Buying Guide for the Best Water Powered Sump Pump
If your home is prone to flooding, then you probably already have a sump pump in your basement or crawlspace. However, while your primary pump works well in most conditions, what happens if the power goes out? Sure, you could use a battery backup, but during extended periods without electricity, those will fail as well. Thus, if you want to be sure that your home won’t flood, you may want to get a water-powered sump pump as well. These devices can help give you peace of mind should disaster strike your area. You don’t want to be stuck in a situation where your pumps fail, and you’re left with tons of standing water that has to be removed. Today we’re going to look at the best water powered sump pumps, including how they work, what to look for, and why you may need one.
What is a Water Powered Sump Pump?
Overall, a sump pump is designed to remove water from any given area. These pumps are necessary for homes that have a flooding problem so that you can keep your areas dry at all times. With most sump pumps, they operate using an electric motor. This mechanism can either be supplied by electricity or a battery backup. Water-powered sump pumps, on the other hand, need no such energy supply. Instead, these pumps use what’s called the Venturi Effect. This effect happens when water is forced through a narrow pipe. This will reduce the overall pressure but increase the speed of the water flowing through. In a sump pump, this acts as a suction tool that removes excess water without a need for power. However, to make sure that it works, you need a constant supply of pressurized water. That means you have to connect to the city plumbing. Water-powered sump pumps won’t work in a localized system. Overall, these devices are usually installed as a means of providing a backup in case of a power outage. You should never try to rely on a water-powered sump pump for regular draining, as it can increase your utility bills substantially. Typically speaking, city water is more expensive than electricity, and you can use a lot of water to drain your system.
Top 5 of the Best Water Powered Sump Pumps Compared
1. Liberty Pumps SJ10 SumpJet
When picking out the best water powered sump pump, one thing that you have to consider is how efficient the system is. Since you’ll be wasting city water with your sump water, it’s imperative that the pump doesn’t lose too much in the process. Fortunately, this model from Liberty Pumps is one of the most efficient models out there. In many cases, these pumps will use more city water than wastewater, meaning that you will run a high utility bill if it ever comes on.
With this unit you can remove up to two gallons of waste for each gallon of city water used, meaning that you can do a lot more without paying the price. Another thing that we like about this system is that it can work with a wide range of water pressures. It can activate when pressure is as low as 20 psi or as high as 100 psi, making it better than most other water-powered sump pumps out there. Because the water coming from your basement or crawlspace will likely be dirty, you don’t want that dirt or sediment clogging your line. Thus, this pump has a built-in filter to ensure that you don’t have to worry about it. Finally, this unit comes with a check valve, which both prevents backflow and helps reduce the overall noise. Water-powered sump pumps can be quite loud when they kick in, so this can help out a lot.
- Durable plastic construction
- Flow rate of 19.8 gallons per minute
- Works with inlet pressure between 20-100 psi
- NPT inlet is compatible with most lines and valves
- Built-in screen filters waste
- Fully assembled, easy installation
- Check valve included for less noise
- Two-year limited warranty
- In rare cases, the connectors may leak
- On rare occasions, the system may not suck up wastewater
2. Basepump RB750
When it comes to water-powered sump pumps, Basepump is one of the most common brands out there. Part of the reason why they’re so ubiquitous is that they make a system that’s easy to install, while also being highly reliable and rugged. This pump is made of high-quality PVC and stainless steel parts so that you don’t have to worry about wear and tear over time.
One reason we like Basepump Sump Pumps is that they are mounted to the ceiling. While this does add a little more complexity to the installation, it also ensures that the pump itself is not sitting in wastewater. This helps extend the life of the system and keeps it working properly. The RB 750 model is the primary option from Basepump, and it can accept water pressure up to 90 psi. Unfortunately, it’s not quite as efficient as the Liberty Pumps model above, so you will likely use a little more city water than wastewater when it activates.
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- Durable PVC and stainless steel construction
- Fast and easy installation
- Sits high above sump to stay dry
- Max pressure 90 psi
- Uses up to seven gallons per minute
- Extra-long float valve cord
- .Battery-powered high water alarm included
- Not as efficient as other systems
- No backflow or shutoff valve included
3. Superior Pump 92900
Although this next model from Superior Pump isn’t water-powered, it is still a viable backup solution to your primary sump pump. Thus, if you like the idea of having a battery-operated secondary system, this is an excellent choice. Overall, the pump is simple to install and works well when your main unit stops working. You can connect this pump to almost any deep cycle battery, although absorbed glass mat (AGM) versions are best.
This pump also comes with an integrated alarm so you will automatically know when it kicks in. There is a mute function as well so that you don’t have to be bothered by it either. All internal components are protected by a thick thermoplastic housing, and this pump is built to last a long time.
- Rugged thermoplastic housing
- Built-in alarm with quiet feature
- Integrated float switch
- Battery charger included
- Works with most deep-cycle batteries
- Fast and easy installation
- Battery not included
- In rare cases, the alarm may continue even when the pump isn’t active
4. Basepump RB750-EZ Premium
We’ve already seen what the RB 750 model can do above, but if you want something that’s easy to install and comes with all of the right components, then you will need the 750-EZ Pump instead. The overall operation and reliability of this pump are the same, but this version comes with all of the necessary installation components.
One of the most crucial elements is the backflow check valve, which keeps the wastewater from flooding back into your pipes and creating a mess in your home’s plumbing. Also, there are more connectors and mounts to ensure that you can get this pump up and running in no time. One element we haven’t discussed yet about Basepump models is that they come with an extra long cord for the float switch. Since they’re mounted to the ceiling, it’s imperative that you have a long enough system so it will activate sooner rather than later. The float is also highly sensitive, so you don’t have to worry about any flooding.
- Durable metal and plastic construction
- E-Z installation materials
- High water alarm included
- Extra long float switch
- Mounts to the ceiling to stay dry
- Brass check valve prevents backflow
- Shutoff valve included
- Still needs PVC pipe to connect to the water system
- In rare cases, the connectors may leak
5. Basepump HB1000
Our final water-powered sump pump is this upgraded model from Basepump. While the 750 version is great for most households, the HB1000 is designed for locations that have to worry about a lot of flooding. One thing about these kinds of sump pumps is that they won’t operate with the same efficiency as your motorized version.
Thus, if your regular pump fails, you may still be at risk of flooding because your backup isn’t removing water as quickly. If you experience heavy flooding and you want to be sure that your backup pump will be closer to what you have already in place, the HB1000 can provide you with peace of mind. That being said, it will have to use more city water in the process, so be aware that your utility bill can be a lot higher. Nonetheless, this system is more efficient than the 750, and it can work with pressures up to 150 PSI. As with all Basepump models, this unit also comes with a high water alarm. This alarm is battery operated, and it will kick in if your space is flooding faster than the pump can remove the water. This way, you can act accordingly.
- Rugged metal and plastic construction
- Stays dry by mounting to the ceiling
- Battery-operated high water alarm
- High-efficiency operation
- Uses up to 10 gallons per minute
- Maximum pressure of 150 psi
- Extra long float switch
- May require professional installation
- In rare cases, the wastewater output may be much lower than city water
How to Choose the Best Water Powered Sump Pump
As with any pump, one of the most critical elements is how much water it can move at once. While water-powered sump pumps won’t be as efficient or as powerful as electric models, they can still do an excellent job of getting rid of excess waste. One thing to consider when choosing this type of sump pump is how efficient the flow rate is compared to the water coming in. Since you have to use city water to make it work, you want to be sure that your system is taking out more than is coming in. For example, if you can find a pump with a 2:1 ratio, that will help you save more on your utility bill when the pump is in use.
Since water-powered sump pumps have to use pressurized water to operate, you have to pay attention to the water pressure in the system. Ideally, you will want a model that can accept both low and high-pressure flows so that it won’t have any trouble turning on when necessary. You’ll want to pay attention to the minimum and maximum pressure settings that will activate the pump. The greater the range, the more versatile and easy to use it will be. Also, if it can turn on with little pressure, you may be able to save money on your utility bill. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that lower pressures will remove less water, so your system will be less efficient.
Quiet Check Valves
While this is not part of the sump pump itself, it’s usually a good idea to get a quiet check valve as well. When the pump activates, you will hear some loud thunking noises as the water turns on and off. If the system is running for an extended period, this noise can become more and more irritating. Having this valve in place will lessen the impact of the water, enabling you to get the same performance without the constant interruption. Just be sure that your check valve is compatible with your pump before installing it.
As you can imagine, your water-powered sump pump won’t be used very often (at least, it shouldn’t be). Thus, it’s imperative that you get a model that won’t break down over time. For example, if you get a metal sump pump, it could erode or rust if you’re not paying attention. Metal sump pumps can be excellent if they have a corrosion-proof coating. Otherwise, we recommend plastic or PVC material. It will stay in pristine condition for years, and it’s durable enough to withstand high pressures.
Who Needs the Best Water Powered Sump Pump?
Because this system relies on city water to work, you have to make sure that you can connect it to your home’s plumbing. That also means that if you have a self-sufficient system (i.e., you use well water), this type of sump pump is not right for you. Self-contained water systems can deploy a water-powered sump pump if they can connect the pump to the city water supply. However, in these cases, the cost of doing so can be quite prohibitive. Instead, it will be better to invest in a battery backup, as well as a generator so that you can be sure to have the pump running for longer if the power does go out. The ideal candidate for a water-powered sump pump is someone who has easy access to city water and wants to ensure that they’re prepared for anything.
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When it comes to the best water powered sump pump, we have to say that our top pick is the Liberty Pumps SJ10. We like that it has such a wide range of water pressure activation, as well as a high-efficiency system. Considering that it can remove up to two gallons of wastewater for every gallon that comes in, you don’t have to worry too much about having a hefty water bill whenever the power goes out. Overall, this pump is expertly constructed, and it will serve as a reliable backup for years to come.