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Don't Let a Faulty Float Switch Ruin Your Columbus Home

Apex Pros - Don't Let a Faulty Float Switch Ruin Your Columbus Home

Your sump pump works hard to keep your Columbus home dry. But what happens when the sump pump float switch is faulty? Chances are that you have an overworked pump, a water-logged basement, or both. Keep reading to learn how to troubleshoot common float switch issues and DIY solutions to avoid spending your weekend in ankle-deep water.

What Is a Sump Pump Float Switch?

A sump pump float switch is the apparatus inside the sump. It rests on the water level, rising and falling as the water moves in or out of the sump. The float switch signals the pump to start when the water level is high and stop when the water returns to a safe level.

There are four sump pump switch types on the market today, including:

  1. Diaphragm switches
  2. Electronic switches
  3. Tethered float switches
  4. Vertical float switches

In this article, we're discussing float switches. The tethered float switch has a round float at one end and a rod or cord that connects it to the pump or sump lid at the other.

A vertical float also uses a round float, but it slides up and down on a vertical rod or in a tube rather than a free-floating tether.

You can test if your sump pump float switch works properly by manually raising the float until the pump turns on. One of our trained plumbers can quickly determine if your sump pump is working or if it needs an adjustment or repairs.

Common Causes of Float Switch Malfunctions

Float switch malfunctions are common, especially in a wet environment where the pump gets a lot of use. Common causes of float switch problems include:

Trapped float 

The float can become trapped between the sump wall and the pump. If the sump pump float switch is stuck, it won't engage the pump. A trapped float only happens with a free-floating tethered float. 

Frequent cycling

Excess use leads to frequent on/off cycling and that can wear on the switch. The switch will no longer respond effectively to the rise and fall of the water level. Sometimes, it runs long after the pump moves the water out or it will stop while there are still high water levels in the sump. 

Float switch setting to high

Your pump will not turn on if the float switch setting is too high. Sometimes, it's an installation error or something that can jostle the setting higher. 

Float switch setting to low

A low setting will cause the pump to run when it doesn't need to, leading to an overworked pump and a shorter service life.

How To Troubleshoot Float Switch Problems

There are things you can do to narrow down the cause of your float switch problem. 

First, have a look at the sump pump. Is the float floating freely or does it look trapped? 

You can also adjust the settings, either higher or lower, to see if that regulates the on/off function. 

If neither of those problems applies to your situation, you can contact a licensed plumber to troubleshoot your sump pump.

DIY Fixes for Minor Float Switch Issues

Once you've narrowed down the cause of your faulty floating switch, there are DIY solutions you can try to get it working again. 

Reset the float if it’s trapped 

Reach into the sump well and free the trapped float. If that doesn't fix the problem, you may have multiple issues. 

Adjust the sump pump float switch 

To adjust the float switch, you can shorten or lengthen the tether attached to the float until the pump turns on. 

If you've tried these DIY solutions and your sump pump float switch is not activating, it might be time for a sump pump switch replacement.

When To Call a Professional Plumber

A faulty float switch can lead to significant flooding and water damage in your crawlspace or basement. This high-moisture environment is also favorable for harmful mold and mildew growth. If you're experiencing continued problems with your float switch, it's time to call a licensed plumber. 

The Sump Pump Experts at Apex Plumbing, Heating, and Air Pros

At Apex Plumbing, Heating, and Air, we specialize in sump pump repair. We provide reliable service and quality customer care in Columbus and the surrounding cities. We offer no-obligation estimates, online scheduling, a 24-hour live answering service, and a 5-star satisfaction guarantee. 

Contact us today to schedule sump pump service and repair. Our expert plumbers are standing by.