The Basics of Float Pumps

A float pump is ideal for providing a consistent, low-pressure source of water to supplement a homestead’s well. In addition, it can be used for a variety of applications including irrigation and small scale waste treatment.

Float pumps switch the pump on automatically when the water level rises to a preset height and then switches it off when the water level falls. This automatic operation is useful in preventing floods and maintaining an even water level in tanks, cesspools, ponds and watering systems.

The float mechanism consists of a hollow body with an internal steel ball that pivots on an external cord. The movement of the internal ball triggers an electrical switch that creates a closed circuit. The float can be wired to operate as normally open or normally closed depending on how it is configured.

Some floats can also be configured to include a second stage switch. As the first stage triggers and opens an electrical circuit, a second stage can be activated that shuts off the pump, initiates an alarm or both based on the system requirements.

There are a wide variety of floats to choose from, but it is important to make sure that you select the right one for your application. A high quality, wide angle float switch is required for controlling your pump. Using narrow angle floats will cause them to be overly sensitive and can easily be triggered by ripples in the water or splashing from water coming into the tank.

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