What Type of Float Switch is Right for you?

What Type of Float Switch is Right for you?

The importance of float switch selection is key for every application. These switches are used to protect against damage and to make sure that processes are carried out correctly. For these functions to be preformed reliably, you need to have the right float switch for the job. Several factors will determine the right type of float switch for the application, and while there may be more specific concerns that may need to be addressed, the following includes the basic points that will need consideration.

Horizontal or Vertical Design

With float switches that are designed for liquid level sensing, most are either those of the vertical design or ones that have a side-mounting horizontal design. Deciding between these two basic types will be one of the first points to consider. In general, the horizontal switches will be best for circumstances where the top and bottom of the tank are inaccessible and the vertical type switches will be better for applications where the sides of the tank cannot be accessed. That said, there are different considerations that can influence which type is right for the application.

Electrical Load

Float switches are rated for the amount of electricity that they can reliably handle. When you are selecting a float switch, you need to make sure that you are getting one that is designed to meet your needs in this regard. A failure to select a float switch with the correct rating can result in a failure and this could damage the switch or the equipment that it is working with.


A liquid level sensor will often be used in a harsh environment. It could be high pressure, extreme temperatures or it could be a corrosive liquid. If the float switch is not made from materials that are suitable for the environment in which it is operating, the device could fail and result this will result in malfunction. Common materials for float switches include stainless steel, nylon, polypropylene, brass, polyethylene sulfide, buna, PVC, Kynar and Teflon.

In addition to the materials of the switch itself, it may be necessary to consider protection for the cables or leads that come from the switch. If it is possible for a harsh chemical to be spilled on the cables, then they might need a special coating or sheathing to protect against damage.

For many applications, there will already be a float switch in production that will fit the needs of the user perfectly. However, there are some environments or applications that may require a custom-made float switch. If you are having a hard time finding the right type of float switch, then it may help to talk to a representative from FPI Sensors. We can provide assistance with selecting the right float switch and if the need is there, we can create a custom float switch for you!

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