The American Society of Home Inspectors states that over 60 percent of homes in the United States suffer from wetness below ground level, such as in a basement. Ultimately, improper water drainage can lead to serious flooding, especially in the event of a serious storm. A sump pump is designed to deal with water that collects where it shouldn’t (especially below ground) and pump it into a drain or into the main plumbing system in your house to be disposed of with the rest of your waste water.
We reviewed dozens of sump pumps to identify the best of the best. We considered a range of factors including the pumps’ horsepower, outer material, whether or not they’re submersible, and the opinions of existing customers.
After careful consideration, the WAYNE CICDU800 Heavy Duty Cast Iron Submersible Sump Pump stood out to us as the best sump pump on the market. Its cast iron construction is extremely durable and it has been tested to last for at least 1 million cycles. What’s more, it operates virtually silently.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Sump Pumps
|Our Top Pick
|WAYNE CICDU800 Heavy Duty Cast Iron Submersible Sump Pump
|Zoeller M53 Mighty-Mate Submersible Sump Pump
|Best Budget Buy
|Homdox 1HP Sump Pump Submersible Water Pump
|Best Outdoor Sump Pumps
|WAYNE WWB WaterBUG Submersible Pump
|Best Water Backup Sump Pumps
|Basepump HB1000-PRO Premium High Volume Water Powered Backup Sump Pump
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: WAYNE CICDU800 Heavy Duty Cast Iron Submersible Sump Pump
Made from heavy duty cast iron, the WAYNE CICDU800 Heavy Duty Cast Iron Submersible Sump Pump is a rugged sump pump that won’t let you down. This pump has been tested to last a minimum of 1 million cycles, but it’s likely that it will outlast this. Although it comes with a reasonably large price tag of around $200, it offers far batter value for money than a cheap sump pump that will only last a year or so.
It packs a punch of 1 horsepower (HP), which doesn’t sound like much but is more than enough for the majority of home sump pump needs. In fact, it can pump a maximum of 4,200 gallons per hour (GPH) or around 3,200 GPH where it has to lift the water 10 feet. It’s designed with both upper and lower ball bearings, sitting in an oil bath, which allows for almost silent operation.
WAYNE CICDU800 Heavy Duty Cast Iron Submersible Sump Pump Key Features:
- 8 foot water-resistant power cord
- Top suction design reduces clogging
- Vertical float switch
Our Runner Up Pick: Zoeller M53 Mighty-Mate Submersible Sump Pump
Although it’s a little less powerful than our top pick, the Zoeller M53 Mighty-Mate Submersible Sump Pump is still a respectable choice, and is slightly lower priced, at $170. Its 3/10 HP motor can pump around 2,500 GPH when the water must be lifted 5 feet (but slightly more or less if on ground level or at a greater depth).
The switch case, motor, and pump housing are all made from cast iron, and though the base is plastic it’s still a super sturdy choice. The 9 foot power cord gives you enough length to run to to your nearest GFCI protected outlet.
Zoeller M53 Mighty-Mate Submersible Sump Pump Key Features:
- Suitable for residential sump pits or septic tanks
- Integral float-activated switch
- Quiet operation
Best Budget Pick: Homdox 1HP Sump Pump Submersible Water Pump
Although the Homdox 1HP Sump Pump Submersible Water Pump can be used as a sump pump, it’s also an all-rounder suited to powering water features, cleaning pools, and more. It has a submersible depth capacity of up to 16.4 feet, which means it’ll reach more places than you may imagine. You can’t really argue with the $60 price point, that’s for sure!
The automatic float switch means that this unit can switch itself on and off depending on the water level, so you just need to plug it in and let it work when needed. It has an impressive 1 HP motor and that means it pumps plenty of water, reaching a maximum of 3566 GPH under ideal conditions.
Homdox 1HP Sump Pump Submersible Water Pump Key Features:
- Three fitting sizes for different outflow options
- The higher base plate helps stop debris collecting in sump pit
- Extra-long 16.94 foot power cord
Best Outdoor Sump Pump: WAYNE WWB WaterBUG Submersible Pump
Sump pumps are usually used to pump water out of basements or other areas below floor level in the home, but if you want the same effect as a sump pump, but for outdoor use, try the WAYNE WWB WaterBUG Submersible Pump. You can use it on flat roofs, standing water in your yard, or for any other similar outdoor application. However, you can also use indoors as an alternative to a standard sump pump or to clear areas that are already flooded, in the basement or otherwise.
What’s great about the WaterBUG is that it removes water all the way down to 1/16-inch, which is far lower than the majority of sump pumps. It’s also much more compact than average sump pumps, so you can use it to get rid of water out of tight spaces. The maximum flow rate is 1,257 GPH, or 900 GPH at 10 feet of lift, which isn’t a huge volume, but it’s not designed as a main sump pump.
WAYNE WWB WaterBUG Submersible Pump Key Features:
- Side discharge makes water removal easy in flat areas
- Multi-ring suction strainer reduces risk of clogging
- Operates almost silently
Best Water Backup Sump Pump: Basepump HB1000-PRO Premium High Volume Water Powered Backup Sump Pump
If your primary reason for using a sump pump is to prevent flooding during storms, you need to consider what happens when the power goes out. Unlike the majority of backup sump pumps, which work on battery power, the Basepump HB1000-PRO Premium High Volume Water Powered Backup Sump Pump doesn’t need any kind of power source. Due to the magic of physics, it uses water to create a pump effect, so if your sump pump fails or your power goes out, it’s ready to take over, with no need to remember to keep a battery pack charged.
The HB1000-Pro is capable of pumping 900 t0 1,400 GPH at 10 feet of lift, depending on various factors, such as water pressure and volume and the distance to the exterior. Retailing at $360, this is a fairly expensive bit of kit, but it’s worth the money for the peace of mind that you’ll be covered even if your regular sump pump gives out.
Basepump HB1000-PRO Premium High Volume Water Powered Backup Sump Pump Key Features:
- Comes with battery powered high water alarm
- Fairly simple to install, even without plumbing experience
- Hydraulic float system
Who Should Buy a Sump Pump
Almost anyone who has a basement in their home should buy a sump pump, but particularly if you experience dampness in your basement or have ever suffered from flooding. That said, sump pumps can be useful in other areas where water collects, such as in crawl spaces, or to solve issues that arise when the water table is higher than the foundations of a building.
If you’re climbing down to get your sump pump where it needs to go, then you may want to consider a reliable way to get there and if that’s the case, you won’t want to miss The Best Telescoping Ladders.
Important Features to Consider
A sump pump should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting a sump pump:
- Horsepower. A sump pump’s horsepower refers to the power of the engine. In general, a higher horsepower means a more powerful pump but other factors are at work, so two sump pumps with the same horsepower aren’t always equally effective.
- Flow rate. This is the rate at which the sump pump can extract water, measured in gallons per hour. The majority of sump pumps have a flow rate of somewhere between 900 and 5,000 GPH. The flow rate in a single model will vary depending on how many feet of lift the water needs to travel.
- Material. The best quality sump pumps are made from cast iron, whereas cheaper models tend to be made from plastic or stainless steel. If you have the budget for it, we’d recommend you choose a cast iron model as your primary sump pump.
- Submersible vs. pedestal. Submersible sump pumps can live under the floor, in your sump pit, which means they’re out of the way and quieter. Pedestal sump pumps must sit above the floor.
- Sensor or float activator. Your sump pump should have a pressure sensor or float activator so that it will automatically switch on when the water level starts to rise.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a sump pump and how does it work?
A sump pump is a type of pump designed to pump water up out of a basement or crawl space from a sump pit, to stop flooding and reduce general dampness. The majority of sump pumps use a centrifugal pump to move water. Inside the pump is an impeller which spins, creating a low-pressure area in the center and forces water out through the pipes and up to the drain.
Do you need a plumber to install a sump pump?
If you already have a sump pit in place, it’s fairly easy to install the sump pump yourself. However, if you need to create the sump pit and lay the pipe, you’ll need to hire a plumber who specializes in fitting sump pumps.
What is the most common reason for sump pump failure?
Some of the most common reasons for sump pump failure are power outage, overwhelming the pump with too great a volume of water, and stuck switches.
Can a sump pump run continuously?
Sump pumps should be switched on all the time and automatically engage when the water level rises. If your sump pump is running continuously, it means there’s a continuous flow of water to it. If it runs continuously when the sump pit is dry, there’s something wrong with it, and it could cause the motor to burn out.
Other Sump Pumps We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other sump pumps. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best sump pumps list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
Submersible Sump Pumps
A sturdy stainless steel option with an impressive flow rate of up to 4,000 GPH.
- 3/4 HP
- 20 foot grounded power cord
The heavy duty cast iron outer and non-clogging thermoplastic vortex impeller make this pump and excellent choice.
- Chose between vertical and wide-angle switches
- Three HP options
- Passes up to 1/2-inch solids
Cost: $90 to $125
The 1/3 HP motor has a flow rate of 2,220 GPH at a 5 foot lift.
- Handles solids up to 3/8-inch
- Powder coated aluminum motor housing
- 10 foot power cord
The 287 is a slightly more powerful version of the option above, packing a 1/2 HP motor.
- Flow rate of up to 4,020 GPH
- Passes solid up to 3/4-inch
- One-piece cast iron housing
A basic, inexpensive submersible sump pump that’s best suited to occasional use or as a secondary option in case your primary choice fails.
- Float switch
- 15 foot power cord
- Maximum flow rate of 2,115 GPH
The solid cast iron construction makes this sump pump an excellent choice for heavy use.
- Piggyback float switch
- Clog-resistant design
- 1/2 HP
The 1/3 HP motor isn’t as powerful as some of WAYNE’s options, but this is still a solid choice.
- Pumps up to 4,600 GPH (at a flat discharge height)
- Integrated vertical float switch
- Top suction strainer
A more powerful 1/2 HP version of the pump above that can move a maximum of 5,100 GPH.
- Top suction design without airlock
- Vertical float switch
- Made from coated steel
Backup Sump Pumps
Capable of pumping 1,000 GPH at 10 feet of lift, this is a solid emergency backup sump pump.
- Includes battery box but battery sold separately
- Compact pump design
- Alarm sounds when there’s a problem with the unit
This high-tech backup sump pump costs more than a lot of other options but has some excellent features that are worth the extra cost.
- Free monitoring included via WiFi
- Check and control pumps remotely
- Can clean around 13,000 gallons on a full charge
This systems works with any 12V marine batteries, but you will need to buy one separately. The battery box, pump, charger, and alarm/control unit are included.
- Flow rate of up to 1,380 GPH
- Automatic float switch
- Thermoplastic construction
The basement guardian gives you everything you need to protect your basement, with standard pumps in addition to a battery backup.
- WiFi connectivity lets you monitor and control your pumps
- Heavy duty construction
- Backup pump can drain 11,000 on a single charge
A quality, reliable backup system from a big name in sump pumps. Battery sold separately.
- Pumps a maximum of 2,900 GPH
- Handy LED display
- Alarm sounds when backup system activates
Although it doesn’t include the battery, you’ll find everything else you need from a backup pump in this kit.
- Hand built and tested in the USA
- LCD screen
- Battery burn-out and overcharge protection
Other Sump Pumps
This solid cast iron sump pump packs 1/3 HP.
- Flow rate of up to 3,160 GPH
- Non-clogging impeller design
- Vertical switch
A compact yet powerful 1/3 HP sump pump that’s perfect for smaller spaces.
- Pumps up to 2,760 GPH
- Housing made from epoxy-coated cast iron
- Diaphragm pressure switch
This fully-contained sump pump is easy to install and is great for basement laundry facilities.
- Handles solids up to 1/8 inch
- 1/4 HP
- 1-1/2 inch discharge pipe size
A solid cast iron sump pump that can pump 2,580 GPM at a 5 foot lift.
- Integral float switch
- Cast iron construction
- Passes solids up to 1/2 inch
This sump pump includes its own catch basin and is idea for laundry or sink facilities, as well as general basement water removal.
- Anti-clog vortex impeller
- No filters to clog
- All necessary hardware included
This sump pump is specifically designed for use in crawl spaces and includes all you’ll need to set it up.
- 3/10 HP
- Includes basin
- 25 foot power cord