Sensors play a key role in pump control for Lift stations. Without good working sensors, lift stations can overflow, pumps can be ruined, and power can be wasted. Over the next few weeks we will be providing a series of posts that cover the various types of sensors that can be used for duplex and simplex pump control, override sensors to provide back-up pump control, and some of the benefits of continuous level measurement vs. point level sensing.
Finding a sensor solution that you can rely on is well worth the effort. Maintenance costs for pumps that are run dry, and fines for sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs), can be staggering. With a wide variety of float switches, level probes, submersible level sensors and ultrasonic sensors on the market, making an intelligent choice can be challenging. We want to make it an easier process with our expertise from years of product development.
Point Level Sensors
Point level sensors come in a variety of configurations, from the simplest float switch, which is no more than a normally open or normally closed switch suspended on a cable, to a more advanced float that can provide measurement at several different levels. With their low cost and simplicity, float switches continue to be a favorite solution for lift station pump control.
Submersible Level Sensors
Submersible level sensors open the door for continuous level measurement. A submersible connected to the right controller can provide alarms, lead and lag pump control, and variable speed motor control to maximize efficiency and prolong lifecycle. Submersible level sensors are simple to install and highly durable.
Ultrasonic sensors are another option for continuous level measurement, offering a non-contact method for lift station pump control. Due to the conditions in many lift stations, a non-contact solution is appealing, and field-proven advances in ultrasonic technology make this a very viable solution.
Heavy Duty Level Probes
A fourth option, perfect for highly turbulent conditions, is using heavy-duty level probes. These sensors use a large float that travels on a stainless steel rod. Level probes provide the simplicity of a float switch with the advantages of a continuous level sensor. While more expensive, using level probes has solved difficult problems for lift stations in particularly harsh environments.
Next week look for our post covering simplex pump control with float switches. In the mean time, take stock of the sensors you are using. What is working? Where are you at risk? Tell us about it in the comments section below.