Zoeller Sump Pump Switch Problems

Zoeller Sump Pump Switch Problems

In this article: 

  • 5 Common Zoeller Sump Pump Switch Problems
  • The way you can resolve those 5 issues
  • Answer to Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents

5 Common Zoeller Sump Pump Switch Problems & Their Solutions

The float switch is what controls the activity of a sump pump. If it fails, you will never pump water from your basement. And this chapter will reveal 5 common reasons for Zoeller Sump Pump switch failure. 

1. Rubber Seals Get Hardened

If the Zoeller Sump Pump you have has an integral vertical float, I bet it has a rubber seal where the float arm enters the housing. Over time, these rubber seals get hardened. Consequently, it requires more force to actuate the switch than the float can provide. 

How To Fix: 

Replacement of the rubber seals will be an easy fix to this issue. Fortunately, Zoeller sells replacement seal kits & switch kits. Just get seal kits and have the old rubber seal replaced with the new one.  

2. A Leaky Float

It’s rare. But the reality is most float switches use plastic as its built-in material. If the float somehow gets punctured, water can easily make its way into the float. In return, it prevents the float from rising high enough to actuate or activate the switch. 

How To Fix: 

You can easily determine whether there is water in the float or not. Just pull the sump pump and jiggle the float. Once you identify there is water in the float, it’s time to fix this issue. And the cure would be: float replacement. 

3. Float Switch Gets Jammed

Float switch works with the rise of the water. So, it’s natural that the switch can get clogged with the dirt and debris the water carries. And when the switch gets jammed, it may stick in the on or off position. 

How To Fix: 

Inspect the sump pump switch before every pumping session. Just unplug the sump pump from the electrical connection, pull the pump, and take a look at the float switch. 

Don’t forget to check the sump pit for blockage. If there is any obstruction in the float switch or in the sump pit, release the blockage. 

4. Zoeller Sump Pump Switch Arm Sticking

The switch arm of your sump pump is not corrosion-proof. It means the switch arm gets corroded or rusted, causing it to stick in place. In other words, a stuck switch arm prevents the float switch from actuating. 

How To Fix: 

Replacing the switch arm is an easy fix to this problem. In order to do this, remove the switch housing and the switch itself. Then, take the switch arm out of its place. Clean the switch arm mounting area and the switch housing. 

Note the proper direction in the manual for mounting the switch arm. Next, apply the new sealant around the outside of the switch arm mounting flange and inside the switch housing. 

Now, use a small piece of pipe to drive the switch arm home. Of course, ensure it has the proper orientation. 

Afterward, reinstall the float switch, gasket, wires, and reinstall the switch housing. Also, install the float and the float rod again. Finally, reinstall the pump into the sump.

5. Switch Itself Is At Fault

A switch on the sump pump activates the unit to dewater your basement. If the float switch gets defective, it won’t turn on the sump pump. 

To resolve this issue, you must replace the sump pump switch. And this guide on Zoeller Sump Pump Switch Replacement will help you change the switch like a pro. 


Why is my Zoeller well pump not turning on?

Your Zoeller Well Pump won’t turn on due to one of the following reasons:

  • A blown out fuse
  • Low voltage
  • A tripped overload relay 
  • Incorrect wiring
  • A clogged impeller
  • Defective motor
  • Faulty switch

To discover the troubleshooting steps, check out this article on Zoeller Sump Pump Won’t Turn On.

Can you adjust float switch on Zoeller sump pump?

Yes, you can adjust the float switch on a Zoeller Sump Pump. To learn more about this, read this guide on Zoeller Sump Pump Adjustment. However, whenever it comes to adjusting the pumping range, you can’t adjust it on an automatic sump pump.

What level should a sump pump float be set at?

You should set the sump pump float a few inches above the top of its motor. However, the actual height will vary depending on the size and capacity of the sump pump motor.

What shortens the life span of a sump pump?

Short cycling brings ultimate damage to a sump pump and cuts down its lifespan. Besides, a too small sump pump that fails to handle the water causes the unit to get hot excessively and reduces the pump life.

How do I know when my sump pump needs to be replaced?

Here are some signs that tell you it’s time to replace your sump pump: 

  • A strange noise coming from the unit
  • It vibrates abnormally when operating 
  • The unit keeps running
  • Irregular or short cycling
  • Visible rust & corrosion
  • The unit’s age is seven years or more
  • Motor failure


Undoubtedly, the float switch on a sump pump controls the functionality of a sump pump. And it’s the component that’s prone to damage. 

I highly recommend you check the sump pump switch before operating it. If it gets jammed or leaked, it will be better to replace the switch itself. Don’t forget to replace the switch arm every time you are going to change the float switch. 

Happy  Plumbing!

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