Correctly positioning your sump pump float relative to the water line is key for a properly working pump. By raising or lowering your float to the correct level you will keep your pump turning on and off and decrease the risk of basement flooding.
In this article we will review hot to adjust different float switches so your sump pump turns on when the water rises and off as the basin drains.
- A flashlight
- A bucked of water
- A screwdriver
Step By Step Adjustment Guide
Follow these step by step instructions to adjust a tethered float switch to the correct level in your basin.
1. Disconnect From Power
Anytime you are working on your sump pump it should be disconnected from the power. This can be done by disconnecting the extension cord or turning off the power at the breaker box. Anytime you mix electricity and water there is risk of electrocution so it is always better to be on the safe side.
2. Adjust Float Up Or Down
Next, manually or electronically adjust the float switch up or down based on the water level in the basin. Higher water levels need a higher tether or rod so adjust accordingly to the best height for your basin and pump.
3. Test With Bucket Of Water
After setting your float switch at the correct level reattach the power and test the system with a few buckets of water to simulate rain. The pump should turn on as the water level rises and run until nearly empty.
4. Readjust Float Switch
If the float switch is still not at the right level detach the power and readjust. Most systems need to be adjusted at least one time to get the float at the perfect level.
If your current float switch is broken you may be able to replace it without buying an expensive new pump. Replacement floats like this tethered vertical float switch can be attached to many common pumps.
Finding the Right Height
Setting your float switch up at the right height is key – but it may take some trial and error to find the perfect positioning. Set the float switch up so it triggers the pump when the water rises about about 5 inches in most pits.
Adjusting a manual float switch is easy. Start by moving the rod or tether up or down based on the water level in the pit. Most systems can be adjusted by hand or with a normal sized screw driver.
Shorter tethers and rods work best for lower water levels while higher tethers and rods are better for higher water levels.
Electronic float switch adjustment is done by adjusting a screw that changes the settings inside the pump. Each turn of the screwdriver raises or lowers water detecting electronics inside the pump body. When water touches these sensors the pump activates and runs until the water levels has fallen below the sensors.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you adjust a sump pump float?
Yes, sump pumps can be manually and electronically adjusted. Each model is a little different so check the owners manual for exact instructions on raising or lowering your float.
Can rigid or stiff floats be adjusted?
Over time a float switch can become rigid or stiff, making it hard to adjust. This problem can be fixed with regular maintenance or spraying it with some WD-40.