UPDATED: July 5, 2017
Sump pump switches are the main link for controlling the sump pump. The main cause for sump pumps to not operate properly is the switch. Without the switch, the pump will not turn on. There are basically three types of switches; vertical, diaphragm, and tethered. There is an electronic switch that we will get into later.
Sump pumps can be found at Home Depot and Lowes! Replacement and maintenance can be costly but with these tips and an adjustment or two, you?ll be able to fix your switch in no time. It?s hydromatic, meaning it has functions like an automatic transmission that was originally developed for cars. They come in different shapes and sizes ranging from mini to giant. There are different kinds of pumps out there too, like a modern Flotec pump, or a Watchdog alarm pump.
The Zoeller Pump Company is another great place to purchase your sump pump. There?s also submersible Utilitech and Myers sump pumps, as well as durable Wayne pumps, you can invest in. Top suction design in Ridgid sump pumps prevents air locking for ultimate reliability. You get to be the controller to determine which sump pump is right for you. To find out what?s best for you and to learn more about sump pump switches, keep reading! This section we will discuss the do?s and don?ts about sump pump switches.
The easiest way to tell if you have a piggyback plug is to look at your plug, is there one cord or two? If there are two cords then you have a piggyback plug. If you have only one cord you may have a vertical switch that is internally wired and permanently connected to your pump.
Piggyback plugs make it very easy to test your pump. Identifying the two cords is easy. The cord that only has the male plug is for the pump and the cord that has both the male and female end is the switch. To test the internal pump, unplug the pump cord from the switch cord. ÿNow plug the pump cord directly into the outlet. If the pump turns on the pump is operating.
Properly installing a switch is vital to proper operation of the pump and protection of your basement. You don?t want bells and alarms going off in your head thinking ?how do I do this?? The last thing we want is for you to be stuck and unsure what to do. Some switches are adjustable and some are not. It is very important that the pump is cycled properly. If a pump short cycles (runs for a short period of time often) this can put unwanted stress on the pump.
Sometimes a switch can be installed too low and the pump can dry run. All submersible pumps are designed to be under water when running. The water acts, as a cooler to make sure the pump does not get excessively hot. Though most pumps have thermal overload switches, overheating a pump is one the quickest ways to shorten its life.
Vertical switches are well suited for most installations because they are easy to install and adjust. Most, if not all vertical switches utilize a piggyback plug. ÿThe vertical switches operation is very simple. The vertical switch consists of a float, some sort of rod, and a switch enclosed in a small housing attached to the pump body or the discharge pipe.
As the water rises in the sump basin, the float rises with the water. At a predetermined height, the float activates a switch and the pump is turned on. As the water level falls the float falls with the water and again the pump is shut off at a predetermined height. Vertical switches are great for small diameter basins. The vertical switches motion is somewhat controlled since it travels on a rod that is affixed to the pump or discharge pipe and does not vary much. The issue with most vertical switches is that they are not well suited for deep basins. This switches cycle is limited to the length of the rod.
Diaphragm switches work well for some installations. ÿMost, if not all diaphragm switches again utilize the piggyback plug. Diaphragm switches operate differently than most other types of sump switches. A diaphragm switch is triggered by pressure. ÿThis type of switch is usually mounted very low on the pump body or on the side of the pump.
As the water level rises in the sump basin, the pressure exerted on the switch is increased. Once the pressure is high enough to compress the bladder contained within the switch, the switch is energized and the pump is turned on. As water is pumped out of the basin the water level falls and thus the pressure falls. Once the pressure on the bladder contained within the switch is low enough, the bladder expands again and the switch is de-energized. These types of switches are great for basins with very little room or basins that are congested. One of the problems with diaphragm switches is adjusting the trigger levels. Diaphragm switches ARE NOT adjustable making it very important to select the correct switch.