A bilge pump is a tool used to keep the boat afloat whenever water starts getting into the boat. The pump is designed to pump the water out from inside the boat, where this helps to keep the boat high and dry. However, for a bilge pump to function well, it must have a float switch that provides hassle-free water pumping. Getting the best bilge pump float switch for your boat can be a tedious task because there are many options available.
In the guide below, we have a list with the 5 best float switches that will suit your boat correctly.
What is a Float Switch?
A float switch is an important device that is designed to activate a pump at any time there is excess water in the boat, and it turns the pump off when all the water is out, and the boat is dry. It is designed to detect the water level in the pump before switching it on/off. If any boat’s float switch malfunctions, the chances of sinking are very high.
Best Bilge Pump Float Switch - Comparison Chart
Shoreline Marine Bilge Pump With Float Switch
Shoreline Marine Bilge Pump Float Switch
Rule Rule-A-Matic Plus Float Switch
Rule SuperSwitch Float Switch
Attwood 4201-7 Float Switch With Cover
Best Bilge Pump Float Switch Reviews - Top Pick 2020
1. Shoreline Marine Bilge Pump with Switch - Top Pick
If you want to avoid the challenge of installing a new float switch every time, you should consider buying a bilge pump that is equipped with a float switch. Shoreline Marine Bilge pump comes when fully equipped with a float switch that that moves water conveniently out of your boat to keep it afloat.
Besides, unlike the switches that work manually, the float switch’s sensor is designed to operate automatically by activating the water pump when the water level exceeds the minimum limit. This switch is designed to turn the pump off immediately the water level drops.
The best bilge pump comes with auxiliary accessories and a mounting bracket, where they make the installation easy without requiring a profession. This switch is constructed marine-grade wiring so that it can withstand corrosive and harsh conditions when submerged put in the water.
Additionally, the pump is equipped with an impeller that prevents the motor from heating up, and this helps to increase the life of the switch. It is a compact device that is designed to take up less space when installed.
2. Shoreline Marine Bilge Pump Float Switch
When you are looking for a quality float switch, consider buying Bilge products because they are known for manufacturing high-quality products. This is an automatic lever switch that is easy to set up and easy to use. It comes with all the required mounting hardware that makes your installation task easy without struggling or requiring a profession.
Besides, it features a wiring diagram that allows beginners to do a DIY installation without requiring a profession. The switch is designed to activate the pump automatically when the water is raised
to the best level. It comes with tinned marine wiring that enables the switch to withstand harsh and corrosive marine conditions when submerged in water to increase durability.
The good thing about this float switch is that it is compatible with 12V DC Bilge pumps with a maximum output of 10amps. This will help you eliminate errors when searching for a bilge pump switch that is compatible and suits your boat well. It is a compact and lightweight switch that weights 0.2lbs, and this makes it easy to carry and install without taking much space.
3. Rule Rule-A-Matic Plus Float Switch
This is another quality brand that is worth buying, where it is equipped with improved features that will help to keep your boat on the water even when the conditions are extreme. This switch helps to enhance safety because it has a built-in test kit that is used to assess the performance of the switch before you start sailing.
Furthermore, it is easy to install the switch because it comes with all the required hardware that will make your job hassle-free.
This switch is sleek and rugged with sturdy impact resistant cover that helps to prevent the switch from jamming and debris. Moreover, the switch is designed to turn the pump on when the water level reaches 2,” and it then turns it off when the water level falls to 3/4”. It is designed for Bilge pumps pumping up to 20amps to the maximum with a voltage that ranges from 12V to 32V.
This switch can be used for high water alarm systems because it can support marine-grade pumps. The unit features 14-gauge marine grade wire that is abrasive resistant to protect the switch from malfunctioning in corrosive and harsh water environments. It has a detachable mounting base that makes it easy to install the switch and fast removal for cleaning.
4. Rule SuperSwitch Float Switch
If you want a mercury-free switch that is designed to handle heavy-duty applications, this switch is worth buying. It is equipped with a removable base that makes installation and cleaning hassle-free. Besides, the switch is designed to handle pumps drawing up to 20amps with a maximum voltage of 12 volts DC.
Despite its advanced features, installing the float switch is easy because it comes with all the required hardware, and you will not need any professional. The switch is mercury-free and environmentally friendly, making it great for boat owners who care more about the environment.
5. Attwood 4201-7 Float Switch with Cover
The switch is built with a compact design that allows it to mount on any surface without taking much space. It is equipped with a test knob that allows you to check for malfunctions before you start sailing to increase safety. Furthermore, it is built with a sealed switch mechanism that enables the switch to resist electric shock, ignition, and moisture.
The pump converts a manual pump into an automatic pump within minutes. You can mount the switch on any horizontal surface with up to a 24-degree angle, and this allows the switch to be used for any boat. This switch triggers your pump’s motor at 2” water level to keep your boat dry and over water all the time.
The best thing that makes the switch outstanding over others is that it has improved safety features that increase durability and safety. It is designed for Bilge pumps drawing from 6 amps at 24V DC to 12 amps at 12V DC.
Factors to Consider To Choose a Bilge Pump Float Switch
Installing a float switch can be a tedious task if you don’t have the necessary hardware. A float switch should come with all the essential tools that will allow you to do the installation in minutes even for DIY installation. Other than tools, the switch should be built with a compact design to enable you to mount it on any surface.
How much do you want to spend, and how strong is your budget? These questions should run into your mind when shopping for a pump switch. You have to buy a switch that matches your budget needs to avoid spending much than you had planned. If you want a quality switch, you must be ready to pay extra cash because these switches are equipped with improved features that improve performance and durability.
To sail safely, you need a quality pump that is well constructed. If you want to use in saltwater surfaces, it should have corrosion-resistant parts that will increase durability. Besides, the pump should have a cover that is resistant to moisture for protection. You should choose a pump that will be suitable for all water conditions even the harsh ones.
Pumps differ a lot on how much water they can pump at one time. Gallon Per Hour (GPH) is the figure used to measure how much water is pumped per hour. For any Bilge boat pump, it should have at least 1000GPH, unless your boat is small. Therefore, capacity is a crucial figure, but you have to consider the size of your boat, and it’s typed.
Who Needs a Bilge Pump Float Switch?
A bilge pump float switch is needed by any boat owner who wants to keep their boat dry whenever they are out in the waters. It will switch on the bilge pump automatically when there is water in the boat and then switch it off when the water is cleared, keeping your boat safe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why has my float switch stopped functioning all of a sudden?
Debris stuck in the switch is the main reason why your switch has stopped working. Check the float switch in the bilge and clear any debris, if any. Besides, your switch may have broken down due to years of usage and may require to be replaced.
How does the bilge pump float switch function?
The water level in the bilge triggers the turning on/off of the pump where when the level is high, the float is raised causing the pump to turn on. When the water level reduces, the switch falls back to the rest position causing the pump to turn off.
Can I avoid bilge water, hence avoid the use of a bilge pump float switch?
Bilge water can come from interior spillage, rough sea waves, or rain; hence, you can’t avoid it altogether. This water is found on almost any vessel and can cause it to sink if it's not pumped out.
My switch turns my pump on but doesn’t turn it off, should I be worried?
First, the failure to turn off the pump is an indicator of a failing switch. Then, running your pump continuously can cause overheating and burning out of the pump or even your precious vessel. Any slight indication of a switch failure should be taken seriously because it can jeopardize your safety.
Even for the experienced boat owners, choosing a best bilge pump float switch is not easy. However, the guide above has eased your work, allowing you to find the best switch that is suitable for your boat. The switches are efficient, easy to install, and ideal for all applications.