Bilge switches are versions of liquid level switch that are used to detect liquids that accumulate in the holds or lower levels in boats, large commercial ships, and fishing vessels. These areas see accumulations of fuel oil, hydraulic fluid, lubricating oil, as well as saltwater. Being at the lowest levels of the ship they also tend to collect rags, waste paper, fishing line, and other various errant pieces of equipment.
Sumps in factories include plating rooms, washrooms, and other areas subject to runoff, or washdown spaces. The need for guards is obvious where a sump might accumulate the trash from lunches, paper bags, speedi-dri, and other absorbents.
Bilge/Sump sensors are constructed of 300 series stainless steel for corrosion resistance and high strength. They may be made with two levels as well. Both have clear acrylic plastic guards that keep debris from entering the magnetic float operational area. The wiring consists of a water-resistant neoprene cable, secured to the stainless sensor with a nylon liquidtight cord grip, ensuring maximum watertight integrity. All hardware and fasteners are also 300 series stainless steel.
The sensors are equipped with 15 VA SPST magnetic reed switches, or our 20VA SPDT which will actuate with one closed contact and a simultaneous open contact. Normal operating temperatures are 32F – 150F.
Successful applications for Bilge Switches on large ships would include installations in engine room bilges, shaft alleys, and cargo holds. Fishing vessels have the same spaces, but also may have live bait wells, iced cargo areas, and net haulage draining areas.
There are no maintenance requirements for bilge switches other than an occasional visual check to be sure the float is free to move. Our Self-Check feature is an option for our bilge switch.