Best Submersible Sump Pumps in 2020

From budget to heavy duty pumps built like tanks, here are the best submersible sump pumps to get right now

Not having to stress about your basement flooding is a simple joy everyone should enjoy. Unfortunately, not everyone has tried it. If you’re the same, what you need is to have a sump pump you can trust even in the stormiest of nights. And we’re here to help you find it.

In this article, we’ll share with you the best submersible sump pumps you can find. These have been handpicked among hundreds for their great balance of performance, quality, and price. Giving you complete peace of mind for years and years. 

Liberty 257 Superior 92341 Wayne CICDU800
superior pump 92341

Best for average flooding

Best for light flooding

Best for heavy flooding

2250 GPH @ 10'

1800 GPH @ 10'

3840 GPH @ 10'

1/3 HP motor

1/3 HP motor

1/2 HP motor

Editor Rating: 4.7

Editor Rating: 4.6

Editor Rating: 4.6

The Best Submersible Sump Pumps

The best for most homes with average flooding

Capacity: 2250 GPH at 10′ lift|Motor: 1/3 HP | Switch: Vertical type (3″) | Housing: Cast iron | Solids: 1/2″ | Discharge: 1-1/2″ | Minimum basin: 10″  

The Liberty 257 packs the best set of features when it comes to pumps for homes with an average amount of flooding. Everything about it — from the energy-saving motor, quiet operation, and leak-resistant body — speaks of its quality. It’s a pump that does almost everything right. 

The only weakness is the short switch range that makes the pump start and stop more often. This can be a real problem for most pumps. But Liberty made adjustments by using better bearings, a more efficient motor, and a cast iron housing to keep the motor cool. Giving the pump a couple more years compared to your average pump. Now if you combine that with its great build quality and affordable price, you have one pump you won’t regret. It’s easily the best pump for most homes.

The best for light flooding

Capacity: 1800 GPH at 10′ lift |Motor: 1/3 HP | Switch: Vertical type (4″) | Housing: Cast iron | Solids: 3/8” | Discharge: 1-1/2″ | Minimum basin: 14″  

When you have a light amount of water coming into the basement, you don’t need a powerful pump. What you need instead is a pump that saves you money now and in the long run without putting your basement at risk. This Superior submersible pump is a heavy duty submersible sump pump that’s both affordable and efficient. It’s best for people with basements that have a small amount of water coming in.

The best for heavy flooding

Capacity: 3840 GPH at 10′ lift|Motor: 1/2 HP | Switch: Vertical type (5″) | Housing: Cast iron | Solids: No | Discharge: 1-1/2″ | Minimum basin: 11″ (larger is recommended)

Wayne CICDU800 offers a great performing pump at a price that’s hard to beat. Equipped with a 1/2 HP motor, it puts out up to 3840 GPH of water at 10 feet. Perfect for basements with some serious amounts of water coming in.

This is a top of the line Wayne pump with cast iron construction for extra durability. A workhorse that can take a beating even in the toughest environments, with a heavily-tested float switch that doesn’t stick. It’s an awesome pump in almost every aspect.

Its only weakness is its own power. This is a strong pump, and when people install it in a 5-gallon basin, it will destroy itself. Give it enough space though and you have one formidable pump at your disposal for years.

The best track record

Capacity: 2040 GPH at 10′ lift |Motor: 1/3 HP | Switch: Vertical type (4.25″) | Housing: Cast iron | Solids: 0.5″ | Discharge: 1-1/2″ | Minimum basin: 18″

If you want a pump that’s been trusted by both professionals and homeowners for decades, this is it. With a body that’s built like a tank, the Zoeller M53 has been a staple in many homes for decades now. Thanks to its incredible durability, it has stood the test of time with flying colors.

But it’s in need of an upgrade. The motor draws too much power for its output and quite a few people have had problems with the switch. And while it’s still deserving of a place at the top, other brands are slowly catching up. If you’re looking for the best when it comes to stability, however, it’s hard to beat a Zoeller.

The M53 upgrade that's built like a tank

Capacity: 2040 GPH at 10′ lift |Motor: 1/3 HP | Switch: Vertical type (4.25″) | Housing: Cast iron | Solids: 0.5″ | Discharge: 1-1/2″ | Minimum basin: 18″

The Zoeller M63 is the premium version of the M53. It’s made with an all cast iron construction for that extra protection against the elements. All the great features of the M53 are packed with it and on top of that — it’s equipped with a much better float switch.

The cast iron float switch makes the M63 an all-around beast that guards your house from intruding flood every single day of the year. It’s a bit pricier but what it offers is a peace of mind for decades to come. If you want a heavy duty machine with no blind spots, upgrading your pump to an M63 is an option you just can’t ignore.

Best budget alternative for average flooding

Capacity: 3060 GPH at 10′ lift|Motor: 1/3 HP | Switch: Vertical type (5″) | Housing: Coated steel | Solids: No| Discharge: 1-1/2″ | Minimum basin: 11″

This is easily the best pump you can get if you’re on a budget. An efficient and reliable pump packed with decent features for a fraction of the price.

Wayne is known for their powerful yet affordable pumps that can last as long as the best of them. The CDU790 is a powerful pump that can move 3060 gallons per hour at 10 feet — that’s nearly 50% more than any pump above — at only 3.65 amps.

Its vertical switch has more range than average at 5 inches allowing for longer cycles that will definitely help with the life of the pump.

This is perfect to avoid overheating from frequent on and off especially since it can be used in small 11-inch basins which get filled and emptied faster.

One unique advantage for Wayne pumps is that you won’t need to drill a hole at the discharge of the pump. Thanks to its top suction design, you’re virtually free from any air lock issues that’s present in other pumps.

You don’t often see a budget pump that can seriously contend with the best and the Wayne CDU790 is a perfect example of that.

Best alternative for heavy flooding

Capacity: 3300 GPH at 10′ lift|Motor: 1/2 HP | Switch: Vertical type (5.5″) | Housing: Cast ironSolids: 3/4″| Discharge: 1-1/2″ | Minimum basin: 10″ (larger is recommended)

The Liberty 287 brings a solid and well-rounded set of features that makes it shine from the rest of ½ HP sump pumps. With an impressive ¾ inch solid handling capacity it’s a tough one to beat especially when you add in all the other advantages it offers.

The motor is rated for continuous duty and has a capacity of 3300 gallons per hour up to 10 feet for only 8 amperes. It’s equipped with upper and lower ball bearings that can make the motor extra stable which also helps keep it running as quietly as possible.

Just like its ⅓ HP version, the Liberty 257, it has a one piece body that removes the need for a seal at the lower part of the motor allowing it to have less openings where the water may get inside.

Although it’s compact enough to run even in 10 inch basins, I would recommend using it in a larger one as it’s really powerful and may clear out the water too fast — resulting in improper cool down of the motor from the water.

Overall, the Liberty 287 is a solid ½ HP pump that can get you years of reliable service and peace of mind.

Best budget alternative for heavy flooding

Capacity: 3840 at 10′ lift|Motor: 1/2 HP | Switch: Vertical type (5″) | Housing: Coated steelSolids: 3/4″| Discharge: 1-1/2″ | Minimum basin: 10″ (larger is recommended)

The Wayne CDU800 is a 1/2 HP budget sump pump. It offers the same set of features as the CICDU800 but with different materials.

This pump uses a coated steel housing which is slightly inferior to cast iron when it comes to Corrosion. Although steel is tougher, for a sump pump, corrosion resistance is more important.

Nevertheless, you’re looking at a pump that can give you a very high value for a very low price. And although I usually recommend to always get the best sump pump to keep your home safe — the Wayne CDU800 will do you just fine.

How to pick the perfect submersible sump pump

1. Build Quality

Is it built to last?

We want a pump that’s made with the best quality and materials. For a submersible sump pump, this would mean it can stand against wear and tear, high water temperatures, and corrosion.

The housing must remain strong and rust-free to prevent water from getting in while allowing the heat to go out. Its impeller and the shaft that holds it must also be strong enough to not break or erode easily in case of debris.

As with the pump, the motor must also be reliable and high quality. It, along with the power cord, must be ‘UL listed’ which means it’s been certified for safety and reliability.

The float switch’s ball should be buoyant and resistant to punctures to keep an accurate reading of the water level at all times. The whole switch assembly must be resistant to rust and dirt accumulation.

Most importantly, everything should stay perfectly in place for as long as we need them.

2. Features

Does it have what it takes to do the job better?

You need a pump that you know you can count on every single time. If you want to sleep soundly even during stormy nights, you need to have a pump with the right features.

Let’s look at the switch first. It’s one of the most sensitive parts of the pump and is very likely to fail first. And so, we need to consider a few factors in determining how good it is.

Is it reliable even after a few years of use? How much is the distance between the on and off points set by the switch? Can you adjust it to fit your needs? Will it work well on any basin and is there a backup if it doesn’t?

Another important feature is a non-clogging impeller which allows larger solids to pass through. Clogs can prevent the pump from sucking any water and can even damage the motor. Although these pumps really shouldn’t be handling solids, we want to know if they can just in case they need to.

Next in the list is the motor. We like a motor that’s rated for continuous use which means it can run non-stop without a problem.

It should have a thermal overload protection which cuts the power when it gets too hot for some reason and an automatic reset which starts it again when it’s cooled. Since a few degrees above the standard limit can greatly reduce motor life, this is an important feature the pump shouldn’t live without.

If it has properly lubricated bearings that enable a more stable operation and lower noise levels, then that’s even better. These bearings help keep the motor cool by reducing friction between parts.

3. Performance

How well does it do the job?

We want a pump that performs, one that can move large amounts of water. But more than that, we want a pump that performs efficiently. This means it can move that same amount of water with less electricity.

Of course there’s a limit to it, but a well-designed pump will get us closer to the ideal without sacrificing its lifespan.

Different factors are considered in rating the performance of the pump. This includes the pump components’ design, the motor, the pump’s flow rate, and the current draw of the pump.

4. Ease of installation

Will you be able to install it with ease?

Installation is the final consideration for choosing a sump pump. Since a lot of us are installing the pump on our own, a pump that’s easy to install will definitely be helpful.

The pump has to be light so it’s easy to carry into the pit. As much as possible, it should also have smaller dimensions so it can fit even in narrow basins.

The cord length is also considered since extension cords should not be used on sump pumps for safety reasons.

Lastly, the user manual must be detailed and easy to follow. There are questions that only the manufacturer can answer and it should be presented clearly in the provided manual.

Don`t copy text!