Whether it’s the flooding in your yard or a garden that keeps collecting rainwater in patches, the right outdoor sump pump remains the ideal solution for keeping your surrounding area neat and dry.
However, every water pump in the market today claims to be the best sump pump in the industry. So, to separate true performance from marketing gimmicks, we’ve tested some of the top sump pump kits and rounded up half a dozen of the best-performing pumps available today.
Discover below what each exterior sump pump offers, what it can do for your yard, and a reliable rundown of the top features.
Wayne Waterbug 1/6 HP Submersible Outdoor Sump Pump
The Wayne Waterbug 1/6 HP is a powerhouse of a pump given its size and price.
Don’t let the Waterbug’s affordable price tag fool you. This submersible pump can transfer up to 1350 gallons per hour regardless of where you install it. Although it can function well in basements and flat roofs, its full efficiency kicks in when used as an outdoor sump pump for yard drainage.
The top and side discharge options give it versatility when it comes to hose connection designs. This means you have more options for pump installations because you can attach the discharge hose above the unit or towards the side.
The Waterbug 1/6 HP is among the most durable and resiliently built units today. The discharge outlets are both lined with corrosion-resistant materials, and it’s also known to weather frigid weather conditions, making it ideal for any season.
The suction mechanism also comes with multiple rings that strain and filter particles to minimize the risk of clogging or blockages. ‘
The Wayne Waterbug weighs barely 6 pounds, and its compact size makes it an outdoor sump pump that’s easy to wield and extremely portable.
Superior Pump 91250 Exterior Sump Pump
The Superior Pump 91250 stands out for its affordability and efficiency. Thanks to these two buyer-friendly qualities, many homeowners believe the Superior 91250 to be the best sump pump for yard drainage.
With a pumping capacity of 1800 gallons per hour, the Superior 91250 can pump out water to a vertical height of 25 feet. This is exceptionally useful when you dispose of the excess water over fences or existing structures.
Also, the Superior Pump 91250’s dimensions barely measure 7 inches in both breadth and width. So, homeowners who do not want to dig gaping holes in small yards may love this compact model. It’s ideal for those who want sump pump kits that do not require heavy excavation of your yard.
Another advantage of the Superior Pump 91250 is that it comes with a power cord that measures 10 feet. So, it can easily be installed anywhere in small yards without worrying about how far the electrical outlet may be.
The suction screen at the bottom can filter out debris and solid particles as small as 1/8 inches. Plus, the screen is removable, so you can even take it out and clean it occasionally.
The top discharge hose comes with a standard NPT threaded design. So, you can fit anything from a 1-inch hose to a ¼-inch hose on the nozzle.
The Superior Pump 91250 comes in over a dozen variants with varying capacities and features. However, the ¼ HP variant remains the top choice in Superior’s products if you want an affordable but reliable sump pump for yard drainage.
Zoeller M53 Mighty-Mate Submersible Outdoor Sump Pump
The Zoeller M53 is easily one of the most reliable models as a popular exterior sump pump for yard drainage. It boasts an impressive cast iron switch resistant to wear and tear. And the whole unit sits on top of a sturdy base constructed out of engineered thermoplastic.
The professional grade construction isn’t the only plus point, though. This unit hauls out over 3/10 horsepower of pumping power and can handle wastes up to ½ inch in width. This makes it one of the few sump pump kits that double as an effluent waste disposal pump.
With dimensions of 10.2 x 7.7 x 10.2, the M53 is slightly on the bigger side, and the 21 pounds means it’s not the most portable exterior sump pump on the market. However, the Zoeller M53 makes up for it by offering features like SS fasteners, a 9 feet power cord, and overheating prevention.
The unique vortex impeller ensures that suction and drainage are seamless and hassle-free. Owners of the M53 will also worry less about blockages, thanks to the powerful motor and drainage design.
The Zoeller M53’s auto-switch means you can keep the sump pump running without worry. At 7 inches of water level, the M53 will auto-activate and begin pumping the excess water. And when the water level in the pit comes down to 3 inches or less, the pump will switch off automatically.
Although slightly more expensive than the average exterior sump pump, the Zoeller M53 is a powerhouse machine for getting a sturdy sump pump for yard drainage.
Zoeller Outdoor Sump Pump 3/10 HP
If you want to stick with a Zoeller exterior sump pump but don’t want the M53, this unit may be a great alternative.
Similar to the M53, the Zoeller 3/10 HP also offers a high-quality build. You get the same cast iron switch and the rigid base of engineered thermoplastic. So, durability is certainly not an issue with this model either.
At a capacity of 3/10 HP, it’s marginally less powerful than the M53, but the difference is negligible unless you’re aiming for meticulously tracked drainage.
The auto-regulation switch ensures that the unit can drain or pause based on detected water levels. With low sound and high efficiency, any homeowner with Zoeller in their yard will rest easy knowing there’s no flooding outside.
The cast iron impeller also ensures that small particles get pumped out just as easily as the liquid. So, it may better suit drainage needs where the water is plagued with tiny particles and debris.
ECO-FLO ECD50V ½ HP Submersible Outdoor Sump Pump
For homes that need the best in power and volume, the ECO-FLO ECD50V is the way to go.
This monster exterior sump pump can transfer water at a whopping 4,400 gallons per hour. That’s well over 73 gallons every passing minute. So, if your yard normally holds big pools of surface water or your sump pit is designed for more volume of water, few other pumps will work as well as the ECO-FLO EVD50V in getting rid of the water.
At 12.86 inches, the ECO-FLO ECD50V is quite tall. But understandable given the power this pump generates and the rate at which it transfers water. Despite its pumping capacity, it only measures 6.5 x 8.7 in breadth and width. So, the width of the pit it occupies can be comparatively small when you think of other powerful pumps.
The ECO-FLO ECD50V is also a submersible model, which makes it relatively. And the vertical switch is positioned externally so you can easily access it for operation. Regarding pedestal designs, this one’s the best sump pump in many people’s opinions.
A solid impeller ensures that dirt particles as wide as ¾ inch can be sucked and disposed of through the drainage pipe.
Wayne CDU800 ½ HP Outdoor Sump Pump
If there’s an exterior sump pump that can rival the ECO-FLO in power, it’s the CDU800 ½ HP Exterior Sump Pump.
The Wayne CDU800 ½ HP Pump can shell out an unbelievable 5,100 gallons per hour when removing water. This capacity comes from the ½ horsepower the pump can deliver any day. This power is also what makes the CDU800 a great sump pump for yard drainage, even though manufacturers sometimes market it as a basement sump pump.
The pump comes with an epoxy coating on top of the steel housing that’s corrosion-resistant. The cast-iron volutes ensure that the connected stainless steel fasteners stay rust-free and resilient for the longest time.
The Wayne CDU800 is also designed for quick and easy pump installation. Anyone with pump installation knowledge can get it up and running in less than 20 minutes.
As far as operation goes, the CDU800 offers the ultimate convenience by sporting a vertical float switch for easy access. This switch has been tested for over a million cycles, much more than most other pumps in the same category.
The built and mechanism are also put together for minimum hassle. New owners do not need to drill a sump pump weep hole on this unit. The suction unit is also placed at the top of the pump. This implies that clogging issues from the bottom are unlikely and problems of airlock prevalent in other plumbing equipment are non-existent on the CDU 800.
With standard NPT discharge nozzles (1 – 1/2 inch), heavy capacity, powerful motor, and convenient features, the Wayne CDU800 is one of the best exterior sump pump kits if you have the budget.
How to keep your Outdoor Sump Pump in Cold Climate
For people living in colder areas, an exterior sump pump may only be needed during the summer months when rain is more likely, and the risk of flooding is greater. However,
For many homeowners, the issue of flooding generally does not occur in the winter. However, you may still need to keep your outdoor sump pump in place till summer arrives. This means freezing your pump lines and plumbing is dangerous during winter. Fortunately, there are a few practical measures (explained below) you can take to keep the sump pump protected.
Some models come with what looks like a sump pump weep hole. But this weep hole is mostly for fault prevention and not directly related to freezing prevention.
Ways to Prevent Outdoor Pump Freezing
- During installation, ensure that your discharge pipe is buried at least 5-6 inches below the ground. The soil cover on top will prevent extreme temperature drops in the pipe, which can freeze the water inside and create blockages.
- Construct other normal drainage outlets in and around your yard so small amounts of water can flow out without going into the pump basin. This will prevent your sump pump from constantly reactivating in the middle of winter.
- If you need an extension hose to connect the discharge pipe to the curb or sewage drain, make sure you go for a freeze-proof hose. Ordinary hoses are more likely to freeze during colder seasons, in which case, it is better to disconnect them altogether.
When Do You Need An Exterior Sump Pump?
Most homes require an exterior sump pump if and when flooding happens around the house or in the yard.
The traditional solution was to construct a strategically placed dry well that could collect stormwater, surface runoff, etc., and prevent flooding. However, dry wells can clog up or develop scum over time. So, when you face flooding issues in your yard, that’s the best time to install a reliable exterior sump pump.
What is an Outdoor Sump Pump Basin?
Homeowners who are used to basement sump pumps can get confused with terms like ‘Basin’ that are associated more with exterior sump pump setups. The basin is, essentially, the collection pit of the outdoor sump pump.
Before the sump pump gets installed in your yard, builders will normally dig a hole large enough for the container and pump to fit into. This pit is usually placed on the lowest level of the yard. So, anytime water accumulates in the yard, it naturally flows to the lowest levels and, consequently, into the pit where the pump is installed.
This catchment area that collects the water for the pump to discharge is your outdoor sump pump basin.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does an outdoor sump pump installation work?
Regardless of the type and design of your exterior sump pump, installing it correctly and safely is a crucial part of its efficiency and durability. Although experienced homeowners can install it independently, it’s mostly advisable to let professionals take care of the pump installation to ensure smooth operation.
Your builders or contractors will study the area for flooding tendencies and surface runoff patterns. Then, they’ll identify a place where the pump can be installed (usually the lowest part of your yard).
Appropriate drains are dug into the yard to ensure the water flows into a sump or collection pit. This pit is usually a container made of durable plastic and is placed about three feet underground. Trenches are also dug so that water from the pit or basin can flow to the curb or sewage system.
Can you leave a sump pump outside in winter?
Yes. You can leave your sump pump outside in winter if you put up the necessary measures to protect the machinery and hoses from freezing.
How deep should an outdoor sump pump be?
The normal depth for an outdoor sump pump is usually about 30-35 inches (approx 3 feet).
However, this is merely the average depth of most exterior sump pumps. The exact depth that’s ideal for your installation may depend on the volume of water you expect in your yard. Also, your local soil condition can also play a part in how safely and deep you should install the sump pump for outdoor drainage.
The best solution is to consult a pump installation professional before deciding on the depth. Depending on the factors mentioned above, an expert can gauge the ideal depth at which your pump should be installed. This will minimize the risk of your exterior sump pump developing problems and issues later in the future.
How does the exterior sump pump work?
Exterior sump pumps work by detecting excess water levels in their operative zone and then pumping out this water to an area where it can be disposed of or collected without flooding your yard.
In most cases, the outdoor sump pump gets installed in one of the lower parts of the yard within an artificial basin made of metal or plastic. Water on the yard or surface drains down and gets collected in this basin. Once it reaches a certain level, the pump’s sensor or detection mechanism gets activated. The machine automatically starts siphoning off the water through an attached pipe to another area for disposal.
How much does an exterior sump pump cost?
An exterior sump pump can cost less than $100 in the cheapest categories and go up to several hundred dollars for higher models.
However, pricing for sump pumps depends a lot on the design, features, capacity, make, and model. So, you should choose an outdoor sump pump that fits your specific requirements instead of merely deciding based on the price tag.
Getting an outdoor sump pump will do wonders for your lawn appearance and yard maintenance, especially during the rainy season. However, exterior sump pumps aren’t all built equally.
To make your pump selection easier, we’ve rounded up everything from budget-friendly units and mid-ranged models to the most powerful sump pump kits today. Regardless of which pump you choose, remember that each pump mentioned here can deliver reliability, safety, and convenience for almost any home or property you may have.