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Sump Pump Reviews

Last Update: Sep 28, 2016


If you’re in a hurry and can’t take some time to go through in-depth reviews and useful buying advice, this short paragraph prepared by our research team should allow you to find the sump pump that is right for your needs. Our research has involved reading consumer reviews, expert opinions, results of reliability tests and comparisons, and our conclusion is that the Zoeller M53 Mighty-Mate is the one you should consider. The cast iron covering is designed to offer the best protection for the motor, so you can rest assured that this sump pump will serve you for a long time, without the need for expensive maintenance. The metal covering is resistant to wear and tear and you will be able to count on it. The 3 meter long power cord is protected with special materials that do not allow water infiltration, and you can safely use the unit in your basement, even with plenty of water around. The ½ HP motor is highly reliable and it can provide up to 1,550 RPM for the best results when you need excess water to be eliminated from your home. If the Zoeller M53 Mighty-Mate is unavailable, the Wayne CDU980E is the next best alternative.



The best sump pumps currently available




What is a sump pump and how does it work?


A sump pump is one of the most useful appliances in a house, although it’s located in the basement and is often close to invisible. The core reason of installing a sump pump in your house is that it is the most efficient way of getting rid of excess water that may accumulate underneath your home. If the foundation of the house is below the water table level, getting the best sump pump is close to mandatory.

Where does so much water come from and how does such an appliance work in keeping a basement from flooding? The answer to this question is rather simple. Since approximately 60% of American homes have issues with managing below-ground humidity, what the unit does is collect the excess water and dispose of it somewhere outside the area of the residence.

Excess wetness can lead to mildew and mold growth, which can severely impact the breathing health of the people living in the building. The water can come from virtually any type of natural source. On this account, the sump pump can get rid of water from rain, melting ice, and even natural ground water.


Although you might not be aware of it, the U.S. Federal Clean Water Act in 1987 has made sump pumps mandatory even for houses that don’t have a high chance of being flooded. Even if you are not keen on sticking to your local legislation, the main thing to keep in mind in this case is that you should maintain your health level and the one of your family by installing such an appliance.

How does a sump pump work? The main advantage of using a sump pump is that it’s usually located in a sump pit. This means that you’ll be able to enjoy your time in the house without checking on the unit all of the time. In fact, the appliance will turn on only when the pit has been filled with water, and will remove it accordingly by a pipe. The latter comes with a check valve, which makes it close to impossible for the water to come back flowing into the pit.

Most of the models we have come across are turned on either through a pressure sensor or a float activator. The pressure sensor is what makes it possible for the appliance to start working when water is exerting pressure on the sensor. The float activator largely resembles the one you may have in your toilet bowl. Subsequently, a buoyant ball gets on the surface of the water and moves the arm while the water level increases.

Sump pumps can be either manual or automatic. The manual alternatives are rarely used because they are considerably less convenient than their automatic counterparts. In a nutshell, you’ll have to be at home to decide whether or not you have to turn on the unit, and water-related disasters can just as well occur while you are at work or worse, while at work.


Learning center – Sump pumps described


Getting the best sump pump is hard nowadays, when the market’s overflowing with good-quality products. With so many available options, any prospective buyer can end up feeling just a little baffled. We’ve collected some of the most important details to analyze when browsing various units you might be interested in purchasing. Here’s what you should know.



Safety first


The vast majority of the models that now exist on the market can be installed by the end-user with little to no effort. However, there are several configuration factors you should refer to, particularly if you’re somewhat inexperienced. Start by reading the manual provided by the manufacturers and make sure to disconnect power before starting to install the pump. Avoid using extension cords and be sure to install the model on a GFCI protected outlet.

If any rewiring has to be done, it would be preferable to consult with an electrician. Since water discharge might be an issue when setting up such an appliance, be sure to check with your local code requirements.





The first thing you should do is decide whether you want to buy the best pedestal sump pump or the best submersible sump pump. These are the two primary types you’ll come across when starting your research.

Pedestal alternatives are economical and somewhat easier to maintain compared to their submersible counterparts. Furthermore, they are more durable, in that they can last for a minimum of ten to fifteen years. The motor of this kind of pump should not be submerged; this is the main reason this type is easy to repair. However, a pedestal pump cannot be installed in sump pits larger than ten inches.

With submersible pumps, things are quite different. For one, they should be installed under the water level. Maintenance is difficult because the motor is sealed within the sump basin, which means that the operator will have to take the unit apart entirely before getting to the engine. Nevertheless, this kind of pump is preferred by some people because it is somewhat quieter than a pedestal one. Moreover, it’s safe to use in the presence of children. Kids have no chance of touching the motor on account of the design of the unit.

Even though the submersible type is usually more expensive than the other, it takes the cake when it comes to safety. Since its motor stays in the cooling water all the time, it is close to impossible for the engine to overheat. This isn’t the case with the pedestal type, of which the motor can become a hazard when being used extensively.



Backup and combination sump pumps


A battery backup alternative can prevent your basement from getting flooded even in the event of a power shortage. As their name suggests, combination sump pumps have the regular capabilities of a normal unit but come with a battery backup. Such an appliance can keep the user’s basement protected at all times, regardless of whether a power shortage has occurred or not.



Is the best water powered sump pump an option?


If you don’t want to use a manual, electric, or battery-powered unit, you might consider installing a water-powered one. This could be a reasonable choice if heavy rainfall isn’t something that you often see in your area. These kinds of models use city water pressure, and can’t be used for pumping large quantities.



Type of switch


As previously mentioned, the best sump pump for basement is nowadays considered to be automatic. Therefore, the appliance has to figure out by itself when it has to turn on. This process is controlled by the switch. There are three main categories of switches a prospective buyer can choose from.

Capacitive switches are the most popular ones these days, as they require a microprocessor to determine whether the water has reached a certain point and the unit thus needs to be turned on. Unlike other switches we’ve stumbled upon, these require little to no maintenance, as they have no mechanical parts that need to be replaced.

Vertical switches do the same thing as their capacitive counterparts, but they’re mechanical devices. They can’t be adjusted and should be setup 90 degrees from the flowing water.

A diaphragm switch is also a mechanical device, but it uses both water and air to determine if it’s time to turn on the sump pump. This kind of switch is activated when air leaves a vent tube when the water level rises in the appliance.



2Two crucial features to consider


Aside from the type of switch you eventually end up choosing, you should take into account two other details. One of them is horsepower, and the other is housing. In theory, the higher the horsepower, the better the job the appliance will do. However, since the horsepower per se isn’t really relevant when it’s not being correlated to the basement you have on your hands and the quantity of water you’re likely to have coming in, what you need to pay attention to is the number of gallons of water per hour.

The GPH capacity is specified in most product descriptions, so you won’t have any trouble figuring it out. If you want your sump pump to run continuously regardless of whether it’s summer or winter, what you need to do is opt for a powerful pump.

Housing is a matter of personal preferences, as even metal models nowadays are made with stainless steel, rendering them resistant to rust. Pick a metal or plastic housing depending on what you feel like. Plastic units might be more affordable, and if you’re on a limited budget, you might want to check several out. Fortunately, the pump is protected by the sump even with submersible alternatives, which a net advantage if you’re looking to buy a submersible option.



Our recommendations


Before making up your mind on a particular model, it’s a good idea to read as many sump pump reviews as your time allows it. Going through many ratings can let you know what to expect in terms of product durability and capabilities.



Zoeller M53 Mighty-Mate


1. Zoeller M53The Zoeller M53 is one of the top rated sump pumps we’ve come across during our research. If you’re looking for a submersible alternative and plan to get the best for you and your family, this model might be worth considering.

One of the neat features when it comes to the design of the Zoeller M53 is that it has a cast iron covering that makes it possible for the motor to be protected at all times. Any heat that may be coming from the motor engine is efficiently dispersed in the water. Therefore, the model has a very low chance of overheating. In addition, the manufacturers have used epoxy to cover the cast iron, which makes it corrosion-resistant.

The Zoeller M53 is a winner when it comes to usability, as it features a 3-meter long power cord and a 1-½ inch NPT discharge. The power cord is both secure and hardy and means that there will be no electric risks in the user’s basement. The discharge works with the broad array of pipes that currently exist on the market. The diameter of this pump is wide enough to allow ½-inch solids to move up.

In fact, the model has been specially designed with usability in mind, what with its non-clogging vortex impeller design.

Power is an innate characteristic of the Zoeller M53, considering that it has a ½ HP motor with a maximum speed of 1,550 RPM.

The unit uses a 2-pole switch assembly to turn on and off, relying on a float that’s connected to the switch. This float is made of polypropylene.

To sum up, the Zoeller M53 manages to combine a reasonable price with an excellent motor and a sturdy exterior. It comes as no surprise that some of the people who have bought it have named it the best residential sump pump out there.

sump pump




Wayne CDU980E


2. WAYNE CDU980EThis is yet another noteworthy unit that might interest you, particularly if you have been searching for an economical alternative and have failed to find one. In fact, the Wayne CDU980E can be found for as little as one hundred and ninety dollars on a broad array of online marketplaces, including Amazon.

The Wayne CDU980E is a submersible type of pump that comes with a ¾-HP engine and stainless steel motor housing. The pump base is made of cast iron. The top flow rate of this unit is estimated at 4,600 GPH, but that largely changes at 10 feet, in which case the flow rate is estimated at 3,500 gallons per hour. At 15 feet, the number of gallons per hour is even smaller: 2,550.

The model features a top suction design that has been tested and proven time and time again for filtering the debris and for minimizing chances of clogging. The Wayne CDU980E has the same 1-½-inch NPT discharge of the formerly described unit.

As is the case with other best rated sump pumps, this one has been specifically designed to work with sump pits of which the diameter is at least 11 inches or more.

More than one hundred buyers who chose the Wayne CDU980E have decided to award it a positive rating. Most of these individuals claim that this is a heavy-duty pump that is well-made and easy to install.

This is a hardy, durable sump pump that does what it is supposed to do and does it well. The manufacturers are so sure that the product will not fail to impress you that they have decided to back it up with a 5-year warranty. This gives you enough time to realize whether the unit is what you’ve been looking for and whether you require the assistance of the brand’s customer support.

sump pump




Flotec FPPM3600D-01/09


3. Flotec FPPM3600D-01 09Compared to the Wayne and the Zoeller units we have showcased above, this one is even more affordable. Before getting very enthusiastic about a sump pump that costs less than one hundred dollars, you might want to take into account that this one is a pedestal type. Even so, some of the sump pump reviews we have come across consider it the most economical model on the market today.

Measured in gallons per hour, its maximum capacity is 3,480, but this is the amount of water that it can discharge at zero lift. At 10 feet, the number of gallons per hour managed by this model is 2,460.

Since the Flotec FPPM3600D-01/09 comes with a 6-ft power cord and the unit is capable of operating virtually with any type of 115-120VAC GFCI outlet within that reach, it’s safe to say that the model is remarkably usable. The optimum temperature for the engine to keep working without any issues is estimated between 35F and 77F. This detail means to say that the pump will do its job in most basements out there, regardless of the season.

Granted, the Flotec FPPM3600D-01/09 does not feature the same hardy, durable motor casing as the one of the previously described alternatives. However, it does have an external housing made of non-corrosive thermoplastic resin. Since this is not a submersible model, it doesn’t have to all that water-resistant.

The unit is far easier to install than others we’ve consulted and is among the lightest products on the market today, weighing in at just 12.8 lbs. Even though it’s rather lightweight, the pump has a metal float switch lever that allows users to adjust the on-off cycle lengths of the appliance.

The majority of the people who have bought the Flotec FPPM3600D-01/09 state that it’s the best sump pump in 2016.

sump pump




Wayne CDU800


4. WAYNE CDU800This is a somewhat less powerful unit that we’ve found to be worth considering if you have not yet made up your mind about which one you should get. As is the case with the other Wayne  alternative we have mentioned earlier on, this one is a submersible sump pump that has been specially designed for pits with diameters of at least 11 inches.

This is a somewhat more affordable and more basic alternative to the ¾ HP one we’ve described above. Just as we emphasized in the buying guide, the HP rarely makes any difference if the GPH isn’t satisfactory. On this account, the Wayne CDU800 is one of the best in its line, as it has a maximum capacity of 4,200 GPH at zero feet. The performance inevitably changes at 5-feet, where the number of gallons per hour is estimated at 3,900. At 20 feet, the unit is capable of discharging just 600 gallons per hour.

The Wayne CDU800 has a 1-½-inch NPT discharge and therefore works with the broad array of pipes that can be found online nowadays. In addition, the housing of the motor of this model is made with epoxy-coated steel. The base is cast iron, like the one of the CDU980E.

Let’s see what buyers had to say about this alternative. More than 80 people have decided to award it a 5-star rating. Some say it’s a quiet and powerful alternative, while others claim that they have been using it for six years without experiencing any issue whatsoever. In fact, some of these individuals point out that it’s recommended to replace your sump pump every 6 to 10 years.

Various other people underline that this unit is very easy to install and practically pays for itself in a matter of several months.

sump pump




Wayne WSS30V


5. WAYNE WSS30VIt would have been impossible for us to leave out the Wayne WSS30V from this list, even though it might be a little out of the budget of some people. Even so, it’s worth considering if you want to rest assured at all times. After all, this is a combination battery backup sump pump that can do its job with little to no intervention on the part of the homeowner.

The system is composed of a 120-volt primary pump and a 12-volt back-up pump. As it is to be expected, the capacity of the primary pump is higher compared to the one of the back-up pump. On this account, the first has a maximum of 4,200 GPH at zero feet, whereas the second can pump up as much as 3,300 GPH.

The neat thing about the Wayne WSS30V is that it is extremely good at letting the user know whether the back-up system is active or not. The unit comes both with an alarm system and several indicator lights.

Since this is a heavy-duty combination sump pump, it is not designed to fit pits or basins of which the diameter is less than 15 inches. Larger sump basins are a great fit for the Wayne WSS30V, which is why some buyers claim that it might just be the best aquarium sump pump.

In addition, the model has a reliable reed float switch that can be adjusted according to the personal preferences of the user. The construction of the primary pump is cast iron, as is the case with virtually any other dependable model manufactured by Wayne .

It is close to impossible for other sump pumps to compete with the reputation of this one. Although it’s a bit on the pricey side, the model has been granted some of the best user ratings out there.

sump pump



Sump pump maintenance


Most of the models that can be bought on the market today are relatively low-maintenance. Decide whether you want to go for a pedestal or submersible type, and take into account that the first is by far the easiest to maintain of the two. In this sense, any submersible unit needs to be removed physically from the pit. The grate on the bottom has to be cleaned attentively, as the action of the appliance can attract small pieces of stone into the grate, making it impossible for the pump to do its job accordingly over time.

Every three to four months, you should clean the inlet screen and check the power cord. If you notice anything that’s not in order with the power outlet or with the power cord, you have to call an electrician as soon as possible. To make sure that your appliance is working as it should, simply dump a bucket of water into the sump in order for the float to be raised. Normally, this practice should be enough for the sump pump to turn on. If it does not, there might be something that’s preventing it from doing so.


Every year or so, you should remove the pump, clean it as thoroughly as you can, and inspect it carefully. The sump has to be cleaned as well. It would not hurt if you did the same thing with the discharge line. In case you get the feeling that you haven’t cleaned it thoroughly enough, it might be a good idea to air vent the discharge line.

The bearings in the pump should be cleaned with either oil or grease, depending on the instructions provided in the manual. If you fail to discover the type of info regarding the substance you should use to clean the bearings, you must refer to the manufacturer’s official website or call the brand’s customer service. Avoid using other substances other than the ones recommended by the manufacturer.

If your unit has a backup battery power, you should consider replacing it every three to four years. Data regarding battery replacement should exist in the owner’s manual. It is very important to stick to the recommendations of the company that has produced the sump pump, as this way you don’t risk being exposed to water hazards when you’re not aware that your appliance is malfunctioning.

Last but not least, you’re instructed to check whether the water is eliminated properly. This means that you should go to the spot where the water gets dumped away from your home, to see if it flows as it should.

In case you were not aware, there are several things that you can do to keep the sump pump working great. For one, you should have proper drainage. The trees in your yard should not be in the way of the water drainage. If they are, you simply have to remove them. Gutters, downspouts, and downspout extensions should all be installed before setting up your sump pump.




Most popular sump pump manufacturers




Wayne Pumps have been building sump pumps for a very long time. The company seems to be resolute on constructing the highest-quality appliances that can be found nowadays. Additionally, the brand has an amazing website that can be utilized for understanding your needs in terms of sump pumps.

If you’re unsure whether you need a high-capacity submersive one or a rather basic pedestal type, be sure to refer to the brand’s website to figure out your requirements. Some buyers might even go as far as state that Wayne is the best sump pump brand in the world, considering that many of its models have won awards for product design. The brand produces a wide array of other products, ranging from utility pumps to pool pumps.





This is yet another prominent sump pump manufacturer that offers excellent customer support. The company has several corporate principles and values, one of which is quality. What this means for the end-user is that the buyer matters the most, in that he or she will receive world-class quality products, service, and innovation.

The pumps designed and constructed by Zoeller are so well-known on a global level that the brand has had many well-known clients over the years. For example, the National Library of Korea has installed a sewage package system and a drain pump system from Zoeller.

Unlike other brands we’ve analyzed, Zoeller offers a very large variety of products and accessories, from grinder pumps to rail systems.




Compared to other names we’ve mentioned earlier on, Superior Pump is a family-owned company that specializes in the development of residential and light commercial duty pumps. Based in Minnesota, the brand was created in 1999, although the basics of the craft were put to practice beginning with 1885. Superior Pump is committed to designing the best pumps in the world, considering that the team has a detail-oriented thinking.

Most of the Superior Pump models that can be purchased these days are built to last, even though they may look like they’re suspiciously more affordable than others.

Other products designed by this brand are utility pumps, jet pumps, and effluent pumps.




As the Flotec slogan suggests, water is this company’s business. Flotec has been in the industry of building sump pumps for a little over thirty years now, and during this time the brand has made it possible to gather some of the best specialists in design and construction. The manufacturer now produces a large collection of units, ranging from submersible well pumps and pressure boosters to tanks and sprinkler pumps.

Flotec accessories range from valves to service kits. The neat thing about this manufacturer is that it has a very useful website, which can be used for setting up any of the brand’s appliances. A large variety of “How To” videos are available in the Flotec resource center, which means that virtually any user can install his or her sump pump in an efficient and quick way.


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