sump pump - new float switch, lube or replace

Old 06-22-15, 05:07 AM
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sump pump - new float switch, lube or replace

I have a basement sump pit, submersed sump pump with vertical float switch and watchdog backup system. The main pump float has been failing lately - the backup kicks on and beeps. It seems to recover before I arrive because when I look in the pit, I see the main pump is usually working. One time it was not however. The float was at top, giggling float around caused the switch to close and then it started the pump and back to normal.

So I suspect the actual switch that the float hits is getting stuck open more frequently when the float is up trying to close it. So, can I clean or lubricate the switch or rod the float slides on? Should I replace the float switch assembly ($48 according to local store website)?

Or should I have a plumber replace my whole system. It is about 15 years old and I think it is well past the 'lifetime' of each component (main pump, backup pump, etc). If I did it myself, not sure I could plumb everything and make it fit back into the pit. Job for pro?

We have been getting a lot of rain in Indiana so it is running very frequently.
Old 06-22-15, 09:54 AM
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I'd probably just replace the main pump. At 15 years it owes you nothing... If your basement watchdog battery hasn't been replaced within last couple of years, you are way past due for that as well.
Old 06-22-15, 10:02 AM
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I assume you have mechanical switches mounted above the water line and a float is at the bottom of a rod that moves up and down and not sealed float switches that look like big plastic balls that are actually in the water? If you have the rod type first make sure the float can move up and down freely. Lubricating the rod might help but generally it's not necessary. If it moves freely then replacing the switch would be the next step. They can be replaced individually if you want which is usually only about $5 for the switch.

Since your whole setup is 15 years old you could replace everything. I would caution against getting a store brand from a big box home center as your old pump is probably of higher quality. Look for a quality brand name pump. Your backup pump should be OK since it's likely seen very little use. You might want to test it just to make sure it still works and as Carbide mentioned the battery has a limited life span whether you use it or not.

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