6 Best Sump Pumps to Flood-Proof Your Basement

Updated: Jun. 05, 2024

Safeguard your basement against flooding—and its evil cousins, mildew and mold growth—with one of the best sump pumps

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6 Best Sump Pumps To Waterproof Your BasementVIA MERCHANT

Considering the time and financial cost of dealing with a flooded basement, a reliable sump pump is one of the most important purchases a homeowner can make. Placed inside the sump basin—the lowest point in your basement—the best sump pump automatically powers on when it detects rising water levels and efficiently expels it outside through a discharge pipe, preventing water from even reaching the basement floor.

This automatic operation means that even if you’re not home, you’re asleep, or you just don’t notice incoming water, the sump pump gets to work immediately—unlike a shop vac or utility pump that needs to be operated manually.

To note: Even the best sump pump requires regular maintenance to ensure it’s working properly. While annual testing is recommended for all models, busy sump pumps may need to be checked monthly.

Zoeller M53 Mighty Mate via merchant

Best Overall Sump Pump

Zoeller M53 Mighty-Mate

Zoeller has made high-quality, reliable products for over 70 years, and this highly regarded submersible model was an easy choice for our best sump pump. The cast-iron body and corrosion-resistant coating provide durability to last a long time, and the 1/3 horsepower (HP) motor pumps out up to 2,580 gallons of water per hour (GPH). A non-clogging impeller allows debris particles up to 1/2-inch in diameter to pass through, so even during severe storms or flooding, it will continue running smoothly and efficiently.

“I bought and returned several pumps from the box stores before I found this,” writes Andrew Griggs in his 5-star review. “It’s the exact pump I’m replacing that is over 20 years old. The setup was really easy and it’s working great. Sleeping easy tonight.”

Pros

  • Trusted brand
  • Built to last, professional grade
  • 1/3 horsepower (HP) motor
  • Flow rate of 43 gallons per minute (GPM) and 2,580 gallons per hour
  • Corrosion-resistant, cast-iron body
  • Stainless steel screws won’t rust
  • Non-clogging impeller

Cons

  • On the pricey side

Superior Pump 92250 via merchant

Best Budget Sump Pump

Superior Pump 92250

This submersible Superior pump provides all the quality and durability that comes from a respected brand at a budget-friendly price. Its 1/4 HP motor can process 1,800 GPH at 0 feet and is powerful enough to lift 540 GPH up to 20 vertical feet. A removable intake screen filters out debris during operation, and the built-in carrying handle makes it a breeze to lift in and out of your sump basin.

Shopper Kevin W. Roberts writes in his 5-star review: “We’ve gone through five pumps a year of another type for our pond. This pump has been the best buy in years. It’s still going strong since last year.”

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Tough thermoplastic construction
  • 1/4 HP motor
  • Pumps pp to 1,800 GPH at 0 feet; 540 GPH up to 20 vertical feet
  • Multiple discharge port size options and debris screen filters
  • Integrated carry handle for easy removal

Cons

  • Not practical for large pumping jobs; 1/3 and 1/2 HP versions also available

The Basement Watchdog Sit 50d via merchant

Best Dual-Float Sump Pump

The Basement Watchdog SIT-50D

Be confident that your sump pump will activate every time, without fail, with this cast-iron Basement Watchdog pump and its ring-shaped, dual-float switches. The caged design prevent wires or debris from impeding the floats, but if for any reason the lower floating ring fails to initiate the pump and the water rises, it will activate the second. This 1/2 HP submersible model also boasts an impressive 4,400-GPH flow rate, while still having a small enough footprint to fit into narrow sump pits.

“This pump is amazing and a great value. Highly recommend,” writes 5-star reviewer Jennifer Boldman. “My husband giggles when he says, ‘This pump sucks but in the best way!'”

Pros

  • Dual-float system safeguards against trigger failure
  • Durable, coated cast-iron construction
  • 1/2 HP motor
  • Pumps up to 73 gallons per minute (GPM) and 4,400 GPH

Cons

  • More complicated to use than single-float types

Zoeller M53 Aquanot via merchant

Best Battery-Backup Sump Pump

Zoeller Aquanot ProPak53

This Zoeller pump package isn’t cheap, as its a full preassembled sump setup including the same 1/2 HP Zoeller M53 Might-Mate pump we deemed our best overall pick. But the peace of mind provided by its battery-backup system makes it worth the investment. If a power outage or mechanical issue causes its primary AC pump to fail, this kit automatically switches over to a 12-volt battery that operates for up to 7 1/2 hours. A handy LED control panel identifies the current power status and an audible alarm alerts you when the backup pump is activated. This version also includes a three-year warranty.

Reviewer Stan gives it 5 stars, writing: “As soon as I installed the pump, it started raining. I intentionally let the well fill up to test the battery-backup pump, which worked flawlessly. Then I plugged the main pump in and it cycled continuously for days, as it rained hard all week. I have already recommended this system to three friends and family members.”

Pros

  • Backup battery with alarm
  • Comes pre-assembled and includes best overall Zoeller M53 Might-Mate pump
  • Runs for up to 7 1/2 hours on battery
  • Automatically switches back to AC power when power is restored
  • Control box with LED screen

Cons

  • 12v battery not included
  • Pricey

Superior Pump 92551 via merchant

Best Pedestal Sump Pump

Superior Pump 92551

Designed specifically to keep its motor cool during operation, Superio makes the best pedestal sump pump. A split capacitor regulates power consumption, large vent holes promote air cooling and its thermal overload protection automatically shuts down the pump if it’s in danger of overheating. This focus on pump longevity extends to the rest of the unit as well, which features a solid steel drive shaft and impeller, cast iron base and a stainless steel float ball. A 1/2-HP motor, five-bladed impeller and large intake ports work together to offer a 3,600 GPH capacity as well.

I ordered this after my old pedestal pump died during the power outage/basement flooding from Hurricane Irene, and it arrived in the middle of several days of heavy rain from the remnants of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Lee,” writes 5-star reviewer Michael J. Cashen. “It required less than 15 minutes of work to replace my old pump, and it easily handled the job and saved my sanity. It’s quiet—I’m so used to hearing my old noisy pump running that I initially went into the basement several times to check this one to make sure it was working.”

Pros

  • Pedestal design intended not to overheat
  • Handles liquids up to 180 degrees
  • 1/2-HP motor moves up to 3,600 GPH
  • Fully adjustable automatic switch
  • Stainless construction built to last
  • Easy to install and maintain
  • Quiet

Cons

  • Bulky size and shape

Wayne Basement Guardian Halo via merchant

Best Smart Sump Pump

Wayne Basement Guardian Halo

Thanks to its Wi-Fi connectivity, this 3/4 HP smart sump pump can be monitored and managed from practically anywhere on your phone. The companion smartphone app is compatible with iOS and Android and provides a ton of useful data, such as runtime history, current water level and important alerts like discharge pipe issues. If you’d rather run maintenance tests manually, or just want a backup to the app, an integrated controller offers the same functionality. It’s powerful 3/4 HP motor moves up to 5,490 gallons per hour, too.

“This pump was a perfect replacement and the fact it’s smart is a big bonus,” writes purchaser Tom G. Scibana, who gives it 5 stars. “I can monitor and get notifications on its performance without having to constantly check on it. I like that I will be notified of a problem ahead of time because you usually don’t realize there’s an issue until there’s an inch of water in your basement.”

Pros

  • Compatible smartphone app lets you monitor from afar
  • Powerful 3/4 HP motor
  • Max flow rate of 5,490 GPH
  • Stainless steel construction
  • Five-year warranty

Cons

  • Might be too complicated for non-tech-savvy users
  • Its large motor might be overkill

What to Consider When Buying a Sump Pump

To ensure that you choose the best sump pump for your home, consider the power options. The higher the horsepower (HP) of a pump, the more water it can pump per hour (GPH), and the higher height water can travel vertically form subterranean depths. If your basement experiences heavy flooding, check the performance specs on your potential pump to make sure it can handle the workload.

You should also consider the different types of sump pumps available, since one type may suit your basement, basin size, power availability and installation requirements better than another. Regardless of the type of pump you choose, make sure the discharge opening is compatible with your existing discharge line.

Types of Sump Pumps

  • Submersible: These are the most common sump pumps; because their motors are sealed inside, they can be safely covered in water. They’re placed at the bottom of the sump basin, which muffles their noise and allows them to take up no extra space.
  • Pedestal: Pedestal sump pumps have a long shaft separating the base from the motor, elevating it above the water. These pumps are typically less expensive, but with no water to cool down the motor, they’re more susceptible to overheating. They also take up more space than submersible pumps.
  • Smart: Sump pumps with Wi-Fi connectivity are controlled and monitored remotely, either by a smartphone app or smart home device. Smart pumps are especially convenient for those who would prefer not to venture into a flooded basement to make sure their pump is working properly.

How We Found the Best Sump Pump

As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject-matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.

FAQ

What is the life expectancy of a sump pump?

A high-quality sump pump should last at least seven to 10 years and potentially even longer if it’s maintained properly. Most models aren’t able to alert you when they’ve failed, so it’s important to regularly test your sump pump to ensure it’s in working order, especially before your area’s rainy season. If you really want to be prepared when your pump stops working, install a backup sump pump.

How much HP should a sump pump have?

The more horsepower (HP) a sump pump has, the more water it pumps out of your basement. This is tricky to calculate, but a good rule of thumb is that 1/3 HP pumps should be sufficient for areas with average rainfall, 1/2 HP pumps for moderately wet areas and 3/4 HP for areas with heavy flooding.