Sump pumps are devices that will keep your basement or crawl space from flooding or, even worse, damage your home foundation. Sump pumps activate once the water has reached a certain level in your basin, pushing the water out of your basement. Now more than ever, having a sump pump is not only a good idea; it is a must with increased floods across the country due to climate change. If you don’t have one yet, now is an excellent time to install a sump pump on your property.
We’ve gathered the best sump pumps for homeowners who aren’t afraid of a little DIY work. In addition, we’ve included some basic information about sump pump installation for beginners.
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The Best Sump Pumps at a Glance
The best sump pumps are heavy-duty, have a strong manufacturer’s warranty, and will keep your home from flooding. All our picks come from reliable and trusted sump pump brands, have a reasonable price tag, and most importantly, are DIY-friendly.
Best Overall: Superior Pump 91330 1/3 HP — $64.99 at Amazon
Runner Up: Superior Pump 92541 1/2 HP — $144.96 at Amazon
Best Battery Backup: Wayne ESP25 Upgraded 12-Volt Battery Backup System — $349.99 at Amazon
Best Features: The Basement Watchdog Model BWSP — $268.00 at Amazon
Best Deal: Green Expert 1/4 HP Submersible — $64.99 at Amazon
Best Multi-use: Green Expert 1HP Sump Pump — $99.99 at Amazon
Best Pedestal: 1/2 HP Stainless Steel Pedestal Sump Pump — $199.00 at The Home Depot
How Do Sump Pumps Work?
Most sump pumps have a sensor that activates them automatically once the water has reached a specific level inside the sump. Then, it starts pumping the water out to a particular draining location you selected during the installation process. A sump pump must be connected to your home power 24/7 and always ready for action. It would be best if you plugged your sump pump into a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet. Note that if the power goes out and you don’t have a backup generator or battery backup pump, it won’t work.
How to Choose the Right Sump Pump For You
When you look for a sump pump, there are two types of sump pumps to choose from: pedestal pumps and submersible pumps.
Pedestal Pump: These types of sump pumps are the most affordable. The engine sits on a shaft not touching the water, which can overheat if it works non-stop for an extended period.
Submersible Sump Pump: As the name suggests, submersible sump pumps sit at the bottom of the sump. Yes, they are waterproof and will work even under water.
Other factors you should consider when buying a sump pump are the horsepower (HP), which usually run from 1/4 HP to 1 HP, and the pump’s capacity to push and lift water out, which is measured in gallons-per-hour (GPH). If you have a tall basement make sure you get a powerful motor so it can push all the water out.
Read More: The Best Tankless Water Heaters to Buy
How to Install a Sump Pump
Now, if you are ready to get your hands a little dirty, you will need your digging and some power tools (jackhammer and shovels), pipes, cement, and good meals for the weekend to power through. The sump pump manual will list all the tools, equipment, and supplies needed.
Create a hole on the ground where the sump will sit. The spot should be in the lowest point of your basement or where you notice water sitting.
Install the sump basin level with the basement floor and secure it around it. You may need to add gravel or create a cement base where the pump will sit. Check the manufacturer’s instructions on this.
Now, place the pump inside the sump and install the check valve.
Prepare your pipes or hose and create the draining system where the water will be pushed out. You will have to run your draining pipe against the basement wall and make a hole to run the line outside and away from your home foundation.
Connect the sump pump to a GFCI outlet, add water to the sump, and run the pump to ensure there are no leaks and it works perfectly. Remember that sump pumps turn on and off automatically once they reach a specific water level inside the basin.
Now that you have some sump pump knowledge get ready to select the best pump for you. Scroll through our top picks for the best DIY-friendly sump pumps.
1. Superior Pump 91330 1/3 HP
The Superior Pump 91330 is our best overall pick for good reasons. It is one the most DIY-friendly when it comes to installation. This best-seller comes with a 1-1/4 inch NPT discharge and a ¾-inch hose garden hose adapter that will eliminate any plumbing work after you have installed the pump inside the basin. Furthermore, the horsepower is 1/3, allowing you to pump out up to 2,400 GPH and can push water out of up to 25 feet. This pump won’t disappoint you.
GPH: Up to 2,400
2. Superior Pump 92541 1/2 HP
This little but powerful submersible sump pump is made to last and is one of the easiest to install, and will keep the water out of your basement in no time. The 924541 model has 1/2 HP with a capacity to pump up to 3,300 GPH. It is made of cast iron and stainless steel and comes with a ten-foot extension cord.
GPH: Up to 3,300
3. Wayne ESP25 Upgraded 12-Volt Battery Backup System
BEST BATTERY BACKUP
Although this may take you a little longer to install and more money to buy, it is a wise investment, especially if you live in an area where the electricity goes out. The Wayne ESP25 system is paired with a 12-volt battery backup that kicks in immediately if you lose power. If you are worried about the battery run time, it can pump out up to 10,000 gallons of water on a single charge. Note that you must buy the WAYNE WSB1275 75 AH battery backup separately.
GPH: up to 2,900
4. The Basement Watchdog Model BWSP
The Watchdog BWSP model offers some of the most comprehensive features anyone can ask for. It allows you to monitor 24/7 with the basement controller, comes with a dual float switch, and you can connect it to your Wi-Fi network. Download the Basement Watchdog app and get real-time notifications on the status of your pump. In addition to being a smart sump pump, it is also powerful, offering 1 HP, providing enough power to pump up to 1,850 at ten feet or up to 2,600 GPH at ground level. You need to buy the battery separately.
GPH: up to 1,850 to 2,600
5. Green Expert 1/4 HP Submersible
This Green Expert pump is not only a great price, but it is the easiest to install in our roundup. It comes with a 1/4 HP, a 25-foot long power cord and a pumping capacity of up to 1,600 GPH. You can connect it to a garden hose or its regular 1-1/4-inch discharge hose for fast capacity pumping. Note that this pump starts running once you plug it in. So keep that in mind when purchasing it.
GPH: up to 1,600
6. Green Expert 1HP Sump Pump
Whether you use it as your designated sump pump in your basement or to pump water out of your pool or jacuzzi, this powerful 1HP sump pump will do it in no time. The pump is made of stainless steel, pumps up to 4,000 GPH, and can lift water up to 32 feet. Plus, it comes with a 25-foot cord and three different adapters for discharge hoses to use the kind of plumbing you prefer.
GPH: up to 4,000
7. 1/2 HP Stainless Steel Pedestal Sump Pump
The 1/2 HP stainless steel pedestal sump pump is made of stainless steel, is corrosion resistant, and will keep your basement dried in no time. The pump can pump water out at a 4,600 GPH capacity at ground level and up to 3,420 at 10 feet of height. In addition, it comes with an 8-foot cord, a 1- 1/4 NPT discharge, and three years of warranty.
GPH: up to 4,600
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1. Superior Pump 91250 1/4 HP
The 91250 can pump up to 30 gallons of water per minute. Its 1/4 horsepower motor, waterproof power cord, and large iron pipe that is made for high capacity pumping make this a workhorse for heavy-duty jobs. This pump was made for pumping various levels of standing water from pools to water up to 1/4 inches high. If you need to quickly drain your pool or flooded basement this pump will do the job quickly.
Pros: Can pump 30 gallons a minute and lift water up to 25 ft vertically.
Cons: Less than ideal for small jobs.
2. The Basement Watchdog BWSP
The Watchdog model offers some of the most comprehensive features anyone can ask for. It allows you to monitor 24/7 with the basement controller, comes with a dual float switch, and you can connect it to your Wi-Fi network. Download the Basement Watchdog app and get real-time notifications on the status of your pump. In addition to being a smart sump pump, it is also powerful, offering 1 HP, providing enough power to pump up to 1,850 at ten feet or up to 2,600 GPH at ground level.
Pros: Strong motor and smart capabilities.
Cons: More complicated setup.
3. Wayne Thermoplastic Portable Pump
This pump can pump up to 2,600 gallons of water per hour. Its portability, easy set up, and non clogging vortex design make this a reliable utility-pump for any plumber or contractor. Its resistant reinforced housing and bottom suction filters makes sure it sufficiently suctions debris out without clogging the pump. This pump quickly drains out large bodies of water like a pool, and can prevent flooding during heavy rains.
Pros: Discharge adapter connects to garden hose.
Cons: Can’t pump below 2.5 inches of water.
4. Zoeller Submersible Sump Pump
The Zoeller can pump a large volume of water quickly. It’s made with a cast iron switch case, motor, and pump housing. The base is plastic but durable. This sump pump will sufficiently and quietly drain any standing water. This pump can be used for small residential jobs or bigger scale commercial water draining.
Pros: Reliable and long lasting.
Cons: Requires a small hole to be drilled in the back of the discharge pipe to prevent any air pockets.
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