When it comes to the best sump pumps, I’m sure you’ve heard enough about submersible, pedestal and backup sump pumps for one lifetime.

If you’re looking for the best sump pump for your needs but have never bought one before (and really have no idea which one is best for your needs) then you will love this page and our sump pump reviews.

Here you’ll find out everything you need to know. The best types and brands of each sump pump style and how to choose which is best suited for your setup.

Read on to find out this information to keep your basement from flooding. To keep your home safe next hurricane, snow melt, heavy rain and to keep mold, mildew and other problems from happening in your home basement.

5 Reasons To Buy The Best Sump Pump

1. Be worry free when a storm hits.

Best Sump Pump

If there is a big storm heading your way the last thing you want to worry about is your basement flooding. You want to make sure your family and pets are safe first.

With the best sump pump sitting ready to go in your sump tank in the basement you can relax and worry about more important things as the storm is approaching. Also, with the correct sump pumping setup you won’t have to worry about the sump pump breaking down or if the power goes out because the right setup will include a highly reliable primary pump and a secondary backup in case the power goes out.

2. Rest easy when on holidays.

With the right sump pump you can be sure you will return home from holiday to a bone-dry basement – even if a hurricane has passed through dropping many feet of rain and causing a black out. Can you think of anything worse than heading on an expensive holiday with the family only to spend the entire time worried about your new flat screen in the basement being damaged by rising water in the basement?

3. Feel safe investing money renovating your basement into a man-cave or kids play zone or both.

My childhood home had a typical basement with concrete walls and it was broken up into 2 large size rooms. My parents, however, never invested to finish it off and make it liveable because it flooded with a few inches of water each year. Money was spent trying to it properly but nothing seemed to permanently fix the problem. A simple channel near the wall which drained to a pump pit and sump pump to pump out the water would have solved the problem completely and made investing in finishing off the basement a wise decision.

Do you worry about spending money only to have the basement ruined in a flood? You don’t have to with the proper sump setup.

4. Increase the future value of your home.

When you go to sell your home a low risk to damage home will sell for more. A house with damaged gutters, cracked roof shingles and high risk of flooding basement will cause you to lose significant value for your otherwise valuable home. Any competent building inspector will know about the important of a sump pump and pit and will advice prospective buyers of costs associated with upgrading a poor setup.

5. Protect your stuff in the basement.

It goes without saying that preventing your personal belongings like TVs, couches and other furniture and electronics from being damaged is a top priority when installing a sump pump. The only other option would be to move all those belongings upstairs each time a storm nears – and who wants that hassle?

4 Considerations When Buying Your Sump Pump

1. Sump Pit Size. 

The size of your sump pit basin will often determine the type of sump pump your need. The smaller the pit the more likely it becomes you need a pedestal pump. A submersible sump pump sits at the bottom and is fully submerged required more space for the pump, pump base and the piping.

Here is an image showing the 2 most common sump pit sizes in the U.S. The smaller pit is 30 Gallons and 18″ x 24″ and the larger is 71 Gallons and 24″ x 36″. Image taken from U.S. Waterproofing Youtube video found here.

2 Most Common Sump Pit Sizes
2 Most Common Sump Pit Sizes: 30 and 71 Gallons.

2. What height does the pump need to push the water to get it to a non-problematic place away from your home. 

All pumps have what is called a pump head (also called head pressure, dynamic head, maximum head or hydraulic head). It is the maximum height a certain pump can raise water up. So if your sump pump is 11 feet below ground level (7 foot basement and 4 foot deep sump pit) then to pump the water out you’ll need a pump with an 11 foot head rating.

Now you should know that the more water the pump needs to pump (flow rate) the less height it will be able to raise all the water. Think about a pressure washer for one second as we are on a pressure washer reviews website. Compared to a sump pump a pressure washer pump has tiny flow rate but very high pressure. There is always a tradeoff between the two because the energy of the system is constant.

Check out the head loss as flow increases in the graph below of the Zoeller pump model 53/55/57/59:

Pump Head Performance Curve For Zoeller M53 Sump Pump

3. Estimated Water Flow Rate Required From Your Pump.

As you saw in the curve above more height equals less flow. Keep that in mind when buying your sump pump. Sump pump reviews on Amazon and Home Depot and the like often mention how they didn’t know about this before buying and wish they did. Different sump pumps have different specifications. Be mindful of flow rate, head, horsepower and its voltage and amps.

4. Risk of Power Outage in Your Area.

Sump pumps are electric powered and will be effected if the power goes out. If you don’t have a backup generator then you will want a battery or water powered backup sump pump.

How Does The Best Sump Pump Work?

Sump Pit

Around the perimeter of your homes foundation will be weeping tile, which is a plastic pipe as pictured below, with lots of little holes / slits in it to allow the entry of ground water. The ground water enters the pipe and is taken to your sump pit basin.

Sump Pump Weeping Tile Explainer

There are other types of water collection methods for homes. One is to have the ground water enter the sump pit directly.

Sump Pump Type

A submersible or pedestal pump will be within or above the sump basin ready to pump the water to ground level a safe distance away from your home. The pump will be either automatic or manual.

Float Switch

An automatic sump pump is one with a float switch that turns the pump on when the water level reaches a high level in the pit.

Check Valve

The check valve installed a few feet above the sump lid within the piping is there to ensure the water on flows in one direction – out of the sump pit and not back into it.


Depending on the size of your sump pump and its flow rate your piping will usually be 1″ – 2″ in diameter and of PVC material to ensure a long life. There are plumbing codes that need to be adhered to so be sure to consult a qualified plumber.

Discharge To City Grey Water or Landscaping

In most suburban neighbourhoods sump pumps will discharge to the rain sewer (not the sani-sewer like the toilet). In more rural areas the sump pit water will be emptied onto the land a good distance from the dwelling.

Here’s a video from This Old House that shows the gist of how to install a sump pump and also how it works:

Examples of Successful Sump Pump Setups

Here are 4 examples of what everyday sump pumps and pit setups look like:

4 Examples of Sump Basin Setups

Types of Sump Pumps People Prefer To Use in Their Homes

There are many types of pumps to serve different purposes in industry, machines and other devices.

Choosing the best type of pump for the job can be challenging but fortunately many people have basements with sump basin’s and sump pumps. We now know that 2 types of pump will perform best in your basement’s sump basin: Submersible and pedestal pumps are the most common dewatering pumps used in homes.

Here we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of each type to help you decide which is best for you:

Type 1: Primary

Your first line of defence against a basement flood is the primary sump pump. It will be electric powered and turns on automatically when the water reaches a certain level.

Here are the 2 types of primary sump pumps:

Submersible vs Pedestal Sump Pump
  • Submersible – These sit at the base of the sump pit and cost anywhere from $50 to $450.
    • Pros: Very reliable because sitting in water helps keep motor and pump section cool. Easy to install. Very silent as sitting in a few feet of water within the sump basin acts as very good sound barrier. Gold standard of sump pump with the longest lifetime and durability.
    • Cons: Hard to access if something goes wrong. More expensive than pedestal.
  • Pedestal – These look similar to an outboard boat motor. The impeller sits in the sump basin and the motor and pump sit out of it in the open air. The float sits in the basin connect to the float switch with a long rod.
    • Pros: Easy access pump and motor. Can be used in small sump pits. Less expensive because generally a cheaper construction since the motor and pump are not in water.
    • Cons: Noise level higher. Prone to overheating during heavy use because not siting in cold water like submerisble sump pump is. Long driveshaft adds a possible point of failure not present in submersible style.

Type 2: Backup

If the power goes out your primary sump pump won’t work. You’ll need a backup. The best backup sump pumps are either battery powered or water powered.

The water powered uses city water to create a suction the pulls water from the sump pit and then discharges both the city water and sump water accordingly. The battery backup is more expensive but more popular is it allows your original pump to continue working off battery power.

Here is what each looks like:

Best Backup Sump Pumps Compare
  • Battery – Instead of plugging in the submersible pump to a wall outlet it is powered by a big battery sitting outside the sump basin.
    • Pros: Not affected by power outages.
    • Cons: Battery can die if power stays off and sump pump keeps turning on to pump water out.
  • Water/Suction Powered – Takes in city water and uses that water to create suction pressure in the line connected to the sump pit water. It sucks out the sump water and discharges the combined city water and sump water to place away from your home.
    • Pros: Very few moving parts to fail. Nearly endless supply of city water to create suction even during power outages.
    • Cons: Low flow rate. Wasteful of city water. City water bill will be higher.

Type 3: Multi-useSubmersible Utility Pump

  • Utility – Submersible utility pumps are portable and can be moved from one flooded area to another to drain water.
    • Pros: Portable and muti functional.
    • Cons: Lower flow rates. More of a manual process not automatic.

3 Brands of Sump Pumps Plumbers Recommend

Zoeller – Founded in 1939 to sell a sump pump. Have been selling the best sump pumps ever since. They are the largest independently owned pump maker in the U.S. Their products range from small sump pumps to large grinder pumps to sump basins to watertight junction boxes. Plumbers will often recommend Zoeller for your sump setup.

Superior Pump – A company founded in 1999 by a family of plumbers to sell light-duty commercial and residential pumps. They are often the most affordable for a given specification.

Wayne – Wayne started in 1928 as an oil burner company and diversified into water pumps in the 1940s to have a business that was selling products over the entire year not just winter. Since those early days Wayne Pumps are well known especially in the sump pump market.

And without further ado…

Introducing The 3 Best Sump Pump Reviews

Maximum Performance

Zoeller M267 With 1/2 Horsepower and 85 GPM @ 10-foot Head

Zoeller M267 Sump Pump

The best-of-the-best sump pump on the market is this one from Zoeller. Next time a huge storm or hurricane rolls through this is the sump pump you’ll wish you had because it has such a high flow rate and head rating that no amount of water could overcome this pump.

It can pump 45 GPM of sump water with 15-foot head or 85 GPM with 10-foot head. It can empty even the largest residential sump basins once per minute.

Zoeller has given this beast a cast iron base, all stainless steel fasteners and attachments and the ability to pump 2″ spherical solids. Amazing.

People absolutely love this machine. It has a rating of 4.7 / 5 with people saying: Great Support Attention, Get a Zoeller!, Would give ten stars if I could, Worth every cent and Great pump, not the cheap junk.

If you’re sick of buying cheap sump pumps that break down then look no further this Zoeller boasts lifetimes beyond 10 years.

Best Submersible For Most People – Not Everyone Needs The Highest Flow Rate

Zoeller M53 With 3/10 Horsepower and 34 GPM @ 10-foot Head

Zoeller M53 Sump Pump

The best submersible sump pump for most people is the Zoeller M53 Mighty-mate because most people don’t need the capability to drain a large sump pit every minute during peak load.

The reliability and durability of all Zoeller pumps is such that you can rest easy on holidays knowing your sump pump will keep your basement and your belongings dry.

So what’s the main differences between the M53 and the M267 above?

Well, aside from the GPM and HP difference the M53 does not have a cast iron base. Its is engineered thermoplastic. The M53 is also 40% the cost of the M267 so you can buy two M53’s for less than one M267. Not bad, hey?

Best Backup Sump Pump For High Risk Areas

Wayne ESP25 Backup Sump Pump That Can Pump 38 GPM @ 10-foot Head

Wayne ESP25 Backup Sump Pump

The best backup sump pump for high risk areas is this one by Wayne – a battery backup powering a submersible pump.

The backup system requires the purchase of a 45 or 70 Amp-hr battery ($65 – $90 at Walmart) with them being able to keep the pump pumping for 3-7 hours depending on the battery you choose and the rate of water inflow.

Wayne has equipped the unit with an alarm to alert you via SMS when the backup is on. And the system charges the battery automatically when not in use so you can rest easy knowing the battery will be charged and ready when the rain comes.

More from PressureWashr