How to Install a Septic Tank Switch

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Septic tanks with pumps rely on a float switch within the tank to sense the liquid level in the tank. As the liquid level rises, the float switch rises in the tank. Float switches turn on and off in relation to their angle. Float switches are tethered to the pump by their wires. These wires are lengthened or shortened to provide the correct swing to pump a volume of liquid. When the float switch reaches a vertical position, the circuit closes and activates the pump. An incorrectly installed float switch can damage a pump or hydraulically overload a drain-field.

Things You'll Need

  • Float switch
  • Septic system design
  • Wire ties
  • Screwdriver
  • Tape measure
  • Consult the septic system design for the the swing length and float switch height specifications.

  • Insert the float switch's wire through the plastic mounting tabs on the mounting clamp.

  • Lower the pipe clamp onto the effluent pump's discharge pipe until it reaches the height specified in the septic design.

  • Use a screwdriver to loosely tighten the pipe clamp.

  • Hold a tape measure vertically against the effluent discharge pipe. Move the float switch from its "off" position to its "on" position.

  • Adjust the wire tether on the float switch so the swing measurement matches the septic design's swing measurement.

  • Tighten the metal tether clamp with a screwdriver when the tether is correctly adjusted.

  • Wrap two plastic wire ties around the metal clamp. Insert the end of the wire tie into the locking mechanism and tighten. This provides extra insurance the float will stay put if the metal clamp corrodes and fails.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use safety equipment whenever working around septic tanks.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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