Top Sump Pumps for Home and How to Use Them 2018!

Sump pumps are pumps used to drain water from waterlogged compartments. This means that a sump pump will be beneficial in any home or business that has a basement or crawlspace prone to flooding. Sump pumps are usually fitted into a constructed sump pump pit, however, if you don’t have such a pit there are solutions that provide adequate results.

PhotoProduct nameDimensionsWeightMore information
1. Superior Pump 91250 1/4 HP Thermoplastic Submersible Utility Pump1. Superior Pump 91250 1/4 HP Thermoplastic Submersible Utility Pump12 x 7 x 7 inches7.4 poundsView on Amazon
2. WAYNE CDU980E 3/4 HP Submersible Sump Pump With Integrated Vertical Float Switch2. WAYNE CDU980E 3/4 HP Submersible Sump Pump With Integrated Vertical Float Switch8 x 8 x 12 inches12 poundsView on Amazon
3. Zoeller M53 Mighty-mate Submersible Sump Pump, 1/3 Hp3. Zoeller M53 Mighty-mate Submersible Sump Pump, 1/3 Hp7.8 x 10.5 x 10.5 inches21 poundsView on Amazon
4. Liberty Pumps 257 1/3-Horse Power 1-1/2-Inch Discharge 250-Series Cast Iron Automatic Submersible Sump/Effluent Pump with VMF Switch4. Liberty Pumps 257 1/3-Horse Power 1-1/2-Inch Discharge 250-Series Cast Iron Automatic Submersible Sump/Effluent Pump with VMF Switch9.6 x 9.6 x 10.5 inches15.22 poundsView on Amazon
5. Flotec FPPM3600D-01/09 1/3 HP Pedestal Sump Pump5. Flotec FPPM3600D-01/09 1/3 HP Pedestal Sump Pump6 x 33 x 6 inches12.38 poundsView on Amazon
6. WAYNE CDU800 1/2 HP Submersible Cast Iron and Steel Sump Pump With Integrated Vertical Float Switch6. WAYNE CDU800 1/2 HP Submersible Cast Iron and Steel Sump Pump With Integrated Vertical Float Switch9 x 9 x 12 inches18.5 poundsView on Amazon
7. Zoeller 57-0001 M57 Basement High Capacity Sump Pump7. Zoeller 57-0001 M57 Basement High Capacity Sump Pump11 x 11 x 8 inches27.1 poundsView on Amazon
8. Wayne VIP50 1/2 HP Thermoplastic Portable Electric Water Removal Pump8. Wayne VIP50 1/2 HP Thermoplastic Portable Electric Water Removal Pump6 x 6 x 10 inches6.8 poundsView on Amazon
9. Basement Watchdog BW1050 Sump Pump9. Basement Watchdog BW1050 Sump Pump6.2 x 6.2 x 11.8 inches13 poundsView on Amazon
10. Franklin Electric's Little Giant 6-CIA 1/3 Horsepower Submersible Sump Pump10. Franklin Electric's Little Giant 6-CIA 1/3 Horsepower Submersible Sump Pump10.3 x 10.3 x 9.7 inches17.65 poundsView on Amazon
Let’s take a quick look at the main features of a sump pump and then jump straight into the best sump pumps in 2018.

Base Type

Sump pumps come in two base types, there are pedestal mounted sump pumps and submersible sump pumps. The main difference between the two is obvious, one will sit underwater while the other remains in a dry location. Submersible sump pumps are a preferred option, however, if you don’t have a sump pit you might consider the pedestal mounted one.

The other difference is that a submerged sump pump is quieter since the sound of the motor is dampened by the water. The submerged sump pumps are also longer lasting than pedestal mounted pumps and provide better safety when kids are around.

Horsepower

This is important for the power needed to lift the water out of the flooded area. The power used also determines the gallon rate to which the water is pumped out. This means that a more powerful pump will work less time and be activated less frequently. If you live in a flood-prone area, a stronger HP is recommended.

Switches

When buying a sump pump think of hands free usage, this means buy an automatic pump that is activated by the water level and not by a manual switch.

While they do cost a tad more, automatic activating pumps will let you work and rest with ease, secure in the knowledge that your pump is activated when water levels rise. Since the capacitive switch is electronic, you don’t have to worry about mechanical issues or failures.

If you prefer an automated mechanical activation, then a diaphragm switch is a less expensive option. The diaphragm (Float) switch activated the pump when water levels rise forcing air out of a vent release tube. The other option is a vertical switch that sits at a 90-degree angle from the pump; it’s a manual switch for a manually activated sump pump.

Location and Materials

Remember the sump pump has to sit at the expected water level, not above it, and not in a place where the water level will flood the floor before activation. This is why all sump pumps should be below floor level. Even the pedestal versions.

As for materials, make sure the housing is made of a corrosion resistant material and that all working parts are made of reliable materials. Since the pump is located in a water-filled or humid environment, check to see the pump is adequately sealed.

Final note: The pump ratings are based on horsepower and gallons per hour removed, so when buying, make sure you know these ratings.

To make this review easy to follow and compare, I have defined each review by four criteria, the base type, the horsepower, the Gallons per hour and the switching mechanism.

Now let’s take a look at the 10 best sump pumps for 2018.

1. Superior Pump 91250 1/4 HP Thermoplastic Submersible Utility Pump

Quality85%
Durability84%
Practicality 82%
Price84%

Introduction

Superior Pump was set up in 1999 and is a family owned and operated residential and light commercial duty pump manufacturer. Its located in Minneapolis, Minnesota and its founder has over 40 years of pump industry experience dating back to the 70’s. The family has been in plumbing for over a century, starting back in St Paul Minnesota since 1885.

Base Type: Submersible and can fit into any 6” opening.

HP: ¼, the unit comes with a 10-foot replaceable power cord.

GPH: 1,800 to 25’ vertical. It comes with a 1 ¼” male iron pipe discharge thread and also has a garden hose adaptor.

Switch: Float.

Bottom Line: This is a rugged PVC encased pump that delivers power and continuous work using a standard float switch mechanism. Its exceptional value for money.
 

 

2. WAYNE CDU980E 3/4 HP Submersible Sump Pump With Integrated Vertical Float Switch

Quality88%
Durability87%
Practicality 88%
Price82%

Introduction

Wayne Home Equipment Company was founded back in 1928 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The company started out by producing oil lamps and in 1940 branched out into water pumps when they bought Zepher Pump Company, then located in Decatur, Illinois, but relocated to Fort Wayne. In 1978 the company was sold to the Scott Fetzer corporation, and in 1991 moved to Harrison, Ohio.

This company is a major pump powerhouse and has over 70 years of continuous development and success in the pump industry.

Base Type: Submersible, this is the Wayne CDU980 model which will fit into any 11” diameter pit. The base is made of cast iron with waterproof coating.

HP: ¾ and comes with a 9’ cable.

GPH: 3,500 at a 10’ vertical lift. It comes with a top suction pump design that minimizes air locks thereby reducing clogging at the bottom of the sump pit. It comes with a 1 ½” NPT.

Switch: Float, and is activated by a 9″ ON level and 4″ OFF level setting.

Bottom Line: If it’s solid and durable its Wayne, this is a classic model made of reliable materials and functions on a continuous basis.
 

 

3. Zoeller M53 Mighty-mate Submersible Sump Pump, 1/3 Hp

Quality88%
Durability87%
Practicality 87%
Price82%

Introduction

Zoeller is a family business and was founded in 1939. Located in Louisville Kentucky, Zoeller is one of the oldest family-owned pump manufacturers in North America. With over 80 years of continuous and focused pump development and experience, Zoeller produces some of the best products on the market today.

Base Type: Submersible. This is an iron cast Oil-filled, hermetically-sealed, automatic reset thermal overload protected the motor. It comes with a corrosion-resistant, powder-coated epoxy finish. It can sit in a 10” pit.

HP: 3/10, dependent on the model type (automatic or manual) the unit comes with 9′ (3 m) auto, 15′ (5 m) nonauto power cord.

GPH: 2,580, it comes with a 1-1/2″ NPT, the gasket is made of neoprene.

Switch: Float, 2-pole mechanical switch with variable level. Either automatic or manual, with a 7-1/4″ / 3″ (18.4 cm / 7.6 cm) ON/OFF limit.

Corrosion-resistant, powder-coated epoxy finish

Bottom Line: As with all Zoeller products, you get amazing quality and reliable value for money. The added benefit is the customer service and access to parts which are both abundant.
 

 

4. Liberty Pumps 257 1/3-Horse Power 1-1/2-Inch Discharge 250-Series Cast Iron Automatic Submersible Sump/Effluent Pump with VMF Switch

Quality86%
Durability85%
Practicality 85%
Price83%

Introduction

Liberty Pumps is a family business founded in 1965 in Bergen, NY. They now operate out of a very large facility and provide an extensive range of pump products globally. One of their main routes of supply is via plumbers and contractors, and their products are found all over North American and the world.

Base Type: Submersible. The body is a solid cast iron casing with an epoxy powder coat finish and vortex style impeller.

HP: 1/3 comes with a 10’power cord and

GPH: 3,000, has 1-1/2″ NPT and handles up to ½” solids.

Switch: Magnetic Float, the switch activates at 7,” and turn-off level is 3-1/2″.

Bottom Line: This is an exceptional pump that provides reliable performance.
 

 

5. Flotec FPPM3600D-01/09 1/3 HP Pedestal Sump Pump

Quality83%
Durability85%
Practicality 83%
Price86%

Introduction

Flotec® is a major USA pump manufacturer that has been producing reliable products for over 30 years. They specialize in residential pumping units of various types and are located in Delavan, WI.

Base Type: Pedestal and is constructed from thermoplastic and cast iron. The product’s dimensions are:

  • Height – Top to Base: -33″
  • Width – Side to Side: -8″
  • Depth – Front to Back: -7″

HP: 1/3 with an 8’grounded cord.

GPH: 2,460 at 10’ vertical lift, and comes with a top screened inlet with 1-1/4″ discharge.

Switch: Float. This unit works very similar to the flushing mechanism in your toilet and is automatic. This is not a submersible model and has cooling vanes in the body of the pump, which means that it will be susceptible in humid climates.
 

 

6. WAYNE CDU800 1/2 HP Submersible Cast Iron and Steel Sump Pump With Integrated Vertical Float Switch

Quality85%
Durability84%
Practicality 83%
Price85%

Introduction

As I mentioned above, Wayne Home Equipment Company was founded back in 1928 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The company started out by producing oil lamps and in 1940 branched out into water pumps when they bought Zepher Pump Company, then located in Decatur, Illinois, but relocated to Fort Wayne. In 1978 the company was sold to the Scott Fetzer corporation, and in 1991 moved to Harrison, Ohio.

Base Type: Submersible, fits into an 11” pit and comes with a rugged cast iron base and epoxy-coated housing.

HP: ½ and has a 9’ power cord.

GPH: 3,150 at 10’ vertical lift and 1-1/2″ NPT discharge

Switch: Float (2 poles) 9″ ON level and 4″ OFF level.

Bottom Line: There is not much to add to my previous take on Wayne. If it’s solid and durable its Wayne, this is a classic model made of reliable materials and functions on a continuous basis.
 

 

7. Zoeller 57-0001 M57 Basement High Capacity Sump Pump

Quality88%
Durability87%
Practicality 88%
Price81%

Introduction

Once again, this is Zoeller, a family business and was founded in 1939. Located in Louisville Kentucky, Zoeller is one of the oldest family-owned pump manufacturers in North America. With over 80 years of continuous and focused pump development and experience, Zoeller produces some of the best products on the market today.

Base Type: Submersible. The pump housings, base, and impeller are cased in a cast iron case; it comes with a stainless-steel guard and handles and cast-iron sleeve bearings It can sit in a 10” pit. The main difference between this model and the model 53 is that this one is 60Hz only.

HP: 3/10, dependent on the model type (automatic or manual) the unit comes with 9′ (3 m) auto, 15′ (5 m) nonauto power cord.

GPH: 2,580, it comes with a 1-1/2″ NPT, the gasket is made of neoprene.

Switch: Float, 2-pole mechanical switch with variable level. Either automatic or manual, with a 7-1/4″ / 3″ (18.4 cm / 7.6 cm) ON/OFF limit.

Bottom Line: As with all Zoeller products, you get amazing quality and reliable value for money. The added benefit is the customer service and access to parts which are both abundant.
 

 

8. Wayne VIP50 1/2 HP Thermoplastic Portable Electric Water Removal Pump

Quality83%
Durability84%
Practicality 83%
Price86%

Introduction

Once again we visit Wayne Home Equipment Company, which was founded back in 1928 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The company started out by producing oil lamps and in 1940 branched out into water pumps when they bought Zepher Pump Company, then located in Decatur, Illinois, but relocated to Fort Wayne. In 1978 the company was sold to the Scott Fetzer corporation, and in 1991 moved to Harrison, Ohio.

Base Type: Submersible, fits into an 11” pit and comes with a thermoplastic housing, volute, and impeller.

HP: ½ and has a 9’ power cord.

GPH: 1,550 at a 10’ vertical lift, and 1-1/4″ NPT discharge and a garden hose adapter.

Switch: Float (2 poles) 9″ ON level and 4″ OFF level.

Bottom Line: This is a plastic housed pump unit that is totally waterproof and lightweight, making it portable too. It’s a great unit for freelance contractors that need to make quick house calls.
 

 

9. Basement Watchdog BW1050 Sump Pump

Quality85%
Durability84%
Practicality 85%
Price85%

Introduction

Basement Watchdog is the brainchild of Alan Shulman who used to be a battery distributor in Chicago. He started out by developing a reliable battery backup unit for sump pumps since the standard battery units were not reliable.
Over time, and due to customer satisfaction, he started to develop sump pumps to complement the battery packs.

Now they have one of the best battery backup powered pump units in the world and provide excellent home use sump pumps that don’t require hours of activation. The upside is that they are also childproof and safe.

Base Type: Submersible, the unit comes in two options, either Cast Iron or Cast Aluminum. It will sit in a 7” pit.

HP: 1/3 HP or 1/2 HP, it’s a water-cooled unit, so no oil immersed motor and comes with 10’ power cord.

GPH: 3,720 – 4,400 horizontal (0 lift) and is channeled through a vertical discharge

Switch: Float, it’s actually a Dual Float Switch with Protective Cage. It will also continue to run for 10 minutes after the water level has reached the OFF limit, just to remove any residual water levels.

Bottom Line: If you are looking for a modern take on a sump pump that comes with great innovation and performance, then this is the pump for you. Its actually very good value for money.
 

 

10. Franklin Electric’s Little Giant 6-CIA 1/3 Horsepower Submersible Sump Pump

Quality86%
Durability85%
Practicality 85%
Price84%

Introduction

Franklin Electric is a NASDAQ traded company that was initially founded in 1944; it has grown into one of the largest pump solutions providers in the world. Supplying pumping solutions for every sector and in every size and scale.

Base Type: Submersible. The casing an oil-filled cast iron motor housing and the unit has a Polycarbonate cover and polypropylene volute-base.

HP: 1/3

GPH: 2,760 at a 5” vertical lift, comes with a 1-1/2″ NPT and a 17′ maximum head. It also comes with a 3/4″ GHT garden hose adapter.

Switch: Diaphragm.

Bottom Line: This is a solid pump from a very solid company used to handling water. If you want to be sure you have the company backing and support, then buy this little unit and enjoy their service and professionalism.
 

 

Sump Pumps 101

Anywhere where there is water seepage from the ground you will find a sump pump. If you don’t find a sump pump, you will find a swimming pool basement.

Here’s a quick look at how a sump pump works

Sump Pump Facts

A sump pump is basically a standard pump that is housed for draining water logged compartments in buildings and boats. You will find them come in many sizes and designs. However, they are all basically performing the same operation. They are draining water from one area into another.

The best sump pumps will come with a power connection and a battery backup in case of power failures. They will also provide enough vertical lift, which means that they can pump water up a vertical incline. This is needed in most cases since basements are below ground, and you need to pump the water at least 6 feet up.

Activation is either mechanical, electromagnetic or manual. It’s always best to buy an automatic sump pump; it will let you rest assured that if any issues arise the pumps activation will occur when the water level reaches the critical level of activation.

Sump pumps use basic centrifugal force to pump the water out, and it’s not rocket science, it’s just a motor with a rotor attached, encased in a waterproof or water-resistant body.

Installation of a sump pump is usually quite easy. If you have a sump pump pit, then you just place it in the put securing it from floating if it’s a lightweight model and connecting the power cord. Adjust the level gauge, and that’s it. If you don’t have a pit and don’t want to dig one up, then get a pedestal pump, these sit on the floor and activate when the water level pushes the float. (just like a flushing mechanism in a toilet).

Here is a video on how to install a sump pump Video

Maintenance

Remember, water means moisture, and if you live in a hotter climate that means high humidity all the time. This means you should either have a submersible pump so that humidity does not pose a problem. However, if you have a pedestal pump, you will need to add dehumidifier units in the basement or room you place the pump.

Preventative maintenance against clogging is important, so check to see where the water is coming from and if it brings into the unit large solids. You can cover the pump area with a mesh, and just clean out the solids after the area is drained.

Draining water should be directed at least 6 feet away from the foundation of the property, and preferably to a downward slope away from the property.

Alarm Systems

It would be advisable to get a sump pump that has an alarm system in place. The alarm activates when the pump is not working properly or when it goes onto battery power since the mains are down.

Tripping

Since sump pumps are all about water, you must ensure there is sufficient grounding in place and that all connections are dry and free from any chance of water or humidity access.

Uprighting

Make sure the pump is always upright, sometimes after a drainage pump get dislodged, check after every operation (if possible) and clean the area of debris.

Testing

On occasions, during a long dry spell, take a bucket of water and pour it in the sump pit, check to see if the activation lever works.

Cleaning

Once in a while take the pump out of the pit and give it a good external cleaning, removing any grunge and debris. Clean the pit too. Check to see the connections are sealed and tight, as well as the piping is clean from any holes or cracks. Also, check the vent hole to see its clear of any impediments.

Backup Power

If you use a sump pump frequently, then make sure you have a backup power source in case of power cuts. The last thing you want is no electricity and a lot of water accumulating.

Conclusions

The choice of sump pump is based on location, the frequency of use and amount of water to be drained. Make sure you read the manufacturers pamphlets. Also, if you do live in a flooding prone area, best check with a plumber to come in and give you advice. I have always found that even in DIY, a professional opinion provides more reliable and cost-efficient results.