Sump Pump Float Switch Types

If you are searching for a sump pump switch or sump pump float switch types, then you’ve come to the right place. The main connection that controls a sump pump, including a submersible sump pump such as the Zoeller sump pump, is the sump pump switch. Therefore, a defective or damaged switch is the main cause of a malfunctioned sump pump.

After all, with a switch failure, the pump won’t power up. Knowing the type of float switch you need is crucial, and more importantly, having it properly installed.

In this guide, we’ll delve into the sump pump float switch types and much more to permit an informed decision on the ideal sump pump float switch for you.

Sewages and sumps collect wastewater and usually contain a level sensor coupled with a pump to regulate the water level. One of the most renowned sump pump float switch types is a tethered float switch. Other popularly used categories include a vertical float switch, an electronic switch, and a diaphragm switch.

Read on to learn more!

What Is the Best Sump Pump Float Switch?

An electronic switch is the crème de la crème. As the gold standard of pump switch technology, it’s the most reliable option. An electronic switch has a piggyback plug that you plug into the wall outlet, allowing you to connect the pump back into the back of the switch plug.

Additionally, rather than mechanical moving parts, it has an internal sensor that detects the water level. Once the switch is triggered, it powers up the pump. As the water level plummets below a particular point, the switch is activated, turning off the pump.

Electronic switches occupy the least amount of space and are impressively reliable if they have the recommended power source and the pump amp rating adheres to the switch requirements.

Their reliability depends on your power source. Moreover, in most instances, an electronic switch can outlive the pump due to the lack of mechanical moving parts that are susceptible to wear out after a while.

What Is a Tethered Float Switch on a Sump Pump?

Superior Pump 92000 Tethered Float Switch, Black

Tethered float switch

More common with a sewage pump or larger sump basin, a tether float switch comprises a float that is tethered to the pump. As the water level rises, so does the float, resulting in the tether flipping the switch and powering up the pump.

Concurrently, once the water level plummets, so does the float, loosening the tether, releasing the switch, and turning off the pump. Although a tethered switch is perfect for a larger sump pit, it might get caught on the basin wall or the pump, making it riskier to use in a smaller sump pit.

What Is a Vertical Float Switch?

Raybend Sump Pump Vertical Float Switch

Vertical float switch

It makes use of a piggyback plug that is a breeze to install and adjust as need be, making it ideal for the most common installations. The switch is made up of a rod, a switch, and float, all of which are encased in a small housing that connects to the discharge pipe or the body of the primary sump pump.

The operation of a vertical switch is fairly simple. As the water level in the sump basin rises, so does the float. In turn, this activates the switch until it soars to a specific height, turning on the pump. When the water level drops and the float reaches the predetermined height, the switch is flipped, turning off the pump.

What Is a Diaphragm Switch?

Little Giant 599019 RS-5LL 115 Volt Piggyback Diaphragm Switch

Diaphragm float switch

It makes use of a piggyback plug. Contrary to other sump switches, a diaphragm switch is triggered by pressure. For that reason, it is attached at a low point on the body or side of the pump. As the water level in the sump basin rises, so does the pressure on the switch.

When the water level drops, the pressure on the bladder also plummets, allowing it to re-expand. As a result, the switch is de-energized, and the pump turns off.

How Does a Float Switch Work on a Sump Pump?

When the water level gets to the upper level of the pump, the switch turns on, after which the pump begins to drain the sump pit. Once the lower switch point is reached, the switch goes off, and the pump stops working. The switches are usually connected directly to the pumps, for instance, a pedestal sump pump.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Sump Pump Float Switch?

If your sump pump has trouble powering off and on as it should and you don’t have a backup sump pump, you’ll likely need to replace the float switch or liquid level controls. The average cost of replacing a float switch ranges from $35 to $70, excluding labor costs.

A sump check valve replacement costs between $15 and $30 on average for the components. It is installed to prevent water from seeping back into your sump basin when the pump is off. A malfunctioned check valve will result in overworking the sump pump, resulting in the overheating of the engine.

Why Do Float Switches Fail?

Although these switches come in handy in various industrial applications, they can fail. When that happens, it can damage equipment or result in a malfunction. Like any type of equipment, a float switch has a limited operating life. Nonetheless, if the switch is well-maintained and used for its intended purpose, it can get the job done for years.

The failure of a float switch boils down to common causes such as using it for purposes other than which it’s designed for, using it with equipment that it is incompatible with, incorrect configuration, and poor maintenance.

For issues that entail poor maintenance and incorrect configuration, the solution comes down to the particular float switch and the environment in which it is used.

You’ll require referring to the product manual for any equipment it’s being used with. Ensure you follow the installation instructions to the letter and conduct the recommended maintenance.

Should a Sump Pump Run Every 15 Minutes?

When that happens, there’s the likelihood that the water from the sump pump is seeping back into your house and getting recycled back into the pump. Alternatively, a sump pump running every 15 minutes could mean that you have plenty of groundwater in your area at the time, which keeps the pump running.

Ensure the ground around your house is sloping away from the house. Furthermore, if the hose of the pump is outside, make sure it is far from your house.

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