How To Reset A Sump Pump: A Simple Guide For Homeowners

When using a pump in your basement, you sometimes need to know how to reset a sump pump. You will learn how to reset a sump pump in this pos

Your sump pump may require maintenance if it needs to be fixed as well as when you first installed it. Your sump pump transfers water from your basement to the sewer or drain. 

Most pumps manufactured by well-known companies—like Zoeller—are well-made and do not require restarting, but they all require some maintenance at some point.

Resetting your sump pump is simple and requires five steps. We’ll describe how to reset a sump pump and remove debris that may cause it to malfunction and flood.

How to Reset a Sump Pump: Step-by-Step Guide

You may want to learn how to reset a sump pump for various reasons, such as troubleshooting an issue or testing the system after a significant rain. 

Regardless of your motive, resetting your sump pump is a fast and straightforward procedure. Here are five simple steps on how to reset a sump pump:


Disconnect the Power


Before beginning work on electrical equipment near water, disconnect the power. Turning off the breaker and disconnecting the power cord is always wise. 

Be sure to be cautious whenever working on electrical equipment near water. Many pump issues are electrical, and it’s essential to be safe while resetting the system.


Remove the Pump


Before taking the pump out of the basin, remove the basin cover. Disconnect any drainage pipes without bending or damaging them or the pump connections. 

Since the pump system will be wet and filthy, we recommend placing it on an old towel or tarp. Check valves frequently leak water, so be careful.

Note: Some pumps have “quick reset” buttons that permit you to cycle the power and motor without extracting the pump from the pit. These are good for quick fixes but only sometimes address mechanical issues.


Clean Dirt & Debris


The third step is to clean the bottom of the pit of any dirt, debris, or tiny pebbles that may have accumulated. Every few months, clean the filter on your pump. 

Small rocks that get into the pump body and block the motor are a common reason for stalled engines. It is essential to clean the sump pump and basin pit as they collect dirt and debris over time. 

Regular cleaning will increase the lifespan of the pump and prevent future issues. It’s a good idea to check for rust or leaky spots on the outside before flooding the motor.


Check Drain Lines


Before reconnecting your pump, ensure the drain lines and discharge pipes are not obstructed and are in good condition. 

A clogged drain makes your pump work harder than it should, increasing your risk of a smoky pump and creating extra noise (unless you have one of the silent pumps).


Reconnect everything


You must reconnect everything properly when resetting your pump. Remember to check your owner’s manual and installation guide if you need help with how to do so. 

Reconnecting every element is crucial when resetting your pump, so ensure everything runs smoothly. 

If you need clarification on whether every part is reconnected properly, double-check the float switch to ensure that it rises and drops with the water level in the pit before you finish.

Using the Reset Button

You can also learn how to reset a sump pump using the reset button.

If your pump has a reset button, you should try and reset the motor before attempting other, more sophisticated fixes. 

If this technique does not solve the issue, you should be concerned that something is seriously amiss and take further steps to prevent a wet basement.

What if there is no reset button?

You should also learn how to reset a sump pump if there is no reset button.

If the pump does not reset after you unplug the power source or flip the circuit breaker, you should leave the power off for some seconds and then plug it back in. 

You must ensure that the pump is turned off when you reconnect it. 

Many individuals yank the plug out of the socket or toss the circuit breaker without turning off the pump’s power. 

If there are still problems with the pump, don’t turn it on again. 

  • Resetting after outages

It’s a brilliant idea to test your sump pump before the next downpour after a power outage or surge. If your electrical system is fried, your sump pump will not work correctly. Learn all the steps on how to reset a sump pump to reset after outages.

  • Resetting the Battery

A backup battery is present with responsible homeowners’ sump pumps to keep them running in the event of a power failure. If there’s a surge or outage, it may either disable the battery or burn it out, so it’s crucial to double-check the wired connection. 

Learn all the steps mentioned above on how to reset a sump pump to reset the battery after failure.

  • Resetting during a flood

When learning how to reset a sump pump remember that it’s possible to reset a pump during a flood, but if the wiring is broken, the device won’t restart. 

If you’re trying to extract debris from the device, ensure you’re far from the water when you switch it back on. 

It will help if you use a circuit breaker or power supply to switch off the device before resetting it for safety reasons.

When should you not reset the sump pump?

While learning how to reset a sump pump, knowing when you should avoid resetting it is critical.


It’s dangerous to reset a device smoking, making horrible sounds, or having debris on the inside. As the power is off, you must remove all the trash collected on the device’s interior. 

Some sump pumps don’t discharge water from the house or room. When a pipe breaks in a pump, it must be repaired or replaced. The wires within the pump must be covered with electrical tape or repaired immediately after cleaning the pump. 

After cleaning the sump pump, you can turn it back on. Avoid resetting it if there are exposed wires. Electricity can create a crackling sound, so prevent it if you hear it. Smoke indicates exposed wires, so turn it off if you see smoke.

If you think that the sump pump is past its hay days or you believe that it’s become unsafe, consider our top picks as a replacement.

Wrapping Up

Sump pumps protect your house from water damage, basement flooding, and other costly issues that may arise after a large storm or in areas prone to flooding. 

Periodic maintenance of all home appliances will increase their lifespan, including sump pumps. In addition to regular maintenance, sump pumps are also sensitive to power outages and power surges. 

If your home loses power or your circuit breaker shorts out, learn how to reset a sump pump.

Michael Bowen

Michael Bowen

Michael Bowen is an ambitious entrepreneur who has been in the business of building homes since he was 19. Michael's commitment to honesty, integrity, and high-quality workmanship has earned him a reputation as one of the best in the business.

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