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Why do I Need a Float Switch on my Home Pressure Pump?

Float switch

A float switch is a small device enclosed in a waterproof case used to turn a pump on and off relative to the water level in the tank. It can be attached to a submersible pump or a pump which sits outside the tank and it protects the pump from running if the water is low. Running a pump with low or no water can cause the pump to burn out.

Common use of the float switch: In home sewerage systems you will have three chambers. Grey water passes through the first two chambers where it is treated. The treated water then overflows into the third chamber (the pump out chamber) which contains a submersible pump and float switch. The float switch works by simply turning the pump on when the water level goes up and turning it off when the level goes down.

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Due to being water bound, a float switch is always operating in an adverse environment. In a home sewerage system it comes into contact with household effluent including water containing cleaning products and treated sewerage. Because of this, the float switch is the most common failure, or most vulnerable component of a submersible pump.

Failure can happen if water leaks in, if it gets knocked, if it is operating in really adverse conditions, or if the wire inside the cable breaks. Wear and tear of the microswitch inside the float switch is another factor which contributes to its failure.

Diagram showing how a float switch works
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