Float Switch Choice by State of Manufacturing Plant

Repair or modification of Boston Whaler boats, their engines, trailers, and gear
Don SSDD
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Float Switch Choice by State of Manufacturing Plant

Postby Don SSDD » Sat Nov 26, 2016 3:59 pm

[Have readers] ever heard of a good [float] switch made in Maine? I can't find it. Thanks--Don
1986 Outrage 18 with 2001 Honda 130 HP
Former Owner 1991 Guardian 19 with 1994 Evinrude V4 140HP
Former owner 1987 Montauk with 1998 Mercury 90HP
Nova Scotia

Ridge Runner
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Location: Matawan NJ / Punta Gorda FL

Re:Float Switch Choice by State of Manufacturing Plant

Postby Ridge Runner » Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:13 pm

I am not sure about Maine but Aqualarm is manufactured in the US (California) and gets good reviews.
http://aqualarm.net/bilge-alarms-switch ... -p-84.html

A very good float switch I have used was manufactured by Material Sciences Corp and sold under the "SensaSwitch" brand, they were completely encapsulated in plastic and used two "Mirus" patented field sensors. Johnson started manufacturing them and selling under the West Marine house label. They changed the housing and it is now hollow and the seal for the wires is a little marginal. In their new configuration, these switches are known to fail intermittently. You can still find some of the original MSC float switches on ebay.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/MSC-STANDARD-BL ... Yt&vxp=mtr

One of the most reliable float switches is a pneumatic bilge pump switch. This switch uses exactly the same technology your automatic washer uses to determine when the tub is full. Groco manufactures this type switch in Maryland. The switch works very well, but it looks strange, is a little more expensive and takes some thinking to install properly.
https://www.amazon.com/Groco-AS-100/dp/B01G4PLCJ2
Member since 2005
2005 170 Montauk, 2010 E-TEC 115 H.O.
2016 210 Montauk, 2017 E-TEC G2 200 H.O.

"Red sky at night, sailor’s delight - Red sky in the morning, sailor’s warning”

Don SSDD
Posts: 164
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2015 6:58 am
Location: Nova Scotia

Re: Float Switch Choice by State of Manufacturing Plant

Postby Don SSDD » Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:00 pm

[I] found [the good float switch I was asking about being made in Maine] is made in Florida [and it is called an] Ultra.--Don
1986 Outrage 18 with 2001 Honda 130 HP
Former Owner 1991 Guardian 19 with 1994 Evinrude V4 140HP
Former owner 1987 Montauk with 1998 Mercury 90HP
Nova Scotia

jimh
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Re: Float Switch Made in Maine

Postby jimh » Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:11 pm

What is the name of the manufacturer of the float switch made in a plant in Florida and called an "Ultra"?

Please share this information with readers.

Ridge Runner
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Re: Float Switch Choice by State of Manufacturing Plant

Postby Ridge Runner » Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:47 am

Tef-Gel is the manufacture: http://www.tefgel.com/contain.php?param ... itch_price
Also available on amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Ultra-Safety-Sys ... B00CG8G8QY

Seems to be a similar design to the Aqualarm switch I noted above. It looks like a smaller design of a float that you might find on a traditional sump pump.
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2005 170 Montauk, 2010 E-TEC 115 H.O.
2016 210 Montauk, 2017 E-TEC G2 200 H.O.

"Red sky at night, sailor’s delight - Red sky in the morning, sailor’s warning”

jimh
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Re: Float Switch Choice by State of Manufacturing Plant

Postby jimh » Tue Dec 06, 2016 8:48 am

RIDGE--many thanks for the follow-up remarks letting readers know the actual name of the manufacturer and the model number of the float switch that has been the topic of this discussion. As it turns out, we just now find out we have been talking about

Float Switch Manufacturer: TEF-GEL
Float Switch Product Line: ULTRA SAFETY SYSTEMS
Float Switch Model: UPS-01 (as in Ultra Pump Switch model 01)
State in which manufacturing plant is located: Florida

The TEF-GEL ULTRA SAFETY SYSTEMS Model UPS-01 pump switch has a rather unusual wiring arrangement. The wiring is shown (somewhat fuzzily) in this image:

http://www.tefgel.com/pump/installationpumpswitch.jpg

At time of order you must specify several additional parameters of the configuration of switch contacts and ratings. For example, on the contacts that will operate the pump you must specify ether 12-Volt / 15-Ampere contacts or 24-Volt / 10-Ampere contacts. For the alarm contacts you must specify either normally-open or normally-closed contact arrangements.

jimh
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Re: Float Switch Choice by State of Manufacturing Plant

Postby jimh » Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:04 am

By the way, at a price of $174 the float switch that has been the topic of discussion in this thread is quite an expensive float switch. For application in the cockpit sump of a Boston Whaler boats, I have some doubts about it fitting or working as intended.

In the cockpit sump of my Boston Whaler 22-foot hull, the sump area does not have a flat bottom. The sump area bottom slopes toward the boat centerline. The more conventional float switch is installed on this inclined area.

The float switch that is the topic of this thread that is made in Florida looks like the switch needs to be oriented perfectly vertically in order for the float to work properly. If the switch were fastened to the pump in a Boston Whaler, it would not be oriented vertically. It appears that this could hinder its operation, as the float is constrained in a tube. The float might bind in the tube if the tube is not truly vertical.

I have some doubts about the ability to fasten the float switch made in Florida that is the topic of this discussion to the circular pump housing and still fit into the sump. Also, I have some doubts about the minimum height the water would have to rise to energize the pump.

If anyone spends the $174 on this float switch made in Florida that is the topic of this thread, please give us a follow-up to inform about how it worked.

On my boat the float switch is still the original one that was installed by Boston Whaler, and it still works properly. Were it to need replacement, I would most likely get another one just like it. I think the replacement cost would be about $25, or about $150 less than the float switch made in Florida that is the topic of this thread.

Ridge Runner
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Re: Float Switch Choice by State of Manufacturing Plant

Postby Ridge Runner » Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:48 am

Jim - all very interesting points. I do think this is a very proven design and a mechanical float is very reliable. I also find the price to be expensive for a recreational boater. The attachment system seems to be solely designed for round pumps if your were to have a different pump design I am not sure how you would use this switch. For example this Johnson 1000GHP pump:
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Member since 2005
2005 170 Montauk, 2010 E-TEC 115 H.O.
2016 210 Montauk, 2017 E-TEC G2 200 H.O.

"Red sky at night, sailor’s delight - Red sky in the morning, sailor’s warning”

jimh
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Re: Float Switch Choice by State of Manufacturing Plant

Postby jimh » Thu Dec 08, 2016 10:25 pm

Another consideration when replacing a float switch in a Boston Whaler boat sump with a new type of switch: make sure that you test the system to verify that when the float switch activates the pump, the pump can evacuate the water in the sump area to a level that permits the float switch to turn off. This is not a guarantee. You have to position the float switch so that in operation the switch will be able to shut off the pump. In order for that to happen the pump has to be able to get enough water out of the sump to let the float drop below the OFF threshold of the switch. If you don't check this, you may have a system that works only one way: when water gets into the sump the pump comes on and never shuts off. That's not a good design. For more about designing a float switch to control a pump, see

http://continuouswave.com/whaler/reference/bilgePump.html