How to Configure Your Float Switch: Normally Open Switches vs Normally Closed Switches

normally open vs normally closedDeciding whether your float switch needs to be normally open or normally closed for pump control can be a little confusing. So we would like to clear things up.

When we say normally open or normally closed, we are referring to an electrical circuit. An open circuit is incomplete, meaning that the electric current is unable to complete the loop due to a gap. A closed circuit is complete with no gaps, enabling the current to travel through the whole loop. 

Float Switch Installation Wiring And Control Diagrams

control wiringHow do I install and wire my float switch? Where can I find a float switch circuit diagram? Where can I find a float switch wiring diagram? You asked, and today, we answer.

Wiring a float switch isn’t necessarily hard, but it can be a little confusing if you don’t have a visual aid or two. Remember that what you’re wiring is a means of turning things on and off. Thinking carefully about when you want something off, and when it should turn on, will help you as you visualize the wiring and apply the schematic to real world control.

We’re going to look at a progression of straightforward pump control arrangements using float switches. We’ll look at single and double switch arrangements and how to wire them, and then look at equivalent circuits using Kari series float switches.

Is Your Signal Going The Distance?

cables in cable trayOne of the most frequently asked questions our Measurement Experts field is “How far away can my sensor be?” And the most popular answer we give is “What kind of signal does your sensor use?”

Because it really is as simple as that: the allowable distance between your sensor and control equipment is almost entirely dependent on the signal type your sends. There are, of course, other physical factors, like resistance and voltage, but the way they limit distance is different for each signal type.

So, how far can your signal go?

Taking The Mystery Out Of Sensor Outputs

oscilloscope and multimeter stackedEver wondered about sensor outputs? Why are there so many to choose from? Why not just standardize on one output, and be done?

Let’s take a quick look through the most popular types of sensor outputs. Each type has strengths and weaknesses that give it advantages in certain situations. Matching these qualities with your situation will help you maximize your sensors’ performance.

Protecting Your Sensor’s Signal With The Right Cable

notre dame gargoyleUntil micro-scale wireless technology is perfected, the sensors we use for monitor and control systems will require cables for power and communication. And that means the performance of those systems is dependent on the cables we use.

So why can’t we use the same cables for everything? Why does cable type, or size, or length matter?

Those are valid questions, with important answers. Let’s explore them, shall we?

Float Switch Installation: Step-by-Step Wiring Instructions

kari float switch miniature modelControlling pumps with your standard cable suspended float switch is honestly a pain in the neck. You’ll need at least two of them to get the job done, with a controller that handles all the logic. You have to tie them to some conduit to keep them from getting tangled. And the failure rate isn’t that great either.

Most maintenance technicians expect them to fail two or three years into service.

That’s why the Kari float switch is so awesome. It can have up to four switch points in a single float, built-in hysteresis to handle the logic, and doesn’t need to be secured to conduit since you usually only need one.

And they last a very long time. Some Kari Float Switches have been in service for over 20 years.

Almost More Than You Want To Know About Wiring Float Switches

normally open/normally closed float switchAs simple as a float switch is, it still seems daunting to wire one. Visualization is key to making the right connections. If you can’t map out the schematic in your head, wiring without a little help can be challenging.

Luckily, it’s easier than you think. With a wire guide from the manufacturer and a few helpful visual aids from us, you’ll be all set to rock your next float switch installation – no matter where it’s going.

We’ll cover how to wire a basic on-off float switch, how to wire a few of them, and how to wire one switch with multiple switch points.

What Is The Difference Between Explosion Proof And Intrinsically Safe Sensors?

hazardous locations are common in industryPutting electrical equipment in a hazardous location is a big deal. Choosing the wrong sensor turns from expensive to life threatening. So how do you select the right level sensor or pressure transmitter?

You have to understand hazardous locations.

Sensor Design

This is even difficult for many who deal with hazardous locations on a day-to-day basis. If you’re ever confused...

4 Critical Tips For Eliminating Electrical Noise

Stop electromagnetic interference!Electrical noise, also known as electromagnetic interference, can destroy a clean signal from your measurement instrumentation (such as level sensors and pressure transducers). Protecting your sensors from electrical noise is a top priority. Luckily, this is a fairly simple task in most cases.

There are a couple of ways to keep electromagnetic interference (EMI) at bay. You need to use properly shielded cable, you must be careful when routing your cables, and your sensors need to be grounded properly. Finally, it’s important that the signal output is appropriate for the electrical environment.