How To Adjust Sump Pump Float Switch

The float switch is the only thing that makes the whole sump pump system less labor-intensive and more automatic. However, the wrong placement of the float can lead to a bunch of problems. It will either make the motor start too early or late.

This can actually lead to a shortened lifespan of the pump motor. In this article, I’m going to show you how to adjust the sump pump float switch properly. Depending on your tank size or shape, you might want the water level to rise and drop to different levels before the motor switches on and off.

You want to float switch to come on when the water is much higher than the pump unit. Now, there are two ways you can adjust a sump pump float.

Adjusting Electronically

You can make adjustments to an electronic float switch by adjusting the knob or the screw that comes with the float. This changes the height settings inside the sump pump. You can lower or raise the setting with each turn of the screwdriver.

Inside the pump body, there are water detecting electronics that will activate the pump only when water touches the sensor. The pump will activate and run until the water level falls below the adjusted point.

Adjusting Manually

It is easy to adjust a manual float switch. All you need to do is move the tether or rod up and down in the pit. You should adjust the height based on the water level inside the pit.

Most float switches can be adjusted with a normal-sized screwdriver or by hand. For higher water levels, higher rods and tethers work better. And for lower water levels, shorter rods and tethers work best.

Sump Pump Float Switch Adjustment

In the following section, I’m going to show you how you can adjust the sump pump float relative to the waterline. The key to a properly working sump pump is to correctly position the float.

Let’s go over the steps on how to adjust different types of float switches so that your sump pump system turns on at the right moment without overworking the motor and turns off at the right moment to save utility bills.

Before I go to the steps, there are a couple of tools that you will need.

  • A screwdriver
  • A bucket
  • A torchlight

Once you have gathered all the tools, you can start following the steps below to properly adjust a tethered or a vertical float switch to the correct height.

Step 1

Before you even begin doing anything, first disconnect all the power cables. For safety purposes, turn off the power from the breaker switch. Every time you work with machinery equipment where there is a mix of water and electricity, there is always the risk of getting electrocuted.

That’s why it is always better to be on the safe side. Now, if you don’t want to go to the breaker switch, simply disconnecting the power cable will do.

Step 2

If it is a manual float switch, you can adjust it by hand up or down, depending on the water level. Now, tethered floats have a different mechanism. The float switch is really simple.

It works like any other float switch but has a different construction. As the water level rises, the angle of the float changes. There is a switch inside that basically switches the pump on.

When it drops again, the angle goes down, and there is a switch that turns the pump off. Unlike vertical floats, it doesn’t have a float road. Instead, it has a tether.

Step 3

In this step, I’m going to show you how to adjust a tethered sump pump float. There will always be some water left at the bottom of the tank. Now, one of the guidelines and principles of basin water recycling is that you should not let the water store inside the pit for more than 24 hours.

It can become a health hazard or bacteria buildup. It can also develop unpleasant smells. One way to override that is to adjust the tethered float switch lower so that the pump empties the pit. For now, empty the pump first.

Step 4

Now, you can adjust the float by adjusting the length of the tether. The longer the tether is, the higher the water has to go before it pushes the float switch to the angle at which the switch turns on the motor.

It is the same for the lower part. The longer the tether is, the lower the water level has to drop for the pump to turn off.

Final Thoughts

Unless it is an electrical float, you would obviously have to play around with the float so that you can sort of gauge it with your eye and adjust it accordingly. And that concludes our article on how to adjust the sump pump float switch.

About the Author WaterKo

Leave a Comment: