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How to Reset A Sump Pump [A 6-Step Guide]

I understand that you don’t want your basement to get flooded. So, you got a sump pump to prevent that. 

But you have to ensure that it’s in good condition. That’s why you need to reset it sometimes. The good news is – you can reset it yourself.

How to reset a sump pump?

Turn off the electricity first. Then proceed to remove the sump pump. Next, clean out all the debris. After that, examine the drain lines for clogs. Now, reassemble all the parts. Lastly, reset it by holding the button for 5 seconds. If there’s no reset button, just turn the device off and on. 

I didn’t mention all the details. Read along if you want to know more!

Resetting A Sump Pump in 6 Easy Steps

It’s a bit difficult to get water out of the basement without a pump. So, a sump pump comes to the rescue here. 

It can safeguard your property against water damage. Because it can drain out the unwanted groundwater from the basement.

Like any other pump, the sump pump also requires maintenance. Thus, you will need to reset it before that. 

Actually, you can reset it in 6 steps. I’ll elaborate on them for you.

Step 1: Turning off Electricity

This step might seem unnecessary to you. Many rookies get started without even turning off the electricity first. 

But it’s for your own safety. Because you are lowering the chances of getting electrocuted.

Besides, you are also avoiding the risk of frying your sump pump. So, you need to shut down the electricity. 

Turn off the sump pump at first. Go to your circuit breaker next. Now shut down the electricity. After that, remove the sump pump’s power cord from the electrical outlet.

Step 2: Removing Sump Pump from Basin

Do you see the pit where the sump pump is sitting? Actually, that’s called the sump basin. In this step, you have to take the machine out of the basin. 

You will notice that there’s a cover above the sump basin. You have to remove that cover first. After that, the sump pump needs to be lifted out of the basin.  

This will allow you to reach all the components of the machine properly. 

Also, the sump pump usually has pump connectors. Basically, it connects the pump with the drainage pipes. You have to disconnect it.

It’s imperative that you disconnect it without causing damage to the drainage pipes. Try not to bend it as well. 

Otherwise, you will probably see that the basement drain is backing up.

After taking out the sump pump, place it on top of a few layers of clothing. You can use tarps. Besides, an old towel will work too. As a result, the pump will be protected from damage.

By the way, you can have a look at my suggestions if you need tarps: 

Product 1
Product 2

These are waterproof and also durable. So, you might like using them.

Step 3: Getting Rid of All The Debris

Usually dust and debris accumulate at the sump pump’s basin. So, don’t be surprised if you find pebbles and small rocks there. In fact, these can settle inside the pump as well.

Actually, this kind of debris can obstruct or jam the motor of the pump. As a result, the machine can stop functioning properly. And that can lead to water damage to your house.

That’s why it’s important that you clear out all the dust and debris. So, the sump pump will be in service for a longer time.  

Besides, now would be an appropriate time to clean the filter also. 

Step 4: Examining Drain Lines

Examine the drain lines as well as the discharge pipes. Do you see any blockages? If you said yes, then you must clear them.

This needs to be done before you reassemble your sump pump.

Are you wondering what will happen because of clogged drains? Actually, clogged drains can force the sump pump to overwork. 

That would pressurize the machine too much. It can lead to loud noises and smoke. It won’t even matter if all the electrical requirements of the sump pump are met.

So, the pipes should be free of blockages.

Step 5: Reinstalling Sump Pump

Place the machine back in its place. In case you forgot – the machine should be in the basin.

Now, reassemble everything properly. It has to be exactly as it was before.

Are you finding it difficult to fit things? Review the installation guide or owner’s instruction manual if that’s the case. You’ll be fine. 

Also, inspect the floating switch. Does it respond to the rising water at the correct time? If it does, then everything is in the correct place now.

Next, plug all the cords and restart the electricity.

Are you all done? That’s great. You are good to proceed to the final step then.

Step 6: Resetting Sump Pump

Some models have a reset button and some don’t. So, the process to reset will differ here. No worries. I’ll talk about both of them.

With Reset Button

Hold the sump pump’s reset button for a few seconds. 5 seconds should be alright. That will reset the sump pump.

Check if the pump turns back on. If it doesn’t, then simply push the button once more.

Without Reset Button

Don’t get upset if yours doesn’t have a reset button. 

Actually, you don’t have to do anything separately. Just follow all the previous steps properly. And that will enable the machine to reset itself.

Yes, just turning it off and on will 

And that’s it. These were all the steps. Hope you were able to follow them. 


Question: How long does my sump pump typically last?

Answer: Your sump pump will eventually wear out. It has a lifespan of around 10 years. You probably won’t realize the machine has failed until it shuts down.

Question: When is it not necessary to reset a sump pump?

Answer: Avoid resetting if the device is burning, making strange noises, or has debris within. Also, don’t reset if the wires are uncovered. Repair the machine first and then proceed. 

Question: Are there any tips? 

Answer: I have a tip for you. Try to take a picture when you disassemble the sump pump. You can refer to it later while reinstalling everything.

Final Words

I hope now you know how to reset a sump pump. I tried to make the guide as comprehensive as possible. 

The steps are easy. But it’s okay if you don’t feel confident about doing it yourself. Call a plumber if that’s the case.

Alright, I’m signing off now. Bye!