Last Updated on August 20, 2020
Did your neighbor look at you funny when you told him you were going to put in a water-powered sump pump? It certainly seems counter-intuitive. But you don’t have to understand the science behind these pumps to be the one laughing when your basement is dry and his electric pump’s battery fizzles during the next power outage. Converts tend to rave about how well these pumps can work and we’re giving you these reviews to help you choose the best one. Anyone who has ever dealt with a perennially wet basement will recognize the water-powered sump pump as a holy grail.
|Top Pick||Basepump HB1000-PRO||
|The Runner-Up||Basepump RB 750||
|Best for the Money||Liberty Pumps SJ10||
The Basepump HB1000-PRO is the gold standard of residential water-powered sump pumps. With a pumping rate ranging of 900-1,400 GPH, this pump will keep you dry during the severest of weather or the longest of power outages. It’s also super-efficient, with discharge rates going as high as 1:2 depending on your home’s water pressure, plus it has a 5-year warranty, unique amongst all the other manufacturers on the list. Unlike most others, it hangs from the ceiling instead of sitting in the sump pit, so you’re in luck if you have a smaller-than-normal sized sump hole. Basepump receives absolutely glowing customer service reviews, especially in relation to assistance with an installation process described as easy, even for novice handymen.
The RB 750 from Basepump is the younger sibling of the HB1000-PRO, and it has most of the same bells and whistles as its older brother. Recommended for basements less than 2,500 sq. ft, it pumps a respectable 700-900 GPH, and matches the HB1000 in all other respects, including efficiency, warranty, and ability to be used in a smaller sump hole. The RB 750 also gets rave reviews for customer service and ease of installation. If you have a smaller basement or don’t need to pump out an absolute deluge of water, this is the pump for you. Some users have said it can be loud, although all fixed that with the addition of a water hammer arrestor.
The Liberty SJ10 sits across the top of your sump pit and discharges up to 1,185 GPH, somewhat less than the Basepump HB1000-PRO. Liberty does match both Basepumps with a 1:2 efficiency ratio, but it only comes with a 3-year warranty. It also requires a minimum pit diameter of 18”. The equipment sits where the pit cover would go, which not only leaves you with an uncovered hole but can also contribute to an installation process already described as challenging for the novice. And much like the RB 750, it can be loud. However, at roughly half the price of the Basepump HB1000-PRO and nearly all its pumping power, this is a great buy for the weekend handyman or experienced plumber.
The Zoeller 503-0005 Homeguard will top out at approximately 1,140 GPH (since its higher reported output numbers are only attained with a PSI not generally seen in a residence). But users complain about a variety of issues. The in-pit design makes installation very difficult even for a professional. Leaks, from a variety of places, are common, even when installed by a plumber. And general malfunctions, including a faulty shut-off, are not unusual. Will this pump do the job if properly installed and free of defects? Yes, but reliability is particularly important in a sump pump, putting this model far from our first choice.
Water-powered sump pump? Seems too good to be true! But if you’ve had water in your basement despite having a traditional electrical sump pump, a water-powered pump is just the thing. Here’s what you need to know before getting one for yourself.
You absolutely must be hooked up to a municipal water line. If you have a well, this pump is not for you. There are some fancy scientific principles at work here and they depend on having the constant water pressure from a town water supply.
All water-powered sump pumps require a minimum amount of water pressure to work and do more work for you if you have higher water pressure. Call your water supplier or measure with an inexpensive gauge found at any hardware store. All the pumps reviewed here require between 20 and 40 minimum PSI.
Your town water starts in a large container, whether that’s a reservoir or a tank or something else. The water is directed through pipes that decrease in size as they approach individual residences. This constriction forces the water to move faster, which results in a reduction in pressure. This pressure reduction sucks water out of your sump pit, in the same way you suck water through a straw. The sump water joins the town water in a discharge pipe and shoots out of your house. No electricity of any kind is involved, so these pumps keep on pumping during a power outage or electrical pump failure.
This is one of the most important features of a water-powered sump pump – how much water the pump can eject in gallons in an hour – so you should start by figuring out how much water you need to get out of your basement. Here’s how you can get a rough estimate:
In a traditional 18” diameter sump pit, an inch of water equals about one gallon. On a rainy day, wait for the electric pump to turn off. Stick a yardstick in and hold it still for exactly one minute, noting the change in water level. Multiply the rise in water level by 60 to get a rough idea of how many gallons enter your sump pit in an hour. (If the water level was at 2 inches when you started and rose to 8 inches during the timed minute, multiple 6 by 60. You have about 360 gallons per hour coming in.)
Another key attribute is efficiency. Most pumps use one gallon of municipal water to remove somewhere between one and two gallons of sump water. Don’t forget you’re paying for the town water, although most reviewers are happy to pay a little extra on their water bills if it means keeping the basement dry.
All these pumps claim that they can be installed by any homeowner, but the further down you go on this list, the fewer people are raving about the joy of installation. If you’re moderately handy or have any plumbing experience, you might be able to tackle this job yourself in less than a day. The top three pumps on this list also even have multiple YouTube videos to help you.
Where does all this water go? You have two options. You can tie this pump into your existing discharge pump, making the installation process easier. Or you can put in a designated discharge pipe just for this pump, which of course makes for a bigger job. More users seem to prefer the designated discharge – why would you tie your backup system into a potentially faulty discharge pipe?
It’s not too much to ask from life that you have a dry basement. Our descriptions and reviews can get you one step closer to the dry basement you once despaired of ever having.
You can’t go wrong with the Basepump HB1000-PRO. Basepump is beloved by its customers for its excellent products and service, and the HB1000-PRO will discharge more water from your basement than any other pump on the market. Whether you have a trickle or an ark-worthy flood, you can’t go wrong with the HB1000-PRO.
If you’re still feeling poor from the last time you had to replace the basement carpeting, though, you can keep your wallet happy with the Liberty SJ10. It’s got plenty of GPH so you can get the same job done as the Basepump HB1000 PRO at almost half the price.
No one wants a lake in their basement. With the right combination of equipment, including a water-powered pump, you can conquer that basement once and for all.
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Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!