4 Types of Sump Pump Float Switches

4 Types of Sump Pump Float Switches

When water starts to accumulate around the foundation of your home, it can seep into your basement and cause excessive damage. Luckily, your basement has a sump pump that collects and pushes water outside before damage can be done. 

You may not think about it, but your sump pump is a vital component in protecting your home. To detect water and to know when to pump it out, your system needs a sump pump float switch. Let’s take a look at the four most common types of float switches available and how they work. 

What Is a Sump Pump Float Switch?

When water levels in a sump pit begin rising, the sump pump float switch serves as a level sensor alerting your pump. When water levels reach a point, the float switch for the sump pump opens a circuit allowing the pump to move water up and out of your basement.  

Different Types of Sump Pump Float Switches

Sump pump float switches have helped countless homeowners avoid excessive water damage from flooding. Below are the most common types of sump pump float switches. 

Tethered Float Switch 

A tethered float switch for a sump pump is the most common type. This mechanism has a floating hollow body with a steel ball inside, which is attached to the pump with a cord. As the sump pump float switch pivots, the ball inside moves and activates an electrical switch. You can determine the length of the cord and the level range of the switch.

Vertical Float Switch 

Designs may vary, but the vertical float switch will most likely have a floating mechanism connected to a rod on the switch. As the water rises, the float rises and pushes the rod against a lever activating the switch. This type of sump pump float switch is typically more accurate than tether switches. They are best for low-depth, small basins. 

Diaphragm Switch 

Despite not being a float switch, the diaphragm switch serves a similar purpose. This type of diaphragm uses pressure from rising water levels to deflect and turn the pump on.

Electronic Switch 

Electric sump pump switches are becoming more popular for sump pumps due to their reliability and few moving parts. Some electronic switches use a small current that is applied to probes that can activate the pump. 

Probes submerged in water create an electric circuit and the current starts to flow. To detect the presence of water, the sensor measures the electrical resistance and compares it with a preset value.

4 Types of Sump Pump Float Switches

Components of a Sump Pump 

To detect rising water level and pump it out before it causes extensive damage—you need a functional sump pump. Below are the components that make your system work.

Sump Liner 

To help keep your sump pit from clogging, it needs a sump liner with an airtight lid. The liner also keeps your pump from being open—creating a hazard.

Sump Pump Alarm 

If water levels should rise above the liner, a battery-operated alarm will go off automatically.

Float Switch

The float switch for the sump pump is made of plastic and is attached by a thin shaft to the switch. When water levels rise, they push the float upward, turning the motor.


The pump stand is a specially designed pedestal, helping prevent debris from clogging the system.

Check Valve 

You may find the check valve installed on the drain line or the water intel. Regardless of where it’s placed, the one-way check valve prevents water from flowing back into the sump pump. 

Battery Backup

This is your sump pump’s power source and is typically the battery mounted on a wall and connected to the sump pump.


The discharge assists in funneling water to the discharge pipe, leading the water out of the system. 

Sump Pump Repair & Installation Services

Our Sump Pump Repair & Installation Services

If you are having issues with your sump pump float switch, give our team of licensed plumbers a call by phone at (630) 968-0783 to schedule an appointment for replacing float switch for sump pump. Our professional technicians offer exceptional sump pump repair and replacement services for homes in Downers Grove, IL and other areas. In addition, our staff offers other types of plumbing repair services such as sewer line maintenance, water heater repair, drain cleaning, and water line installation. Our team has helped over 20,000 customers in your area. Our staff will perform an inspection of your sump pump and resolve the issue to restore safety in your living space. 

Schedule An Appointment With Our Team

Call Us: (630) 968-0783

Our team of certified plumbers offer dependable sump pump installation and repair services for families in your area. Book an appointment to receive assistance with a malfunctioning sump pump.