Having a sump pump can save your basement, but you may have noticed that your sump pump has two plugs. This may have left you wondering why there are two plugs and whether or not you need both.
Sump pumps have two plugs for a reason. The internal float switch plug keeps the sump pump working accurately, while the pump motor operation plug is necessary for pumping water out of the sump pit.
By having two separate plugs, each function can work optimally, ensuring that your basement stays dry and giving you peace of mind. Check out the following information to learn more about the purpose and use of each plug.
Why Does My Sump Pump Have Two Plugs: Detail Discussion
Your sump pump may have two plugs:
- One for the internal float switch and
- One for the pump motor operation.
The internal float keeps the pump from running dry, which can overheat and break down. Depending on the water level, this switch automatically turns the pump on and off. Also, the pump motor requires electricity and must be plugged in separately.
Make sure the second pump motor plug is not plugged into the same outlet as the internal float plug. The motor requires more power and can easily trip the circuit breaker. Hence, two separate plugs are necessary to ensure proper sump pump functioning.
Also, many sump pumps with a float are attached outside the pump and “flip” the motor on and off, depending on how high it is.
How Does a Dual Power Plugs Sump Pump Work?
Sump pumps are available in different types, including pedestal sump pumps and submersible sump pumps. A dual-plug sump pump is a submersible sump pump with two plugs, one for the float and the other for the pump motor.
The float’s primary role is to identify the water level in the sump pit or container. This float is connected to a switch that triggers the pump motor on and off at specific intervals. When the water level in a sump pit rises, a float triggers the switch, which activates the pump motor to pump the water out of the pit.
Alternatively, the pump motor is connected to the other plug on a dual-plug sump pump. The pump motor pumps water out of the sump pit. When the pump motor activates, it triggers the impeller to spin. This causes water to be drawn into the pump and expelled to the drainage system or sewer.
Connecting the right plugs to their respective sockets is crucial to ensure the dual plug sump pump operates smoothly. Incorrectly connected plugs can cause the motor to run continuously, causing unnecessary wear and tear and, eventually, failure.
Is it OK to Have 2 Plugs on a Sump Pump?
Having two power plugs for a sump pump can benefit in many ways. It provides a backup in case one plug fails. If one plug malfunctions or the power goes out, the second plug will kick in and ensure the sump pump remains operational. This can help prevent costly water damage to your home.
Also, having two plugs allows for more efficient operation. If your sump pump is connected to a GFCI outlet, it can trip and shut down during heavy rain. But with two plugs, you can avoid this problem as one plug can be connected to a non-GFCI outlet while the other is connected to the GFCI outlet.
Following proper safety guidelines is essential when installing two plugs on a sump pump. Ensure that the wiring is done correctly and securely. Both plugs are rated for the same voltage and amperage as the sump pump.
What happens if only one of the plugs in a sump pump is plugged in?
If only the motor plug is plugged in, the sump pump will operate continuously without any control, which may damage the pump. Conversely, the sump pump won’t turn on if only the float switch plug is plugged in. It is essential to ensure that both plugs are functioning correctly for the correct operation of the sump pump.
The motor plug controls the pump’s activation, while the float switch plug determines when the pump should turn on and off. If either plug is not working, it can affect the pump’s performance and cause damage.
So, verifying that all plugs are correctly plugged in and functioning is crucial before relying on the sump pump.
Can a sump pump operate with just the internal float switch?
A sump pump can operate with the internal float switch. But it is crucial to note that dual plugs sump pumps have internal and external float switches. The internal float switch can malfunction or clog, leading to sump pump failure.
Alternatively, the external switch acts as a backup, providing protection against power outages. Notably, a dual-plug sump pump is more reliable and recommended for homeowners. These pumps offer double the protection, saving you from costly water damage.
In case of sump pump failure or malfunction, contacting a professional technician is always advisable to diagnose and fix the issue promptly.
How can you tell if your sump pump uses an internal or external float switch plug?
You can tell if your sump pump is using an internal or external float switch by checking the following:
Floating Switch Location
Sump pumps usually feature a float switch to detect the water level in the pit. The location of the float switch in your sump pump can help you determine whether it is internal or external. A float switch plug placed outside the pit is an external float switch.
If the float switch plug is positioned inside the pit, it is an internal float switch. Therefore, to check the type of float switch in the sump pump, examine its location.
Check the Internal Float Switch Plug
An internal float switch plug is an integral part of the sump pump and is connected via a cord/cable. It typically floats inside the sump pit and detects the water level. It is ideal for those who want more reliability and longevity from the sump pump.
Moreover, an internal float switch plug is less prone to accidental damage than an external float switch, which can be conveniently serviced.
Check the External Float Switch Plug
An external float switch plug is outside the sump pit and connected to the pump via a separate cord/cable. It functions similarly to an internal float switch by detecting the water level and allowing the pump to operate when it rises.
However, the external float switch plug is often more vulnerable to damage and can fail if not installed correctly. It requires less maintenance than internal float switches, but they can be more challenging to replace if they malfunction.
Consult the Owner’s Manual
When installing or repairing your sump pump, it is vital to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. The sump pump manual will inform you about the type of float switch installed in the system, the proper maintenance procedures, and troubleshooting instructions.
Therefore, reading the owner’s manual often is a good idea to ensure the sump pump works properly.
Can you unplug and plug back in a sump pump?
You can temporarily unplug a sump pump, but you should not leave it unplugged for long. It is best to plug it back in as soon as you’re done. Unplugging your sump pump puts your basement at risk of flooding, as the pump is responsible for removing excess water from the sump pit.
Moreover, ensuring it is not in operation before unplugging the sump pump is crucial. If you unplug the pump while it’s working, you risk damaging it, leading to costly repairs or replacements.
Also, before plugging the pump back in, ensure the unit has cooled down and is completely dry. This step will help prevent electrical hazards that can severely threaten your safety.
Should anything else be plugged into the sump pump power cord?
You should not plug anything else into the sump pump electrical plug, especially not appliances or motor devices. This is because any additional devices plugged into the sump pump’s power cord can overload the circuit, causing damage to the pump or even a fire hazard.
Furthermore, ensuring that the sump pump’s power cord is in good condition and there are no frays or damages to the cord is essential. If there are any damages to the cord, it is best to replace it immediately to prevent electrical hazards.
It is also best to ensure that the sump pump’s power cord is adequately grounded to prevent any electrical shocks or damage to the pump.
Protect Your Home: Double Up on Sump Pump Plugs for Total Security
Sump pumps are essential pieces of equipment that help to protect your home from water damage. The two plugs with your sump pump may initially seem confusing, but they serve two distinct purposes.
One plug controls the float that triggers the motor to switch on and off based on the water level, while the other controls the pump’s motor. Both plugs are necessary to make sure the pump works properly and safely.
If you have doubts about operating your sump pump or its different plugs, it is always best to get help from a professional.