What Is The Most Reliable Level Control For A Pump Station?

Posted On Posted on 12th May, 2022 by Xander
level control pump station

Reliable level control of a pump station is essential for maintaining high-performance, operationally sound pump systems. If level controls are not monitored correctly, failures can lead to flooding, pump faults or pipework backing up.

Different types of level control available for pump stations include:

– Float Switches
– Probe
– Radar
– Pressure Transducer
– Ultrasonic

Float Switches

Multiple hanging floating switches are activated as the fluid level within the tank rises and falls – this is the most common and economical way of controlling pumps. The implementation of multiple floats can provide multiple messages, for example indicating high level, low level cut out and duty assist. It’s important to note that float switches are only capable of indicating a level signal.

Submersible Pressure Transducer

These sensors sit at the bottom of the tank and measure the pressure – typically communicating with a PLC in order to control the pumps. They provide a reliable and flexible way of both monitoring and controlling pump levels and are generally used where monitoring is in place or when there is a requirement for more information than a standard float system.

Ultrasonic Level Control

Positioned at the top of the tank, these sensors use ultrasonic waves to monitor fluid levels. They provide long-lasting reliability as they don’t come into contact with any fluids due to their position in the tank. Ultrasonic level controls employ digital read out of the levels, and are typically used in adoptable pump stations, or where you have high turbulence or high fat content contained within the tank fluid.

Probe

Probe level controls use conductivity to monitor the levels within the tank. Using probes that sit at different levels, when the water rises and falls it creates conductivity between the probes activating the level reached. These are typically used in storm or clean water applications and give highly precise level readings.

Radar

When it comes to accuracy and reliability, radar is the ultimate level control method for a pump station. Utilising a sensor at the top of the tank, radar controls employ radio waves to monitor fluid levels. As this type of control does not come in contact with any fluid, they provide long-lasting reliability and don’t experience problems like erosion and water damage. Radar controls are often used where there is a build up of scum or debris is significant and are designed to monitor the liquid level through the solid build up, providing a reliable digital reading of the levels.

Features & Benefits

Floats

Benefits

  • Simple
  • Effective
  • Cheap

Disadvantages

  • Moving parts in liquid
  • Are affected by fat/scum build up
  • Failed every few years
  • Get tangled around items

 

Ultrasonics

Benefits

  • No moving parts in the water
  • Reliable and long lasting – work for years
  • Provide a accurate depth

Disadvantages

    • Only work below certain levels
  • Are affected by fat/scum build up
  • Expensive
  • Complicated to install

 

Radar

Benefits

  • No moving parts in the water
  • Very reliable and long lasting – work for years
  • Provide an accurate depth
  • Cheaper than ultrasonic
  • Not affected by fat/scum build up

Disadvantages

  • More expensive than floats
  • Complicated to set up
  • Not easy to test

 

Pressure Transducers

Benefits

  • Very reliable and long lasting – work for years
  • Can be set to very accurate heights
  • Compact and can work on very low levels

Disadvantages

  • More expensive than floats
  • Moving part in the water
  • Affected by sludge

 

Probes

Benefits

  • No moving parts in the water
  • Very reliable and long lasting – work for years
  • Can be set to very accurate heights
  • Compact and can work on very low levels

Disadvantages

  • More expensive than floats
  • Affected by rag
  • Need to be supported if it is a deep tan

 

What is the most reliable level control?

As a general rule, the most reliable level control for sewage and storm water applications is radar, due to the fact that it can monitor liquid levels through solids. Also, this method isn’t affected by foam or swirling in the tank.

The benefit of radar over ultrasonic is that they’re not affected by high levels in the tank, as they’re able to operate right up to the sensor. Comparatively, ultrasonic systems fail to monitor accurately if the liquid level is too high.

If you’re a business experiencing level control issues on your pump station, please contact us for an optimised solution built to suit your needs.

Pump In need of REPAIR? CALL dura pump TODAY on 01604 648 800 Cta Icon