Lightning flashes and thunder cracks, you are jarred from sleep to the sound of roaring rain. Your Bronze Age forebears took this as a sign of a god wrathful that you sampled shellfish against the clear words of Leviticus. Your concerns are much more modern. Your clean, dry laundry sits awaits folding in the basement.
Then you remember that last year, you bought yourself a pedestal sump pump off the Internet. You read reviews, did your research. spent some money. The burning question is whether it all paid off. Did you trade in too much performance for a budget model? Can you expect soon a low, sleep-murdering roar to issue forth from your basement? Most importantly, will you have a clean shirt to wear to work in the morning?
Read on to see whether we’d agree with your choice. We might have reviewed the model you bought. Or, maybe right now you’re reading reviews to purchase a pedestal sump pump and hope we’ve tried out the one you topping your list. If not, we’ve included some handy buying tips after the reviews. Best of luck and dry basements.
|Superior Pump 92551||17 lbs||4.7/5|
|Superior Pump 92333|
(Best for the Money)
|Star 3CEH||14 lbs||4.3/5|
|Zoeller 84-0001||23 lbs||4.1/5|
The highest compliment you can pay a sump pump is that if a storm wakes you from deep sleep that you feel confident that you can lay right back down and wake to a dry basement. This applies to the ECO-FLO EPP50, our top pick.
It is a reliable, powerful performer. Its 3,600 gph is the best drain rate of the pumps we reviewed, and it’s not so loud that you’ll need a relaxing stiff drink to get back to sleep. If your basement floods, you were destined to deal with excess water that day. Acceptance is the best way forward.
You will pay for this confidence. This model is a little heavier than some of its competition; it’s also pretty expensive. It’s almost as if you are paying for two products here, the pump and then the confidence that it’ll work great.
How much is that worth? That’s up to you, based on how much flooding you expect. If you have only occasional light flooding, it might be too much. That doesn’t take anything away from this being the flat-out top performing pedestal sump pump we reviewed.
Very little daylight exists between the and ECO-FLO’s EPP50. The EPP50 drains faster, which is why we gave it the top nod. The 92551 is quieter and easier to install.
This one is another pump that will allow you to sleep in confidence that your sump pump is already working to keep your basement dry. It’s 3,000 gph drain rate is noticeably slower than the EPP50’s 3,600, but unless you are prone to frequent heavy flooding it’s not something you’ll notice a whole lot.
It is easier to install, however. We got ours up and running in less than an hour. That’s probably a confidence boost if you are intimidated by the very occasional job of installing a sump pump. It operates quietly enough that you have to actively listen for it if you’re standing the next room over.
It’s also a bit pricier than its competition. A bit. Given the vagaries of Internet shopping, experienced consumers can maybe even find this more competitively priced. But, if you need a pump quickly — maybe a hurricane is bearing down a few days away — this one will cost you a bit more.
If a backed up washing machine and a once-a-century storm comprise the greatest need for a sump pump, Superior’s Pump 92333 is the perfect model for you. It’s lightweight, easy to install and has a workmanlike 0.3 hp motor. It’s a simple pump that costs just a little money, and because of that delivers the best for-dollar value of any pump we reviewed. You can spend just a little money and have your anticipated basement flooding issue mostly handled.
It’s when you start looking at more serious problems that this model’s limitations start to expose themselves. For starters, unlike our top two models, this one has a 0.3 hp motor instead of a 0.5 hp. That means depending on how high you need the water lifted, you have to adjust expectations for the advertised 3,000 gph drain rate.
Superior also went with a plastic construction, which makes it lighter to move around and install, but less durable than a cast iron construction. It won’t do the job of dispersing heat and depending on usage that means replacing it more quickly.
The Star 3CEH to us was a pretty ho-hum pedestal sump pump. It drained water, adequately. Its power declined relative to how high it needs to pump water. It wasn’t terribly difficult to install and it wasn’t noticeably noisier than the rest. It is as memorable as a fast food hamburger.
That’s about as far as we go with the praise. It functions as a pedestal sump pump.
For its price, however, it has a couple of serious drawbacks related to its plastic construction. Sump pump manufacturers can talk about thermoplastic all they want. It’s a fancy way of saying plastic. It’s slightly better at conducting away heat than normal plastic, but it’s still not the same ballpark as cast iron or stainless steel. Plastic means it’ll overheat more frequently, and a shorter overall lifespan. For the price, you’re better off paying the extra for quality or going for better for-dollar value.
The 0.5 hp motor on Zoeller’s 84-0001 drains water and drains it fast. You wake up the morning after a bad storm and find your basement has become the sixth Great Lake. You turn this on and in a few short hours the Great Lakes again number five.
But, at what cost? Literally. This was the most expensive model we reviewed. It wasn’t even close. Some models with 0.33 hp motors go for less than half the price. If pedestal sump pumps come with a point of diminishing returns, Zoeller’s 84-0001 breached it, came back and gave it a cup of coffee and crossed it again into the nethers of unexplored country.
On top of that, its 23.3 lb. weight turns installation into one of Hercules’ labors. And man is this unit noisy. You will swear that the world is coming to an end when in the same room. Some people might find this comforting, knowing that it’s hard at work. Not us. We found it grating and it made us feel like we doing the work right alongside it.
You’ve read our reviews. You found them interesting, but you have time to do a little shopping around on your own. While you appreciate that we’ve outlined five specific models, you prefer to think of that as a starting point. We get that. We’d like to extend a little additional help by outlining what to look for in your own pedestal sump pump.
Your first question is how often you anticipate needing it. Pretty basic question, but the primary thing that shortens every tool is the frequency of use. The more often this runs, the faster it will fall apart. If it’s going to run frequently during your rainy season, you’ll want to invest in better quality.
Lighter is occasionally better but in the case of a sump pump that’s not really true. Most of the weight comes courtesy construction materials that serve an important function during periods of heavy use. More affordable models are frequently constructed in a hardier form of plastic, but it’s still plastic. Stainless steel and cast iron do a much better job of preventing overheating during heavy use.
Pedestal sump pumps advertise a basic drain rate. That tells only a part of the story. The higher you have to pump water to get rid of it, the harder the pump has to work. Pumping water up heights reduces its drain rate. So, when shopping around, don’t just look at a pump’s standard drain rate, because they tend to be all pretty similar. Look to see how much that drain rate falls off at a certain height.
Finally, all things being equal, look to the asking price. Zoeller’s 84-0001 hit all the right notes except in one place, its price. It is constructed of cast iron, which means durability during periods of heavy usage. It has a powerful motor that has a great drain rate and loses little oomph at height. But, its price. Ye gods, its price.
We liked heavy duty sump pumps the best. They were constructed the best, and when your basement is flooded you want something that’s going to stay working until the job is done. The Eco-Flow EPP50 and Superior Pump 92551 were both superior in all respects, with the EPP50 just a touch more powerful. If your needs warrant staying within a budget, Superior’s 92333 was made of plastic, which means it isn’t as durable but it is very affordable. We couldn’t recommend the Star 3CEH, either you want a budget model and should go with the best for-dollar value, or you should invest the few extra dollars into a more durable model. Zoeller’s 84-0001 had all the hallmarks of an excellent pump, but it was simply too expensive, too heavy to install and too noisy to rank it anywhere but dead last.
We hope you enjoyed our reviews or at least took something out of it to help you make a smart purchase decision. If anything else, we’d suggest keeping our buyers guide on hand as handy tips while shopping online.