The Best Bilge Pump Float Switch in 2022 – All the Primary Details

You wouldn’t know much about boats and their functionalities if you don’t delve into the technicalities. If you are a boat owner, chances are that you wouldn’t likely know about bilge pumps and the maintenance that comes with them. A clean bilge pump is key to the efficiency of a boat. So, if you are neglecting it, chances are that you need to take things into your hands and get things done instead of just talking about it.

Bilge Pump Float Switch

The float switch is the machinery in a boat that detects the level of liquid present in a tank or container. This is the principle manufacturers use in building the bilge pump. Additionally, it helps you know about the level of fluid present inside. They help in alarming the riders in case there are changes in the liquid level of pressure when it comes to bilge pumps.

Here, we will be discussing everything that you need to know about bilge pumps and float switches individually and how they function together.

Some of The Best Bilge Pump Float Switch in 2021

What is a Bilge Pump?

The location of a bilge pump is inside the innermost part of the boat. Manufacturers specifically design it to get rid of the excess water that splashes overboard and could create havoc for the people that are riding on the boat. The primary objective of integrating a bilge pump into a boat is to prevent the boat from drowning.

Say you can’t see the pump right off the bat. Very likely because it’s hidden deep underneath the boat that often doesn’t show. That would be because a wooden plank is covering it up to keep it secure. Since the bilge is responsible for collecting the water, the bilge pump helps get rid of that water from the boat to ensure no accidents are happening.

The bilge pump float switch is responsible for keeping a check on the water level on board, especially with the kind of pressure and suction that it creates. In case there are any issues with the level of water in the bilge pump, chances are that the float switch will alert you of the same. Let us know a little more about float switch individually.

What is a Float Switch?

Now that you know what a bilge pump is, let us move on to float switches. These are the liquid level pressure sensor that floats around the bilge pump to showcase the liquid levels. Not just for bilge pumps, the float switches are also ideally found in alarms. It showcases any significant changes in the water or liquid levels. There are a few different variants of pump float switches available on the market. Mechanical float switches and electrical float switches.

What are the types of Bilge Pump Float Switches?

When it comes to buying a good quality bilge pump float switch, you must know about the types of float switches available in the market. There are primarily two different types of float switches that are available in the market. The stem-mounted float switches and cable-suspended float switches.

Let us talk a little bit more about the same individually.

1. Stem-mounted float switches

Ogrmar Automatic Boat Bilge Pump Float Switch Moisture Tight Seals 12/24/32VDC Ignition Protected Mercury

The first and the most common type of best bilge pump float switch are the stem mounted options. They are designed to constrain the movement of the float switch up and down. They also come with a single-point switch. The switch comes with a single float. They can be found in both vertical and horizontal positions.

The Ogrmar Automatic Boat Bilge Pump Float Switch is a pretty great option that you can consider looking into in such cases. It can fit with a moisture-lock seal for long-lasting usage.

2. Cable-suspended float switches

These are more flexible options and allows the float switch to move around freely around the pump without any risks of damage in the long run. They are mechanical options, meaning that you need to operate them according to your needs.

As opposed to the stem-mounted float switches, the cable-mounted ones are electrically more diverse. They are ideal for more premium and versatile bilge switches. Naturally because they can maintain up to four switch points with ease.

How to Ideally Set Up a Bilge Pump Float Switch and Install it the Right Way?

When it comes to handling situations depending on the shoreline marine, you need to be mindful of a few installation practices to ensure that the process goes on smoothly without any interruptions. For the most part, it is always better that you follow the steps we have mentioned down below.

Primarily, you need to ensure with your pump float switch is to check whether you got the option that you ordered. Most of the time, what happens is that users end up receiving the wrong variant, one that isn’t compatible with your bilge pump. You have to make sure that you check the compatibility of the bilge pump float switch that you received.

Once you have sorted out the compatibility of the pump float switch, the next thing you need to be mindful of is the installation process. Some types of pump float switches penetrate easily into the bilge pump and fit right into the space available.

The last and possibly the most important factor that you need to be mindful of is the control system compatibility. If your float switch isn’t compatible with the control system, chances are that the float switch won’t work efficiently.

How do the Bilge Pumps Work on a Boat?

MAXZONE Automatic Submersible Boat Bilge Water Pump 12v 1100gph Auto with Float Switch (Blue - Automatic)

When you are investing in the best bilge pump float switch, you must know about the functionalities of the pump. There can be a chance you aren’t aware of the functions, it will become harder for you to decide how you are going to integrate the float switch around the bilge pump. Amidst all the options, the MAXZONE Automatic Submersible Boat Bilge Water Pump 12v 1100gph Auto with Float Switch is a good option for you to start with.

While you are considering buying a bilge pump, try to invest your options in the automatic pumps with float switches. These help in getting rid of the excess water from the boat without any questions. As for the types, there are electrical diaphragm or centrifugal bilge pumps.

FLAMEER 12V 8 GPM 30 LPM 18 PSI Self Priming Centrifugal Impeller Bilge Pump Marine

The centrifugal bilge pumps come with a rotating impeller inside that get to rotate and gets rid of the excess water from the boat to ensure that there are no risks of drowning involved. Among all the options, the centrifugal bilge pumps like the FLAMEER 12V 8 GPM 30 LPM 18 PSI Self Priming Centrifugal Impeller Bilge Pump are bestselling products. These are also quite easy to maintain.

Coming to the diaphragm pumps, they are designed to pull the water in through the intake valve, and the excess water is then expelling out through an outlet valve. The Jabsco 50880 Series Marine Bilge Pump is a good recommendation for that.

However, if we had to suggest you pick one from the lot, we’d recommend that you opt for the centrifugal pumps. Because they work a lot more efficiently as opposed to the diaphragm and other variants. Also, get the automatic bilge pumps. Because they are integrated with a float switch that makes the process of expelling the water pretty easy.

Jabsco 50880-1000 Marine Filter-less Shower Drain / Bilge Pump, 3.7 GPM, 3/4 inch connections, 12 Volt, 7 Amp,Black

Wide range of application is another factor that should be taken into consideration.

Obviously, boat is a primary concern when purchasing and binge pump but you can use it further. We are talking about aquariums, fountains and other places that connect to water drainage. Here are some more binge pumps that can be applied to fishing boats as well as some other places.
AIRTAK Bilge Pump for Boat DC12V 1500GPH Small Bilge Pump 12 Volt Electric Water Pump Low Noise with The Switch
AIRTAK Bilge Pump for Boat DC12V is also a good choice as it is compact to use and efficient. Small volume portable bilge pump is specifically made for long life motors. It keeps the motor in a healthy working condition for a long time. AIRTAK’s this mode has some exclusive features that may interest you. It comes equipped with moisture ting seals. Basically meaning bilge pump is made of marine sealant which is a good material against corrosion. Cleaning, installation and maintenance is also extremely easy.
attwood 4505-7 Sahara S500 Automatic Bilge Pump, 12-Volt, 1.5-Amp Draw, ¾-Inch Interior Diameter Hose, 29-Inch 16-Gauge Wire
Attwood 4505-7 Sahara S500 Automatic Bilge Pump is another great choice. First of all it is one of the most reliable bilge pumps for fishing boats of any size. Size considerations means it is also applicable to various places the size of a big fishing boat. Comparably, it meets automatic and switch pump requirements for any vessel that is over 20 feet. Furthermore, there can be sleeping accommodations made for several people. The product comes with a full package of everything you are going to need for it to function. These include: pump, wire strainer, switch that is mercury free. All these in a single unit.

Installation process of the bilge pump should be easy and quick.

This is exactly the case with the above mentioned model. Installation process is very quick and easy. It can be installed in tight places. One thing you should consider here is that it only mounts horizontally. 12-volt, 1.5-amp draw pump rates for 500 GPH performance at open flow (at voltage of 13.6 volts DC). Lastly, you should know that it comes with a 29-inch length of 16-gauge caulked. It is a tinned copper wire, and uses a ¾-inch interior diameter hose.

Here’s one important question: if a boat has a manual pump can you just hook the one you purchased with an already existing switch on the console. Or do you have to get another bilge pump switch?

Fortunately, you can hook the one you got up with the current dash switch. It will work all the same as your old pump. However, there’s another detail. In case you want to use the ‘auto’ function where the pumps internal float switch will turn it on, you will want to get a (new) three way dash switch. This will allow you to select whether it is in ‘manual on’ or ‘auto on’ mode (or off).

How to Clean Bilge Pump and Float Switches?

To enhance the efficiency of the best bilge pump float switch, you must keep the pump and the switch clean and well maintained. You’d be surprised to know this but several boaters tend to avoid doing this altogether.

Even if you have taken your boat out for one ride, chances are that your bilge area isn’t the cleanest on the boat. That being said, paying extra attention to that place will help improve the longevity of your bilge pump. The boat in general as well.

Bilge Pump and Float Switches

When it comes to cleaning, you need to do it frequently and ensure that you are using the correct cleaning solutions that won’t rust or damage the bilge pump or the float switch integrated into the same.

How does a Bilge Pump Float Switch Work?

First, if you are completely new to the prospect of buying the bilge pump float switch, you need to be mindful of the functions.

Generally, the primary objective of this float switch is to sense the rising levels of the water around the bilge pump and activate it to function effortlessly. Once the water level has gone down to safe levels, the bilge pump float switch accesses the situation. It then turns off the pump immediately.

In case there are any issues or faults with the pumping or the float switches, chances are that the boat can overturn and be put into a risky situation. See, ensuring that the bilge pump float switch is working properly is extremely crucial for you to keep an eye out for.

With a good-quality float switch, you need to invest in a product that comes with the correct settings. If the switch is functioning well, chances are that the functions won’t function optimally. What does it mean for it to function well? It means that it has triggered the bilge pump to get rid of the excess water and then doesn’t trigger to switch it off. Amidst available options, the Onechoices Automatic Submersible small Boat Bilge Pump is a pretty great one to look into. Especially if the reviews are anything to go by.

What to look for before buying the Bilge Pump Float Switch?

When it comes to buying the best bilge pump float switch, you need to ensure that you find the correct factors to look out for. Consider everything from the quality of construction of the pump and switch to the functionality. You really do need to be mindful of a lot of things.

1. Material

You’d be a little baffled to know that most of the best bilge pump float switches are designed and integrated with a high-quality plastic covering around the pump and switch. The reason why the manufacturers use this plastic is so that it floats and doesn’t get damaged by prolonged exposure to water. This is a common issue with most of the other float switches or pumps.

2. Functions

Investing in automatic bilge pumps or float switches is important. Specifically if you don’t want to end up making your money go to waste. Most of the time, the good-quality options are automatic ones because then you wouldn’t have to worry about manually checking the water level. Checking the bilge pump when you are working around it is also a hassle. Remember this and make sure you get one.

3. Price range

AURELIO TECH Automatic Boat Bilge Pump Float Switch 12V 24V 32V Ignition protected Mercury

Not many people would pay attention to this but if you want the best results you have to. We’d recommend that you look for the best bilge pump and float switches that are available for a reasonable price range. The last thing you want is to end up investing all your hard-earned money on products that are not worth the price you pay. The AURELIO TECH Automatic Boat Bilge Pump Float Switch is one of the most budget-friendly of them all.

4. Installation

Lastly, keep a check on the set and installation procedure of the float switch. The last thing you want is to invest in an option that comes with a complicated setup and installation procedure. For the most part, the automatic switches are easy to integrate and install. Therefore, you wouldn’t have to worry about it. And, try to look into each review before you end up buying a switch for your bilge pump.


Are bilge pump float switches worth the money?

Unless you want your boat to drown, these float switches are worth every penny you spend. It is quite surprising to know that most of the automatic bilge pumps that are available in the market are already integrated with a float switch. This means that you wouldn’t have to worry about buying one separately. In such cases, it can alert you about changing water levels. Further ensuring that the excess water is automatically expelling out of the boat.

Are bilge pump float switches expensive?

No, not necessarily. When you are buying a float switch individually, the majority of them have the price range between $10 to $50. It all depends on the efficiency and the functions of the bilge pump. Bear this in mind and make sure that you always invest in one according to the kind of budget that you can spare.

Do all bilge pumps have a float switch?

No, not every bilge pump is integrated with a float switch. Primarily, only the automatic bilge pumps are the ones that are integrated with a float switch that you can make the most use out of. However, you can buy a float switch separately if you have a mechanical bilge pump in your boat. The wiring process can also be done accordingly to whether a bilge pump comes with a float switch or not.

Can bilge pump be wired directly to the battery without a switch?

The switch in this battery is automatically triggered by a float. When the water gets high enough the float rises and triggers the motor.  Additionally, if you have it connected to a 12V battery with a quick disconnect plug you can take it out of the boat when you are out fishing. You can use this in a small fishing boat to keep it from sinking while it is on the mooring. Or when you are not at the lake to monitor it. All you need to know is how to connect it into a box so that it will sit flat in the bottom of the boat. You can use a small plastic crate similar to a milk crate to do this.

How can you make sure that the float switch you have purchased is durable?

Most float switches undergo the testing to 150 degrees F and when the float switch is in direct contact with the engine, it may be best to re-position the float switch. You can also add a blower to the engine compartment. When the float switch is of high quality it should not distort with heat. However, keep in mind that you should position correctly.

Do you have to add a three way switch to the already existing bilge pump?

You can wire most float switches directly to the battery you have for power. Then you can connect it to your bilge pump. This can be done with the wiring that has been provided (or should be in any case).  After that, when the water levels reach the depth to turn on the float valve it will work automatically. Alternatively, you can turn on the bilge pump using the switch on your dash. It works either way.


Bilge pump float switches are an integral part of the boat. There can be a case when the switch doesn’t function optimally, reasons could be because the water won’t be regulated properly. It can result in risks of damage in the long run. Pay attention and make sure that you maintain things accordingly. Also, if possible, make sure you find the best quality float switch depending on the reviews and the overall properties. Remember that no matter what high quality product is an investment in the long run.

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