is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to As an affiliate, this website earns from qualifying purchases.

Having a bilge pump on your boat can be a huge lifesaver.

When you take on too much water, it can be a safety issue, and having a bilge pump will not only get rid of the water, but it will also keep your boat afloat.

To make sure that your bilge pump works effectively, you will also need a bilge pump float switch.

Either electrically powered or automatic, a bilge pump float switch will keep water from out of your boat with hassle-free pumping.

It is important to have the right float switch for your needs, especially with all the options available.

Here are a few tips and potential products to help you find the best bilge pump float switch switch for your boat.

What is a bilge pump float switch?

Adding another level of security, a bilge pump float switch is a device that will detect the water level inside the bilge pump.

When water reaches a specific level, it will automatically trigger the bilge pump to start working and get rid of any excess water in your boat.

Once the water is gone, it will also trigger the bilge pump to turn off.

What are the benefits of a bilge pump float switch?

It is important to have a bilge pump float switch on your boat to help sense when the water level has increased to the point that it might sink the boat.

When the water has increased to a certain level, the activation of the bilge pump is important to keep your boat afloat.

Acting as an important safety feature on your boat, the float switch automatically turns on the pump to save the boat as well as those on it, which can save you money on repairs or even having to replace your boat entirely.

What to look for in a good bilge pump float switch

Type and size of boat

When you choose a bilge pump float switch, think about the size and type of boat you are buying it for as well as what water depth you will be using.

Keep in mind that a smaller boat that is used on rough water will need a float switch more than a large boat that is used on a calm surface.

If you have a coastal or offshore boat, you can expect these more prominent boats to be used in deeper water, so you will definitely need an electric pump to help in getting rid of extra water.

Plus, a small boat that is operating in shallow water will only need a hand float switch.

Switch type

There are three different types of switches that will automatically turn on a bilge pump.

  • Integral automatic switch – The most common of the three, the integral automatic switch is pre-wired onto the side of the pump. You can easily install in onto tight vertical bilges. It will automatically act once it senses water It can easily be installed on tight vertical bilges. The switch automatically acts once it senses that water is present.
  • Separate Float Switches – Allowing you to convert a non-automatic bilge pump switch into an automatic float switch, which can happen where you have no float switch. By adding the separate float switch onto a current device, you can turn it into an automatic electric pump that will be able to sense water.
  • Electronic water sensing switches – These switches were developed with the capability of sensing when water is present. For example, some of these units can detect the presence of water through their plastic housing.


There are different installation processes for different switches.

Look for the switch that will be easiest for you to install in your boat so that you can avoid spending money to hire an electrician.

Usually, a float switch will come with a guide or manual that will tell you how to fix them as well, so make sure you follow the guide if you have any issues.

Keep in mind that the best float switch is not only easy to install, but the one that takes the least amount of time to install.


When considering a pump switch, you want to think about its functionality to make sure it will work in the type of water your boat will go in.

You want to make sure the switch will work well, so also look for something waterproof as well as rust and corrosion-resistant.

Make sure it has some type of protective feature that will protect it from accumulating moisture and also has a rigid construction design that can withstand different types of water.

What to avoid in a bilge pump float switch

As you shop for your new bilge pump float switch, there are a few things to keep in mind that you should avoid.

  • Your bilge pump float switch should be submersible. Don’t buy a float switch that isn’t able to withstand different water types.
  • Choose a bilge pump float switch that is easy to install and use. There are too many options out there to get one that you need to pay an electrician to install.
  • Avoid buying a float switch that is not designed for the water depth you plan to put your boat in. Also, make sure the float switch is the right type for the size and type of boat you have.

Best Bilge Pump Float Switch

There are a number of bilge pump float switch options that may work well for you.

It’s important to always consult an industry professional before using any new product with your boat.

SEAFLO 3-Way Bilge Pump Switch Panel (Automatic-Off-Manual) 12v 24v w/Built-in 15A Circuit Breaker

Featuring three toggle switches, the SEAFLO Bilge Pump Float Switch has good functionality and lets you easily control your pump.

Using efficient and unique features, this bilge pump switch is equipped with a manual, automatic, and off toggle position and works automatically with the included electronic controlled reed sensor system.

This feature helps to make operating the bilge pump switch more reliable and comfortable while preventing any accidental occurrences with the manual and off toggle position option.

Using an attractive and innovative design, the SEAFLO Bilge Pump Float Switch includes a built-in 15A circuit breaker and provides excellent performance.

It is also equipped with an LED indicator in a black panel.

This is an easy to install pump switch that is definitely a good deal for the money.

View at Amazon to learn more about how this product might work for you.


  • It has an attractive and innovative design
  • This unit is very durable and easy to install
  • It works great and is a really good value for the money


  • The instructions aren’t very good

Shoreline Marine Bilge Pump Switch 3-Way Panel

With several useful features, the Shoreline Marine Bilge Pump Switch is an affordable 3-way pump that lets you control your pump easily and comfortably.

With a great design, the three-position booted toggle switch allows you to turn the pump on, off, and on again.

Equipped with an automatic float switch, this pump switch also features individual or two separate lights on the panel to tell you whether the circuit is engaged.

This built-in float switch that can be turned on automatically or manually.

When using the automatic mode operation, the Shoreline Marine Bilge Pump Switch will make your job easy and simple.

Plus, this Bilge Pump Switch has a 10-amp integrated circuit breaker located on the right side of the panel that protects your pump from overloading.

And, it includes a handy reset button when necessary.

This float switch also comes with an easy wiring system that makes installation simple that you can do it on your own.

View at Amazon for more information on how this product might work for you.


  • It features three positions and has automatic operation
  • This unit is made with high-quality material
  • It is simple to install and use


  • May not be a good choice for harsh water environments

AIRTAK Bilge Pump for Boat DC12V 1500GPH Small Bilge Pump 12 Volt Electric Water Pump Low Noise with The Switch

Equipped with moisture-tight seals, the AIRTAK Bilge Pump Float Switch comes with a compact design and a long-lasting guarantee.

This very fast float switch comes with wide application sources as well as specifications and features that make it a unique float switch from its competitors.

With its portable size and small volume, it won’t take up a lot of space, however, it is very efficient and will help improve work efficiency on your boat.

Pumping water quickly, this fast float switch can pump high volumes of water constantly.

Thanks to the design and material used in the AIRTAK Bilge Pump Float Switch, the life of the unit will be extended.

This 12-volt float switch features a flow rate of 15000 GPH helping to make it versatile enough for different applications besides boats.

Constructed of heavy-duty material, the AIRTAK Bilge Pump Float Switch is super durable and perform swell.

This corrosion-resistant bilge pump float switch also comes with a marine sealant and a strainer that can be cleaned.

Plus, it is a great choice for emergencies.

View at Amazon to learn more about how this product might work for you.


  • This is an efficient and compact unit that is easy to use and install
  • This float switch works fast and is made of heavy-duty material
  • It uses marine-grade blocked wiring and will last a long time

Featured image credit: Image ID: 1467441161