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How to Adjust a Tethered Float Switch Level on a Sump Pump

Justine Harrington
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Learn how to adjust the tethered float switch on your sump pump, to keep your pump properly activated.

How to Adjust a Tethered Float Switch Level on a Sump Pump

A sump pump is one of the most important parts of your home. This device helps to regulate the amount of water that is pumped into your house, thereby keeping your basement and the rest of your home dry. They function by pumping collected water from an area of lower elevation to an area of higher elevation.

The purpose of a tethered float switch is to signal when water levels have reached the desired level. The float switch rests on the water's surface and rises along with the water. Once this switch has been activated, the sump pump will start to function.

If the sump pump float is not at the proper adjustment, it will not activate. Even worse, it may stop pumping. Thus, it's crucial to know how to adjust your pump's switch. You can adjust the tethered float switch level on your sump pump in just a few simple steps.

Step 1: Turn Off Your Pump's Power Source.

Turn off the electrical connection to your sump pump, either by unplugging the appliance itself or switching off the fuse for this area.


To ensure that you stay protected from electric shock while adjusting your pump's switch, you should always use a flashlight and wear rubber boots and gloves during this process.

Step 2: Adjust the Float Cord.

Grab the connector that is holding the float to the cord, unfasten it and release it from the cord. Then, adjust it according to your needs.

Step 3: Pour Water Into the Sump Pump.

Fill a bucket with water and pour it into the sump pump hole. Wait until it activates, and make adjustments if necessary. You may need to adjust the cord a few times until it works properly.

Step 4:  Adjust the Float Rod.

Unfasten the connector holding the float to the rod and adjust as needed. You may need to tighten or loosen it, or adjust it up or down.

Step 5: Pour Water Into the Sump Pump.

Pour a few gallons of water into the sump hole until the pump is activated. If the water keeps running, you may need to bring the connection up a bit on the rod.


Some pump float switches are manually adjustable, while others are electronically adjustable. Manual pump float switches resemble a toilet-bowl float. Electronic switches may resemble an attachment on the side of the pump.

The adjustment process for the tethered float switch on your sump pump should be simple and straightforward. If, however, you have further trouble, you should contact a plumbing professional for assistance.