Why You Need to Know How to Reset a Sump Pump
Lightning or other electrical power surges can affect the operation of a sump pump. Especially during melting snow or the spring rainstorms you know how important it is to keep it running smoothly. Keep reading to know how to reset a sump pump before you have a problem. Otherwise, there could be a flooded basement to clean up.
A sump pump is designed to help prevent flooding in your basement or crawl space by removing excess water that collects in a sump pit. However, sometimes your sump pump may need to be reset in order to function properly.
Table of Contents
Check The GFCI Reset Button
If your sump pump is not working, the first thing you should check is the GFCI reset button. This button is designed to prevent electrical shocks.
It is typically located on the electrical outlet where the sump pump power cord is plugged in. Or it could be in the circuit breaker box that powers your sump pump.
If the button has tripped, your sump pump will not receive power and will not work.
To reset the GFCI button, simply press the “reset” button on the outlet or circuit breaker. If the button does not reset, you may need to replace the GFCI outlet or circuit breaker. This is a relatively simple and inexpensive fix that can save you from having to replace your entire sump pump.
It is important to note that if your sump pump is connected to a GFCI outlet, it may trip frequently due to moisture and humidity in the area.
In this case, it may be a good idea to have a licensed electrician install a dedicated circuit for your sump pump to prevent electrical interruptions.
A DIY option is to install an all-weather electrical outlet cover . Such as the TayMac MM410C Weatherproof In-Use Electrical Outlet Cover
If the sump pump is in a wet location use this cover box to prevent constantly having to press reset. TayMac MM410C Horizontal/Vertical Mount 1-Gang Weatherproof In-Use Electrical Outlet Cover.
- WEATHERPROOF COVER: Get maximum toughness and protection. Our 1-Gang Weatherproof In-Use Electrical Outlet Cover for home improvement is NEMA rated and cULus listed for wet and damp locations.
- EASY TO INSTALL: Set up your outdoor outlet cover in no time at all. Our Quick-Fit keyhole mounting system allows installation in under a minute with a EZ Change Pin for horizontal or vertical mount.
- 16 CUSTOM CONFIGURATIONS: Our weatherproof outlet cover uses UFAST for 16-in-1 configuration. You can mount and protect duplex, switch, or GFCI.
- QUALITY CONSTRUCTION: Our socket cover for outlets is built from high-impact polycarbonate for maximum durability. You have more room for electrical cords and it includes gasket and mounting hardware.
- SAFE AND SECURE: Our weatherproof cover is tested and certified to cULus and NEMA standards. The lockable tab can be secured with a full-size padlock for protection against tampering.
If your sump pump has a battery backup, it is important to note that there may be a reset button located on the battery backup unit in addition to the electrical outlet or circuit breaker. In this case, you will need to check the battery backup control unit for a reset button.
Remember, checking the GFCI reset button should always be your first step when troubleshooting a sump pump that is not working. It is a simple fix that can save you time and money in the long run.
How to Reset a Sump Pump Without Battery Backup
First, let me say that most basement sump pumps do not have a rest button on the pump. If there is one, it would be a good idea to find its location before installing the sump pump. Then write a note and stick the note to the discharge pipe to remind you for when a future problem occurs.
If you have a sump pump without a battery backup, you can follow these steps to reset it:
Step 1: Turn Off the Power
The first thing you need to do is turn off the power to the sump pump.
Locate the circuit breaker that controls the sump pump and turn it off.
This will ensure that no electrical current is flowing to the pump while you’re resetting it.
Shown below is the type of GFCI Circuit Breaker that can be found in the circuit breaker box like the one shown further below.
- Homeline 20 amp single-pole plug-on-neutral dual function (cafci and gfci) circuit breaker
- Innovative neutral connection design leads to fewer connections and faster installation, no pigtails which frees up gutter space
- Compatible with homeline series 4 and newer load centers only. Mounting mode- Plug-in and Plug-on neutral
- 120 vac circuit breaker
- 10,000 air feature
- Includes a fully distributed neutral bar, allowing for the installation of Homeline Plug-on Neutral combination arc fault breakers on any space
- Each pole space accepts full-size, tandem or quad breakers
- Ground and neutral bars accept up to (3) #10-14 equipment grounds
- Includes (3) HOM120, (2) HOM230 and a combination flush/surface cover
- Accommodates plug-on secondary surge arrestor (sold separately)
Step 2: Locate the Reset Button on The Sump Pump
Once the power is off, locate the reset button on the sump pump. Not all sump pumps have a reset button. But if yours does, it is usually located on the side of the pump or on the motor.
Step 3: Press the Reset Button
Press the reset button and hold it down for a few seconds. This will reset the sump pump and clear any faults that may have caused it to shut off.
Step 4: Turn the Power Back On
After you have pressed the reset button, turn the power back on at the circuit breaker. The sump pump should turn back on and start pumping water out of the sump pit.
If your sump pump still is not working after you have followed these steps, recheck the GFCI reset button.
Still have a problem? You may need to contact an expert to diagnose and repair the issue.
How to Reset a Sump Pump with Battery Backup
If your sump pump has a battery backup, resetting it is a bit different than resetting a standard sump pump. Follow these steps to reset a sump pump with a battery backup:
Turn Off the Battery Backup Alarm
If your battery backup sump pump system has an alarm, turn it off before proceeding with the reset process.
This will prevent the alarm from sounding while you work on resetting the sump pump.
Shown below is THE BASEMENT WATCHDOG Big Combo CONNECT Model CITS-50 1/2 HP Primary and Battery Backup Sump Pump System with Smart WiFi Capable and 24 Hour a Day Monitoring Controller
- 1/2 HP energy efficient permanent split capacitor (PSC) primary pump can save money on your electric bills
- Primary pump capacity 3,540 GPH at a 10 Ft. lift and 4,400 GPH at 0 Ft. lift. Backup system capacity 1,850 GPH at 10 Ft. lift and 2,600 GPH at 0 Ft. lift
- Includes a WiFi capable battery backup system that provides 24 hours a day monitoring of pump, power and battery conditions, backup controller will sound an alarm, illuminates a warning light and describe what to do for easy maintenance
- Allows for connection to a Basement Watchdog CONNECT Module (BW-WiFi or BW-HZM), giving you real time alerts via text, email, or through the Basement Watchdog App
- Provides days of intermittent pumping power on a single battery charge and is compatible with both wet cell and maintenance-free AGM batteries. Connect two batteries in parallel for double the run time
Step 1: Check the Battery Backup Sump Pump Control Panel for A Reset Button.
If there is one, reset it now. If that did not solve the problem continue with step 2.
Step 2: Turn Off the Power
Before resetting the sump pump, turn off the power to the unit. This will ensure that you can safely work on the sump pump without the risk of electrical shock. Locate the circuit breaker that controls the sump pump and turn it off.
Can’t find the circuit breaker? Unplug the cord for the charging system for the backup battery powered sump pump. Then unplug the sump pump power cord for the primary sump pump from the GFCI electrical outlet.
Step 3: Check the Battery Backup Pump System
Check the backup battery to ensure that it is functioning properly. If the backup battery is not working, the sump pump will not function even after it has been reset. Check the battery connections and make sure that they are secure. If the battery is dead, replace it with a new one.
Step 4: Reset the Sump Pump
Once you have checked the battery backup, you can proceed with resetting the sump pump. Press the reset button on the backup sump pump control panel, if there is one.
If you unplugged the power cords, plug them back into the GFCI electrical outlets and press that reset the button if need be. Then press the rest button on the primary sump pump if it has one.
Step 5: Turn the Power Back On
After resetting the primary sump pump, turn the power back on by flipping the circuit breaker back to the “on” position. Wait for the sump pump to turn on and start pumping water out of the sump pit. Make sure that the sump pump is functioning properly and that water is being pumped out of the pit.
Resetting a sump pump with a battery backup can be a bit more complicated than resetting a standard sump pump. However, by following these steps, you can ensure that your sump pump is functioning properly and is ready to protect your home from flooding.
Recap on How to Reset a Sump Pump: With or Without Battery Backup
To prevent the basement from flooding you must know how to reset a sump pump.
Resetting a sump pump can be a simple task, but it is important to take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety. Always turn off the power supply to your sump pump and unplug it from the electrical outlet before attempting to reset it.
If your sump pump does not have a battery backup, you can reset it by finding the circuit breaker and turning it off for a few seconds before turning it back on. This should reset the pump and get your sump pump working again.
If your sump pump has a battery backup, you should first check the battery to make sure it is fully charged. If the battery is low, you may need to replace it. Once the battery is fully charged, you can reset the sump pump by following the manufacturer’s instructions. This may involve pressing a reset button or unplugging the unit and plugging it back in.
Having trouble figuring out how to reset a sump pump? Or the sump pump just won’t work? Contact a local expert by using the form below.
The first time I helped to install a drain tile and basement sump pump system was 1978.
Since then I have worked for a city water utility where I worked with and maintained pumps.
My rental properties and personal homes all needed sump pumps.
As a modular home dealer/builder, those new homes needed sump pumps.
I put that experience to good use by providing reliable, useful, and practical advice on buying, using, and maintaining sump pumps.