Stainless Steel vs Plastic Float Balls

Stainless Steel vs Plastic Floats

Float balls are used for much more than the plastic float balls found in toilets. Float balls are ideal for boiler systems, oil fields, water management and refrigeration. Nearly every industry that requires liquid level controls, measurements, and control switches has a need for float balls, and having the correct float balls can mean the difference between success and dangerous equipment failure.

Float balls are typically made of either metal or plastic and each have their own benefits. Though there are times when either plastic or metal float balls can be used, most scenarios call for either one or the other. Read on to learn more about the differences between stainless steel vs plastic floats!

Plastic Float Uses

Plastic float balls are typically designed for light use consumer based products. Plastic float balls are often found in basic plumbing applications such as a toilet overflow valves and check valves in sump pumps and pool pumps. Because plastic is inexpensive it helps reduce manufacturing costs. However, most higher-quality consumer product will contain a stainless steel float because they are built to last longer and endure heavier use.

Plastic Float Benefits:

  • Low manufacturing costs

Stainless Steel Float Uses

Chemical TanksSteel float balls are ideal for applications where friction or heat are prevalent. Steel float balls hold up over time and can endure significant pressure, as well as high and extremely low temperatures. In contrast, if plastic float balls become too hot, as with boiler feed systems, the plastic will melt and cause the equipment to fail. If the temperature is too cold, plastic float balls will crack and break.

Steel float balls are corrosion resistant and very durable, and are also preferred in chemical applications. For example, in chemical separators, a float ball is required to open a release. This allows heavier materials to remain while leaving the lighter materials to drain into a separate storage area. This requires a stainless steel float ball. The chemicals could break down a plastic float ball, causing a premature release and allowing the materials to empty into the incorrect storage areas.

Stainless Steel Float Benefits:

  • Durable
  • Heat resistant
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Pressure resistant

If you need a float you can always rely on in any application, Arthur Harris has you covered. With over 130 years of experience, we’ve perfected the process of manufacturing high-quality stainless float balls. Feel free to contact us today with any questions you may have!

Brushed vs Satin Finish Stainless Steel Applications

Brushed vs Satin Stainless Steel

Stainless steel can be finished using a variety of techniques. When talking about brushed stainless steel and satin stainless steel, these two finishes have a lot in common, and many consumers use the terms synonymously. This leads to a lot of confusion when making a finish selection. Let’s examine the similarities, differences, pros and cons of choosing brushed vs satin finish stainless steel. (more…)

The Pros and Cons of 304 vs 316 Stainless Steel

304 vs 316 Stainless Steel

Did you know that 304 and 316 are the most popular and widely used types of stainless steel? From the naked eye, it can be extremely difficult to tell the difference between grades of stainless steel. 304 and 316, in particular, look almost identical and the differences between the two are easy to miss. So what are the differences between 304 vs 316 stainless steel? Below we answer that question and discuss different applications where the grades are used. (more…)

Stainless Steel Grades: Explained

Stainless Steel Grades Explained

Stainless steels are mainly used when corrosion or oxidation is an issue, as the function that they perform can’t be duplicated by other materials for their cost. Over 100 years ago, it was discovered that a minimum of 12% chromium would impart corrosion and oxidation resistance to steel; hence the name “stainless steel”. Several different types of grades of stainless steel have been developed. Below are the different stainless steel grades explained. (more…)

The 3 Most Popular Modern Kitchen Cabinet Hardware Pieces

Modern Kitchen Cabinet Hardware

Your kitchen is the central hub of your home. Most people consider the kitchen to be the most important room of the house. You most likely start your day in the kitchen with a cup of coffee or a quick bite to eat with your family. Everyone gravitates toward the kitchen to socialize, and it’s where you prepare meals and eat together. Kitchens are a main bonding area of the home. A highly functioning and aesthetically pleasing kitchen is an investment in your family’s health and happiness. All the little details matter, especially choosing your modern kitchen cabinet hardware. Below we discuss the three main types of kitchen cabinet hardware that can help improve the functionality of your kitchen, while providing a modern facelift. (more…)

How to Choose the Perfect Cabinet Hardware Size

Cabinet Hardware Size

Remodeling and customizing your kitchen can be a big project. After planning and designing on the large scale it might be tempting to coast through choosing the cabinet hardware, but high-traffic rooms such as kitchens deserve detailed attention. Choosing the right hardware size requires a balance of style and function. Sacrifice one for the other, and you probably won’t be happy. You’ll be frustrated every time you try to pull open a drawer, or you’ll be disappointed every time you walk into the room.

Don’t fret; finding the perfect cabinet hardware to integrate into your kitchen style can be easy with a little direction. Follow the 5 steps below to learn how to choose cabinet hardware size and you’ll be well on your way to the perfect cabinet accessories! (more…)

The Vertical Float Switch: How it Works

Vertical Float Switch Banner

A vertical float switch is a mechanical device used to detect the level of liquid within a tank, and trigger an event, such as a refill or discharge, when the liquid reaches one or more predetermined levels. A vertical float switch comprises a magnet contained within a thru tube float, as well as a magnetic reed switch contained within a fixed housing. The movement of the float, due to the changing liquid level, will cause the reed switch to close or open at a particular level. This tried and trusted technology is based on a relatively simple design that offers long term reliability without the need for the user to operate the switch. Below we discuss five common ways the vertical float switch is used.


  • Harvesting Rainwater – Harvesting rainwater is becoming increasingly more important, especially in areas of drought.  Climate change is affecting water supplies everywhere with long dry spells. Numerous states are in a major water deficit, and the need to collect, store, and treat rainwater is necessary. The storage tanks used to collect the rainwater require vertical float switches to indicate the level in the tank and control pumps and valves. Not having these controls can lead to costly water loss, and property or equipment damage.


What is a Sump Pump Float Switch and Why Does it Fail?

Sump Pump Float Switch Banner

If you are a homeowner, chances are you’ve heard of a sump pump, and most likely own one. A sump pump is a small pump installed in the lowest part of a basement or crawlspace. Its job is to help keep the area under the home or building dry and to prevent it from flood­ing. Usually, sump pumps are installed in sump pits. Water flows into the sump pit through drains or by natural water migration through the soil. The sump pump’s job is to pump the water out of the pit and away from the building so the basement or crawlspace stays dry. When sump pumps fail, this can lead to basement floods. The sump pump relies on a float switch in order for the pump to work properly. (more…)

A Deeper Look at Liquid Level Applications

Liquid Leveling DevicesIn the past few weeks, we’ve spent a lot of time talking about some of the most common industries we serve. While we take great pride in the unique applications of these industries, it doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of all the ways in which our advanced liquid leveling devices can be used. Today we’re going to explore some of the many liquid level applications where our products play an invaluable role.

Liquid level control plays an important part in chemical storage and processing applications. Whether our level controls are ensuring chemical levels are maintained in storage tanks, or helping to monitor chemical tank inventory or point level in chemical mixing and batching, they are a very important part of this industry! At Arthur Harris, we design all of our products for the chemical industry using high quality stainless steel, ensuring resistance to corrosive chemicals and unmatched performance in the demanding conditions this industry presents. (more…)

The Role of the Float Valve in Petrochemical Drilling

petrochemical-industryHere at Arthur Harris, we truly enjoy the opportunity to share how our custom products benefit some of the largest industries. Today we’re discussing the petrochemical industry, where our stainless steel float valves are used to prevent unwanted flow of fluids up the drill string in natural gas and oil drilling operations. At Arthur Harris, we take great pride in powering the industries that fuel our country, and we’re excited to share how our innovative products can make a big impact in these operations. (more…)