Does your boat feel risky because of the water in the bilge? Bilges of boats are designed for safety. But a huge problem that every boater around the world faces is excess water in the bilge.
Nowadays, we have automatic machines called bilge pumps that can detect and pump out excess water out of the bilge. But, to do this the bilge pump uses a float switch.
Float switches signal the pump about water and turn the pump on. So, one could say that the float switch is the most important part of any bilge pump!
However, you need the best float switch for bilge pump if you want safety and low maintenance cost. That’s why, to your rescue, our researchers have spent hours finding the best float switches and made a list with only the top 5.
Keep reading to find out about them.
Best Float Switch for Bilge Pump Reviews
This section contains multiple options. However, not all of them might be suitable for your needs. So, choose a float switch according to your necessity.
1. Rule-A-Matic Float Switch for Bilge Pump | Mercury Free
You already know the “Rule”, don’t you? Rule has become a household name among boaters since they started way back in 1965. Rule provides high-quality marine products and Rule-A-Matics is one of the best offerings in their arsenal!
Rule-A-Matic float switches are among the finest available. These have completely sealed metal capsules for flawless, long-lasting operation.
Also, the switch is removable from its base. This makes it easy to clean and durable.
However, a lot of snap switches used to have mercury in them. But, mercury is a hazardous metal and can have health disasters for users. That’s why Rule-A-Matic switches are mercury-free. So, with this, you can save yourself and the environment!
Although, in the end, what matters most their advantages over their competitors. Rule is a big brand in this market. So, they can provide high quality at a cheaper cost than other float switch sellers.
Most Likeable Features
Bilges sometimes can have fuel leakages in them. So, the float switch wiring needs to be water-blocked. Rule-A-Matic switches have marine-grade blocked wire for ultimate safety. Also, the wires are 28” long and 16 AWG providing significant advantages.
Although Rule is a big brand in the market, users have reported that that the plastic seems low in quality and might break soon. However, fast-breaking down hasn’t been reported by anyone.
- Comes with a wiring diagram and directions
- Nonpolarity sensitive mechanical switch
- Tested for 150° Fahrenheit temperature
- Marine-grade Mercury-free “Block” switch
2. Ogrmar Float Switch for Bilge Pump | Ignition Protected
Do you want an ultra-durable float switch that guarantees long usage? Then, Ogrmar has the right thing for you. These switches have been made with ultrasonic welding which provides a leakage-free, reliable performance.
But, many boaters seem to disagree with the banning of mercury from float switches.
Although mercury switches used to last significantly longer, they have health and environmental hazards. That’s why Ogrmar uses zero Mercury in production.
However, the float switch needs to work flawlessly to keep excess water from the bilge. Ogrmar switches turn on automatically if the water level rises above 2” and shuts off the pump if water is below 0.7”. So, it will surely get the job done.
When compared to other float switches on the market, Ogrmar switches are reported to last longer and provide almost a flawless performance. Also, the switch is removable for cleaning and replacing if necessary.
Most Likeable Features
Ogrmar switches are well-built and do what they are supposed to do. These last longer than average float switches because of their unique welding technology. Also, these switches have a switching frequency up to 10 million times!
Some Ogrmar switches have been reported to stop working if the water level rises too high. Users reported that the switch gets stuck in the up position if water gets too high.
- 1 meters wire length for easy install
- Switch is removable from base for cleaning
- Environmentally responsible for design and manufacturing
- Reliable and durable float switch
3. Rule-A-Matic Plus Float Switch for Bilge Pump | 40A
If you like Rule products then you will most likely like this one! Rule-A-Matic Plus can be called an upgrade to the Rule-A-Matic float switch design. With 2 years warranty, Rule guarantees that these switches will last longer.
Rule-A-Matic plus switches are usable with pumps drawing up to 20 amperes. So, that makes it usable with other water level alarm systems with bilge pumps.
Also, with their impact-resistant cover, these will protect themselves from debris and jamming.
But, most float switches don’t have test levers and that brings in a lot of unwanted problems. Well, you won’t face them if you buy a Rule-A-Matic plus. Because these have a test lever built-in. Also, the marine-grade wires ensure 100% ignition protection.
However, if you compare one of these to a Rule-A-Matic float switch or other float switches, they stand out. Because of their usability with up to 20 amp pumps and high-quality build.
Most Likeable Features
The switches work flawlessly and automatically turns the pump on if the water level rises above 2”. These also shut off the pump if the water is below 3/4”. In addition, these can be used with other high water alarm systems.
Although, Rule guarantees that these switches will last at least more than 2 years, some users have reported that theirs broke down after only a season!
- 14 gauge marine grade wire for safety
- Easy installation and cleaning if needed
- Built-in test lever to test pump system
- Designed for pumps drawing up to 20 amps
4. Aurelio Tech Float Switch for Bilge Pump | Solid ABS
Do you have less space in your bilge pump area? Then, you need these compact float switches from Aurelio tech. These are only 5″ x 1. 9″ x 2″ in dimensions. That makes them the best float switch for bilge pump if you consider the pricing!
However, most mercury-free float switches nowadays don’t last as long as the old mercury switches used to.
But, as using mercury became illegal, manufacturers needed to make these as durable as possible. That’s why these are made of solid ABS material.
These ignition-protected switches will make sure that even if you have leaked fuel in your boat’s bilge, they won’t cause any accidents. Also, their leakage-free, water-tight design ensures that they last longer.
While other float switches in this list are considerably cheap, if you want the most inexpensive float switch you should get this one from Aurelio tech. These switches are Chinese-made. So, although they work fine these are cheaper than most.
Most Likeable Features
Being made of high-quality opaque thermoplastic, these float switches can withstand high temperatures. As these switches are placed in a high-temperature area, this makes a huge difference in the durability of the switch.
As these are very cheap, they have a few drawbacks too. As per user reports, some Aurelio switches tend to get stuck in the on and off position. So, you need to check regularly for that.
- Very long wires for easy installation
- A removable base ensures easy usage
- Solid ABS material for high strength
- Mercury-free and ignition protected
5. Seaflo Float Switch for Bilge Pump | Tilt Switch
Did you like the old mercury switches more than today’s electronic reed switches? Well, we don’t know about mercury switches, but we sure do have a better option! These Seaflo switches have steel ball-bearing activation that works just like old mercury.
Electronic reed switches tend to last a short period. But, using a ball bearing to connect the electricity is an ingenious idea and works like charm! That’s why Seaflo used this technology in their switches.
Also, while today’s float switches don’t even last a season, Seaflo gives a 4 years warranty for their switches.
So, you may not like them but you have to agree that they believe in their switches!
Anyway, when compared to other float switches on the market, Seaflo switches are completely different in technology. Also, they enhanced their sealing construction for added durability. And Unlike any other company, they provide 4 years of warranty!
Most Likeable Features
Tilt switches last significantly longer than electronic reed switches. So, Seaflo switches are made to last longer. Also, their 16 AWG marine-grade wires make sure the electricity connection is blocked and doesn’t cause any incidents.
Some users have reported that the ball bearings in these switches tend to get stuck and then it doesn’t work. That can make a mess of excess water in your bilge or a burned pump!
- 16 AWG marine grade wire for safety
- Simple technology, nothing complicated
- Easy installation and easy cleaning
- Steel ball-bearing switch technology
Things to Consider Before Buying Float Switch for Bilge Pump
If you are a boater, you already know what excess water can do to your boat, don’t you? That can get your boat under the water! That’s why a bilge pump needs to work flawlessly to keep you and your boat safe.
However, bilge pumps can’t work flawlessly if you don’t have a good quality float switch. As float switches signal the pump when to start working and when not to, these are very important for the workability of the pump itself.
That’s why many experts say that float switches are the weak point of any bilge pump. So, you need to make sure that you have a float switch that works best with your boat, your environment, and your bilge pump!
But, there are so many float switches available on the market, that choosing the right one can be quite messy even for an expert. So, we listed a few things to consider before you buy a float switch. This way, you will find exactly what you need. Make sure you also check our guide for clay pigeon thrower.
Mercury switches were very popular all over the world. Mercury was used to making any kind of good quality switches. However, later mercury turned out to be heavily poisonous and hazardous for the environment.
So, nowadays mercury switches are not available anymore. Although, many boaters still love the mercury switches because of the durability they used to provide.
But, it is illegal to make mercury switches anymore. So, make sure that the float switch you buy is mercury-free for your safety. Check out the most essential Review for baseballs for batting practice.
Switch test functions
As float switches are important to function automatically, even if you are not on the boat, you need to make sure that they do that. But, you can’t just put gallons of water into your bilge to test the switch, can you?
That’s why you need a switch that has a built-in testing function.
Wire gauge is the measure of wire thickness. The more the gauge the less current passes through them. But, a very high inrush current can burn your pump and the switch itself. So, you need just the right gauge.
Most float switch wires are 14 –18 American wire gauges. But, you need to measure your powering device for the switch if you want flawless performance.
Old mercury switches used to have mercury in them and tilting the switch used to break the circuit. However, today’s electronic reed switches are electromagnetic switches. The switch works more or less like a bridge.
But, low-quality electric reed switches tend to snap quickly. Also, mercury is illegal to use. That’s why newer technology like the Ball-bearing switches can be given a chance.
However, good quality electric reed switches will also last you a very time. So, some might find them better. This is more a matter of preference if you put it that way.
As most float switches are Chinese-made and cheap, the build quality might not be luxurious. But, the most important thing is that they work.
So, whatever you buy, check the build quality first. If you don’t believe in the product, it’s most likely that it won’t work very well!
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
1. Can I run two pumps with a single switch?
Well, theoretically you should be able to use two small pumps with a switch. Because most float switches have an 18A rating and most pumps run at 3A approx. However, using switches that way may not be very reliable.
Because, bilge pumps tend to have a huge inrush current sometimes, even as high as 9A.
2. Can I keep the switch close to my engine?
Most, float switches can withstand somewhat temperature. But, good ones like the Rule-A-Matic float switch can withstand temperatures up to 150° Fahrenheit.
However, if your engine gets too hot, you may want to keep the switch a little away from the engine. You can even add a blower to the engine compartment.
3. What can cause my float switch to fail?
Overloading your switch is the main reason for a float switch to fail. Also, poor maintenance, using an incompatible float switch can lead to failure.
Anyway, bilge pumps can have spiking currents sometimes. So, you may want to read about curing spiking voltage with a relay.
4. Do float switches need maintenance?
Well, everything in this world needs maintenance, doesn’t it? Float switches are supposed to automatically turn the pump on or off. But, sometimes debris can get stuck on the switch itself.
However, if you find the best bilge pump float switch you may not need to check as frequently as you have to if you buy a bad one!
5. How to test a float switch?
Most switches can just be lifted and tested if it turns the pump or not. However, some switches like the Rule-A-Matic Plus have test levers for testing purposes.
Float switches are one of the most important parts to keep your bilge clean and your boat above water! So, you need to invest in a good float switch.
Although finding a good one can be tough, if you consider the few things mentioned here, you will find the best float switch for bilge pump that is most compatible with your needs. However, as you read this far, we sure hope you found it.
Mark Robinson is a sportswriter for various companies. He received his B.A. from the University of Washington in 1999, majoring in journalism. He specializes in sports reports. As he believes in love to create, to share, and to make people smile.