Understanding Tank Level Sensors

Tank level sensors come in all shapes and sizes. For this instance, I shall focus on those designed to provide monitoring in wet situations such as in a fuel tank or a water storage tank. Without a way to monitor the internal contents of a tank, you may be left in the dark when a power outage occurs and your generator is out of gas because no one noticed the leak that drained your reserve tanks.

These devices may first appear to be some mythical device from another planet, but upon further investigation, they are extremely simple and utilize only one moving part to open and close a circuit. In order for a sensor to function as it should, a dry reed switch is encapsulated inside a down-stem. A dry reed switch is a hollow device with two contacts that in their inactive position remain apart, but when a magnetic field passes close enough, they pull together completing a circuit. When it comes to tank level sensors, there is typically a float around the stem housing the switch. This float typically contains a magnet so when liquid levels rise and fall causing the float to move, the magnet is passed over the switch.

For monitoring purposes, these switches can be hooked up in many ways. Within a circuit to trigger a low-fuel indicator, to turn on a pump, or to signal an alarm for a technician to attend to the problem as achieved within remote site monitoring solutions where on-site personnel may not be available.

These switches can provide that extra piece of mind, allowing you to keep a constant eye on whether or not your fluid storage devices are performing their duties.

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