Customer Spotlight: Carl

Our first user profile will have us learning more about Carl’s home project. We are able to provide indicators and levels for a multitude of uses, some that we do not even think about. Carl was able to use a standard single level indicator (LS-204 and LS-208) in order to monitor a basement sump water level and signal if the water level gets too high or if the pump is malfunctioning. The pump float trigger can jam or fail and that will create a very costly issue.

The float sensor is connected to a Raspberry Pi, which is an inexpensive minicomputer that is well supported by the community of programmers and very widely used. The Raspberry Pi plays a critical role in his project. It was programmed with a Python script, a relatively simple language. The purpose is to use the float switch to detect high water levels and the purpose of the Raspberry Pi is to send an email alert to Carl whenever something is not correct, whether that be low or high water levels. Commercial water detection sensors and connections to an alarm system are very expensive to set up and even then you will need to pay a monthly subscription to receive emails or text alerts. Carl’s ingenious use of these two cheaper products will give him lifetime email alerts and ease of mind about the status of his sump water level.

Not only does it email Carl, but it has been set up to include reset switches and LED indicators in order for the system to automatically return the system to an untriggered state, which is ideal for any homeowner who may leave their house. This gives Carl the ability to rely on his system to maintain control even when is not home.

Carl chose to purchase his items from Innovative Components because it was the “only place I could find this type [of parts] and they were reasonably priced.” There are more expensive water levels that were available, but “these float sensors were more practical and cheaper, allowing more than one to be used.”

He wants to continue to add to his project, but one day having a log of the water levels by adding a multi-level sensor within the system.

Basement flood protection and sump pump control…

Springtime is an exciting time of year, gone are the dark days of winter. Spring is also the time of year when snow is melting and the rain is falling, this means lots of water to deal with. Heavy rains and snow melt can lead to water problems for many homes and businesses. Basements and garages may collect groundwater and begin to flood causing major damage. Having a low water alarm sensor is a good idea to alert homeowners at the first sign of water problems. These sensors install close to the basement floor, detect as little as 1/16” of water,  and can tie directly into a home alarm system.  If a large amount of water gets into the basement it’s best to have a sump pit where the water can collect and be pumped out.  A sump pump can be used to pump the water outside and away from the house and foundation. The pump is controlled by a sump pump float switch. The float switch will automatically turn the pump on when the water level gets too high and shuts the pump off when the water has been pumped out. The process is automatic and rarely needs attention. If for some reason the pump were to fail a sump pump alarm is used to warn if the pump can’t keep up or fails all together.  Taking these precautions to prevent costly water damage can save homeowners and businesses thousands of dollars.

How a flood warning system can help you sleep better at night…

The sudden rise of flood waters affects residential areas, business districts and municipal properties all across the country.  Flooding along the coasts and river beds due to storms, heavy rains and snow melt or flooding from the unexpected bursting of water pipes causes property damage into the billions each year.  In fact, floods are the #1 natural disaster in the United States that result in sometimes immeasurable loss to families, homes, and businesses.    Having a simple reliable  warning system in place to sound the alert at the first sign of rising water level can save lives and property in many cases.

A simple float switch and high water alarm provide a prompt warning of a potentially disastrous situation.  Steps can then be taken while there is still time to minimize and many times prevent loss of life and property.  A bracket mounted float switch or sump pump float switch and high water alarm is a simple and economical solution. These floats are rugged, compact, and can be installed in almost any location. They are  perfect for large sump pits, basins, and reservoirs that are prone to overfilling or flooding. For leak detection or to be alerted of a broken pipe, a low water conductive sensor would be the best choice.

Installing a high level float switch or water level sensor and a quality audible and visual alarm can help save lives and prevent costly property damage. You will sleep better at night knowing you are protected.

Never run out of fuel again! How tank level indicators keep equipment running all day long…

It’s critical for off highway vehicles, farm equipment, and generators to be fueled up and ready for work. On long trips it’s necessary to have enough fuel to get to your destination. When fuel gets low, this kind of heavy duty equipment needs to be filled up on site or on the go. Large diesel fuel transfer tanks are used to fuel up while on the move and to transport the fuel needed from the filling stations to the job site.

It’s important to monitor and control the tank level when filling and draining diesel fuel transfer tanks. Overfilling the tanks is hazardous to the environment and very costly to clean up.  Dispensing the fuel into other equipment or larger storage tanks is also a critical part of the process that needs to be controlled. Running out of fuel and dealing with spills will cause heavy delays resulting in lost time and money.

Float switch operated Tank Level Indicators and controls are a durable, dependable, and cost effective solution when storing, transporting and dispensing fuel. Reliable tank level indicators are necessary to know how much fuel is in the tank and prevent overfilling. A float switch operated tank level indicator is used to measure the exact fuel level in the tank from full to empty.  Float Sensors send a signal to an LED indicator box which displays exact fluid level so you always know how much fuel you have.  A dual level float switch and liquid level control relay can be used to operate fuel transfer pumps to automate the filling and draining of storage tanks. 

It’s important to Know the fuel level in these transfer tanks, and when to refill them. Having enough fuel on hand will keep you on the road and ensure your equipment stays up and running to get the job done. 

Pulp and paper mill industries rely on bracket mounted float switches for sump pump control…

The pulp and paper mill industries use a lot of water in their manufacturing processes and generate huge amounts of wastewater in the process. Wastewater recycling is fast becoming a necessity to cut energy costs, reduce clean water usage, improve overall efficiency, and reduce hazardous environmental waste.

Excess water used in the production processes of these paper mills drains into large underground sump pits. The water is collected, treated and reused again. Process water flows into these pits at a high rate and when the pit fills up the wastewater needs to be pumped out for treatment and processing. Controlling the pumps in these pits is critical to the treatment process,  keeping wastewater from overflowing into work areas which is dangerous and can cause significant damage and down time.

The sump pumps are controlled using float switches. All to often low cost sump pump float switches are chosen. These sump pump style float switches are ball shaped floats on the end of a cord that are tethered off to a pipe. The float is free to swing up and down in the pit to control the pump. The problem is that rushing  water into these pits generates a lot of turbulence causing the floats to get tangled and smash on the concrete walls eventually causing them to fail. 

Using a rugged vertical multilevel float switch that is constructed out of ridged stainless steel tubing solves this problem.  These vertical float switches are bracket mounted to the side of the concrete pit. The floats only move vertically on the shaft. These multilevel floats can have up to five individual float positions not only for pump control but also for low level alarms, high level alarms, and emergency shut down. The sensors are made to order, the liquid level switch points and sensor lengths are fully customizable to any size water sump pit.

Using a multilevel float switch instead of a sump pump float in paper mill and pulp wastewater sump pits can save companies a lot of time, money, and energy, keeping systems up and running.

Increasing protection with liquid level control relay and alarm boxes…

Innovative Components now uses BUD Industries Nema 4X Plastic Enclosures for all  of our liquid level control relay and alarm boxes. Our float switches use dry contact reed switches which are often hooked up to power transfer relays or alarm lights. These relay and alarm boxes provide warnings of high or low tank level conditions. These rugged enclosures are designed for wet, dirty, and corrosive environments, they are made to IP66 of IEC 529 and NEMA 1, 2, 4 and 4x specifications, and are constructed completely of durable thermoplastic. Included are 4 stainless steel mounting feet to hang the box in a convenient location.  Our LKI series of float switch liquid level indicators also use these rugged enclosures to house the LED indicator lights. The hinged cover makes wiring the float switch to the box much more convenient than a screw on cover. We can also customize these boxes with additional relays, lights, and different size openings.

Innovative tank level indicators and gauges aid with rainwater harvesting and collection…

Harvesting rainwater is becoming increasingly more important, especially in areas of drought.  Climate change is affecting water supply everywhere with long hot dry spells, many states are in a major water deficit, and the need to collect, store, and treat rainwater is necessary.

The storage tanks used to collect the rainwater require water level controls or float switches to indicate the level in the tank and control pumps and valves. Not having these controls can lead to costly water loss, and property or equipment damage. Our LKI series tank level indicator provides clear full to empty indication of the water level. Relays can also be added to control pumps and valves used in irrigation systems, potable water treatment, and other various filtration and treatment systems.

We custom make our tank level gauges to various lengths to accommodate storage tanks located above ground, underground, large or small. Water conservation and the availability of water is critical to our quality of life. Storing and transporting the collected water is easy using our tank level indicators and water level controls.

Craft breweries maximize up time with liquid level float switches and controls

The craft brewery business is on the rise, up 10.9% over the last 10 years. With many different local microbrew companies popping up everywhere there is lots of good beer to enjoy. These companies are growing and so is the need to store, craft, and transport all the different liquids necessary to make the next great IPA.

The fluid handling processes, treatment, and storage is critical for these companies to succeed. Innovative Components is a leading manufacturer of liquid level float switches, sensors, and controls. We can custom make a two level stainless steel float switch that will control pumps, valves, and alarms. These float switches can be used in many different applications surrounding the brewery industry, including waste water treatment, potable water handling, fermentation, filtration, and bottling.

Our experienced engineers will work directly with you to custom design a float switch to meet your specific needs. We can position multiple floats on a single shaft, we utilize high grade 316 stainless steel, and have hundreds of different mounting options including sanitary flanges and threaded fittings. The craft beer industry is here to stay and Innovative Components is here to help you succeed.