Troubleshooting Sump Pump Floats


The sump pump float must be checked regularly and maintained. A pump may stop working for several reasons, and even a small fault in the pump float can result in big problems, such as water damage to the items that are kept in the basement. Hence, the float must be regularly serviced to prevent any future issues.

Things You'll Need

  • Flashlight
  • Rubber boots
  • Electrical tape
  • Bucket
  • Clean cloth
  • Lamp
  • Brush

Step 1: Wear Rubber Boots

First, wear the rubber boots before shutting down the sump pump. Since water is a good conductor of electricity, a pair of rubber boots increases your safety.

Step 2: Shut down the Electricity Supply

All the electric power is the basement must be shut off using the emergency switch. With the help of the flashlight search and locate the area of the sump pump. Look for the electrical source or the power cord and unplug it carefully.

Step 3: Draining Water from the Sump Hole

Use a bucket to drain the water from the sump hole. This is done to help troubleshoot the float. The water collected in the bucket can be thrown away.

Step 4: Checking the Presence of Electricity

The sump pump's power cord must be unplugged from the electrical outlet that is located in the ceiling or wall. A small lamp can be plugged to the same power outlet. Now, turn the power on and check whether the lamp glows. If there is light it means that there is a live power supply that will provide power for the operation of the float.

Step 5: Check the Power Cord

The power cord that is used to supply the electricity to the pump is examined carefully. If the power is not running or passing through the unit, it means that the cord can be defective. If there are any cracks in the insulation in the cord it must be patched. The cracks in the wires will allow the water to enter, causing short circuit and surges. Clean the prongs of the electric cord using a clean cloth if there are foreign particles on them. Electrical tape should be used to patch the cracks on the cord.

Step 6: Check the Power Switch

Check the control switch that operates the entire unit. The power cord must be plugged in the power source and the power switch of the pump should be turned on. Raise the float high as possible to start the pump. The power switch must be replaced if the pump does not start.

Step 7: Remove the Rust

The float's travelling rod must be checked for corrosion. Due to oxidation, the easy movement of the float will be blocked. If the float remains stationary, the sump pump will not start. Use a stiff bristled brush to scrub off all the rust from the surface of the rod.

Step 8: Testing

Check for leaks in the float using a flashlight. A tiny pin hole may also cause the water to seep into the float. Sometimes the weight of the water inside the float can stop the float from working and the float has to be replaced. To remove the float from the unit, hold the float firmly with your hands and turn it counterclockwise.