Best Generators for Sump Pumps

Be prepared for power outages that come your way by backing up your home and sump pump with a generator. Not only will you be able to protect your home, you can even have extra power to charge your phone and run other important appliances.

In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about generators. I’ll also share the best generators for sump pumps you can get to protect your home. When choosing one for our home we evaluate them based on their capacity, how much fuel they use, and how much noise they produce.

Champion 4000DH Rainier R2200i DuroStar DS4000s

Best overall choice

Best portable choice

Best budget choice

3500W (4000W peak)

1800W (2200W peak)

3300W (4000W peak)

64 dBA

52 dBA

69 dBA

Editor Rating: 4.7 

Editor Rating: 4.6

Editor Rating: 4.4

The Best Generators for Sump Pumps

The best for overall value

If you want the best bang for your buck on your fuel and enough extra power, Champion has the answer. Featuring their ‘Dual Hybrid’ technology that combines the efficiency of inverter types with the power of conventional types. Giving birth to a whole new breed of generators that gives the best of both worlds.

This generator can supply up to 3500W of running and 4000W of peak power for your pump plus a few other appliances. With an estimated run time of 17 hours on a single refill, you’ll probably even forget that it’s running. 

It is a bit more expensive compared to conventional types but I figure you’ll be able to get that back with fuel savings over the years.

The best for up to 1/2 HP sump pumps

This Rainier R2200i is an inverter generator producing up to 1800W of continuous and 2200W of peak power. Just what most sump pumps up to 1/2 HP need. It uses a 1.3 gallon gas tank that lasts for up to 13 hours giving you a full night’s sleep and more.

It’s so lightweight you can use it for campings and other outdoor activities. You don’t even have to worry about the noise with this generator producing only 52 dBa of it. That’s like people talking a few feet away — nowhere near other generators.

Best for higher starting currents

This Generac GP3000i inverter generator is the perfect backup for sump pumps with higher starting currents. It has the PowerRush Advanced technology that allows it to give up to 3000W of surge power. Making sure your pumps run as they need to.

The trade-off would be that it uses fuel a lot faster than the Rainier at only 5.8 hours per refill. But to make up for that, it’s supposedly super quiet despite the power. Although Generac themselves don’t publish their dB rating, the closed frame construction should give that away.

The best conventional type

If you want to run your pump the way it’s always been done, this conventional, non-inverter, generator is for you. It can supply up to 3300W of continuous and 4000W of peak power. That’s enough power for a pump, a refrigerator, and perhaps a couple other appliances. 

The noise level is at 69 dBa which is on par with other conventional generators of the same capacity. But when talking about price to performance ratio, it’s pretty hard to beat.

The best in features

For a bit of an upgrade to the DS4000s, we have the Champion 3800 Dual Fuel generator. It’s a conventional generator with a few tricks up its sleeve.

It can run on both gasoline and propane giving you the flexibility that you need. What I like the most though is the electric starter that I’m sure a lot of people would also like. The noise and run time is what you can expect from traditional generators but the price is hard to beat.

Installation reminders

Always remember that when using generators, the engine produces harmful substances that can be toxic in large amounts. Basic safety protocol is to only use it at a non-enclosed space at least 20 feet from your home with the exhaust facing away.

Buyer's Guide

1. How to size a generator for sump pump

The only way to make sure if a generator can run your pump is to check the pump’s current rating. It’s usually found on the nameplate at the top or side of the pump. If you know what model your pump is, you can also search for it on the internet.

Let’s say your pump’s running and starting current is 8A and 20A respectively. Multiply each of them with 110V and you have 880W (running) and 2200W (peak) as the result. You have to find a generator above that’s rated to handle that amount of load. 

2. Types of generators

There are two main technologies in generators today: conventional and inverter. The conventional generators are generally cheaper and come in larger sizes. The problem is that they use more fuel since they can’t throttle the engine to meet lower loads. 

Inverter types solve that by throttling the engine electronically producing just as much power as needed. This means more time in between refills and less time for you to worry. 

Inverter types also typically use close frame construction allowing it to stay as quiet as 50 dBa — a huge change from the 60+ dBa of conventional ones. 

3. Fuel type

Portable generators are usually powered by gasoline. There are, however, some models that can run with both gasoline and propane for added flexibility. 

Propane burns cleaner than gasoline, improving the engine’s life. It also costs less per liter but it has a lower energy density compared to gasoline. This means the engine won’t be able to reach the same power output. 

What are the alternatives to using a generator?

If you want to learn how to protect your basement even during power outages without using a generator, you have three options. Check out our articles on water powered sump pumps, battery backup sump pumps, and power inverters to learn more. 

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