Zoeller M53 Sump Pump Review

Zoeller is one of the trusted brands in the sump pump industry. In fact, if you ask most plumbers for their brand of choice, they’ll likely tell you that it’s Zoeller.

One thing about their pumps is that they’re all tested before they go out. This means you can be assured that your pump works as it should the moment you receive it. They have a variety of pumps in their arsenal and it can get confusing to pick which one is for you.

The Zoeller M53 sump pump is one of the most popular sump pumps out there. It’s the pump of choice for reliability balanced with affordability.

If you have a pump that’s been down there for decades, chances are, it’s probably the M53 if not another Zoeller. That’s a testament to how reliable and popular these pumps are.

Why choose the Zoeller M53 sump pump?

Build Quality

The build is an important factor that you should look into when choosing the pump. You want it to be made of materials that can withstand the conditions in a sump pit for decades without breaking your back or the bank. It’s all about balance.

The Zoeller M53 has its switch case, motor, and pump housing made of cast iron which means it can take a beating.

Cast iron also helps to cool the motor down much faster than others which can dramatically improve a pump’s lifespan. This is useful specially when the pump has to turn on and off frequently from a high inflow of water into the pit.

Although it means a heavier pump, the thought that you don’t have to replace it as often because of an overheated motor should be a relief.

Its impeller is made of a glass-filled plastic and is a non-clogging vortex type.

The design allows it to pass solids better, up to ½”, than other sump pumps though it would be best if it didn’t have to. If you had clogging issues with your previous pumps then this will help.

It can also handle a bit of silt and lint which means you can use it for the water from your baths, sinks, and washing machines.

It would be better to stick with clean water though since even if the glass-filled plastic impeller has impressive properties compared to ordinary thermoplastic, it’s still not as durable as cast iron.
The good thing about a strong plastic impeller is that it doesn’t corrode and therefore will remain balanced as long as it’s not worn out by silt and pebbles. The balance helps to keep the pump quiet and running smoothly.

The engineered thermoplastic base should be adequate for the average user.’s needs. It also helps the M53 remain lighter than all cast iron pumps at 23lbs or almost as heavy as your average 2-year-old.

Performance

The pump can transfer 34 gallons per minute (2040 gph) at 10 feet which really isn’t much compared to others in the same HP rating. On the bright side, the low flow allows it to run longer and get cooled by the pumped water.

Unfortunately, it draws a pretty high running current at 9.7 A which can add up if you need to run it on a continuous basis.

Noise

Since it’s submersible, it should be a lot quieter than pedestal pumps. Even compared to other submersibles, it’s still impressive in this department as long as the pump and the pipes are installed according to the instruction manual.

Switch

The switch is where people have issues with the pump. A lot have problems with it failing after a few years which causes the pump to run erratically. You can get a spare switch ready and replace it every 3 years just to make sure. It’s much cheaper than replacing the whole pump.

The switch has 4 ¼” between the on and off points which is similar to other pumps with a vertical switch. Its off point leaves about 3 inches of water at the bottom which should be fine since the base is plastic.

Installation

It’s very easy to install provided you have enough room in the basin. Just remember to drill an air relief hole just below your sump basin cover at a 45° angle facing down to prevent airlock. This is when the air at the discharge blocks the water from getting out so you have to vent it.

The cord is about 9 feet long which you should also take into account if your outlet isn’t anywhere near the sump.

Conclusion

The Zoeller M53 is a time tested pump that has proven itself to be capable of lasting for decades. The build, the lack of noise, and the ease of installation are the main strengths that set it apart from your ordinary sump pumps.

Although its switch is lacking, a spare is really cheap enough to have in hand. While the high amperage draw really won’t be something you’d complain about specially when you can sleep soundly at night knowing your basement’s going to be dry tomorrow. 

Just think of it as having a high performing employee that you have to pay a bit higher to keep.

If you want to have a better switch though, you can opt for an upgrade to an M63 which has a better switch. But in most cases, the M53 can do the job well.

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