AEEM Guide Sump Pumps - Triggering Switch (3 of 4) River2u.com
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Sump pumps operate only when the sump pit has collected enough water to make it worthwhile to turn on the pump for a few moments to lower the water level (never all the way to empty since centrifugal pumps stop functioning when their intake ports start to suck air). To switch the motor on and off, pedestal models usually use a float ball, not unlike the one inside a toilet tank, to push and pull a switch located up near the motor. Submersible units typically use either a self-contained float ball or a separate float switch at the end of a short length of electrical cord. The corded float switch has a mercury switch inside its floating nodule and the power is switched either on or off depending on the nodule’s angle of tilt. Since the most common reason that sump systems malfunction (apart from power failure) is that the switch becomes snagged or otherwise inoperable, you should consider the type of trigger switch in light of the size of your sump pit, because for corded float switches to work, the pit has to be wide enough to allow the nodule to move freely at the end of its cord.

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