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×Top 5 Sump PumpsTop 5 Summary Review #1 Zoeller M63 and M95#2 Wayne CDU790 and CDU800#3 Superior 92341 and 92571#4 Basement Watchdog SIT-33D and SIT-50D#5 Little Giant 506160 and 510803#1 Zoller M63, M95 Features Review Our No 1 RecommendationQUICK SHOP BEST 5 SUMP PUMPS

Pictured are the Zoeller 1052 vs M53 Sump Pump Models we are comparing.

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What Are The 5 Best Sump Pumps For The Basement?

These are our top picks for the best basement sump pumps because they are made with high-quality materials, feature high-quality design, and provide excellent pump performance.

1) Zoeller M63, 1/3 HP, and M95, 1/2 HP
2) Wayne CDU790, 1/3 HP, and CDU800, 1/2 HP
3) Superior 92341, 1/3 HP, and 92571, 1/2 HP
4) Basement Watchdog SIT-33D, 1/3 HP, and SIT-50D, 1/2 HP, and their combo models CITE-33 and CITS-50
5) Little Giant 506160 6-CIA-ML, 1/3 HP, and 510803 10EC-CIA-SFS, 1/2 HP

Quick Info About The 5 Best Sump Pumps For The Basement

The following highlighted details show similarities between the top 5 sump pumps.

The Wayne and Basement Watchdog best sump pumps have the greatest pump performance (GPH).
The Zoeller, Superior, Little Giant and Basement Watchdog use cast iron pump housing.
The Wayne, Zoeller and Little Giant use the 2-pole vertical float switch.
The Zoeller and Little Giant best sump pumps use a vortex impeller to handle small solids.
The Superior best sump pumps can easily be converted to utility pumps.
The Zoeller is the only pump manufacturer that makes their model M sump pumps the USA. The other brands have theirs made overseas or get their parts from overseas and assemble the pumps in the USA, but do not test each pump like Zoeller does.
The Zoeller and Superior Pedestal best sump pumps offer a 5 year warranty.

Zoeller M63 and M95 Sump Pump

Our No 1 pick is Zoeller M63, 1/3 HP, and the M95, 1/2 HP, submersible Sump Pumps.

The Zoller M63 and M95 are made of all cast iron (motor and pump housing), pump base, switch case and impeller. Cast iron is great for dissipating heat produced from the motor during continuous pumping and it adds weight to keep the pumping stationery during usage.

The M63 is an upgrade of the M53, long known as the plumbers favorite because it is built to last, double tested in the factory before shipping and guaranteed to work when installed.

The popular 2-pole vertical float switch is upgraded to decrease the friction caused when the pump turns ON to give it a much longer life span. It has been tested to 3 million cycles which is three times longer than then M53. The upgrade makes such a difference that the warranty is extended from 3 years to 5 years.

To help the homeowner know the plug and cord are in operating condition, a LED light is added to the plug.

The M63 as well as all of Zoeller's M model series are made and tested in the USA which symbolizes quality. Zoeller is always known for its Made in America symbol.

The M63 is more costly than the M53, known as the plumbers choice, however its upgraded features: the switch , the viton switch boot, an LED lighted plug,, a cast iron base and impeller along with the cast iron motor and pump housing, base and switch case and a 5 year warranty give much value added for the additional cost.


- Made with quality cast iron for motor housing, pump housing, base, switch case, and impeller.
- Rusting is retarded with epoxy coating.
- Stays stationary in pit because M63 weighs 28 pounds and M95 weighs 38 pounds.
- Comes tested for leaks and performance.
- Upgraded and tested for 3 million cycles 2-pole snap-action vertical float.
- Lighted LED lighted plug indicates electricity is working for the pump.
- Made, built, assembled, and tested in the USA.
- 5 year warranty.


- Price point is higher, but the extension of the warranty to 5 years adds much value.

Wayne CDU790 and CDU800 Sump Pump

Our No 2 pick is Wayne CDU790, 1/3 HP, and CDU800, 1/2 HP, submersible Sump Pumps.

The Wayne CDU790 and CDU800 sump pumps are made of carbon steel which is a hybrid of stainless steel and cast iron. Cast iron dissipates heat better but carbon steel is a good alternative housing material. Unlike Zoeller pumps, there is no cast iron for the motor housing, but these Wayne pumps have a cast iron base.

If a lighter weight pump is preferred, the CDU models are the best choice. The weight difference between the Zoeller and Zoeller pumps is around 10 pounds heavier because carbon steel weighs less.

These pumps work well in a pit free from debris and pea gravel because they use top suction rather than a vortex impeller used by Zoeller pumps which handles such. The top suction design does give the CDU models more pumping performance at 13 gallons more per minute for a total of 3,840 GPH at a 10 foot vertical height.

The CDU790 and CDU800 also use a 2-pole vertical float switch. The 2-pole vertical float switch is known to last longer than the tether or magnetic vertical float switch.

Unlike the Zoeller M63 and M95, the Wayne CDU 790 and CDU800 are not made in the USA. They are assembled from foreign parts in the US. Plus each pump is not tested before shipment. The 3 year warranty covers failure however.

Both Wayne, Zoeller and Little Giant Pump companies have been around 75 years now so know a lot about sump pumps.


- Well-known brand having been around for over 80 years like Zoeller.
- Pumping performance is higher than other one-third and one-half horse power pumps. CDU790 at 3060 GPH and CDU800 at 3840 GPH.
- Base is Cast iron. Housing is carbon steel.
- Tested switch to 1 million cycles.
- Carbon steel weighs less so weight is about 10 pounds less.
- The price point is lower since foreign parts used. The pumps are assembled in the USA.


- Each pump is not tested before shipment, but the 3 year warranty covers any issues if the sump pump does not work when initially installed.
- Upper suction is used so no vortex impeller is present to handle small solids; however, not all sump pits have debris.

Superior Pump 92341 and 92571 Sump Pump

Our No 3 pick is Superior 92341, 1/3 HP, and the 92571, 1/2 HP, Submersible Sump Pumps.

The Superior models 92341 and 92571 use cast iron; however the 92341 base and pump housing are cast iron while the 92571 base is cast iron and its pump housing is stainless steel. Stainless steel does not rust. Cast iron does rust in water; however all sump pumps with cast iron pump housing and base are epoxy coated to retard rust.

Unlike the Wayne models that use top suction, the Superior Pump 92341 and 92571 use bottom suction with a screen. The bottom screen needs periodic cleaning if debris exists in the pit; however the float switch can be removed and both pumps can be used as utility pumps.

Though the 92341 and 92571 are equipped with a vertical float. The vertical float is not a 2-pole float like Wayne and Zoeller pumps use. The float switch uses a magnetic closure e the circuit during the ON cycle. The float switch is very easy to replace; it does relies on magnetic field attraction to cause the positive and negative ions to close (connect) and pass electricity to the pump motor.

These sump pumps use less electricity, 4.1 amps vs 4.8, however their pumping performance is also slightly less at 1800 GPH at a 10 foot vertical height vs 2040 GPH for the Zoeller M63, M53 and 2,700 GPH for the Wayne CDU790. The warranty is the same.

These pumps are designed by engineers in Minnesota but are not made and assembled in the USA. All pumps are not tested; however they have a 3 year warranty.


The Superior Pump 92551 is included because some home owners prefer a pedestal style pump so they can easily maintain it without removing it from the pit. The 92571 comes with a 5 year warranty, pumps 2,700 GPH at a 10 foot vertical height and uses only 3.06 amps during operation. The base is cast iron to keep it in place during heaving pumping while stainless steel is used for the housing, impeller and column shaft.


- Removing the float switch converts these pump into a manual utility pump so basement floor water can be easily removed.
- Cast iron is used for the pump housing.
- Budget friendly price.


- The GPH is lower by at least 200 gallons per hour.
- Periodic cleaning is required for the bottom screen.
- Not every pump is tested before shipment; however a 3 year warranty will cover failures.
- The magnetic draw vertical float switch design fails quicker than the 2-pole vertical switch. Over time the magnetic field attraction weakens.

Basement Watchdog SIT-33D and SIT-50D Sump Pump

Our No 4 pick is Basement Watchdog SIT33D, 1/3 HP, and SIT50D, ½ HP, and their combo models CITE-33 and CITS50, submersible Sump Pumps.

The Basement Watchdog SIT33D and SIT50D use cast iron for the pump housing and base and offer a 3 year warranty.

Unlike the Wayne models that use top suction, the Superior Pump 92341 and 92371 use bottom suction with a screen. The bottom screen needs periodic cleaning if debris exists in the pit; however the float switch can be removed and both pumps can be used as utility pumps.

The SIT33D and SIT50D sump pump are unique with their external dual float switch which provides protection even if one of the floats fails. The added value of an external float switch, meaning the float is not attached directly to the pump, is the float height is adjustable. To keep the pump from running dry, the bottom of the dual float case must be attached at least 3 inches above the bottom of the pump because the pump continues to run for 10 seconds after the water recedes below the bottom float. To keep the pit from overflowing it is best to attach the float cage so the top float is just below the bottom of the incoming drain tile tubing.

Even though the amps required during operation are low, 3.5 amps for the SIT33D and 4.2 amps for the SIT50D, the pump performance GPH is high. For the SIT33D, the GPH at a 10 foot vertical height is 3,100 and for the SIT50D the GPH is 3540.

These pumps are eco-friendly. The motor coolant is water rather than oil as found in the Zoeller, Wayne, Superior and Little Giant models so there is no emissions. The pumps are not made in the USA.

To save time and provide protection when the electricity fails, the SIT33D and SIT50D come preassembled with a battery backup sump pump system known as CITE-33 and CITS-50 respectively.

The CITE-33 combo pump includes the Primary sump pump SIT33D with cast iron housing, a pumping performance of 3100 GPH at a 10 foot vertical height and a dual float switch plus a switch controller and the Basement Watchdog Emergency battery backup sump pump BWE with a pumping performance of 1000 GPH at a 10 foot vertical height and a dual float switch plus a control unit and a battery box. One of the real benefits of installing the CITE-33 is that it is narrow so fits into a sump basin only 11 inches wide. It comes with a 2 year warranty.

The CITS-50 combination pump includes the Primary sump pump SIT50D with cast iron housing, a pumping performance of 3540 GPH at a 10 foot vertical height, a dual float switch and a switch controller and the Basement Watchdog Special battery backup sump pump BWS with a pumping performance of 3100 GPH at a 10 foot vertical height, a dual float switch, a control unit and a battery box. The Primary pump is narrow so the CITS-50 fits in a 12 inch diameter pit. It comes with a 2 year warranty.


- Pump housing is cast iron.
- Their width is narrower so they fit into an 11 or 12 inches pit.
- The float switch is external to the pump which makes for easy replacement and offers height placement flexibility.
- Fear of float switch failure is less because two float switches are used.
- Energy efficient with only 3.5 and 4.2 amps used.
- GPH at 10 foot vertical height is high: 3200 GPH for SIT-33V and 3540 GPH for SIT-50D.


- Warranty is only 2 years.
- Bottom suction with bottom screen required periodic cleaning for pits containing debris.
- Not all pumps are tested before shipment and are not made in the USA.

Little Giant 506160 and 510803 Sump Pump

Our No 5 pick is Little Giant 506160 CIA-ML, 1/3 HP, and 510803 10EC-CIA-SPS, 1/2 HP, submersible Sump Pumps.

The Little Giant 506160, 1/3 HP, is unique from the previously mentioned sump pumps because it has no float. Instead it relies on a diaphragm to respond to rising water height and pressure. As the water rises in the pit, the diaphragm begins to concave. At a predefined water height the diaphragm concaves enough to engage the switch which closes the electric circuit and the pump motor runs. As the water recedes the diaphragm becomes convex and the electric circuit is opened and the motor stops.

Though this pump is very short and can even operate in a 5 gallon bucket, it has a lot of pumping capability at 29 GPM at a 10 foot vertical height. The 506160 is well built with cast iron housing and has a 3 year warranty.

The Little Giant 510803, 1/2 HP, is unique in that it can handle ¾ inch solids with its vortex impeller. The largest solids the above mentioned pumps can handle is ½ inch solids. Its 2-pole snap action float switch, like the Wayne and Zoeller pumps, make the float switch more dependable than the vertical magnetic float switch used on the Superior Pump.

Like the Wayne CDU800 the 510803 has good pumping performance at 3300 GPH at a 10 foot vertical height. However the 510803 power cord is 2 feet longer at 10 feet. Extension cords should not be used with a sump pump so 2 feet can make a big difference.


- The 506160 is very small so could fit into a 5 gallon pail even and is robust at 1,680 GPH at a 10 foot vertical height.
- There is no screen to clean for the model 510803.
- Both models are made of cast iron hous9ing.
- The 2-pole vertical float switch for the model 510803 is well built; the power cord is 10 feet and the GPH is 3300 at a 10 foot vertical height.


- Like the other brands, except Zoeller, these pumps are not made in the USA.

Our Recommendation

Our sump pump models of choice are the M63 and M95. Because Zoeller offers so many high quality features, we specify in more detail below the Zoeller quality specifications


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Why Is Zoeller The Best Sump Pump For The Basement?


Zoeller sump pumps are consistently made from high-quality materials, use high-quality desing features and are double tested before leaving the factory.

Learn about The Zoeller features that make it the best sump pump for the basement.

Quality Material Is Used

Quality material includes cast-iron, powder coated epoxy finish, cold rolled steel, solid polypropylene, neoprene, viton, and stainless steel. Learn how each of these materials is used and why they are quality rated.



Cast-iron is used for the parts where quality counts: the impeller, the motor housing, the pump housing, the cap where the switch is housed, and the base.

Using cast-iron provides the following Benefits. It adds longevity to pump life because it dissipates heat very well, adds weight to the pump to keep it more stationary in the basin and does not dent, chip, crack or wear down. The grade used in class 25-30 25000# textile strength with a BHN (Brinell Hardness Number) between 170 and 229.

The two main killers of a pump motor is heat and water. During heavy pumping the motor heats up and needs a material such as cast-iron which dissipates the heat very well. Many competitors use canned motors which are purchased from a third party. A canned-motor is placed in stainless steel housing and does not dissipate heat as well. The motor is designed to last a long, long time because sleeve bearings have an infinite life span and the motor is sealed with carbon and ceramic which withstands vibration. The oil provides lubrication during the rotation and movement of the shaft.

Using cast-iron for the pump and motor housing, the impeller, the cap and the base adds an additional ten to fifteen pounds. Obviously this much weight makes a difference in keeping the pump more stationary in the basin during heavy, continuous operation.

Zoeller M63 Sump Pump Premium
Powder Coated Epoxy Finish

Cast-iron will rust unless protected. Therefore Zoeller uses a powder coated epoxy finish which is electrostatically applied. The special application coating keeps the pump from rusting and keeps the outside looking good with water hose down even after sitting in the basin ten to fifteen years.

Zoeller M95 Sump Pump Premium

AISI 1215 Cold Rolled Steel

AISI 1215 cold rolled steel is used for the motor-shaft because is strong and can withstand the rotation and vibration over long periods of time.

Solid Polypropylene

Solid polypropylene is used for the float because it is buoyant and solid which means it will responds easily to the rising and lowering of the water level and even if punctured will not sink and cause failure. It will keep on floating in the water.


Neoprene (Rubber)

Neoprene is used for the gasket. It provides an ultimate seal for the switch case protecting against moisture. Unless sealed tightly, moisture will kill the switch.



Viton is used as an outer boot for the float switch, the seals and cord plug. As industry progresses, more effective materials emerge. Viton is used to cover the carbon and ceramic seals because it is much more resistant to wear and chemical effect. It protects the float switch from moisture and comprises the material for the plug.


Stainless Steel

The stainless steel float guard, handle and fasteners will not rust. Fortunately a float guard exists because so often unprotected floats get too close to the basin wall and get caught in the ON position causing pump failure.

A look inside the Zoeller Sump Pump

Quality Design Features Are Utilized

The quality features include an upgraded float switch, a green LED lighted plug, a non-clogging impeller, and an airlock hole. Learn more about these quality design features.


Upgraded Float Switch


Imagine a float switch guaranteed for 5 years. The M63 has been upgraded to Premium status which includes a stronger switch built to last longer than the original M53 switch. Zoeller recognizes the greater volume of water flowing into a basement these days and has responded with a upgraded float switch.


Green LED Lighted Plug

The green LED lighted plug will remove your doubts about electric current availability. The plug end of the cord stays lite as long as there an electrical current. If the circuit breaker has tripped and no electricity is flowing the plug will be unlighted.


Non Clogging Impeller

The need to clean a bottom screen is eliminated. The Zoeller M63, as well as all Zoeller sump pumps, have no screen requiring maintenance. The vortex impeller passes one-half inch spherical solids like debris and pebbles. The distance between the volute, a curved funnel that increases in area as it approaches the discharge port receiving the water being pumped by the impeller, and the top of the impeller determines the size of solids handling capability. For the Zoeller M63 and M95 the distance is one-half inch. This open impeller style is much less likely to clog than a competitor who uses the semi open impeller design with impeller or the closed impeller design which uses a screen.

Zoeller Sump Pump Impeller

Air-Lock Hole

Some manufacturers decided to put an air-lock hole down at the base of the pump, Zoeller has decided to ask the installer to drill a 1/8 inch hold at a downward slant slightly above the pump discharge port in the discharge pipe. The decision is based on the fact that a how in the pump-base can get clogged much easier. Failure to drill an anti-air lock hole can result in the pump becoming air bound and only pumping air and no water.


Pump Performance Curve Can Be Increased

The pump performance curve of the M63 is 43 gallons per minute (2,580 GPH) at a total dynamic head of 5 feet. Total dynamic head includes the vertical height and the check valve, elbow and horizontal friction loss. At 10 feet the flow is 34 gallons per minute (2,040 GPH) and at 15 feet the flow is 19 gallons per minute.

The Premium Model M95 has a higher pump performance curve. The M95 has all of the same features and quality materials as the M63 except for greater pump performance. At a 5 foot total dynamic head, M95 is capable of pumping 80 gam (4,800 GPH); at 10 feet it can pump 66 GPM (3,960 GPH) and at 15 feet it can pump 49 GPM (2,940 GPH).

Zoeller M95 Sump Pump Performance Curve

Two Factory Tests For Each Pump

Each pump goes through a leak test to ensure that all gaskets, seals and mating surfaces will hold under pressure.

Each pump goes through performance testing by running underwater with incoming water flowing at the performance curve rate to ensure that it is capable of its published head capacity and flow rate.

As a result of these two tests, Zoeller can be assured the pump will work when installed properly.


Zoeller Is Popular And Highly Rated By Plumbers And Consumers

Zoeller has built a reputation over the past seventy-nine years (as of 2018) of building with quality that is lasting so homeowners can have peace of mind during heavy continuous rainstorms. Even today when we talked with a Zoeller technical engineer, one of the first things he said about the M63 and M95 is that because of stronger rainstorms these days we at Zoeller wanted to come up with a float switch that would last longer before replacement was required. The engineer then proceeded to talk about the other built in quality factors listed above.

Plumbers like happy customers; therefore they prefer to install Zoeller because it will outlast other brands.

Studying the customer reviews on Amazon, one of the websites with the most customer reviews, reveals a strong 4.5 and above out of 5 stars approval ratings.

Zoeller M53 rates 4.7 out of 5 stars concistently

Quick Shop Zoeller M63 and Zoeller M95

The cost for both models is comparable to competitor brands, however, the Zoeller M63 and M95 have more cast-iron parts which increases pump longevity, dependability and cost.


Our Recommendation

The Zoeller M63 and M95 are truly Premium models and the best sump pumps for the basement. Quality materials such as cast iron used for the motor and pump housing, impeller, switch case and base; cold steel used for the motor shaft, solid polypropylene used for the float making it unsinkable, viton used for the switch case and covering over the seals, quality design upgrading the float switch to perform more pumping cycles before replacement, a non-clogging designed vortex impeller, a lighted plug indicating an active current, and leak and performance testing of each pump all support the characteristics of best sump pumps for the basement. No competitor uses the same grade of material for so many components, offers a five year warranty and tests each pump so thoroughly before it leaves the factory.

Check out the Zoeller M63 and M95 now. Enjoy the peace of mind a best sump pump in the basement brings when.those heavy rainstorms come.

Pictured is the Zoeller M63 and M95 Submersible sump pump.






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