How Do I Choose the Right Limit Switch?
You’re preparing to go out for a relaxing day on the water and as you lower your boat lift you wish you could just press a button and lower your lift to a preset height instead of holding your switch. You order a remote control with auto stop capabilities to handle this problem, but now you need a limit switch to go with it. How do you know which one you need? There are many different options, and we know it can seem confusing – so Boat Lift Warehouse is here to break it down for you.
What is a Limit Switch?
Limit switches tell the remote to stop the lift once it reaches a set level. Boat lift limit switches count the rotation of the drive pipe, or depending on the type of switch and where it is mounted, some other point of reference on the lift, to stop the lift at preset levels.
To use a limit switch with your Boat Lift you must have a remote control with auto stop capabilities; drum switches will not work with a limit switch. Once you have your remote wired to your limit switch you will need to program the remote to the levels you want it to stop.
Different Types of Limit Switches
When selecting a limit switch, note the second letter of the switch name, this should help you determine which one is right for your boat lift. The KFLS is used for flat plate hoists, the KALS is used for A drives (also known as a direct drive), the KELS is used with the E-drive, and the KRLS is a rotary limit switch. The rotary limit switch can be used with any type of hoist provided there is a drive pipe with one end open and accessible for the switch to be mounted to.
The Flat-Plate Hoist Limit Switch or KFLS limit switch is designed for use only with flat-plate boat hoist systems such as those from Boat Hoist USA and Aqua Marine. Flat plate hoists have a belt and pulley. The limit switch is mounted on the Flat Plate Hoist and the fork is placed in the center of the bull gear to count rotations.
The GEM KELS Limit Switch is designed to be used with E-gear drives. The E-Gear is a totally enclosed flat plate lift system. This Enclosed Belt Drive Hoist is a hybrid drive combining a belt-driven first reduction stage and an enclosed main gear in an oil bath. It features an enclosed gearbox that never needs greasing.
GEM KALS limit switches are for use with an A-drive, or Direct Drive. A direct drive mounts the motor directly into the gearbox. You simply remove the dust cover on the front of the drive to expose the end of the driveshaft that will have a tab that fits the limit switch.
The KRLS Rotary Limit Switch with wire is designed for boat lifts that have a drive pipe and is also known as a universal limit switch. It is mounted at the end of your drive pipe and uses what resembles a tuning fork to be inserted into the end of the drive pipe to count the rotations.
Siemens Direct Arm Limit Switch– This is the only switch that has an arm that you mount at a set point where you want the motor to stop instead of counting the revolutions of the drive pipe. You mount the switch so it comes in contact with the cradle, arm, or another moving part of your lift. When it makes contact it moves the switch arm, closing the contact and stopping the motor. This can be configured for use on PWC lifts when a drive pipe is not available to be used.
The rotary limit switch and the flat-plate hoist limit switch are compatible with the TEC remotes that end with A/C. The GEM KALS, KELS, Flat-plate and KRLS switches are compatible with GEM remotes ending with A (for auto-stop).
Utilizing one of these limit switches with the appropriate remote will make using your boat lift much more enjoyable. Without a limit switch, you have to hold the up or down button the entire time of lift operation. If you have the limit switch, you can be loading your gear and getting ready to get out on the water faster. Buy yours today at Boat Lift Warehouse.