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A tether is a cord that has something on the end of it to restrict its movement. In the case of a sump pump tether float we are speaking of a tether which has a float at the end of it. The tether restricts the floats movement so it operates as designed.
A tether float has two visible parts, a cord and a float, and three invisible parts: electrical wires, a ball or toggle mechanism and a switch.
The tether float works by responding to the height of water in a sump pump basin. The tether float dangles by the side of the pump until the water reaches the float. As the water rises in the basin, the float connected to the dangling tether, floats upward. The ball found in the float rolls and when the float is at its highest point it trips the switch to the ON position.
When the switch is ON electric current flows to the pump causing the pump to run. The pump continues to run as long as it has an electrical current flowing to it. As the water recedes the float lowers and the switch is off and the electricity stops flowing and the sump pump turns OPF. The tether float is once again found dangling at the side of the sump pump.
See How The Tether Float Works - The Action Of A Tether Float
Both float types achieve the same purpose; however when comparing the tether float to the vertical float, we see the vertical float switch is the better choice.
The tether float has one advantage. Its tether can be lengthened to increase the run time per cycle which extends the life of the motor.
The vertical float has three advantages. 1) It moves up and down on a vertical lot rod saving pit space required for operation. 2) Its electrical cord is motionless unlike the tether which moves as the water rises causing additional wear and tear on the electrical cord wrapped in the tether. 3) Its float is protected against basin hang up by a float guard while the tether float has no protection and catches easily on the side of the basin or tangles with things in the basin.
So we recommend the vertical float switch as the more reliable float switch; the one that is less likely to tangle and more durable.
The most common tether float problem is tangling and basin hang up.
The second most common problem is the cracking of the tether which houses the electrical cord causing electrical shortage. The third most common problem is the wearing of the switch connectivity. Every time then switch is activated friction is created which causes wearing on the connections. The fourth most common problem is the basin space required to operate. There is no room for a battery backup sump pump.
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Liberty Pumps 283 Wide Angle Float 1/2 HP Mid Range Head Cast Iron Housing, Bottom Screen With Legs to Raise Pump Base, Handles 3/4 In Solids, 4260 GPH At 10 Foot Lift Sump/Effluent Pump with Series (Piggy Back) Plug 3yr. warranty
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