Best Sump Pump Float Switch to Control All Operations

Millions of people across the globe deem the best sump pump float switch indispensable. As they keep their basements free from flooding. That’s why they want their sump pumps to be made of high-quality materials and unique designs to ensure that they serve their purpose well. The switch is one of the important factors that you should carefully consider when choosing sump pumps. If not chosen carefully, it could easily make or break your system as a sensitive factor. This article will look at the best sump pump float switch, what it means and their different types and other important information about them.

What is a Sump Pump Float Switch?

A sump pump switch automatically controls the operations of the sump pump by detecting the level of water in the basin or a sump pit. Thus, you don’t need to monitor the water levels manually to initiate and stop the sump pump. Since a sump pump is an effective part of your home drainage system, it needs a float switch for it, and the motor to operate. With the best battery backup sump pump, a sump pump will continue operating once the float switch is triggered regardless of whether the power is available or not.

You will find that the float switch is located externally and internally, and you can adjust it to your ideal fit with your sump pit and water line. It looks like an arm hanging off the side of the unit since it is attached with a buoy. The float switch is lightweight and hangs from the arm to rise when the sump pit fills with water.

1. Superior Sump Pump Float Switch

The superior pump has designed its vertical float switch with highly durable plastic material to last longer. Since its design is universal, it almost works with every sump pump and other submersible pump. In addition, the switch displays mechanical excellence with a non-mercury pattern attached to a 10-feet long SJOW power code that is water-resistant.

Additionally, Superior pump switch operates with a maximum speed of 10amps, and it comes with a clamp and installation bracket. The best thing about this float switch is that you don’t have to replace it after its prolonged use compared to other float switches. This vertical float switch requires practically no maintenance. Its accurate precision activates the motor when the water rises above the sump pump level.


  • Fits in all kinds of pump
  • Its easy to install
  • Requires less maintenance
  • No obstructions when working as it takes less space in the basin
  • Consumes less power
  • Pumps with high speed.


  • Damage to the switch may occur when there is heavy flooding

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2. The Basement Watchdog Sump Pump Float Switch

The basement watchdog sump pump float switch with a controller includes two large floats covered with a protected enclosure to ensure that no debris or other wires interfere with them. One of the floats will activate automatically when the water level in your sump pump rises by ¼ level.

Furthermore, the second one acts as Stepney to the first one; the first one doesn’t work while the water level rises; rather, the second one takes its place.

The second one drains the sump pits completely as it keeps on working for 10 seconds even after the float drops to its initial position completely. Hence, maintaining the water level becomes very easy for this unit.


  • Durable for up to two years
  • This unit includes a long cord and a hose clamp
  • Its corrosion-resistant
  • Features a dry crawl space


  • The switch application causes a short cycle, reducing the unit’s lifespan.

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3. Parts 2O Sump Pump Float Switch

Parts 2O sump pump float switch is designed in a piggyback structure and mostly used as an immediate replacement of a failed tethered switch of a submersible sump up you are using. Additionally, one of the best parts of this switch is that it replaces its kind of switches, tethered switches, and replaces vertical switches used in a basin and are around 14 inches in diameter.

Also, Parts 2O is resistant to corrosion. The float switch design is very standard in that it can almost replace an automatic switch regardless of the brand you were using previously. With this sump pump, you will get an additional water level controller that adjusts the sump pump’s position on its own for a prolonged period.


  • Adjustable height design
  • Simple to attach
  • Automatically powers on and off
  • Easy to install
  • Its durable


  • The length is the cord is small hence not suitable for the situation

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4. PumpSpy Sump Pump Float Switch

PumpSpy sump pump float switch is compatible with all main sump pumps you can buy and comes with a hose clamp to make installation easier. The first thing you need to do is plug the switch into your outlet, then plug the main pump into the back of the plug. What follows is that the pump will turn on when electricity from the switch travels through its plug.

When the float bulb is tilted so that the cord is facing downwards, the relay inside the plug allows power to flow through but shuts off the pump when the cord faces upwards. Furthermore, another thing you need to do when installing this unit is that you need to install it using a hose clamp to attach the cord down into the pipes in your sump pit.

Additionally, when the water rises above the sump pump level, it carries the bulb and, in turn, positions the cord downwards to activate the pump to turn on. When the water has been drained from the sump pit, the bulb lowers and positions itself to its original place, thus shutting off the pump until the water levels rise again and the cycle continues.


  • Easy to install
  • Compatible with all main sump pumps
  • Comes with the hose clamp


  • Obstructions could interfere with the unit when it’s floating upwards

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5. Zoeller Sump Pump Replacement Float Switch 

It’s evident to homeowners and plumbing contractors that this switch deserves some credit. Zoeller sump pump replacement float switch is one of the best switches on the market, especially since it’s a long lifespan and is used for commercial or residential purposes.

Furthermore, the Zoeller family comes from a well-known brand; hence, you are guaranteed excellent product functionality and better service. In addition, the 50 and 90 series sump pump is the best unit that can solve failures and problems when it comes to your switches.


  • Easy to replace
  • Its universal design goes well with all Zoeller pumps
  • Certified to handle clean water and waste pump solutions.


  • The float switch material is not durable

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Types of Sump Pump Float Switch 

1. Tethered float switch

One of the most common float switch types for sump pumps is the tethered float switch. What happens here is that when the water level rises, the switch floats, thus causing the position of the steel ball inside it to change. Therefore, the ball pushes the lever, pushing a smaller switch that activates the pump to run.

However, when the water levels decrease, the steel ball goes back to its initial position, stopping the pump from running.  The tethered float switch is most suitable for larger sump pits because when they are placed in tight places, the switch can easily be tangled by debris, basin or the unit itself.

Also, even though you can adjust the length of the cord by shortening it, in doing so, you decrease the range of the sump pump operations. The best thing about this float switch is that it’s More durable than vertical float; you need to clean anything that could weigh it down continuously.

2. Vertical float switch

A float, which goes straight up or down along a vertical rod, is used in a vertical float switch. The design is most convenient for use in narrow sump pits, 14 inches and below in diameter. Vertical float switches can work well in large basins.

However, there is a drawback to using vertical float switches, especially in a narrow sump pit, as its range of vertical motion is only about half of that tethered float switch.Meaning that you will get to move half amount of water every time it runs. Generally, this causes the pump to have a short cycle between on and off, thereby making the pump overheat.

However, manufacturers have developed counteractive ways to prevent overheating due to modern technology. Like making the switches adjustable to adapt to different situations.

3. Electronic switch

Electronic switches are considered the most reliable since they don’t have moving parts. They are also very convenient in tight spaces like vertical float switches. They operate by creating an electric field that senses the presence of water surrounding them.

Apart from their reliability, they can last longer than the mechanical ones, but they cost more. In addition, you are required to ensure that you check them more often to clean any debris or mineral build-up in your water that could affect how they detect the water levels.

Factors to Consider Before Buying a Sump Pump 

1. Float switch

Every sump pump needs a working float switch. Without this critical element, the motor would not know when to power on when the water level rises in the sump pit. Even the most powerful pumps are ineffective if they don’t know when to turn them off.

2. Price

Finding the ideal replacement float switch can become very difficult, especially with so many options in the market. Models that are cheaper lack the functionality and lifespan of expensive models.

3. Sump pump basin size

You need to consider the size of the sump basin. There are sump pumps that require a certain sump size to function well. Ensure that you measure your basin size before you go shopping.

4. Power cord length

Ensure that you keep the length of the power cord in mind before it’s too late. We recommend that you choose a model with a 10-inch cord as it will be able to reach your power outlet to your sump basin. Don’t use extension cords as they can short out or even cause a fire.

What Are the Safety and Precautions?

Each type of sump pump has its set of pros and cons, but in the end, it’s up to you to decide which one you want. Remember that it doesn’t matter if you choose a digital or a float switch; all that matters is that you give it the best care and maintenance for its durability.

  • Clean any built-up and debris that could hinder the float switch operation
  • Ensure that there are no damages to the float switch
  • Ensure that the sump pump turns on and off at the anticipated time
  • Remember to run the sump pump every couple of months by filling it with a basin of water to prevent mechanical switches from drying by.

Do You Need to Piggyback or Not?

A piggyback plug has two cords compared to a single cord. You will find that a single cord plug is an internally wired vertical switch that is attached permanently to a pump. A piggyback plug allows you to test the pump conveniently. The two cords have a male and a female plug, so the cord with the male plug only goes in the sump pump, and the cord with both plugs is the switch.

So, when you need to test the pump, the only thing you need to do is unplug the pump cord from the switch cord and plug it directly into the main outlet, and when it turns on, it is operational.

How to Determine the Type of Float Switch for your Sump Pump

  1. As we stated earlier, there are different types of switches, so you must determine the type of switch installed on your sump pump when you buy a replacement. Use a digital voltage meter to help you determine whether the power is present. Also, you can use a lamp to check whether the power is present or any other electronic is present.
  2. Now that you have confirmed that the power is present, it’s time to open the basin. The lid on top of the basin will be sealed, unsealed or bolted down. But it will depend on your sump pump. For people who have a radon mitigation system installed in your home, you must close and seal the cover just as it was after you are done.
  3. Now that you have removed the cover and located and identified the switch, it’s time to start with the testing. When testing a tethered float switch, all you have to do is hold the float so that the wire is facing down, ensuring that the rope will not entangle with the basin or cords. When this process turns the pump on, the switch mechanism is operational so long as the pump will turn off when you release the float, the cord is facing up.
  4. You need to locate the float for vertical switches and lift it upwards until it can’t move further. The switch is operational if the sump pump turns on with this method and turns off when releasing the float.
  5. Similarly, you can test the electronic switches in this manner. You can use a screwdriver or any insulating equipment to move the float upwards and check if the pump turns on.
  6. The final test tests any switch, especially pressure and electronic sensor switches. All you have to do is identify and block the sump pit inlets with a test plug or a towel. When you have successfully plugged them, use a bucket or a hosepipe and till the sump pit with water and check whether the pump cycles. If the pump turns on, then it’s working so long as it can also turn off or else it will overheat.
  7. If none of these tests successfully turned on your pump, then you have a piggyback switch, and you got only the final option remaining to turn your pump on. Firstly, separate the male pump plug and the piggyback switch plug. Then plug the male plug directly to the outlet, ideally turning the pump on. You can use this method in emergencies, like when the switch is not operational; however, be careful since you are dealing with electricity.

Reasons Why it’s Important to Install Sump Pump Float Switch Properly.

You must install the switch properly to ensure that all operations run smoothly and your basement s protected. Many manufacturers have flooded the market these days, claiming that their product is the best, thus making it crucial that you choose the right one for you.

Moreover, you will find that some sump pumps are adjustable and others are not. When the pump cycles improperly or only runs for a short cycle, this may unduly stress the pump. You will notice that the pump runs under the water as it acts as a cooling agent to prevent the pump from overheating because it shortens its lifespan. Because of overheating, most sump pumps come with a thermal overload switch.