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5 Best Water-Powered Sump Pumps of 2021 – Top Picks & Reviews

a water-powered sump pump

sump pump installation

What if your home was missing the only tool to help with a flooded basement? When your basement or crawlspace is filled with water, there aren’t many tools or techniques that can help out. Your only real hope is to get a water-powered sump pump.

However, some sump pumps are more effective than others. And when it comes to clearing your home of unwanted water, you won’t want to settle for anything less than the very best!

How, then, can you pick the best sump pump for your own home and your individual needs? We put together a list of reviews for some of the biggest sump pump names on the market. By reading these reviews and checking out our buyer’s guide below, you’ll be able to protect your home from flooding like never before!

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Liberty Pumps SJ10 SumpJet Water Powered Back-Up Pump Liberty Pumps SJ10 SumpJet Water Powered Back-Up Pump
  • 1
  • 185 GPH water displacement
  • 1:2 efficiency ratio
  • 3-year warranty
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Zoeller 503-0005 Homeguard Water Powered Backup Pump Zoeller 503-0005 Homeguard Water Powered Backup Pump
  • Solid price
  • Displaces around 1
  • 140 GPH
  • Lightweight
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Basepump HB1000 Water Powered Backup Sump Pump Basepump HB1000 Water Powered Backup Sump Pump
  • Incredible pump rate
  • Easy installation
  • Great warranty
  • Basepump RB750 Water Powered Backup Sump Pump Basepump RB750 Water Powered Backup Sump Pump
  • Easy installation
  • Great warranty
  • High efficiency
  • BURCAM 300400 Emergency Water Powered Sump Pump BURCAM 300400 Emergency Water Powered Sump Pump
  • Solid pump rate
  • Doesn’t require batteries or electricity
  • The 5 Best Water-Powered Sump Pumps – Reviews 2021

    1. Liberty Pumps Water Powered Back-Up Pump – Best Overall

    Liberty Pumps SJ10 SumpJet Water Powered Back-Up Pump

    Like we said, you probably want the very best sump pump to help protect your home. Out of all these reviews, then, what is our pick for best overall pump? It’s the Liberty Pumps SJ10 SumpJet Water Powered Back-Up Pump.

    This pump can help displace up to 1,185 gallons per hour (GPH), which is perfect when you need to get rid of water really fast. And the 1:2 efficiency ratio guarantees a quality product, as does the 3-year warranty provided by the manufacturer.

    Really, our primary criticism of this pump is that you can’t use an existing lid and you need a pit diameter of at least 18 inches. Together, these factors add up to a sump pump that is not as user-friendly as others on this list.

    Pros
    • 1,185 GPH water displacement
    • 1:2 efficiency ratio
    • 3-year warranty
    Cons
    • Can’t use the existing lid
    • Less friendly for beginners


    2. Zoeller Homeguard Water Powered Backup Pump – Best Value

    Zoeller 503-0005 Homeguard Water Powered Backup Pump

    With sump pumps, you don’t always have a lot of money to throw at new equipment. This is especially true if you are dealing with some of the other damages caused by your home flood. So, if you’re shopping for the best water-powered sump pumps for the money, we recommend the Zoeller 503-0005 Homeguard Water Powered Backup Pump.

    Despite the low cost, this sump pump can displace around 1,140 gallons per hour. And at 4 pounds, it is very easy to pick this pump up and move it wherever you have a water problem.

    What keeps this from being our top pick, then? The in-pit design makes this hard to install. And on top of that, you are likely to run into occasional problems like leaks and faulty shut-offs even if you had the pump professionally installed.

    Pros
    • Solid price
    • Displaces around 1,140 GPH
    • Lightweight
    Cons
    • Hard to install
    • Prone to leaks and other problems

    3. Basepump Water Powered Backup Sump Pump – Premium Choice

    Basepump HB1000 Water Powered Backup Sump Pump

    As specialized as they are, water-powered sump pumps are like any other kind of equipment. Just as there are plenty of value options out there, there are also plenty of premium options for those who don’t mind paying a little extra. And if you want a premium sump pump, our choice is the Basepump HB1000 Water Powered Backup Sump Pump.

    What do you get for the extra cost? The pump rate on this model can reach up to 1,400 GPH, which is the highest on the market. The installation is nice and easy, and you’re protected by a 5-year warranty. And we love the efficiency, allowing one gallon to remove up to two gallons of sump water.

    What are the downsides to this model? In addition to being very expensive, some users don’t like the relatively loud water-hammer effect when the pump is in use.

    Pros
    • Incredible pump rate
    • Easy installation
    • Great warranty

    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Relatively loud

    4. Basepump Water Powered Backup Sump Pump

    Basepump RB750 Water Powered Backup Sump Pump

    Want a sump pump from the Basepump family and don’t want to pay the premium price? In that case, you should check out the Basepump RB750 Water Powered Backup Sump Pump.

    This is the little brother of the HB1000, and it comes with a few limitations. For example, the pump rate only reaches 900 GPH. Because of that, this pump is best used for smaller basement (2,500 square feet or smaller).

    Aside from the lower pump rate and the space limitations, this model offers all of the other features of its bigger brother. This includes the easy installation, efficient operation, and robust warranty.

    Pros
    • Easy installation
    • Great warranty
    • High efficiency
    Cons
    • Lower pump rate
    • Not great for larger spaces

    5. BURCAM Emergency Water Powered Sump Pump

    BURCAM 300400 Emergency Water Powered Sump Pump

    Many of the sump pumps on our list are designed to work on their own. But what if you need another sump pump to finish the job in an efficient manner? In that case, your best choice is the BURCAM 300400 Emergency Water Powered Sump Pump.

    With a maximum pump rate of 1,200 GPH, this pump is no slouch on its own. But it is at its best when you team it with an existing electrical sump pump. That’s because this pump requires no battery or other power source and effectively creates redundancy for your basement or crawlspace.

    It’s a little heavier than most pumps, clocking in at 8.5 pounds. Then again, this pump isn’t designed to be moved around after you set it up.

    What’s not to love? Many users report it does not pump water very efficiently. Furthermore, components like the float valve don’t last very long, especially given the price.

    Pros
    • Solid pump rate
    • Doesn’t require batteries or electricity
    Cons
    • A bit heavy
    • Not very efficient
    • Parts don’t last long

    Buyer’s Guide

    With our reviews, you can get a better idea of the benefits and drawbacks of different sump pumps on the market. However, reviews alone may not be enough to help you finalize your purchase.

    That’s why we put together a comprehensive buyer’s guide for anyone interested in purchasing a water-powered sump pump. We’re going to review details about the pump rate, efficiency, installation, and everything else you need to know to get started.

    Ultimately, a good sump pump is one of the best tools for any home, especially one that is prone to flooding. Check out our buyer’s guide to learn how you can best protect your home and your family!

    Do You Really Need Two Sump Pumps?

    Chances are that you already have a traditional sump pump in place if you live in an area that floods very often. Water-powered sump pumps are usually considered an “extra” pump to help clear unwanted water. Therefore, you might be asking yourself if you actually need two pumps or not.

    The short answer is “yes.” Traditional pumps are powered by electricity, but this means they won’t work at all if your power goes out. Imagine that you have a long-lasting storm and no way of removing the water until the power comes back!

    With a water-powered sump pump, you have a backup system that can work with no other power source except water pressure. This can offer maximum peace of mind that no matter what happens, you’ll be able to displace any unwanted water as quickly as possible.

    Where Do You Get Your Water?

    Before you buy a water-powered sump pump, you must answer a very important question: where do you get your water from?

    In order for these sump pumps to work, you must be hooked up to your municipal water line. That means if you rely on well water instead, you won’t be able to take advantage of the water-powered sump pump.

    That doesn’t mean you’re completely out of luck if you use well water, though. Instead of buying a water-powered sump pump, you can invest in a traditional sump pump instead.

    Now that you’ve answered the first question, we need to move on to another factor: the water pressure.

    Check the Water Pressure

    This may sound obvious, but a water-powered sump pump is only as good as the water powering it. Because of that, having the right water pressure is crucial to using these pumps.

    That’s why you need to check your water pressure. If you are comfortable measuring it yourself, all you really need to do is buy a gauge from your local hardware store. However, contacting your water supplier or other local professionals is an option if you’d like expert assistance.

    So, what is the “right” water pressure? The pumps that we reviewed operate between 20-40 PSI. If your water pressure falls outside of that range, you may not be able to use a water-powered sump pump and will need to use a traditional one instead.

    How Does the Pump Actually Work?

    Now that you have verified that you have the right water and the right water pressure, it’s time to talk about the pump itself. Specifically, we need to focus on how the pump actually works.

    It all begins with your town’s water. That water starts in a giant tank or reservoir, and pipes help bring that water to every home in the city. To help the water move faster through these pipes, the pipes decrease in size closer to the individual residences. While this helps with the water’s speed, it also reduces the water’s pressure.

    As the pressure drops, water gets sucked out of your sump pit (imagine sucking water through a straw and you’ll get the right idea). Afterward, the sump water and town water leave your house via a discharge pipe.

    The beauty of this design is that it doesn’t require any kind of electricity or batteries in order to operate. This is completely water-powered, making it a great “backup” sump pump because it will operate in the event of a power outage.

    After all, you don’t want to wait for the electricity to come back as the water is rising within your home!

    Gallons Per Hour

    One of the most important metrics for any sump pump is the Gallons Per Hour (GPH). Obviously, this refers to how many gallons of water a sump pump can remove in an hour. Exactly how many GPH you need comes down to your specific home and your unique needs. Fortunately, you can calculate those needs very easily!

    If your sump pit is 18” in diameter (which is standard), then one inch is approximately a gallon of water. Wait for a really rainy day and when the electric sump pump turns off, stick a yardstick within the pit for one minute and watch how the water level changes. Multiply that rise level by 60 and you’ll have an approximate idea of how many gallons of water enter your sump pit in the course of an hour.

    Once you complete your calculations, you’ll know exactly how many GPH you need from a sump pump. When in doubt, it’s always safer to overestimate than underestimate!

    Efficiency

    As long as we’re doing math, there is another calculation you should consider. And that is how much municipal water it takes to remove a certain amount of sump water. Once you understand this, you’ll understand the efficiency of any given pump.

    For example, a 1:1 pump uses one gallon of city water to remove one gallon of sump water. Some of the more efficient pumps are 1:2, meaning that it only takes one gallon of city water to remove two gallons of sump water.

    Efficiency matters when it comes to your water bill. In other words, a less efficient pump will cost you extra money over time. This may provide the incentive you need to buy a more efficient pump, even if it costs per than the competition.

    Installation

    Perhaps the most annoying part about using a water-powered sump pump is that you must install it first. And that means you must face a pretty big decision as a handyman.

    On paper, all of the pumps we reviewed can be installed by homeowners. However, some of the pumps are easier to install than others. And even the ones that are “easy” to install can take up most of your day.

    Unless you’re a really experienced handyman or you have a ton of time on your hands, we recommend contacting a professional to help with the installation. You may even contact the same professional ahead of time to help you measure your water pressure before you buy and install a pump.

    Drainage

    It’s one thing to remove unwanted water. But this leads to a natural question: where exactly does the water go? The short answer is that it’s up to you.

    If you tie the new pump to the existing discharge pump, you can make the installation of the pump that much easier. The other option is to add a designated discharge pipe for your new pump.

    There are pros and cons to each approach. Using the existing discharge pump makes for easier installation, but it can be risky to have your backup system use the same pipe in case the pipe is faulty. Meanwhile, installing a designated discharge pipe makes the entire process take longer, but it gives you the kind of redundancy that you want from a true backup system.

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    Conclusion

    Now that you have read our reviews and buyer’s guide, only one question remains: what are the best water-powered sump pumps available on the market?

    Of all the pumps we reviewed, the best overall choice is the Liberty Pumps SJ10 SumpJet Water Powered Back-Up Pump. We were impressed with its performance and power, and it is one of the best tools for making sure your house is ready for unwanted water.

    For handymen on a budget, the best value choice is the Zoeller 503-0005 Homeguard Water Powered Backup Pump. It offered solid features and good performance for the price. And if you plan to have the pump professionally installed, a budget option may be particularly attractive.

    When should you buy a water-powered sump pump? In our opinion, it is best to make your purchase sooner rather than later. You never know when you may encounter an unexpected storm that could flood your home. But with the right water-powered sump pump in hand, you can deal with floods long after your power goes out.

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    Featured Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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