Septic Tank Float Switch: Functions, Types & Problems

What’s a septic tank float switch and what role does it perform in wastewater treatment?

True to its name, a septic system has various components that all work in sync to ensure smooth operations.

Components range from the septic tank (which also has several components within), the drain field and drain pipes or plumbing system among others.

All of these components however little play key roles in promoting smooth operations. Our focus isn’t on every component of the system but one; the septic tank float switch.

You’ll need to stick around to find answers to questions about this component.

Join us as we delve into details on the functions of the septic tank float switch, the types as well as common issues people have with these devices.

An additional area we’ll consider includes troubleshooting such issues when they arise. These and more will be discussed shortly.

Functions of A Septic Tank Float Switch

From its name alone, some readers may be able to decipher what this device is all about. If you have no idea what this is about, there’s no need to worry and it’s nothing to be ashamed about.

We’re all here to learn right? Without further ado, let’s get to details.

Basically, float switches are sensors that alert your pump to turn on or off when necessary. For a pump to turn on, the water level must have reached a level that triggered the sensor.

Septic tank float switches also alert you to when the water level gets too high or when other problems arise.

This important function takes the stress off your shoulders. You don’t have to monitor when a pump needs to be put on or off. All of this is done automatically while you go about your daily routine.

Types Of Septic Tank Float Switches

There are options when it comes to choosing a more appropriate septic tank float switch for your use.

Some of the main variants include submersible sensors, pump duty floats, mechanical sump switches, control duty floats, and horizontal float switches.

To better understand each of these, it’s necessary to further explain how they work however brief it is.

  • Submersible Sensors

Submersible sensors are types of septic tank float switches that are mostly used for deep sewage tanks. One of the great things about submersible sensors is the fact that they’re able to fit into just about any space.

In other words, this float switch variant fits into small spaces.

Another added advantage of the submersible sensor is that you get continuous level measurements, unlike some types that only take simple point-level measurements. So, is this the best septic tank float switch available?

You’ll have to decide after going through the others.

  • Mechanical Sump Switches

Mechanical sump switches are also known by the name ball float switches.

You’ll find this septic tank float switch type used for basement sump pumps among other things. Mechanical sump switches are built with straightforward functionality.

In other words, this septic tank float switch variant comes with a simple on/off operation or functionality.

Plus, this float switch can be used to activate up or down pumping of wastewater.

  • Horizontal Float Switches

The design of the horizontal float switch differs in terms of where it’s installed or mounted.

They’re mounted within the walls of the septic tank and rise or drop with effluent. This movement allows for easy control of water levels within the tank.

Septic Tank Float Switches are Important for the Following Reason…

By its design, the septic system performs an important function of wastewater treatment.

As wastewater gets drained into this holding facility, the septic tank enables it to separate into three distinct layers namely; the scum (at the top), followed by effluent and scum at the bottom.

Now, effluent sitting within the septic tank either needs to be removed or pumped to a drain field or surface water. To ensure the levels are well regulated, an important component like the float switch needs to be installed.

This sensor activates the pump to move or convey wastewater for onward treatment. Now, the impact of a faulty float switch is felt when backups occur.

Such disaster can be averted by simply ensuring that a float switch is installed and well maintained.

Common Issues Associated With Float Switch Failure

Float switches fail due to three major reasons. They include the presence of moving parts, poor maintenance habits, and choosing the wrong device or switch for your septic tank.

Any of these reasons are sufficient enough to cause problems.

  • Presence of Moving Parts

Some septic tank float switches have moving parts. While these may perform excellently at the onset, the corrosive and hazardous nature of a septic tank environment eventually takes its toll.

Under such circumstances, the moving parts get clogged, thus resulting in eventual failure.

  • Poor Maintenance Habits

Maintenance is an essential part of keeping your float septic float switch in good working condition. As such, poor maintenance habits won’t do much to help you keep this important septic tank component working.

With sustained negligence or poor maintenance, habits come failure. It’s important to note that the failure of a single system component such as the septic tank float switch can do a lot of damage.

This is a situation you’d want to avoid as much as possible.

Poor maintenance habits can be avoided by scheduling septic system inspection visits. This procedure includes identifying possible faults that could affect key components like the septic tank float switch.

Fixes and replacements are carried out to keep it functional.

  • Choosing The Wrong Device For Your Tank

The type of septic tank float switches best fit for your specific needs is largely determined by varying factors including its function. Your best bet in finding the right float switch device for your septic tank is hinged on seeking professional help.

Septic specialists or technicians have a better understanding of septic system components.

These experts will normally recommend certain float switches over others. Sticking by such decisions goes a long way to prevent issues relating to incompatibility and frequent malfunction.

Septic tank float switches are important components that help maintain optimal conditions in septic systems.

We’ve seen the different types including the common issues affecting them. More important is the need to have this functioning at full capacity. Only effective maintenance strategies will keep them in good condition.

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