This is our sump pump buyer’s guide – a comprehensive manual to make sure you get the best sump pump!
Water has an amazing ability to seep into tiny spaces and damage everything in its path. When water finds its way into your basement after heavy rains, snow melt or flooding, it can make for an extremely frustrating experience.
If not properly addressed, your basement may lead to mildew growth and structural damage. Water damage can also be dangerous to electrical appliances, such as the hot water heaters, as well as to the health of your family.
Installing a sump pump in the basement is the best way to protect it from flooding and will bring tremendous peace of mind for you. A sump pump acts as a primary defense against the buildup of water in your basement and crawl space.
However, there are a lot of sump pumps available on the market – submersible sump pumps, battery backup sump pumps, water powered sump pumps, etc – they come in an array of sizes, designs, and prices. If you’re new to sump pumps, choosing a sump pump for your home can be a daunting task.
This buying guide covers everything you need to know about sump pumps before you make a purchase. It’ll help you find a sump pump that best suits your needs. But before we go deeper, let’s take a look at our top picks of the best sump pumps available to buy today.
Our Picks: Best Sump Pumps You Can Buy (a Comparison Table)
Our Recommendations for You
#1. Zoeller M63 Submersible Sump Pump
After spending many hours researching, asking experts, and reading buyer’s reviews, we’ve decided that the Zoeller M63 Premium Mighty-mate Submersible Sump Pump is the best sump pump for most people. This is also one of the of the most recognized sump pumps in the world.
The Zoeller M63 is well known among plumbers as the sump pump of choice for the average homeowner. Most average sized homes in an average water table will require a 1/3 HP sump pump. This is probably the most common sump pump size and will easily handle most residential applications.
The M63 is a quiet sump pump and it runs efficiently even in the hardest environments. It’s made with heavy-duty materials but the price is very reasonable. With a durable cast iron switch case, motor, sleeve bearings, and pump housing, the pump is built to last and will give you years of worry-free operation. If it’s maintained properly, it can easily last for over a decade.
Zoeller sump pumps have a great reputation for American-manufactured reliability and performance. The Zoeller Pump Company was founded in 1939 and is one of the oldest family-owned water pump manufacturers in North America. The great reputation of the Zoeller pumps is a big reason why you should buy the Zoeller M63.
#2. Wayne WSS30V 1/2 HP Battery Backup System
We’ve learned from hard experience that if you don’t have a backup sump pump, you don’t have a sump pump at all! That’s because ALL sump pumps eventually fail, and without a good backup system, you won’t know the pump has failed until you have a flood!
“Having a good backup system for your sump pump is one of the smartest things you can do to protect your crawlspace or basement from flooding, saving frustration, aggravation, and hours and hours of cleanup time.“
The Wayne WSS30V Upgraded Combination 1/2 HP Battery Backup System is an all-in-one battery backup sump pump system. It’s pre-assembled, very quiet, easy to install; and on top of all this, it has a very reasonable price.
The Wayne WSS30V has two submersible pumps – a primary sump pump and a secondary sump pump which is powered by a 12V battery backup system. Should the worst happen, a float switch automatically draws power from the battery, keeping your sump pump running and your basement dry.
The battery backup sump pump will run anytime the primary pump doesn’t. Each pump has its own float switch, which is the trigger to activate the sump pump. The main pumps switch is lower so it normally comes on first. If it fails to activate, then the water will rise until it trips the second float switch turning on the backup pump. For that reason, it doesn’t matter whether it was lack of power or some other reason that caused the primary sump pump to fail.
Also, if there is an unusually strong storm that causes more water to enter the sump basin than the primary sump pump can handle, the backup sump pump will kick in to provide extra pumping capacity. The backup sump pump will alert you when it’s being used.
This system comes with a battery box and a simple battery charger that is integrated with the battery box. But unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a battery when you buy it. Any good deep cycle battery or marine battery (75Ah – 100Ah) would work fine (don’t use a regular car battery).
Or you can buy the Wayne WSB1275 75Ah AGM Battery – this battery is designed specifically for Wayne’s backup sump pump system.
Overall, if you don’t want to end up with a flooded basement during terrible thunderstorms or power outages, you should have a battery backup for your sump pump system. The Wayne WSS30V is one of the best backup sump pumps we could find. We like it because not only does it combine many useful features, it also has an affordable price that everyone can afford.
One of Wayne’s sprinkler pump was our pick as the best all-round sprinkler pumps for lawns. Click on the link to read the full review.
Sump Pump – What’s It and How It Works?
What’s a Sump Pump?
A sump pump is a small pump installed in the lowest part of a basement or crawlspace. Homeowners use it to prevent groundwater from getting into the basement or crawl space. Extra water can build up along the foundation, especially during heavy rains. A sump pump moves this excess groundwater out away from your home.
If your pump stops working, water could get into your basement and foundation walls, causing mold and mildew. If enough water gets in, the basement could flood.
- Read more: Best dehumidifiers for damp, wet basements
Please keep in mind that sump pumps are designed to pump clear water with very little debris. If you’re using this for outdoor applications, where leaves and other debris are present, a sewage pump would be more appropriate.
How does a Sump Pump Work?
Usually, sump pumps are installed in pits, called sump pits, or sump basins. As the sump pit fills with water, the pump turns on. It moves the water or wastewater out of the sump pit through pipes that run away from your home to a spot where the water can drain away from your foundation.
The pipe usually has a one-way valve called a check valve at the pump end to keep the water from flowing back into the pit.
When there is a flood, excess rainfall, or water from rapidly melting snow, instead of leaking into your house through any tiny cracks, it flows into the sump pit. Sump pumps are activated by a floatable switch – or sometimes called an activator, similar to the one in your toilet tank. When the water in the sump pit causes the float to rise to a certain level, the sump pump is activated.
A floatable switch is one of the most important parts of a basement sump pump. While the quality of your sump pump is important, it’s useless without a reliable switch.
Sump Pump Lifespan & Cost
A good quality sump pump should last around 10 years, depending on how often it is working and the acidity and dirtiness of the water. The life expectancy of a sump pump also depends on the pump housing.
The cheapest sump pumps are made from plastic, mid-range sump pumps to high-end sump pumps are made from cast iron and high-end sump pumps are made from stainless steel.
Both plastic and cast-iron sump pumps will show signs of wear and tear over time. Plastic pumps can yellow and crack, while cast-iron systems may corrode. While stainless steel sump pumps are completely corrosion-resistant in most environments.
There are quite a few manufacturers that are combining a stainless steel jacket with cast iron on their mid-range pumps and for the most part they are good sump pumps. For example, the WAYNE CDU980E 3/4 HP Submersible sump pump has a stainless steel and cast iron construction – this is one of the best submersible sump pumps on the market and it has got many positive reviews from owners.
A cast-iron sump pump may outlive several generations of comparable plastic pumps, making them the better long-term investment, as well as the cost of hiring a contractor to replace your failed system.
Obviously, a sump pump made from cast iron will be more expensive than one made from plastic, such as the Zoeller M63 and ECO-FLO SPP33V sump pump. However, pumps made with cast iron run cooler during continual use so their shape won’t distort warping seals are interfering with sump pump switches.
Also, you should remember that plastic sump pumps will also generally have a plastic impeller – the part of the pump that pulls water into the system and sends it moving through the discharge line. These plastic impellers are much easier to damage or strip off the motor shaft than their cast-iron counterparts. Plastic impellers are also vulnerable to additional damage or breaking when rocks or similar debris are pulled into the system.
Stainless steel sump pumps are the most expensive because of their anti-corrosive properties and their ability to dissipate heat. Don’t be fooled by a largely plastic pump with a stainless steel jacket. Just lift the sump pump up, plastic sump pumps are lighter!
So, when it comes to the life expectancy of a sump pump, not all sump pumps are created equal. Quality sump pumps should be made of cast-iron or stainless steel or both. They will likely to cost you more, but can actually save you quite a few headaches in the future.
What’s the Right Type of Sump Pump for You?
There are 4 common sump pump types available to consider:
- Submersible sump pumps
- Battery backup sump pumps
- Pedestal sump pumps
- Water-powered sump pumps
Submersible sump pumps are the standard pumps found in many residences. This is the most common type of sump pumps.
Battery backup sump pumps provide you added insurance in the case your power goes out or when your main pump fails. When these events happen, the battery on the backup unit will kick in providing the pump with power so it continues working. We highly recommend using this type of sump pumps in the basement of your home. A battery-backup sump pump system is the BEST protection against flooding.
Pedestal sump pumps are mounted above the water line, on a rod or pipe that keeps them raised above water level. Pedestal sump pumps are typically less expensive than submersible pumps, but they also tend to be noisier and are more likely to overheat. Pedestal pumps are the best sump pumps for a very small basin, as the pump base is submerged but the pump motor is not.
Water-powered sump pumps contain few moving parts and do not need electricity or a battery backup. As long as you have city water (not well water) you’ll have a working sump pump and a dry basement – even if the power fails.
Choosing the right type of sump pump depends on your home’s specific needs. Now let’s take a closer look at how they work and the advantages and disadvantages of each type of sump pumps. Then you’ll know which sump pump type is best for your needs.
Submersible Sump Pump Reviews
What’s a submersible sump pump?
Submersible sump pumps are designed to be placed directly in the sump pit and can operate even when covered with water. The pump uses a motor that is totally enclosed in a waterproof casing that allows the pump to work in this manner. This design is preferred by homeowners that want a quieter type of sump pump.
Because submersible pumps work underwater, they tend to be made with better materials, a more thoughtful design, and with greater power than other pump systems available on the market. The most reliable submersible sump pumps have also been designed with a cast-iron or stainless steel motor casing, which allows for maximum heat dispersal.
How does a submersible sump pump work?
A submersible pump has a floatable switch that can detect when the water reaches a certain level within the sump pit. Once the switch activates the pump motor, the device uses an impeller to force water out of the sump pit through a hose or pipe that is used to direct water a safe distance away from the home and basement. The pump pumps out the water until the switch is lowered to the “off” position.
Advantages of Submersible Sump Pumps
- Because a submersible sump pump is placed within the sump pit, where it is in direct contact with the groundwater as it pumps, it NEVER overheated. The groundwater absorbs this operating heat, creating a longer lasting system.
- Because a submersible sump pump is installed in the sump pit beneath the basement, it is NOT in the way of any fixtures or furniture that may be placed in the basement.
- Sump pumps operating within a basement can also create a significant amount of noise. Submersible pump systems, complete with an airtight lid on top of the sump pit, can minimize the potential noise.
- Generally speaking, submersible sump pumps are available in larger horsepower capacities than pedestal pumps and water-powered pumps. This means that larger submersible pumps can pump out water faster than other sump pump types.
Disadvantages of Submersible Sump Pumps
- While a submersible sump pump will outlast several generations of other pump models, they require a higher initial investment in money.
The Best Submersible Sump Pumps to Buy
#1. Zoeller M63 Premium Mighty-mate Submersible Sump Pump
Zoeller M63 Premium Mighty-mate is our pick as the best submersible sump pump for most people. This pump is well known among plumbers as the sump pump of choice for the average homeowner. Most average sized homes in the United State will require a 1/3 HP sump pump.
With a cast iron switch case, motor and pump housing the pump is built to last and can pump out 2680 gph at 5 feet. The unit has a clog-free design that can pass 1/2″ diameter solids. The M63 comes with an industry leading 5-year warranty and a great reputation that will put your mind at ease.
Zoeller M63 Mighty-Mate is one of the most popular sump pumps on the market. It’s one of the quietest and most efficient 1/3 HP sump pumps. It’s powerful, very durable, and priced lower than most sump pumps in its class.
We are confident that this is the best sump pump for the money available to buy today. You can’t go wrong with the Zoeller M63 Mighty-Mate.
Note: Keep in mind that if you live in an average sized home with an above average water table, you will most likely need a good 1/2 HP sump pump. These pumps will generally pump about 35%-40% more than their 1/3 HP counterparts. If a Zoeller’s submersible sump pump is your choice, then consider the Zoeller M98 – 1/2 HP Cast Iron Submersible Sump Pump.
#2. WAYNE CDU980E 3/4 HP Submersible Sump Pump Review
The WAYNE CDU980E 3/4 HP is one of the top-rated sump pumps on the market. This sump pump is made of corrosion resistant stainless steel and rugged cast iron construction for years of service and long life in tough sump pump application. This sump pump is assembled in the USA with some domestic parts and some imported parts, and it’s covered by a 5-year warranty.
The WAYNE CDU980E is a quiet sump pump. It’s engineered with upper and lower ball bearings, in a sealed oil bath, for virtually silent operation. The unique top suction design reduces clogging, preventing air lock occurrences and eliminating needs for a “weep hole”.
While most submersible sump pump and sewage pumps should have a weep hole drilled in the discharge pipe, this Wayne pump does NOT require it. This is due to their unique top suction design. Where most sump pumps suck the water in through the bottom and underneath the base, this pump sucks the water in from around the top of the base.
WAYNE CDU980E Sump Pump | Video by WAYNE PUMPS
Powered by a 3/4 HP motor, the WAYNE CDU980E can spit out up to 4300 GPH. It’s ideal for most homes that need insurance against water damage. The pump has a vertical float switch. A vertical float switch has limited movement up and down and side to side, giving it less freedom of movement and less of a chance to get stuck as a tethered float would.
Overall, if you’re looking for a submersible sump pump for your basement, the WAYNE CDU980E is an excellent choice. And at the current price and a 5 years warranty, we don’t think you can find any other sump pump model that is better than this unit. This is one of the best sump pumps for the money you can buy.
The Liberty Pumps 287 – 1/2 HP Cast Iron Submersible Sump Pump provides a cost-effective “mid-range” pump for on-site wastewater systems, liquid waste transfer and commercial heavy-duty sump pump applications that require higher head or more flow. Designed around Liberty’s unique one-piece cast iron housing, and thermally protected, permanently lubricated motor, the 287 will provide years of reliable performance.
The Liberty Pumps 287 features vertical magnetic float for small pits and will operate in a 10” diameter sump. The pump comes with a quick-disconnect 10′ standard power cord which allows replacement of cord in seconds without breaking seals to the motor.
This submersible sump pump also features a Vortex style impeller permitting passage of solids up to 3/4″. The benefit of a vortex impeller over a channel impeller is the minimized risk of clogging. A Vortex impeller is also a better choice when the pumped liquid has a high content of sand. The efficiency of a pump with a vortex impeller is typically lower than a pump with a channel impeller.
A Vortex style impeller is also used in Zoeller’s submersible pumps and Wayne’s pumps. But the Liberty Pumps 287 permits solids with a slightly larger diameter.
Keep in mind that this pump is not recommended for effluent applications due to its short On/Off cycle. Wide angle float models such as Liberty Pumps 281 and Liberty Pump 283 will be better suited for effluent applications and are easily adjustable for different On/Off levels.
Also, for added protection, consider the addition of a backup pump such as Liberty’s SJ10 SumpJet water powered sump pump, as well as an alarm such as Liberty’s ALM-2 High Liquid Level Alarm in applications where loss of pump function could result in property damage.
With a 3-year warranty, this unit earned our recommendation. The Liberty Pumps 287 is certainly one of the best sump pumps for the basements and crawl spaces you can buy. For the most part, we think this Liberty pump has more features and a better design than the Wayne pump above.
Liberty Pumps has been a great company to deal with on a new submersible sump pump. Liberty Pumps also makes some of the great backup sump pump systems on the market. The company always stands solidly behind its warranty, friendly and helpful in effectuating the replacement of the pump.
#4. Red Lion RL-SC50T 1/2-HP 4300-GPH Sump Pump Review
The Red Lion RL-SC50T is a quality submersible sump pump with a Tethered float switch. A Tethered float switch provides a longer run time, and a longer ‘rest’ time for the sump pump. This means the sump pump can cool off more completely between cycles.
Also, the amount of cord between the attachment (pivot) point and the float can be adjusted. This is great if you have an unusually large sump pit. Tether float switch sump pumps require larger sump pits so that it does not get stuck on the walls of the pit. (read more about how to choose the best sump pump switch type at the bottom of the article).
The Red Lion RL-SC50T is ideal for average- to high-volume water removal in basements, laundry rooms, crawl spaces, and other residential areas where automatic pumping is desired.
The pump features heavy-duty cast iron construction, energy efficient motor. It also features a Clog-resistant design (similar to Zoeller, Wayne, and Liberty’s pump) which is capable of passing 3/8″ diameter solids.
Anyway, if you’re looking for a submersible sump pump with a Tethered float switch, the Red Lion RL-SC50T sump pump is a great unit to buy. This pump is a quiet, dependable, and powerful in a small package.
The Red Lion brand is an American brand. It’s one of the leaders in the water pump industry. Red Lion offers a full line of basement protection systems, well pumps, lawn pumps, gas-powered pumps, semi-trash pumps, and accessories. This is the brand you can definitely trust.
Best Sump Pump with Battery Backup Reviews
Why Every Home Should Have a Backup Sump Pump?
Most homeowners understand that they have a submersible sump pump (a primary sump pump that runs on 120 volts AC power) in their basement to protect them from flooding. However, that’s not the end of the discussion. At some point one of the following situations will occur, rendering the submersible pump inoperable, and putting the homeowner at risk for a flood:
- The power goes out and you don’t have an emergency power supply for your sump pump, such as a portable generator.
- The level control on the primary pump is obstructed or fails
- The primary pump fails due to some other mechanical problem
- The primary pump gets clogged with debris
That is why every home should have a reliable backup sump pump system for peace of mind when one of the above situations occurs. In addition to protecting valuable possessions and property, the best benefit of all is avoiding the frustration, aggravation, hours of cleanup time and money associated with a flood.
Flooding is the most common and one of the costliest weather disasters in the U.S., according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The best way to avoid flooding is to have the best backup sump pump system installed in the your basement or crawl space.
There are two types of backup sump pump systems available on the market: Battery backup sump pump and water-powered backup sump pump. Each system will be described below providing insight as to what may provide the best solution for your home.
What’s a Battery Backup Sump Pump?
A battery backup sump pump is designed to provide both primary and backup pumping capabilities. The primary pump will operate as long as it is receiving AC power. If the power is interrupted, or more water is coming into the sump than the main pump can handle, the battery-powered sump pump will begin pumping automatically.
There are two styles of battery backup sump pump systems available to buy – single-pump and dual-pump. A dual-pump system is also as known as a combination backup sump pump. For example:
The Basement Watchdog BWE is a single-pump backup system. If you already have a primary sump pump, this is for you.
The Zoeller 508-0006 Aquanot 508 ProPak53 system is a combination sump pump. This is simply a combination of a primary submersible sump pump and a battery backup all in one package.
The best battery backup sump pump to buy depends on your needs. But based on our experiences, a combination sump pump gives you the best protection against primary pump failure.
A combination sump pump has a better performance and seems to have a longer lifespan. Some of the top-of-the-line combination sump pump models even incorporate unique monitoring systems or export terminals, which allow you to control your sump pump system much easier.
How Does a Battery Backup Sump Pump Work?
A battery backup sump pump is a second pump that gets installed right next to your primary pump. It typically runs on a 12-volt deep cycle battery and can either be plumbed into the primary discharge pipe or can be installed with its own independent discharge pipe.
The battery backup sump pump has its own float switch so that when the water rises in the sump, it raises the float and the backup pump is activated. This is important for two reasons:
- In the event of a power disruption or primary pump/level control failure, it will assume the role as the primary pump allowing time for the power to be restored or the AC electric pump system to be serviced. When operating intermittently with a fully charged battery, most battery backup sump pump systems can provide pumping relief for days.
- Also, if the primary sump pump cannot keep up with the inflow due to excessive amounts of water entering the sump pit during an abnormal event, the backup sump pump will assist the primary sump pump in evacuating the water.
Don’t lay awake at night during a storm, wondering if your home is going to stay dry – protect yourself and enjoy the peace of mind with a backup sump pump system.
The Best Battery Backup Sump Pumps to Buy
#1. Wayne WSS30V Upgraded 1/2 HP Battery Backup System Review – Our Pick
The Wayne WSS30V Upgraded Battery Backup System is our pick as the best sump pump with battery backup system for most people. It is a quiet, easy to install, yet very powerful sump pump system. This is also one of the most affordable complete battery backup sump pumps on the market.
The Wayne model WSS30V comes completely pre-assembled for quick and easy installation. The 1/2 HP primary pump (CDU800) moves up to 5100 GPH at 0 in. of discharge lift, 3840 GPH at 10 ft. of discharge lift. It has a float switch that is tested up to 1 million cycles. The upgraded 12-Volt backup pump moves up to 5040 GPH at 0 in. of head.
The Wayne WSS30V combo system already includes check valves for both pumps so the weep hole is NOT required for either pump. It’s very easy to install and you can install it in only about 15 minutes. The system also includes an audible alarm, so that you’ll be notified as soon as the back up pump on the WSS30V turns on.
This system comes with a 5-year warranty – while most other backup systems are only covered by a 1-3 years warranty.
Again, the Wayne WSS30V Upgraded system is the best sump pump with a battery backup system for most people. There are some of the more advanced battery backup sump pump models available out there, but we think this affordable unit is enough to handle most residential applications, protecting your home and basement from flooding.
Best battery for this sump pump: Any good deep cycle battery (at least 75Ah). Recommended for use with the Wayne WSB1275 75Ah AGM Battery.
#2. PumpSpy Technology PS1000 Battery Backup Sump Pump Review
If you’re looking for a battery-powered sump pump that allows controlling your pump remotely, look no further than the PumpSpy Technology PS1000.
This unit instantly detects problems before flooding can occur! It connects to computers that watch over your sump pump system automatically, 24/7. PumpSpy computers constantly collect and analyze incoming data from your sump pumps, checking for potential issues.
When an issue is detected, PumpSpy automatically sends alerts via text message, email and push notifications via the FREE PumpSpy App. There is NO monthly or hidden fees and no additional equipment required.
PumpSpy automatically tests your sump pumps 3 times a week. You won’t have to go down in the basement to test your sump pumps ever again. You can check on your PumpSpy system from anywhere using the free PumpSpy app, available for iOS and Android.
For the most part, the PumpSpy Technology PS1000 is an excellent backup sump pump system. Not only is this one of the best sump pump on the market, it also gives homeowners the most convenient way to make sure that everything is fine! And homeowners will never have to worry about their sump pump system.
#3. WAYNE BGSP50 Guardian Premium Basement Protection System Review
The Wayne BGSP50 Basement Guardian is the most advanced battery backup sump pump on the market. This extraordinary system offers superior performance and digital connectivity in a pre-assembled and easy to install package. It allows you to check real-time primary and backup pump status, water level, and battery level in real time from anywhere using the free Basement Guardian app on your smartphone.
The app is available for iOS and Android. The system is designed for continuous monitoring, even when the power is out. It features the Innovative local link technology that transmits data to the app during power outages, for connectivity when your Wi-Fi router is down.
With the Wayne BGSP50 Basement Guardian, you’ll never worry about your basement again. This system can keep up to 11,000 gallons of water out of your basement on only one battery charge – as much as a standard swimming pool.
This backup sump pump has two fully submersible, nested, all cast iron sump pumps. Both pumps feature a top suction design to reduce the possibility of an airlock. The backup pumps capacity is matched to the sump system to achieve the highest possible performance when operating from a battery.
The system is pre-assembled and pre-plumbed for easy installation in as little as 15 minutes. And, of course, this premium sump pump is assembled in the USA for the highest quality possible.
Wayne Basement Guardian System | Video by WAYNE PUMPS
The Basement Guardian has also been billed as the “Hardest Working Pump You’ll Never Hear” due to its silent build. This is one of the quietest sump pumps in the world. Moreover, as a top-of-the-line battery backup sump pump system, the Wayne BGSP50 Basement Guardian comes with a Solid State Air Switch – which isn’t available for a typical sump pump.
A Solid State Air Switch replaces the mechanical float switch – which is the most common point of failure on a sump pump. Instead, it has an air pressure sensor that detects the water level then sends a signal to a control panel which tells the pump it is time to operate. A redundant electronic mechanical circuit with a reed style ﬂoat switch provides additional security.
The Solid State Air Switch works very reliably and it performs WAY better than the switch of any other battery backup sump pump we’ve reviewed.
Bottom line, the Wayne BGSP50 Basement Guardian is one of the best sump pump systems to buy. With this backup sump pump system, sump water level, battery condition, hours of protection, and power status can be verified at a glance.
Best battery for this sump pump:
The system is designed to function best with Wayne’s 75Ah AGM battery. AGM batteries will last longer and they are maintenance free. The displayed hours of protection are based on using the recommended battery. The battery case can accommodate up to a group 31-frame size battery. Do not use batteries rated for less than 75Ah.
#4. Zoeller Aquanot 508 ProPak53 Battery Back-Up System Review
If you’re looking for a battery backup sump pump from Zoeller, look no further than the Zoeller Aquanot 508 ProPak53 Battery Back-Up System. This backup system is a combination of the Zoeller model M53 submersible sump pump 1/3HP, heavy-duty 12V DC backup pump, 10-Amp Battery Charger & Control Box, check valve, float switch, and piping. All together, they create one of the best sump pumps with battery backup on the market.
The 12V DC backup pump is also sold separately so you can add this backup pump system to your existing primary sump pump.
This backup pump is designed for emergency backup use in clear water. It will turn on if the primary pump fails to turn on or is unable to keep up with excessive water due to rain or other conditions that can cause your basement water removal system to overload.
Zoeller Aquanot 508 ProPak53 comes fully assembled. All you need to do is put it in the sump pit, mount your control box on the wall, attach the wires to the battery, adjust the float switch height, add any additional discharge piping and plug the control box into one receptacle and the primary pump into a separate outlet.
The included solid state automatic control has alarms, light indicators, and warning systems. Keeps the battery ready for use and recharges the battery after it’s used and the AC power is restored. If the battery does not charge properly the LCD will display BAT-FAIL and sound an alarm buzzer. The charger is super efficient and complies with the California Battery Council standards.
We highly recommend the Zoeller Aquanot 508 ProPak53 to anyone in need of a “plug-n-play” sump pump. Zoeller pumps have a great reputation for American-Made reliability and performance. This Propak53 is no doubt one of the best backup sump pump systems money can buy today. We’re confident that it will give you peace of mind for many years to come!
Best battery for this system:
This system requires a good quality, 12V deep cycle battery. A deep-cycle, 12 volts, 100Ah AGM battery or larger is recommended and will provide approximately 6 hours of continuous pumping time in a sump pump installation with 8′ of head pressure.
#5. Basement Watchdog Big Dog Backup Sump Pump Review
As the name implies, this is a “BIG DOG” in the backup sump pump industry. The Basement Watchdog Big Dog packs many top-notch features in a small package, making it one of the best battery backup sump pump system on the market.
This pump will automatically start when your existing sump pump fails. It can run on either AC or DC power. It runs on 120-volt AC power when power is on, and switches to 12-volt DC battery power when AC power fails.
The Big Dog is also the ONLY Basement Watchdog backup system that will allow 2 deep cycle batteries to be connected in parallel (24V) to provide a longer run time.
This system is part of the Basement Watchdog Connect line, giving it the ability to communicate with a Basement Watchdog Connect Module. When connected to the Basement Watchdog WiFi module the system will send a text, email alert or a notification through the Basement Watchdog App to alert of any irregularities.
It also includes a remote terminal for connection with a home security system, or other devices with dry contacts.
The Big Dog is able to pumps 2,200 GPH at 10 ft. lift and 3,500 GPH at 0 ft. lift. It has a dual float switch for added redundancy and protection. It will sound an audible alarm and give a visual warning on the control box pinpointing needed maintenance or irregularities with the battery, pump or power conditions. It also runs the pump once per week to ensure operation when you need it.
Best battery for this backup sump pump: Basement Watchdog Big Standby Battery (30HDC140S) or Maintenance Free Standby Battery (BW-27AGM).
Water-Powered Backup Sump Pump Reviews
What’s a Water-Powered Backup Sump Pump?
Water-powered backup sump pump designs have been in existence for years, but have received little attention. These devices operate without electricity or a battery. They use the home’s domestic water pressure (city water) to pump out the water if the primary sump pump fails.
Comparatively priced to the battery backup sump pumps with regard to initial installation, long-term maintenance costs are far less.
A water-powered backup sump pump is not intended to be used as a primary sump pump. It requires the use of municipal water for operation and is not as efficient as an AC powered sump pump.
It also requires installing water pipes from the nearest water supply pipe to the sump area, as well as a backflow prevention device to prevent the sump water from contaminating the public water supply.
A water powered backup sump pump can’t be piped into the same discharge pipe of the main sump pump. It must use a separate discharge than your primary pump for three reasons.
- If the two pumps were to be tied together, a failure of the main sump pump check valve would allow the municipal water to be pumped into the sump pit through the main pump.
- Similarly, a failure in the incoming water pressure from municipal water supplies could allow sump water to enter into the municipal water and risk contamination.
- Lastly, it is against the National Standard Plumbing Code (NSPC) to connect a water powered backup pump into the main discharge line.
How does a Water Powered Backup Sump Pump Work?
A water powered backup sump pump can be installed in or above the sump, where a float will activate a valve to control the flow of pressurized municipal water. When the water level rises to a certain level, the valve will open. When the water lowers the valve is closed and the flow of water is stopped.
Video: How a water-powered backup sump pump works
Video by Water Demage Defense
All manufacturers of water powered backup sump pumps use a Venturi Principle to create suction produced by municipal water flowing through a nozzle. The suction pulls the sump water into a chamber where it is mixed with the municipal water and then discharged outdoors.
Here is how the Venturi Principle works in 3 steps:
- Step 1: City water flows through a nozzle pointed into the discharge
- Step 2: As the water shoots down the discharge it creates a vacuum and draws water from the sump pit.
- Step 3: Sump water then combines with the flowing city water and exits your basement via a discharge line
Should I Use a Water Powered Backup Sump Pump?
Battery-powered and water-powered sump pumps both evacuate sump water but the battery sump pump is more efficient, cost-effective and environmentally preferable. Pouring expensively treated water into a discharge line can only be acceptable in emergency situations like a power outage.
However, the battery backup sump pump system must be checked periodically to be certain it is charged. Over time batteries must be replaced so they represent an ongoing expense to maintain and one more checkbox on an already full to-do list. Long-term maintenance costs of water powered backup pumps are far less.
Water powered backup sump pumps will run as long as you have city water. But, remember, water-powered sump pumps NEED city water. In homes that use a well, a water powered sump pump is USELESS. Because if the electricity fails, so does your well pump.
Simply put, you should only use a water-powered pump as your backup sump pump system for city water, NEVER use it in a private well.
Best Water-Powered Sump Pumps to Buy
#1. Liberty Pumps SJ10A-EYE SumpJet Water Powered Backup Pump Review – Best Overall
After many hours of researching, we’ve decided that the Liberty Pumps SJ10A-EYE SumpJet is the best water powered backup sump pump system for most people. This system includes the SJ10 SumpJet water powered pump and the NightEye Wireless Alarm.
The Liberty SJ10 requires no electricity to be operated and serves as an emergency back-up to an existing pump system during power outages. This backup system is fully automatic and uses the municipal water supply to evacuate water from the sump. It accepts 20PSI to 100PSI inlet supply pressure.
With a compact high-efficiency design, the SJ10 SumpJet removes 2 gallons of sump water per 1 gallon used. It comes fully assembled and is equipped with a SharkBite push-type fitting inlet. This fitting can be used with various approved 3/4-inch portable water tubing and pipe, such as PRX tubing, copper pipe, or copper tube size CPVC pipe.
The pump is also fully automatic and comes backed with Liberty’s standard 3-year warranty. It is intended to remove clear sump water only.
The second part of this water powered backup sump pump system is the NightEye Wireless Alarm.
With NightEye technology, you know what’s happening with your pump – anywhere in the world! It represents a step forward for the pumping industry as it adapts to the proliferation of smart technology. Mobility, responsiveness, control, and connectivity are all cornerstone elements of NightEye technology.
In addition to monitoring the water level, the Nighteye also detects the status of a WiFi connection. NightEye enabled devices to continuously communicate their status to the cloud and any interruption will send trigger a notification. Power outages and the temperature of a basement can also be monitored. Sophisticated “smart monitoring” capabilities prevent extraneous nuisance notifications so that you will only receive the notices you deem relevant.
Another critical feature is that the NightEye can include information and alerts for up to four different accounts. Meaning, you can have alerts sent to your plumber or contractor or even a neighbor that has a spare key. That gives you full coverage no matter the situation.
Bottom line, the Liberty Pumps SJ10A-EYE SumpJet with NightEye Wireless Alarm is the best water powered backup sump pump system on the market today. This is a great backup system that has been trusted by many homeowners.
#2. Basepump HB1000-PRO Water Powered Backup Sump Pump Review
Basepump HB1000-PRO is the high capacity water powered backup sump pump for basement sumps that get high volumes of water when it rains. Not only does it use the dependable supply of water from your home water system to operate, but it also comes with most of the needed installation parts.
Unlike the Liberty Pumps SJ10A that is installed in the sump, the Basepump HB1000-PRO mounts well above the sump, which reduces the risk of drinking water contamination.
This pump is provided with a factory installed backflow preventer, a ball valve, a no-sweat adapter, and tee fitting. The no-sweat fittings are compatible with copper, PEX, or CPVC tubing. This high-performance Basepump is reliable, proven, and simple to install.
The HB1000-PRO performs at pumping rate from 900-1400 GPH – one of the highest number in the industry. It does come with a battery-powered high water alarm and a BWA-SW add-on. This alarm system will monitor your sump water level and warn you of water on the floor in other vulnerable areas. This simple but effective alarm system can save you many dollars and headaches at a very reasonable cost.
After all, we think the Basepump HB1000-PRO is a great backup sump pumps. Base Products Corporation is an American company founded in the late 1990’s. The company is a member of the Basement Health Association. If you’re looking for a reliable water-powered backup sump pump system, then you can’t stop here!
Best Pedestal Sump Pump Reviews
Pedestal sump pumps look something like a long stick with a fat head. They sit on a pedestal that keeps them out of the water, even when the sump pit is full. An inlet pipe reaches down into the bottom of the pit to draw the water out.
Unlike submersible sump pumps – which are put underwater in your sump pump basin, pedestal sump pumps are positioned with the pump motor out of the water, above your sump basin. Therefore, pedestal sump pumps don’t have the motor-cooling advantage of being surrounded by water.
Also, a pedestal sump pump is much LOUDER than a submersible sump pump.
Pedestal pumps are the best sump pumps for those who have a very narrow or shallow sump pit. As the entire pump is located above the water of the sump pit, they don’t require much space. But if your sump basin has space, you should always choose a submersible pump over a pedestal pump.
How Does a Pedestal Sump Pump Work?
A pedestal sump pump is powered by AC power. When it is in action, the water is sucked into the pipe that is in the sump pit and flows into a different pipe that leads to your home’s sewer system.
Best Pedestal Sump Pump to Buy
#1. Superior Pump 92301 1/3 HP Cast Iron Pedestal Pump Review
One of the best and quietest pedestal sump pumps on the market is the Superior Pump 92301 1/3 hp pedestal pump. This pump will move up to 50 Gal. of water per minute. It offers a powerful, yet energy efficient thermally protected motor for longer life and durability.
The pump includes a corrosion-resistant cast iron pump base and non-corrosive stainless steel drive shaft & impeller. It’s ideal for basins that measure 12″ in diameter or larger. Stainless steel resists corrosion which improves pump reliability and durability. The cast iron base offers rigidity and stability.
The high quality cast iron design of this model is a great option for a thrifty buyer as it’s also one of the lowest priced cast iron pedestal pumps. Plus it comes with a 3-year manufacturer warranty.
Pedestal pumps are becoming less common, but if you want to use this type of sump pump for your basement, the Superior Pump 92301 is the best pedestal pump for the money to buy. Superior has a combined 150 years of pump industry experience. With that in mind, this pump earns our top spot.
Choosing the Best Sump Pump – Buying Guide
Sizing Up a Sump Pump
A sump pump typically has to be replaced every few years. But if it’s sized correctly, the pump will last much longer, and the homeowner will know it’s the right pump for the job.
There is no “correct” size. The horsepower requirement for a house is determined by the area of drainage connected to the sump, the depth to groundwater, the depth of the basement and many other factors.
Note: a water powered backup sump pump’s performance will depend on the head as well as the incoming water pressure.
A 1/3 horsepower (HP) pump is satisfactory for most houses, but a 1/2 HP pump doesn’t cost that much more. If you want a pump that runs for a shorter period of time and ejects the water more quickly, select a model that offers more power.
In wet areas, those with a high water table and more above average rainfall per year should choose a pump with more horsepower, more power.
In short, more horsepower means:
1) The water moves out more quickly
2) It may cost a little more to operate as it usually uses more electricity.
3) You may need a larger diameter discharge pipe to handle the flow if you choose a pump with more horsepower than you currently have.
Sump Pit Size: Most residences have an 18-inch diameter sump pit, or basin. Sump pit size plays a part in how long the sump pump runs and how long it takes to fill up. If your existing sump pit is undersized and fills too quickly between pumping cycles, it may be worth installing a wider basin to accommodate the flow.
Types of Switches
Choosing which switch type your sump pump or backup sump pump uses can have a large impact on how long your pump will last.
It is best to choose a float switch that will allow the sump pump to discharge as much water as possible when it runs, then be off long enough for the pump to cool completely. Allowing the pump to cool off completely will help provide the longest possible life for your sump pump.
The type of switch you choose will depend on your basin, your water table, and your pump. There are three main types of sump switches available: vertical float switches, tether float switches, and electronic switches. Each switch type has its own pros and cons.
1) Vertical Float Switch
A vertical switch float moves straight up on a rod as water enters to activate the pump. It activates a switch at the top to turn on the pump. When the float goes to the bottom it pulls the rod down to turn off the pump.
- Can be used in a small sump basin
- Adjustable pumping range
- Easy to replace
- Fairly Reliable
- Since the float travels up and down a fixed vertical rod, it can only be adjusted a matter of inches.
- Debris and scum can get caught on the float and weigh it down, may need annual cleaning
- Small pumping range, may cause the pump to rapid cycle
2) Tether Float Switches
A tether float switch features a float tethered to the pump, and is more common with sewage pumps or larger sump pits.
As the water rises, the float rises, causing the tether to flip the switch and turn on the pump. Once the water level drops, the float drops, loosening the tether, releasing the switch, and shutting off the pump.
- Very Reliable
- Provides a longer run time, and a longer ‘rest’ time for the pump. This means the pump can cool off more completely between cycles.
- Most adjustable pumping range
- Requires a larger sump pit (14 inches minimum) so that it does not get stuck on the walls of the pit.
- Debris and scum can get caught on the float and weigh it down, may need annual cleaning
3) Electronic Switches
Electronic switches are the most reliable sump pump switches. They’re the cutting edge of innovative pump switch technology, and the future of sump pump switches.
Electronic Switches usually use a combination of metal probes to “feel” the water. When water touches the ‘on’ probe and the common one, the switch activates. When water no longer touches the ‘off’ probe, it turns off.
Most Electronic Switches are often sold separately. Very little sump pumps or backup sump pumps on the market come with this type of switch. But Electronic Switches are very easy to install and it’s compatible with most primary and battery backup sump pump systems.
- No moving parts means there is nothing that can get stuck. This means the pump is very unlikely to fail to start or stop because of obstructions in the basin.
- Takes up the least amount of space and is exceptionally reliable as long as it has the recommended power source and the pump amp rating meets the switch requirements.
- If your ground water contains a lot of lime, calcium or other contaminants, it is possible for those to collect on the probes and coat them.
- If you have a whole house water softener system in your basement, the salt discharged from the softener may change the chemical composition of the water, so that the electronic switch cannot read accurately, thus causing possible failures.
If you’re considering buying an electronic switch for your current sump pump, the LevelGuard Z24801A1Z Solid State Sump Pump Switch would be your best bet.
Battery Backup For Existing Sump Pump?
What kind of batteries will I need?
The best battery backup sump pump doesn’t do anything unless you hook it up to a battery. These aren’t the kind of batteries you put in your car. Instead, we’re talking about 12-volt deep-cycle batteries – which is most commonly used in a solar battery storage system.
The main decision you have to make is what type of deep cycle battery to get: Flooded, AGM, Gel, or lithium-ion.
- Lithium-ion batteries are best, but very expensive.
- AGM batteries are a technologically superior battery perfect for backup sump pump systems. AGM batteries have a great energy capacity and faster charging times. They are considered truly “maintenance free”. These are the best batteries for backup sump pump. We HIGHLY recommend this type.
- Gel batteries are similar to AGM batteries. But GEL batteries are ideal in tougher situations where there are extreme temperatures and vibrations. A Gel battery is also much more expensive than an AGM battery of the same capacity.
- Flooded batteries are the most inexpensive type of deep cycle battery. They do a great job in short bursts to start your car, but you wouldn’t want them to power your sump pump for an extended period. We generally don’t you use this type of battery.
What size battery for sump pump backup?
The more batteries you connect to your backup system, the longer you can keep your sump pump running.
Theoretically, you can connect an unlimited number of batteries and get an unlimited runtime, but there are practical limitations including cost, space, weight and charger size, so you will likely end up with just a few batteries.
We recommend using a 12V battery that is AT LEAST 75Ah. It is usually safe to choose a 100Ah/12V battery, as this is the most common.
Must-Have Accessories for Sump Pumps
1) Check Valve
One of the most important parts of a sump pump system is a check valve. A check valve on the discharge line keeps water in the pipe from flowing back into the sump pit when the pump switches off.
A check valve is sometimes referred to as a “one-way” valve because it allows water (or any liquid) to move in one direction only. By installing a check valve in the sump pump’s discharge line, you can avoid pumping the same water twice.
The Zoeller 30-0181 PVC Plastic Check Valve is one of the most popular check valves on the market.
2) Wi-Fi Sump Pump Smart Outlet
If you want to makes your sump pump a Wi-Fi connected smart pump, consider the PumpSpy PSO1000 Wi-Fi Sump Pump Smart Outlet.
The Sump Pump Smart Outlet connects any sump pump to PumpSpy’s 24/7 Monitoring Service. Simply connect the Smart Outlet to your WiFi network and plug in your sump pump!
PumpSpy’s computers will automatically track incoming data from your pump and check that the pump is working properly. If any issues are detected, PumpSpy sends you detailed alerts immediately.
3) Level Sense Sump Pump Failure Alarm
Level Sense Alarm is the all-purpose basement or room protector. it‘s designed specifically for the homeowner who wants to keep a watchful eye on their property at all times.
This simple but effective device functions as a water level measurement device, a leak detector, and a high (or low) water alarm. The unit joins the customer’s local home wireless network and sends notifications by email or text message. It has a 110 dB siren and rechargeable backup battery.
In addition to detecting sump pump failure, it also senses temperature and humidity levels. It can be configured to send a copy of all notifications to the installer, providing the opportunity to contact the customer and follow up with service.
- If you’re cleaning up your basement after a flood, once your sump pump has done all it can, make sure sucking up the remaining water with one of these best wet/dry shop vacuums.