only moving parts in our water controllers are relays which can easily be tested and replaced.

How Our Controllers Work

Waterline Controls uses electronic sensors with an array of stainless steel probes that are able to simultaneously monitor multiple water levels at extremely high levels of accuracy. This array of sensors is connected to a controller that uses the sensor data to measure water levels and activate relays accordingly via integrated firmware. As mentioned earlier, the voltages used are extremely small because of the solid-state electronics. This not only aids in preventing fouling of the water but reduces power requirements. In addition, the water controllers are easy to connect to existing building automation systems.

Check Out Waterline Controls

If you are tired of replacing your water controllers, take a look at Waterline Controls. Our completely modular control sensors have an average life of 15 years and come with a 5-year limited warranty. Our customers have been using our controllers for water holding tanks, sumps, lift stations, cooling towers, and many other applications. It’s time to say goodbye to legacy controllers that use mechanical floats, conductive sensors, or ultrasound sensors and start saving time and money with a reliable design from Waterline Controls.