Informational Guide

How To Adjust Sump Pump Float (Complete Adjustment Guide)

by Andrew

As the name suggests, the main job of a sump pump is to remove water from a pit and away from the house, so your crawlspace or basement stays dry.  

However, for efficient performance, the float switch must work properly. So if you want to know how to adjust the sump pump float, keep reading. 

So without further ado, let us understand how to adjust sump pump float: 

Things Required 

  • Sump Pump 
  • Rubber gloves 
  • Flashlight 
  • Work boots or rubber boots 

Adjusting A Vertical Float Switch 

  • First Step 
    When you plan to work with electronics, you must disconnect your power supply to increase the safety of the process.  Go through the extension cord power supply, check your breaker box, and disconnect the power to be safe.  
  • Second Step 
    You can either adjust the float switch manually or mechanically to maintain the water level inside the basin.  If these two options are not viable, some sump pumps have the option to adjust the switch electronically.  Also, keep in mind that if you observe that the water level is higher, you might need a bigger rod. In cases such as these, it is necessary to make sure that you adjust to the ideal height for the basin and the pump.  All you must do is move the rod up and down based on the water level of the pit. Screwdrivers can also be used in this process if the water level is low, go for short rod length, and vice versa.  And if you are planning to do this electronically, you can also use a screwdriver. This will enable you to switch the inner settings of the sump pump.  
  • Third Step 
    Here, you will test your sump pump float switch.  We will do this with the help of a bucket filled with water. Once you have placed the float switch in the correct position, go through your power supply and start the power. Now is the time to test your system.  Drain some buckets of water to simulate rain, and once the water level rises, your sump pump will turn on. Eventually, it will continue to run till it is empty.  

Adjusting a Tethered Float Switch 

  • First Step 
    As mentioned above, you must first turn off your sump pump's electrical connection, either by turning off the fuse switch for that area or unplugging the sump pump.  
  • Second Step 
    Grab the connector that tethers your sump pump float to the cord, release it by unfastening the float from it. Now adjust your tethered sump pump float according to your requirements.  
  • Third Step 
    The third step is pouring water; fill a bucket with water and run it inside the sump pump hole. Please wait until it starts and adjust it as needed.  You may also have to adjust the cord several times until it properly starts working.  
  • Fourth Step 
    Unclasp the connector that holds the sump pump float to the road and adjust as required. Remember, you might have to loosen it, tighten it, or adjust it upward or downward.  
  • Fifth Step 
    Pour several gallons of water into the sump hole until your sump pump activates. If the water continues to run, you might have to bring the connection up a bit on the connector rod.  

How Do Sump Pump Floats Work? 

Before we move on to why you need to adjust your sump pump float, let us understand what a sump pump float and sump pump float switch are.  

A sump pump float switch detects whether there is flooding in your tank or not. Therefore, it deactivates and activates the sump pump according to the water present in the well.  

The device relies on a round ball that measures the liquid level, like a beach ball afloat on the water surface.  

When water starts to rise, the float also rises with it, and once it reaches a specific height, the switch inside closes. 

Why Is Sump Pump Float Adjustment So Important? 

Without float adjustment, your sump pump might not efficiently carry out operations, and it might even lead to flooding or excessive strain on your unit.  

One of the main reasons float adjustments are required is that sometimes the sump pump float is entangled inside the basin.  

Often it is trapped between the basin wall and the pump, and it cannot drop or rise to desired levels. However, you can easily repair this.  

Another cause is the mechanical failure of any switch components. If that is the case, your switch must be replaced.  

Zoeller Sump Pump

Sump Pump Popular Models Float Adjustment Guide 

Now that you know how to adjust sump pump float level; let us look at the types of float switches used in various popular models: 


Zoeller has three different types of sump pump float switches to offer:  

  • The tethered float 
  • The vertical float 
  • The tethered float for non-automatic pumps 

If you have a Zoeller sump pump installed inside your house, you can easily adjust the switch by both the methods described above. 



Most Everbilt models use a vertical float switch, but some also have a tethered one. Installing an Everbilt vertical float switch is easy, and adjusting it follows the universal method described above.  


Wayne has been in the sump pump industry for more than seventy years, so obviously, they have three types of float switches in their sump pumps: 

  • Tethered 
  • Vertical 
  • Microprocessor 

They can also be easily adjusted or replaced using the steps mentioned above.  


Typically, Rigid models have two different types of floats. The tethered one can be adjusted by removing the connector from the pump and vertical float switch by a screwdriver or by hand.  


Barracuda models have three types of sump pump float switches available: 

  • The tethered float 
  • The vertical float 
  • Pedestal float switch 

The latter can be adjusted just like you would adjust a vertical sump pump float switch.  


Like the other models, FloTec also has two sump pump float switches: the vertical float switch and the tethered float switch. Their working is quite like other models and can be adjusted as specified above.  


Liberty most commonly uses the vertical float switch, which the abovementioned steps can easily adjust. 

Remember, Liberty sump pump float switches are pretty easy to replace, and they can be adjusted easily as well.  

Little Giant 

This model has the tethered float switch as well as the vertical one. They are relatively easy to adjust, and if you have a Little Giant model, you can follow the above instruction to adjust your sump pump float switch.  


Utilitech models have two types of float switches, the vertical float switch and the tethered float switch.  

However, most of the Utilitech sump pump models have the tethered float switch, which can be adjusted by the instructions above.  


Where should the float be in a sump pump? 

The float switch in your sump pump must hang just a few inches over the top of the sump pump motor. Its precise height differs based on your sump pit's size and your sump pump motor's power.  

How high should the float be on a sump pump? 

Depending on the sump pump's model and depth well of the sump pump well the height of the sump pump varies; however, as a rule of thumb, it should just be over a few inches on the sump pump motor's top.  

How do you bypass a float switch? 

You can bypass the circuit on your original float switch and employ a silicon sealant to seal the housing thoroughly. Then loosely attach your replacement switch to your pump housing via zip tie. Plug the switch in the outlet and insert a bypass.  

How much is the cost of a replacement sump pump float? 

If your sump pump switch is having trouble turning on or off, then you might need to replace it. The average cost of your sump pump float replacement is around 35 USD to 70 USD, excluding all labor costs.  


A sump pump float switch is the primary unit of your home's sump pump since it is responsible for the efficient operation of the unit.  

We hope that this guide was able to help you understand the function of your sump pump float switch and how to adjust it if required.