What is the Difference between Float Switch and Level Switch

level sensor manufacturer
This post is mainly to tell us what is the difference between level switch and float switch. It tells the difference from the following aspects: operating princile, types, application, advantages, disadvantages and the final summary.

Table of Contents

A float switch and a level switch are both used to detect the level of liquid within a tank or container, but they operate differently and are used for distinct applications. Here’s a detailed comparison:

Float Switch

  1. Operating Principle: A float switch uses a buoyant object (float) that moves with the level of the liquid. As the liquid level rises or falls, the float moves up or down, triggering a switch.
  2. Types: There are two main types of float switches:
    • Mechanical Float Switches: These have a mechanical linkage that operates the switch.
    • Magnetic Float Switches: These reed switch level sensors use a magnet inside the float that activates a reed switch when the float reaches a certain level.
    • Magnetoresistive level sensor: A magnetoresistive level sensor is a type of level sensing device that utilizes the phenomenon of magnetoresistance to measure the level of liquids or solids in a container. It operates on the basis of changes in the sensor’s electrical resistance when subjected to a magnetic field.
    • Hall effect level sensor: A hall effect level sensor is a type of level sensor that utilizes the Hall Effect phenomenon to detect the presence or absence of a liquid and measure its level.
    • Magnetostrictive level transmitter: Magnetostrictive level transmitter is mainly designed and developed based on the principle of magnetostriction. It is a modern high-precision liquid level measuring instrument that integrates the advantages of high measurement accuracy, fast response, good reliability, long life, and exquisite structure.
  3. Applications: Float switches are commonly used in water tanks, sump pumps, and industrial processes to control pumps, alarms, and other equipment based on the liquid level.
  4. Advantages:
    • Simple design and easy to install.
    • Cost-effective.
    • Reliable for basic level detection.
  5. Disadvantages:
    • Limited to relatively clean liquids; debris can interfere with the float’s movement.
    • Mechanical parts can wear out over time.

Level Switch

  1. Operating Principle: A level switch refers to a broader category of devices that detect the level of liquid or solid materials. These switches can use various technologies, not just float mechanisms.
  2. Types: There are several types of level switches, including:
    • Capacitive Level Switches: Measure the change in capacitance caused by the presence or absence of liquid.
    • Ultrasonic Level Switches: Use sound waves to detect the level of the liquid.
    • Optical Level Switches: Use light to detect the presence of liquid.
    • Conductivity Level Switches: Measure the electrical conductivity of the liquid.
    • Mechanical level sensor: Mechanical level sensors operate on the principle of buoyancy or direct contact
    • RF Admittance Type Level Sensor: RF admittance level sensors utilize radiofrequency technology to provide accurate and real-time liquid level data.
    • Rotary paddle level switch: A rotary paddle level switch is a precision-engineered device that plays a pivotal role in industrial process management by providing accurate point-level measurements. 
    • Tuning fork level switch: Vibrating Fork Level Switch is a heavy-duty, stainless steel tuning fork for measuring liquids across a range of media and applications based on the tuning fork principle.
    • Radar level sensor: A radar level sensor is a device that uses radar technology to measure the level of a substance, such as a liquid or solid, in a container, tank, silo or bin. It is a continuous level measurement device that provides real-time, non-contact level measurement.
    • Pressure level sensor: A hydrostatic level sensor is a type of level probe used for monitoring levels by measuring the hydrostatic pressure in a relatively still liquid at a predetermined submerged level.
  3. Applications: Used in a wide range of industries, from food and beverage to chemical processing, to detect and control the level of liquids and solids in tanks, silos, and other containers.
  4. Advantages:
    • Can handle a wider range of materials, including aggressive chemicals and solids.
    • More precise and versatile, with options for continuous level measurement.
    • Often non-contact, reducing wear and maintenance needs.
  5. Disadvantages:
    • Generally more expensive than float switches.
    • More complex to install and calibrate.
    • Some types may require specific conditions (e.g., dielectric properties for capacitive switches).


  • Float Switch: Simple, cost-effective, mechanical or magnetic, primarily for liquid level detection in clean environments.
  • Level Switch: A broad category encompassing various technologies (capacitive, ultrasonic, optical, etc.), suitable for a wide range of materials and conditions, offering greater precision and versatility.
Share the Post:

Related Posts


Learn how we helped top brands gain success.

Let's have a chat