If you have a sump pump, or plan to install one, you’ll want to know how to get the most out of it. The float pump is a great tool for this, but you need to monitor it and keep it clean and in good condition to make sure it’s working properly.
The basic float pump works by using a mechanical switch that floats inside the tank and moves up or down with the liquid level. This mechanical switch then opens or closes an electrical circuit based on its wiring configuration and the counterweight and pre-set trigger that is set in place.
Most float switches are designed with a hollow body that floats in the liquid, and an internal switch that contains sensor probes that detect water presence. The sensor probes are connected to a circuit which if activated will send an electrical current through to the pump.
Float switches are available with different wiring configurations depending on how they’re used. For example, a Pump Down float switch (also known as a Normally Open float switch) is used to shut off the pump when it reaches a low level, such as the bottom of a sump. This will prevent the pump from running out of water and starting to suck air, which can cause it to lose prime, waste electricity and shorten the life of the pump.
The best way to connect a float switch to the pump is to use a piggyback plug. This connects the float switch’s plug to a standard power outlet and allows you to unplug the float switch, separate it from the power cord and plug the pump directly into the outlet. Alternatively, you can hard wire the float switch by splicing it into the “HOT” line coming from the power source. If you do this, it’s a good idea to mount the float switch in a control panel or waterproof junction box to ensure that the splice does not become wet and create a potential short.