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7 Best Sump Pumps

To find the best sump pump, we reviewed:
  • 1. Design
  • 2. Motor Size
  • 3. Head Pressure
  • 4. Battery Backup
  • 5. Warranty
  • 6. Price
Best sump pumps featured image from a guy in a REthority shirt

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The Best Sump Pumps

If you are continually dealing with below-ground wetness, you are not alone. More than half of all American homes have mild to severe below-ground water issues. Things become even worse after particularly heavy rainfall and snow.

A good sump pump helps solve your basement issues once and for all, no matter how severe. The pump also reduces the risk of mold and mildew, protects against sewage backups, and minimizes the basement’s humidity levels. 

Our Top Picks:

1. Wayne CDU980E Sump Pump
2. Superior Pump 92511 ½ HP
3. Basement Watchdog BW1050 ½ HP
4. Wayne WSS30UN ½ HP
5. Zoeller M53 Mighty-Mate
6. Superior Pump 992250
7. WAYNE WBB WaterBUG

Best Overall

WAYNE CDU980E, one of the best sump pumps

Wayne CDU980E Sump Pump

An affordable, premium-level sump pump that's reliable, stable, and durable.

If you are in the market for a reasonably-priced premium-level sump pump, it’s hard to beat this WAYNE CDU980E. This model has a cast iron base and stainless steel motor housing, making for a reliable, stable, and durable pump. This submersible pump has a top-suction design to minimize the risk of clogging and airlocks.

Overall Score: 29/30

Design: 5/5

Right off the bat, we will admit a preference for submersible pumps. This WAYNE gets full marks in this regard, given its quiet operation and long lifespan.

Motor Size: 5/5

This pump comes with a ¾ horsepower motor, moving up to 4600 gallons per hour. Given the price, you get excellent torque from this product. We also loved the cast iron base, which dissipates heat, protecting the pump from overheating.

Head Pressure: 5/5

You get a maximum of 20 feet head pressure. The actual lift is slightly less during the practical application, but still very good. 

Battery Backup: 4/5

This pump does not come with a battery backup. However, you can connect it to a generator or other home backup system.

Warranty: 5/5

You get a five-year manufacturer’s warranty with this product.

Price: 5/5

Given its torque and overall construction, you are getting excellent value for money here. This option is the best value for the money sump pump in this review.

Second-Best

Superior Pump 92511 ½ HP Cast Iron Pedestal Pump

Superior Pump 92511 ½ HP

A solid choice for households seeking a pedestal pump at an affordable price point.

If a pedestal pump is more your style, this Superior Pump rivals the Wayne CDU980E. It comes highly recommended by reviewers. Superior Pump 92511 also sports stainless steel and cast iron construction, making it a sturdy and durable choice.

Overall Score: 28/30

Design: 4/5

Our partiality for submersible pumps aside; this Superior Pump is one of the best in its category.  Its durable construction also means it outlasts its low-end contemporaries. This pump is also very quiet for a pedestal pump.

Motor Size: 4/5

This is a powerful ½ horsepower sump pump, moving up to 3600 gallons per hour. It’s slightly less powerful than the WAYNE CDU980E, but you might not notice the difference in most cases.

Head Pressure: 5/5

The manufacturer claims a 20-foot lift from this pump. Accounting for pipe bends and other factors, we estimate it is closer to a 14-18 foot lift, which is still very good.

Battery Backup: 4/5

This pump does not come with a battery back-up.

Warranty: 5/5

You get a decent 5-year warranty with this product.

Price: 5/5

The Superior Pump 92511 ½ HP Cast Iron Pedestal Pump is affordable. Given its torque, lift, and durable construction, you are getting an excellent deal here. This pump is also inexpensive enough to act as a backup to a more powerful or premium main pump.

Third-Best

Basement Watchdog BW1050 ½ HP Sump Pump

THE BASEMENT WATCHDOG Model BW1050

Submersible, small, and powerful, this sump pump is best for tight spaces.

If you are environmentally conscious, this Basement Watchdog BW1050 is a must-have unit. It sports a permanent split capacitor (PSC) motor for maximum energy efficiency. This is a submersible pump with a slim design perfect for narrow or tight sump pits.

Overall Score: 28/30

Design: 5/5

Basement Watchdog BW1050 sports a clean, simple look. It comes with a convenient carry handle at the top. Its cast iron and aluminum construction make for a high-quality and durable unit.

Motor Size: 5/5

You get a ½ horsepower motor capable of moving up to 3,540 gallons per hour at zero feet. The energy-saving motor design adds minimal cost to your electric bill.

Head Pressure: 5/5

This pump lifts up to 20 feet, sufficient for most basement plumbing.

Battery Backup: 4/5

This product does not come with a battery backup.

Warranty: 4/5

You get a three-year warranty. It isn’t the best, but it is not too bad either. Some of these products come with a one-year warranty, if they come with a warranty at all.

Price: 5/5

Considering its power, motor type, and high-quality construction, this Basement Watchdog BW1050 is reasonably priced.

Fourth-Best

Wayne WSS30VN Upgraded Combination 1/2 HP and 12-Volt Battery Back Up System, one of the best sump pumps on the list

Wayne WSS30UN ½ HP With Battery Backup

A full--featured pump that's pricey. Best for households seeking the best.

This Wayne WSS30UN is a full-feature submersible sump pump for the homeowner who won’t take any chances during a storm. The sump pump comes fully pre-assembled, ready to drop into your sump pit. Additionally, this model comes with a backup pump. This is a great reassurance to have if your home sits on a water table or at the bottom of a hill.

Overall Score: 27/30

Design: 5/5

This is a very well-constructed pump featuring a combination of epoxy-coated steel and cast iron. It also has a visually appealing design.

Motor Size: 5/5

The primary pump sports ½ horsepower and moves up to 5100 gallons per hour with zero lift. The power is more than sufficient for most basement floods. The secondary pump offers a flow rate of up to 2900 gallons per hour with zero lift. 

Head Pressure: 5/5

This pump gives you up to 20 feet of lift while maintaining 900 gallons per hour flow rate.

Backup: 5/5

Although this unit runs on battery backup, you will have to buy the battery separately. We also appreciate the secondary pump. You can rest easy knowing that your basement will live through even the severest storms.

Warranty: 4/5

You get a three-year limited warranty, which is middling for these types of products.

Price: 3/5

This unit is a bit pricey, but you will be getting full value for money. After all, it’s got power, durability, and redundancy. All things considered, it is worth its high price tag.

Fifth-Best

Zoeller M53 Mighty-Mate Submersible Sump Pump

Zoeller M53 Mighty-Mate Submersible Sump Pump

This sump pump is ugly, but it packs a mean punch and is very durable.

If you seek durability, consistency, and performance above all else, this Zoeller M53 is a great choice. We’ll be the first to admit that this sump pump is not a beauty. Aesthetics aside, you get a reliable cast-iron pump to give you up to a lifetime of reliable performance.

Overall Score: 24/30

Design: 4/5

This is a submersible pump. The cast iron motor, switch case, and pump housing renders it virtually indestructible. We’d have preferred a cast iron base over the thermal plastic for heat dissipation. Overall, this is a solid, reliable pump.

Motor Size: 3/5

You get 1/3 horsepower. It’s a little low on torque, but not everyone needs a powerful pump. This pump is ideal for drier regions with low water tables and infrequent rainfall, snow, or storms.

Head Pressure: 5/5

You get slightly less than 20 feet of lift with this product.

Battery Backup: 4/5

This Zoeller does not come with a battery backup.

Warranty: 4/5

This product comes with a three-year manufacturer’s warranty.

Price: 4/5

You can probably get a better looking and more powerful pump for cheaper than this Zoeller M53 Mighty-Mate Submersible Sump Pump. However, its build quality and durability are hard to match. If you don’t need anything more powerful than a 1/3 horsepower motor, this Zoeller will serve you for a long time.

Sixth-Best

Superior Pump 992250 Submersible Sump Pump

Superior Pump 91250 1/4 HP Thermoplastic Pump

Small, portable, and affordable, this pump is best for houses on a budget.

Superior Pump 992250 Submersible Sump Pump is a small, portable pump for basic draining needs. This pump is surprisingly well built for its price and works well as a backup to a more powerful main pump. The model comes with a carrying handle for easy and convenient transport.

Overall Score: 24/30

Design: 4/5

This is a well-designed pump featuring durable thermoplastic construction. It’s not quite as hardy as cast iron or stainless steel, but it is still very well built for its category. We also appreciate the dual discharge hookup design, which connects to a garden hose or discharge hose, depending on your application. 

Motor Size: 4/5

You get a decent ¼ horsepower from this pump. It’s not as powerful as many of the options featured here. However, for a small, portable pump such as this one, ¼ horsepower is acceptable. You also get up to 1800 gallons per hour flow rate.

Head Pressure: 4/5

You can pump water up to 25 feet with this model.

Battery Backup: 4/5

You do not get a battery backup with this Superior Pump.

Warranty: 3/5

You get a one-year warranty with this model.

Price: 5/5

This pump is surprisingly cheap. You are certainly getting a lot more than you are paying for here. The key is to remember that this is a small pump with limited application.

It may not save your basement from flooding during a rainstorm. However, it works great as a backup or support for a more powerful main pump. Also, it will quickly solve mild flooding issues. For the price, we think you’re getting a decent value.

Seventh-Best

WAYNE WBB WaterBUG, one of the best sump pumps

Product

The best sump pump offering both top and side discharge, and can be placed anywhere.

While most of the products featured here are heavy-duty pumps, you might be looking for something smaller. This WAYNE WBB WaterBUGl offers top and side discharge options, depending on where you use it. Its portable design and 8-pound weight make it versatile for basements, boats, flat roofs, shower stalls, standing water in the yard, and much more.

Overall Score: 23/30

Design: 4/5

The portable design makes it perfect for multiple uses. You can take it virtually anywhere you need to drain water, including on your lawn or even your hot tub.

Motor Size: 3/5

For its versatility, this WaterBUG makes concessions on horsepower. You get 1/6 horsepower, which isn’t a match for a storm. However, it’s still a perfect option for smaller draining demands.

Head Pressure: 3/5

This pump can lift to 20 feet with a 600 gallon per hour flow rate. It’s not very powerful, but it works if you don’t give it more than it can handle.

Battery Backup: 4/5

This product does not come with a battery backup.

Warranty: 4/5

You get a one-year warranty with the option to purchase an extended warranty. However, using this pump for pools or spas will void the warranty.

Price: 5/5

This sump pump is affordable. Please keep in mind its limitations. It will remove up to 1/16 inches of water, but it will be overwhelmed in a severe storm or basement flood. As long as you use it for mild applications like removing standing water or draining a stock tank, you should be happy with its performance.

Choosing the Best Sump Pump

Before you make the plunge and buy a sump pump, you should consider a few key factors. We’ve built a buying to show you the key factors to look for in the best sump pump.

Type of Pump

Types of sump pumps put into a chart and detailing the three types

There are three basic types of pumps. These include submersible, pedestal, and water-powered. Each has their own pros, cons, and things to consider.

Submersible sump pumps, as the name suggests, go inside the basement sump pit. The unit may be fully or partially submerged, depending on the design. It’s important to note that you should double-check that the pump you bought is submersible before installing.

Submersible models tend to run quieter than their pedestal contemporaries. Since the pump is inside the pit and covered, you may not even hear it run from the house’s top levels. Submersible sump pumps are typically high-capacity with terrific flow rate.

These pumps are also very well constructed, typically with cast iron, stainless steel, or a combination of the two materials. Submersible pumps also tend to last longer, given their self-cooling feature. On the downside, submersible pumps can be expensive depending on the make and model.

Pedestal sump pumps sit above the waterline. A long line goes from the main unit into the sump pit to trigger the motor on and off. This type of pump is also high-capacity, depending on the make and model. 

However, pedestal pumps are more prone to jamming and early burnout. Higher-end units don’t have this problem and often rival submersible pumps in durability and performance. Pedestal pumps can also be loud since they sit on the ground level. Newer models are quieter.

Water-powered sump pumps use a local water supply rather than a battery or electric power. These options are convenient in case of a power outage.

Due to their simple operation, water-powered pumps are durable. On the downside, water-powered pumps tend to be very low capacity. You also need high water pressure to operate the pump.

Additionally, these models use up to 5 gallons of water for every gallon of water discharged, making them inefficient. We recommend water-powered sump pumps as secondary or backup units rather than a primary sump pump.

Pump Design

Bunch of sump pumps sitting against a blue background

The sump pump’s overall design has a huge role to play in its longevity. The first thing to look out for is the construction material. Ideally, you want cast iron housing. This material is the most durable and often lasts many years. 

Additionally, a solid housing protects the motor and inner components against storm damage. However, these pumps tend to be the most expensive option. Stainless steel is the next best material for your pump’s housing.

Although not quite as durable as cast iron, stainless steel is sturdy and easily handles knocks, bumps, and other damage. Stainless steel pumps offer great value for money.

These models are typically mid-priced. You may want to consider a stainless steel frame with a cast iron base. Cast iron offers excellent heat dissipation, protecting your pump from overheating.

Finally, thermoplastic pumps are the cheapest on the market. Some units are better constructed than others, so you want to pay attention to the brand name. Superior Pump, WAYNE, and Zoeller are good bets if you decide to venture into this category.

Motor Size

Sump pump image showing this unit in a basement

There are two ways to look at the sump pump motor size. These are horsepower and flow rate. Sump pump horsepower typically ranges from ¼ to 1 HP. Anything less than ¼ horsepower may not be too weak for basement applications.

The horsepower you need entirely depends on how much water you intend to remove from your basement. Sump pump flow rate is measured in Gallons Per Hour (GPH).

This measurement refers to how much water the pump moves in an hour. The higher the GPH, the faster the pump can remove moisture from your basement. Again, the appropriate GPH depends on how much flood water you expect.

Please note that the GPH drops depending on the height you pump the water. Check the product details to confirm that the GPH works for your particular requirements.

For example, a sump pump may offer 5500 GPM if you pump water horizontally. However, this flow rate drops to 4500 if you pump water 10 feet high and down again to 3500 if you pump water 20 feet high.

Head Pressure

Head pressure or lift refers to how high the pump discharges water. Some basements do not have a floor drain. In this case, you will need a pump powerful enough to push the water efficiently through the plumbing.

Most sump pumps have a lift or head pressure of between 10 and 20 inches. Remember that the flow rate drops the higher you have to pump the water. Additionally, the flow rate drops further for each bend in your piping.

Be sure to cross-check the flow rate compared to the lift. Manufacturers typically display this information on their product packaging and Amazon.

Backup

Best sump pumps even fail, therefore you can have a duplicate image

Severe storms almost always come with a power outage. If you do not have a backup power source in your home, consider a sump pump that comes with a battery.

Most sump pumps easily connect to your backup. But a dedicated battery is ideal to avoid overloading your primary backup system.

Additionally, some sump pumps come with a secondary pump. The secondary pump turns on in case of a malfunction with the primary unit. The secondary pump can also help out in case the primary pump is overwhelmed during severe flooding.

Warranty

Most of these pumps come with a one, three, or five-year warranty. You are better off with a more extended warranty cover. Most high-end models offer a five-year warranty. Cheaper options typically come with a one-year limited warranty or none at all.

Price

Sump pump price showing the average cost next to a sump pump in water

Finally, you can get a sump pump for as low as $50 or pay a few hundred bucks. As a rule, cheaper models feature cheap plastic construction. Higher-end units have more features and sport more durable construction.

We paid particular attention to value for money when generating this review. Every model featured on our top 7 list of best sump pumps is worth the money.

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