How To Find the Best Sump Pump – Our Top Tips & Picks!

While renovating a kitchen, wallpapering or choosing the perfect soft furnishings might be the fun part of transforming a home, it’s so important you lay solid foundations to ensure you don’t encounter any problems further on down the line. A sump pump is one of those essentials that you’re likely to need if you have a basement or crawlspace. According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, 60% of Americans suffer from moisture in their basement of some kind. This can cause major issues if it’s not sorted out as it won’t go away by itself.

It’s also becoming more and more common for homes to suffer from flooding. This can be due to where the home is located or because of other internal factors within the build – either way, if you don’t install a sump pump to remove the excess water, mold can start to develop. This can be damaging to your brickwork and partitions, but it’s also bad for your health if left untreated.

How To Find the Best Sump Pump

There are plenty of things to consider when it comes to choosing the right sump pump for you and your home. It will need to be easy to use, affordable, reliable and above all else – effective. Your sump pump should be able to pump water out when you need it, even in the worst case scenario when it comes to flooding.

This guide is designed to help you find the best sump for your needs, taking into consideration your budget as well. We’ve rounded up what we think are some of the best on the market right now to give you a headstart.

What is a sump pump and what does it do?

A sump pump is basically a small to medium-sized pump that you install in a specialized sump pit, usually in a basement or crawlspace. Sump pumps are really important in helping to prevent or solve dampness in a basement or crawlspace, especially if there is a water table above the foundation of a home. To do this, a sump pump will pump excess water from the pit and away from the building. This will keep the area dry and damp-free. It’s important to be aware that sump pumps are usually also powered by electricity. There are generally two parts to a sump pump too; the float switch and mechanical pump.

Installing your sump pump

You can purchase a sump pump at any hardware store, and if you’re experienced with building work or DIY then it should be easy enough to install yourself. However, if you’re unsure or don’t do a lot of manual work around the house, we would advise leaving the installation to the professionals. Many new builds will have a sump pump pit built in, but older houses might not. You might need to factor getting one put in as part of the installation if you own an older building.

Things to think about before choosing a sump pump

Doing DIY can be a bit tricky when you’re just starting out and when it comes to sump pumps, there are quite a lot of things to consider. Here are just some of our top tips on where to begin…

What do you need it for?

Chances are, if your home is prone to flooding or you get a lot of moisture in your basement or crawlspace, you may have to invest in a sump pump to keep the area dry. The type of sump pump you will need will depend on how much excess moisture or water you need to get rid of.

You need to make sure that the sump pump you choose is the perfect width to allow the right volume of water to get through. You don’t want the water to seep back but you want it to be carried away from the house effectively. However, if you’re only looking to sort out the problem of damp, then you can look for a smaller model

Should you purchase a battery backup?

Like we mentioned earlier, sump pumps rely on electricity to run. Electricity and water? Sounds like your sump pump could lose power or suffer from motor failure if you’re not careful. Always check on your sump pump, especially during or after heavy rainfall, but in the meantime, it’s a great idea to buy a battery backup just in case your power does fail. If this happens you might just need a repair done to your sump pump, but not having a contingency plan could mean it’s out of action for longer than you can afford it to be.

What kind of reviews are they getting?

Amazon is a great place to get a feel for a product before you commit to buy. Not only do people love leaving reviews, but there is little incentive for purchasers not to be honest so it’s a great way to get genuine feedback from people who have tried and tested the product.

If you don’t have much success on Amazon, have a look at forums online as there are usually communities who can give great advice on what to go for.

What is your budget?

Always one of the most important factors to think about. Not only do you have to think about the cost of the actual sump pump, but you’ll need to think about your electricity bill, too. Sump pump maintenance is also a big thing to consider, as you’ll want to keep it functioning at its best for the longest amount of time possible. Make sure you choose one that’s cost efficient if you’re worried about price, but we’ve got a huge selection of sump pumps available for every budget below.

How to install a sump pump

How to install a sump pump

When it comes to installing your sump pump, one size doesn’t fit all. The installation won’t be exactly the same from model to model, but these are some general tips you can follow to help make installing your chosen sump pump a lot easier. If you’re having any difficulty during the installation process, talk to a professional for advice and guidance.

Step one:

When installing your sump pump, find a spot that’s at least 8” from the foundation wall. You’ll need to be able to make a hole through a rim joist to the outside. Once you’ve done this, mark out where the sump pump will go on the floor and remove the concrete. This is where you might need to hire someone to help.

Step two:

At this point, you’ll need to make a hole that’s at least a foot deeper than the sump liner. The liner will sit on the basement floor, but we’d recommend you place gravel at the bottom of the hole to help make the liner sit better. Place the liner in the hole and fill the edges with gravel. The next step will be to place concrete on top of the gravel – you’ll need it to be about 6” deep. Then you can then move on to installing the pump.

Step three:

This part is all about installing the pump. Place it into the liner, then grab the PVC drainpipe (which may need to be assembled first) to attach it. Plug in the pump. At this stage, you will need to check that the float is at the right position (so it doesn’t get caught on the liner) and that the pump toggles on and off as it should do. The next crucial step is to make sure the valve is getting rid of the water once the sump pump is off.

Step four:

Test everything at least three times to make sure the sump pump is working and expelling water as you would expect it to. If anything goes wrong, go back and check each step or call a professional.

The best sump pumps on the market: tried and tested

So we’ve already touched on the fact that sump pumps can be difficult to buy, but luckily there are plenty on the market to choose from. We’ve done our research and looked through some that we think are the best, and here are our findings. Whatever your budget and whatever you need it for, we’re confident there’ll be a sump pump on our list that will work for you. At the very least, you should know a lot more about them by the end of this review.

Best budget sump pumps

If you’re on a bit of a budget, these are some great sump pump models that will do a good job but won’t break the bank.

Superior Pump 91330 Utility Pump 1/3 Horsepower

Superior Pump 91330 Utility Pump

General specifications:

Product weight

7.8 pounds

Product dimensions

6.5 x 5.5 x 11.5 inches

Model no.

SUP-91330

Horsepower

1/3

Price

$52.75

Rating

4.4

Key features:

  • Made with a thermoplastic submersible.
  • 100% factory tested.
  • Moves water up to 2400 gallons per hour.
  • Designed to fit the hub of a standard 6-inch floor drain.
  • Equipped with suction screen to filter out large debris and handles up to 1/8-inch solids with ease.
  • Made with solid copper motor windings, heavy duty stainless steel jacketed shaft seals, double o-ring seals on a motor plate, and electronically controlled split capacitors.
  • Includes 10-foot power cord and garden hose adapter.
  • AC power source.
  • 120 volts.
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty.

While only small, the Superior Pump offers a lot of power, pumping up to 40 gallons of water a minute with 25 ft. of vertical height. This is good news if your home is prone to flooding or excessive water. It can be used in basements, on farms, swimming pools, and fountains, and is probably best suited for use in residential homes.

It’s made from thermoplastic, which is great for preventing corrosion and is durable, hard-wearing and built to last. The power cord is also replaceable, so the sump pump should last longer – even with regular use.

The downside is that to make full use of it working as a pump sump, you’ll need to purchase the additional float switch. This doesn’t come as standard and is an optional add-on. They’re not too expensive at around $30, but it might be an additional expense that you haven’t yet considered. You’ll also you’ll need to remember to buy one at the same time. We recommend with this model you go for the Superior Pump #92010 Vertical Float Switch, which can be used with this pump very effortlessly.

Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

Small, compact design

No batteries included

Powerful suction

You need to purchase an optional float switch separately for sump pump use

Clog-resistant suction

The power cord is replaceable

Comes with a 1-year warranty

Wayne WWB WaterBUG Submersible Pump

Wayne WWB WaterBUG Submersible Pump

General specifications:

Product weight

8 pounds

Product dimensions

6 x 4 x 8 inches

Model no.

WWB

Voltage

120 volts

Price

$129.78

Rating

4.3

Key features:

  • Made with a thermoplastic submersible.
  • Assembled in the US with foreign and domestic parts.
  • Multi-Flo technology allows easy selection of the appropriate discharge for the application.
  • Top discharge is perfect for tight spaces where water removal is needed; window wells, buckets, etc.
  • Side discharge is ideal for easy water removal from flat open surfaces: flat roofs, flooded basements, standing water in yard, shower stalls, etc.
  • 30 ft. Max head; removes water down to 1/16 in. Of surface, virtually dry. For removing water from flooded basements, boats, stock tanks, and even a 5-gallon bucket.
  • -Max. Flow rate is 1257 gallons per hour: 900 gallons per hour at 10 ft.
  • -Eliminate standing water in your yard.
  • -Use the WaterBUG to stop bugs.

Wayne – the company who manufactures this sump pump – claims that this is the ultimate water removal tool for every home. A bold statement, but this little pump makes easy work of removing water. It can be used for a wide range of areas, including your basement, yard, swimming pool, and even your fish tank. It moves to water down to 1/6 inch, which they consider virtually dry – even if it’s not quite.

The multi-ring suction strainer is designed to filter debris and minimize clogs. This is perfect for use on areas that aren’t quite clean, or with water that is contaminated with mud and other debris, which is likely when it comes to your back yard or basement. This also leaves more time for pumping water and reduces the need to unclog dirt and debris quite as much.

Another great thing about this machine is that it can be used in tight spaces, like window wells and buckets. This makes it super easy to use where you don’t have masses of water to pump out, making it a very useful addition to your toolkit.

However, as it doesn’t have an automatic off-switch you may need to purchase a float switch to turn it into an automatic pump. Otherwise, you’ll need to be present when it’s running to control when it needs to be turned off.

Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

Great for tight spaces

Doesn’t have an automatic off-switch

Durable construction

Slightly low flow rate at 1,257 gallons per hour

Doesn’t clog very easily

Versatile – features both a top and side discharge

Compatible with a garden hose

Best mid-range sump pumps

If you have a bit of cash to spare but don’t want to go for the big bucks models, here are some suggestions for sump pumps in the middle of the average price range.

Zoeller M53 Mighty-mate Submersible Sump Pump

Zoeller M53 Mighty-mate Submersible Sump Pump

General specifications:

Product weight

21 pounds

Product dimensions

7.8 x 10.5 x 10.5 inches

Model no.

53-0001

Horsepower

1/3

Voltage

115 volts

Price

$183

Rating

4.5

Key features:

  • 3/10 HP pump for residential sump pits or septic tanks.
  • 115 volts.
  • 1½” discharge, passes 1/2″ spherical solids.
  • Automatic model with integral float-activated switch.
  • Cast iron switch case, motor, and pump housing. Plastic base.
  • Performance: 43 GPM at 5′ TDH, shut-off: 19.25′ TDH.
  • 100% factory tested.
  • Stainless steel guard and handle.
  • Float-operated, submersible, 2-pole mechanical switch and variable level, long-cycle systems.
  • Corrosion-resistant, powder-coated epoxy finish.
  • No screens to clog.
  • Entire unit pressure tested after assembly to ensure durability.

While not the most attractive of machines, the Zoeller Sump Pump is popular with plumbers thanks to its durable cast iron switch case, motor and pump housing. This makes it a top quality model that will last and last through the toughest of jobs. Cast iron is also heavier, so you’ll find the sump pump is sturdier and less likely to fall over. It’s a powerful machine, hitting 115 volts and 1/3 horsepower. For a good value model in the mid-range price bracket, the ratings and reviews speak for itself – it has a 4.5-star rating across the board.

One of the best things about the Zoeller sump pump is that it isn’t prone to clogging as it has no screens. This saves you time and ensures that more time is spent on pumping out the excess water. The power cord is 9ft long, which is a decent length to allow you to use it where you need to, too.

Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

Made with premium quality cast iron

Hard to move around as it’s heavy

9ft long power cord

Less prone to clogging

Completely factory tested

Comes with float activated switch so works automatically

WAYNE CICDU800 1/2 HP Heavy Duty Cast Iron Submersible Sump Pump

WAYNE CICDU800 Sump Pump

General specifications:

Product weight

23 pounds

Product dimensions

9.8 x 9.8 x 13.8 inches

Model no.

58353-WYN1

Horsepower

0.5

Price

$198

Rating

4.8

Key features:

  • Assembled in the USA with foreign and domestic parts
  • Tested to 1 million cycles*; For performance that lasts, WAYNE Pumps exceeds an average life of 1 million cycles.
  • Energy efficient motors and engineered design for an ultra-quiet experience.
  • Professional grade, epoxy-coated all cast iron construction, for long life in tough sump pump applications.
  • High performance; max. flow rate is 4200 gallons per hour; 3150 GPH at 10 ft. of discharge lift.
  • Comes with vertical float switch. Leak-free polypropylene float – automatic operation.
  • Unique top suction design reduces clogging and prevents air lock condition.
  • Engineered with upper and lower ball bearings, in sealed oil bath, for virtually silent operation.
  • Designed with premium John Crane carbon/ceramic shaft seals.
  • 8 ft water resistant power cord for easy access
  • For easy installation, use in 11 in. diameter or larger sump basins.
  • 3-year limited warranty.

If you suffer from some serious flooding, the Wayne heavy duty sump pump is designed to automatically pump out the excess water, giving you fewer things to worry about. Again, it’s another really powerful model, moving 5,490 gallons of water an hour and working from a 3/4 horsepower engine. This means it’s unlikely to let you down.

It’s crafted from a mix of cast iron and steel. This makes it sturdy, steady, and able to withstand anything that’s thrown at it – even if it ends up submerged in water. It’s less prone to clogging thanks to its top suction design. Unlike some other sump pumps, the Wayne comes with a float-activated switch so that you can run it automatically. This is a huge bonus as you don’t need to wait around to manually turn it off.

Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

Solid cast iron and steel construction

The float switch must be aligned properly or it will malfunction

Comes with a float-activated switch

Fits into a sump basin with an 11” width

Moves 5,490 gallons of water an hour

Easy to install

Best premium sump pumps

If you’re in the market for one of the top quality sump pumps, check out this option below.

Wayne WSS30V Upgraded Combination 1/2 HP and 12-Volt Battery Back-Up System

Wayne WSS30V Sump Pump

General specifications:

Product weight

43.6 pounds

Product dimensions

23.5 x 18.2 x 14 inches

Model no.

WSS30V

Horsepower

0.5

Voltage

12 volts

Price

$450

Rating

4.4

Key features:

  • Completely pre-assembled and drop in ready.
  • Primary pump float switch tested to 1 million cycles, up to 10X more than competitors.
  • Assembled in the US with foreign and domestic parts.
  • Protection, when you need it, back up pump, continues running when the power is out.
  • Primary pump moves up to 5100 GPH at 0 feet of head.
  • 12V DC backup pump moves up to 2900 GPH at 0 feet of head, one of the highest performing DC pumps on the market.
  • Ultra-quiet performance.

One of the more expensive models on the market, the Wayne WSS30V is new and upgraded. There are so many features to shout about. Firstly, it’s completely pre-assembled so all you have to do is attach the battery, plug in the AC unit and attach the main discharge pipe. This takes around 15 minutes and should be easy to do.

It’s also incredibly quiet. Even when you’re standing next to the sump pump while it’s working, barely any noise is omitted. The main benefit of the battery upgrade is that even if the electricity goes out, the pump will keep working to remove as much water as possible. Lastly, it comes with an extended 5-year warranty to give you the peace of mind that you’re making a long-term purchase you can rely on.

The downside is that although it’s equipped with a battery back-up, you need to purchase the battery separately. This starts to push the overall price up to and makes the Wayne WSS30V quite an expensive choice. However, we do think it’s worth the investment.

Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

Easy to install in a 15” basic – takes 15 minutes

The manual that comes with the sump pump is for a different model

10,000-gallon battery back up on a single charge

The battery isn’t included

Incredibly quiet

Pre-assembled, saving you time

Comes with a 5-year limited warranty

The verdict: which sump pump is the better option

Now that you know more about which sump pumps we rate right now, it’s important that you take some time and care over making a decision. When it comes to excess water everyone’s situation is unique. Your dwelling might be prone to flooding, you might have a swimming pool you need to empty or you might just have a bit of excess moisture you need to keep under control. Whatever you need a sump pump for, just know that there’s a machine for you.

Our best overall pick has to be the WAYNE CICDU800 1/2 HP Heavy Duty Cast Iron Submersible Sump Pump. Not only is it a reasonably priced machine but you get a lot for your money. It’s great that it already comes with a float automatic switch as many other models require a separate purchase. It just means that you can leave the sump pump to run and do its thing without having to check back every five minutes. It’s also incredibly sturdy, so you know it’ll last you a long time.

If you’re definitely on a budget, then go for the Wayne WWB WaterBUG Submersible Pump. In a striking yellow color, it’s a great handy tool that can get into small spaces but also tackle the bigger areas. It’s also less likely to clog – saving you time and reducing the need to unclog it from dirt and debris.

The bottom line

The great thing is, with so many reliable sump pumps on the market there is an option for every budget. All of the models we’ve reviewed have plenty of reviews online from people who have tried and tested them, so if you’d like to find out more then we’d recommend studying them carefully for more tips and advice.

We really hope this article helped you make a decision and we would love to know if we have helped you. Please get in touch with any feedback or further questions you may have. If you liked this article, why not discover more about which tools you should have in your toolkit, or how to find the best drill press for metal.

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