Basement Watchdog Pump Was Activated Alarm

Basement Watchdog Pump Was Activated Alarm

In this article: 

  • Basement Watchdog Pump Was Activated Alarm: 4 Reasons & Solutions
  • How To Silence Basement Watchdog Alarm?
  • End-note

Table of Contents

Basement Watchdog Pump Was Activated Alarm: 4 Reasons & Solutions

The pump will start to pump water and the ‘Pump was activated’ light & alarm will come on once the water rises in the sump pit and activates the float switch. 

Usually, the Pump warning light will glow due to one of the following reasons, including: 

  • A failure to main AC pump
  • Check valve is not working or installed improperly 
  • A clogged or frozen discharge pipe
  • Power was out 

Below, I will break down each of the culprits and walk you through the steps to resolve them.  

Here we go… 

1. Main AC Pump Failure

A lot of reasons are to blame if the main pump is malfunctioning completely. And they are: 

  • A stuck float switch
  • The main AC pump is too small to handle the inflow of water
  • The Main AC pump is at fault

Inspect the float switch and ensure there is no obstruction in the switch. If needed, clean the float switch to let it move freely. 

In the case of a too small main AC pump, just upgrade it with a higher capacity pump. 

On the other hand, if the main AC pump is at fault, replace it. I note down the instructions in the How To Fix section below to replace the pump. So, keep scrolling. 

How To Fix: 

Follow the below step-by-step instructions to replace the AC pump like a pro: 

  • Disconnect the charger from the wall power outlet.
  • Remove the cover out of the battery box.
  • Fan the area around the top of the battery using a piece of cardboard to remove the hydrogen or oxygen that may emit from the battery.
  • Remove both the fluid sensor and the battery cables.
  • Inspect the charger plug that fits into the rear panel of the control unit and ensure it’s securely plugged into the control unit. 
  • Unplug the pump from the control unit’s back.
  • Release the check valve and take out the pump and the rigid PVC pipe section from the sump pit. 
  • Unscrew both the pipe and the adapter from the old pump and screw them into the new pump. 
  • Install the pump into the sump and reinstall the check valve. 
  • Insert the pump wires into the back of the control unit. 
  • Put the fluid sensor back in the battery and reconnect the battery cables to the battery. 
  • Replace the cover on the battery box.
  • Now, connect the charger and the main AC pump back into the wall outlet.

2. Check Valve Is Malfunctioning or Installed Properly

Your Basement Watchdog Battery Backup Sump Pump will trigger the Pump warning light if the check valve is not working or installed properly. 

How To Fix: 

Inspect the check valve and ensure it’s working or installed correctly. If the check valve is at fault, get a new one and install it. You should install the check valve on the top of the PVC pipe attached to the Basement Watchdog Backup sump pump. 

Verify it’s installed with the arrow pointing up. Otherwise, the check valve will fail to prevent the backflow of water. 

Pro tips: When you install a check valve, you must drill a ⅛” hole in the PVC pipe above the Basement Watchdog pump. Ensure it’s above the water line and below the check valve. Keep in mind; you should drill the hole at a 45º angle toward the bottom of the sump to avoid splashing water- outside the sump pit. An airlock will occur if you don’t drill a ⅛” hole above the pump. 

3. Discharge Pipe Gets Clogged or Frozen

If the discharge pipe is clogged by debris or it gets frozen, no water can flow through it. As a result, the control unit will illuminate the warning light: Pump.

How To Fix: 

To resolve this issue, check the discharge pipe and release the blockage from it. You can also thaw the discharge pipe or install a new one if the pipe gets frozen. 

4. Power Was Out

If there is no power, the unit will not receive any juice to power up the sump pump. In this time, the backup pump will activate automatically. 

To fix this issue, press the yellow button on the front of the control panel to silence the alarm. 

How To Silence Basement Watchdog Alarm?

It’s simple to silence the Basement Watchdog Alarm. Press and hold down the Yellow button on the front of the control panel for 5 seconds to silence any alarm for 24 hours. 

On the other hand, if you want to silence the ‘Water’ and ‘Power’ alarms for 2 minutes, hold down the yellow button for 1 second to reset the alarm. 


The warning light ‘Pump’ on Basement Watchdog means Pump Was Activated. Generally, the control unit will display this alarm due to a failure to the main AC pump, malfunctioning check valve, a clogged discharge pipe, and power outage. 

Fortunately, I mentioned the troubleshooting steps to resolve each of these issues. Just follow the step-by-step instructions I described and have the alarm reset.

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