How to determine which switch or sensor is right for your bilge?

Picking the right switch or sensor for your bilge is key to prolonging its life. For example, the traditional float switch causes energy spikes within your bilge that over time can damage your pump. Every time a mechanical float switch closes its contacts it has the potential to generate voltage spikes many times higher than the operating voltage (App Note). Blue Guard Innovations’ (BGI) has developed a line of solid-state switches and sensors that have 100 percent no moving parts and significantly reduces the energy spikes, thus prolonging the life of your bilge. The only question remains is which one is right for your boat? 

Solid-State Bilge Pump Switch (BG-SW)

The BG-SW is the perfect replacement for the traditional float switch. Like all BGI switches and sensors the BG-SW has no moving parts that can be easily broken or jammed. It is IP-68 rated for durability, which means it is strong and built to last. 

When the BG-SW detects water it will power the bilge pump ON. Once the water has been pumped out the BG-SW will turn the bilge pump OFF. Pump run time and splash protection (ensuring your BG-SW can handle the rough seas too) can both be adjusted in the BGI Config app. The BGI Config app allows you to remotely test your switch and customize the pump run time and splash protection. 

Solid-State Bilge Pump Switch with High Water Alarm (BG-SWA)

The BG-SWA functions much like the BG-SW, for example, when the BG-SWA detects water it will power the bilge pump ON. Once the water has been pumped out the BG-SWA will turn the bilge pump OFF, same as the BG-SW. However, if water is continuously detected, when connected to an alarm panel, the BG-SWA will sound a high water alarm alerting you to a potential problem within your bilge. 

Smart Bilge Pump Switch with Oil and Fuel Detector (BG-One) and the Oil and Fuel Detector (BG-Oil)

Protecting our environment is key to preserving fishing grounds, dive sites and sea creatures alike. Think of the BG-One and BG-Oil as your first line of defense against oil and fuel spills. 

Both the BG-One and BG-Oil can detect oil or fuel down to 1 mm. A low detection level means less chance of spilling oil overboard and greater protection for our waters. 

Like our other switches, the BG-One will power ON the pump at the presence of water. Unlike our other switches, the BG-One can detect oil or fuel. Once the BG-One detects oil or fuel it will begin to selectively pump out water but keep the oil or fuel within the bilge. 

The BG-Oil is designed to alert you at the first sign of an oil or fuel leak and should be placed under the engine and fuel tank. It is meant to alert you before your main bilge is contaminated.

High Water Sensor (BG-HW)

If you just want a high water alarm then our BG-HW is perfect for your bilge. The BG-HW is USCG 46 CFR 28.250 & 182.530 compliant. Once the BG-HW is connected to an alarm panel, like the BG-AP-1, when the BG-HW detects water the alarm will sound, alerting you to a potential problem. Like all BGI switches and sensors the BG-HW is completely testable via the BGI Config app. Knowing your high water alarm works before you leave the dock is key to safe boating.

To recap, first determine if you need to control a pump or just want to be alerted to the presence of water or oil/fuel.

If you need to control a pump, you have three choices:

BG-SW: Ideal replacement for the traditional mechanical float switch. 

BG-SWA: Just like a BG-SW, but with an integrated high water alarm to let you know if your pump is being overwhelmed or not working at all.

BG-One: The most advanced bilge pump switch out there. When the BG-One detects oil/fuel, it shuts off the pump to prevent pumping the oil/fuel overboard, keeping the environment clean.

If you don't need to control a pump, you have two choices:

BG-HW: High water alarm that complies with USCG 46 CFR 28.250 & 182.530.

BG-Oil: Perfect for placing under engines or fuel tanks to detect oil/fuel leaks before they reach the main bilge.

All BGI switches and sensors have no moving parts that can be broken or jammed. They all can be connected to your phone for testing and configuration. User programmable modes, pump runtime, splash protection, and oil sensitivity (where applicable). Even without configuring, they are designed to work straight out of the box with the factory default settings.

If you have any further questions about which switch or sensor is right for your bilge contact us at info@bluebgi.com.