How to Adjust a Sump Pump Float

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Wear rubber boots to protect yourself while working on the sump pump.
Wear rubber boots to protect yourself while working on the sump pump. (Image: rubber boots image by cvrgrl from Fotolia.com)

A sump pump helps to regulate the amount of water that is pumped into your home. If the sump pump float is not at the proper adjustment, it will either not activate or it will fail to stop pumping. The adjustment procedure on the sump pump is fairly basic and does not require any tools besides a bucket, flashlight and rubber boots and gloves.

Things You'll Need

  • Flashlight
  • Rubber gloves
  • Rubber boots

Float Cord

Turn off the electrical connection to the sump pump by either unplugging it or switching off the fuse for this area. Wear rubber boots and gloves as you work on the sump pump to protect yourself from electrical shock. Use a flashlight to see what you are doing.

Grab the connector that is holding the float to the cord. Squeeze or unfasten the connector with your hands to release it from the cord and adjust it up or down, depending on your needs. The fastening device will depend on your model of sump pump.

Pour several gallons of water from a bucket into the sump pump hole until it activates the sump pump. If it does not activate, adjust the float cord to make it tighter. If it does not stop running after a few minutes, you have made it too tight and need to loosen the connector and move it up the cord a bit. Keep adjusting the cord until it works properly.

Float Rod

Make sure the electrical connection to the sump pump is unplugged or the fuse is switched off for this area. Put on rubber boots and gloves to protect yourself from electrical shock. A flashlight will help you see while you work on this.

Unfasten the connector that is holding the float to the rod. Adjust it up or down, down the rod to make it tighter or up the rod to loosen it. Again, the fastening device will depend on your model of sump pump.

Fill a bucket with water and put the water into the sump pump hole until it activates the sump pump. As with the float cord, if the water keeps running, you need to bring the connection up a bit on the rod. If it does activate when you put water in, you will have to bring it down a little.

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