How to Reset a Sump Pump

Whether you have an automatic or manual sump pump, it’s essential to understand you will need to reset it from time to time. While you need to turn the manual switch on, an automatic pump will power up by itself. Resetting your sump pump is a natural process. Problems that may cause your sump to stop may include:

  • Clogs in the basin or discharge pipes
  • Circuit breaker trips
  • Power outages

Safety first:

  1. Shut off the power

To stay safe, always disconnect the current before attempting any resetting. You can shut off the power from the breaker and then unplug the power cable. To avoid electric shock when cleaning the pump, ensure you stay away from the floodwater when you reconnect the power.

  1. Take out the pump

Uncover the pump basin and lift the sump pump out. Always ensure you attach the drain pipes and avoid any dents or damage to the parts.Lay the pump on some layers of cloth to help protect it from damage.

  1. Clean the pump

As floodwater passes through the pump, small rocks, dirt, and other debris may settle at the base.Clear away any material from inside the pump and also clear away any rust that may be present.Next, clean the drain pipes to help keep the lines clear to reduce any noise or overheating.

  1. Reattach the parts

After you reset the pump, reassemble the connections and test them to see if the pump is working correctly. Also, check the float switch to see if it is moving at the right times with the rising water.

  1. Resetting after a power failure

Always test the sump pump after a power outage or breaker trip to ensure there are no shortages in the circuit. For backup sump pumps, reset the electrical circuit and check the wiring to ensure the battery is up and running again.

  1. Automatic resetting

Some sump pumps can reset automatically.  They come with a remote sensor that allows you to switch it on and off before you reset it.

  1. Manual resetting

If you are doing a manual reset, locate the circuit breaker to turn them on and off when necessary.

  1. Using the reset button

  • If there’s a reset button, locate it inside the pump.
  • Press the button firmly for about 5 seconds.
  • Release it and see if it comes on by itself.
  • If it does not work, try pressing it again.
  • If there are no clogs inside the pit, listen for the click that will show the switch resets.

If there is no reset button on the sump pump, you can disconnect the current or reset the circuit breaker. Wait a few minutes and see if the switch resets on its own.

Resetting Dos and Don’ts

Never try to reset the sump pump if there are any clogs in the device.  Always disconnect the electricity before you clear the pump. Also, do not attempt to reset the pump if you notice any smoke or hear any strange noises. Do not try to reset the pump if there are any loose or wires or tangles. Ensure you protect the cable with suitable tape or fix them before resetting the pump. Never handle the sump pump if there is any sparkling on the electrical wires. Switch the pump off entirely if you see any signs of smoke.

During flooding, you may be able to reset the sump pump, as long as the electrical wiring is in good condition.


Your sump pump may stop working for several reasons, and it’s vital to know how to reset it to keep it running during flooding. Short circuits, electrical surges, power failures, or faulty parts may prevent your pump from running when it needs to get rid of water in your basement. Resetting the pump is easy, but you have to play it safe. Observe all safety rules like shutting off the power and ensuring that you reattach all cables correctly to avoid any accidents. A thorough cleaning of the sump pump parts will also help prevent blockages that may cause the pump to stop cycling.

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