My Sump Pump Float Is Stuck

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    If your sump pump float stucks on, then you either have or soon will have a much wetter basement. A stuck float sump pump is usually fairly easy to fix, but it can also sometimes point to larger issues with your sump pump system.

    In this article we will teach you to to fix a stuck sump pump. Following our step by step instructions will get a stuck float up and running in no time!

    In This Article

    1. Vertical Floats Versus Tethered Floats
    2. Sloshing and Other Disturbances
    3. Getting in Good Habits
    4. Cleaning up Pit Debris
    5. Rusted or Damaged Floats
    6. Activation Switch Problems
    7. Stuck Zoeller Sump Pumps Float

    Vertical Floats Versus Tethered Floats

    A vertical float is the better of the two float types. Vertical floats are far less likely to become stuck. Tethered floats have a tendency to become stuck on the side walls of your sump pit, resulting in a sometimes severely flooded basement area. If at all possible, make sure you are using a system with a vertical float or  check your basement during every major storm.

    Sloshing and Other Disturbances

    If your sump pump is having other issues this can contribute to your realizing your sump pump float is stuck.

    Almost any disturbance can cause a tethered float to become out of place. If water sloshes around or your pump has expelled a lot of air, this can cause the float to become stuck on the sides of the sump pit.

    Getting in Good Habits

    If you have experienced a lot of water flow during past storms, then it is good just to get in the habit of checking your float before major storms.

    This can prevent flooding when water levels have the potential to reach their highest if your sump pump stops working.

    An annual in-depth inspection of your system can ensure that you are not caught off guard.

    Cleaning up Pit Debris

    Debris in a sump pit can contribute to floats becoming stuck. Sump pits can collect debris from a variety of sources.

    Older sump pits may be compromised so they cave in some or if you use your basement for storage, objects can fall.

    Always make sure to unplug your pump before sticking your hands into a sump pit to clear debris. Electrical shock can occur when you least expect it, and it is not worth even the slightest risk.

    Pit Clean Up FAQ
    Extend the life of your sump pump by cleaning out the basin and drain lines every year. Small dirt and debris can build up and cause clogs over time if left unchecked!

    Rusted or Damaged Floats

    A float moves up and down on a rod that can become rusted over time. Even the most corrosion resistant parts are subject to this. 

    If your float apparatus is older than it may need to be replaced. The float itself is often made of plastic with air inside of it.

    Punctures can mean that water gets into the float and weights it down, so it does not function correctly.

    Basement Watchdog BWC1

    Sometimes your float is damage beyond repair. This can happen due to normal wear and tear or a household accident. If you are in the market for a replacement sump pump float switch we recommend the Basement Watchdog BWC1.

    See Basement Watchdog BWC1

    Activation Switch Problems

    The float is just one part of a very important mechanism that controls your sump pump.

    When the float rises, it is supposed to trigger a switch that tells your pump to turn on. As water level decreases to a certain level, the switch then turns the pump off.

    If this action does not occur smoothly, then you can experience a pump that never knows when to shut off or doesn’t come on soon enough to prevent major water build up in your basement

    Stuck Zoeller Sump Pumps Float

    Zoeller pumps – like the M53 – are some of the most dependable on the market – but the float does stick from time to time. Start troubleshooting this problem by loosening the float with you hand and check it see if their is a blockage.

    Most of the time the float is just sticking to part of the pump and will start back up!

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What causes a sump pump float to stick?
    The most common reasons for a stuck sump pump float are dirt build ups, blockages and broken attachment arms.

    How do you unstick a float on a sump pump?
    Unstick your float by cleaning the area and removing and thing that is blocking it from rising and falling. Make sure the float arm is free to rise and fall.

    Download This Guide as PDF

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