How to Reset A Sump Pump

Last Updated on by Anthony Brown

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    If your sump pump is not running quite as good as the day it was installed it might need to be reset. Your sump pump is responsible for pumping ground water that builds up in your basement into the sewer or drain. Most pumps from name brand companies – like Zoeller – are well made and rarely need restarting but every pump needs some maintenance from time to time!

    Resetting your pump is easy and only takes a few minutes. Let’s go over the 6 steps so you can reset your pump and clear out and debris that might cause failure and flooding!

    In This Article

    1. Disconnect the Power
    2. Remove the Pump
    3. Clean Dirt & Debris
    4. Check Drain Lines
    5. Reconnect Everything

    Step 1 - Disconnect the Power

    Want to avoid a shocking experience – then make sure to disconnect the power before you start. We recommend starting by shutting off the power at the breaker then disconnecting the power cord. Anytime you are working on electrical gear around water it is important to take every precaution! Many pump problems are electrical in nature and it is important to be safe while resetting the system.

    Step 2 - Remove the Pump

    Next, remove the basin cover and take your pump out of the basin. Make sure to disconnect any drainage pipes without damaging or bending the pipes or pump connectors. We recommend setting the pump system on an old towel or tarp since it will be damp and dirty plus water might come out of the check valve!

    Step 3 - Clean Dirt & Debris

    Third, clean any dirt, debris or small pebbles that have collected in the bottom of the pit. If your pump has a filter give it a good cleaning every few months! One of the most common causes of stalled motors is small rocks getting inside the pump body and jamming or blocking the motor.

    Sump pumps and basin pits collect dirt and grime over time, cleaning them will extend their lifespan and prevent future problems. It is also a good idea to check the exterior for rust or potential spots that might leak before the motor is flooded.

    Step 4 - Check Drain Lines

    Before reattaching your pump check that the drain lines and discharge pipe are free of clogs and in good working order. Clogged drains means your pump has to work harder than it needs to – increasing your risk of a smoking pump and causing extra noise (unless you have one of these super quiet pumps)!

    Step 5 - Reconnect Everything

    The final step in resetting your pump is to properly put everything back together how you found it! If you can’t remember – or things don’t seem to fit – check your owners manual and installation guide! Reconnecting everything is one of the most important parts of resetting your pump – one wrong step and you could have an expected leak on your hands! Before you are done make sure the float switch can rise and fall with the water level in the pit.

    Using the Reset Button

    Some problems can be fixed by cycling the power to restart the motor. If your pump has a reset button is is a good idea to try and reset the motor before trying more advanced fixes. If this does not fix the problem it is usually a good sign something is seriously wrong and you need to take further action to prevent a flooded basement.

    What if there is no reset button?
    Not every sump pump has a reset button. If you pump does not have a reset button try unplugging it from the wall to cycle the motor.

    Resetting After Outages

    Sump pumps are sensitive to power outages and surges. If the power goes out to your home during a storm or the breaker surges it is a good idea to test your pump and make sure the electrical system is not fried before the next rainstorm.

    Resetting The Battery

    Responsible home owners will also have a backup battery in case of a power outage to keep their sump pump running. If there is an outage or surge it may disable or fry the battery so it is important to reset the connection and double check the wired connection.