For homeowners who live areas with frequent flooding or are prone to basement dampness, investing in a high-quality sump pump is more important than ever. But the question isn't whether or not you need one; it's which one to choose?
There are so many different brands and models available on the market that deciding on the right one can feel like an impossible task.
That is until you hone in on the Zoeller sump pump brand. Zoeller is one of the leading sump pump companies, and it’s the oldest family-owned manufacturer of submersible pumps, systems, and controls for treating and moving water in America.
Needless to say, you can’t go wrong with any of the Zoeller sump pumps reviewed here.
Why Choose Zoeller?
Aside from the fact that Zoeller is a well-established name in the industry, there are plenty of reasons to choose Zoeller.
First, the company focuses on extreme durability by covering their pumps with a powdered epoxy finish for added strength. Not only are these sump pumps durable, but they're also reliable.
You can count on a Zoeller pump to get the job done with flying colors.
Another thing Zoeller customers love is the company’s commitment to power. Even though Zoeller backup sump pump models range in horsepower from ⅓ to ½, they all focus on removing more water in less time. This is the tell-tale sign of a high-quality sump pump, and it’s one that Zoeller has perfected.
8 Best Zoeller Sump Pumps Reviewed
1. Zoeller M53
- 3/10 HP pump for residential sump pits or...
- 1½" discharge, passes 1/2" spherical solids
- Automatic model with integral float-activated...
- Cast iron switch case, motor, and pump...
Let’s start off with the Zoeller M53 sump pump review since this is the company’s top-selling product. The Zoeller m53 sump pump has a horsepower of ⅓, which some say is the ideal HP for a residential sump pump. It has a flow rate of 43 gallons per minute that is perfect for both sump pits and septic systems. There are several models in the Zoeller 50 Series, but this M53 is the obvious winner.
The Zoeller M53 Mighty Mate submersible sump pump ⅓ HP is all about durability. The majority of the pump is made from heavy-duty cast iron, including the switch case, motor, and pump housing. There are a few parts and pieces that are made from thermoplastic, like the base and parts of the impeller, but thermoplastic has been proven to withstand corrosion and last for years.
The pump is compatible with both 115 and 230V and amperage between 4.8 and 9.7. The cast iron and thermoplastic construction mean that this pump is completely resistant to rust and corrosion, so it's easy to maintain. Another loved feature is the 1.5" discharge capacity, as well as the generous amount of space between the bottom of the pump and the feet - this allows for higher water intake. In other words, the M53 won't disappoint in terms of water-pumping performance.
Many plumbers claim that the M53 is their top pick for sump pumps, and we agree. It’s reliable, durable, and affordable, but there is just one drawback. If you’re not well-versed in sump pump mechanics and installation, DIY installation may not be the way to go. DIY installation can be tricky - it’s not out of the question, but many homeowners choose to call a pro plumber.
2. Zoeller 105-0001
The 105-0001 model uses the Zoeller M53 Mighty Mate submersible sump pump, but it offers more than just a pump. It also comes with an included catch basin and check valve. This is a member of the company’s Drain Pump Series, which "removes water from areas where gravity flow is not available such as laundry trays, wet bar sinks, lavatories, air conditioning condensate and dehumidifiers. It can also be used in conjunction with dishwashers and garbage disposal." And of course, it's also suitable for use in sump pits.
The automatic, float-operated mechanical switch works with 115V outlets, and similar to the M53, it comes with 1" to ½" NPT threading. The 9' 3-wire cord and prong are UL listed, and installation is easier than ever with this one (no need to dig a sump). The ⅓ HP motor works at 1550 revolutions per minute, and it's designed with a non-clogging vortex impeller.
The main drawback of the 105-0001 is that this is not typically used for sump pump operation. It's traditionally a laundry pump, but that shouldn't stop you from purchasing it. This is the M53 pump; it just comes with some added features that aren't usually needed for pumping sump pit water. Another negative feature is that it doesn't come with a backup battery, so you'll need to purchase one separately to keep your home safe from water damage during a power outage.
3. Zoeller 57-0001 M57
According to Zoeller M57 sump pump reviews, this is another member of the 50 Series that is worth investing in. It's got most of the same features as the M53, but there is one significant improvement that makes this the more "top of the range" model for homeowners. In the M53, the impeller is made from thermoplastic, but with the M57, it is constructed from more durable cast iron.
Not only is the cast iron slightly more durable, but it also improves the lifespan of the motor by distributing heat more evenly. If you’re willing to pay slightly more to protect your home from floods and humidity, the M57 may be the better choice for you. Since the motor is more protected from heat than other Zoeller models, you can expect the M57 to last for 10+ years.
This 7-year operation isn't abnormal for the M57 - as long as you treat it well and install it properly, you'll have no trouble getting 7-10 years of use out of your pump. The one downside to the M57’s high capacity and power is that it has the habit of sucking up small debris, which isn’t necessarily designed to go through a sump pump. This can cause clogging, but there are ways to prevent small debris from going through the pump, like always keeping a covering on your sump pit.
4. Zoeller 53-0016
This next Zoeller cast iron automatic submersible sump pump has some of the highest ratings out of all the Zoeller products. It is consistently given a 5-star rating, mainly because of its impressive pumping performance. Just like the other pumps we’ve covered, it has a 43 gallon-per-minute flow rate, a ⅓ HP motor, and it can pass solids measuring up to ½”.
The main difference between the 0016 and the original M53 is the length of the cord. The original model comes with a 9’ power cord, but this one goes all out with its 25’ 3-wire neoprene cord. If you know that a 9’ cord is too short for your basement layout, then this is the better Zoeller pump for you. Everything else is basically the same, especially when it comes to pumping performance and reliability.
The chief complaint surrounding the 53-0016 is its float switch performance. This isn't a common complaint, but there have been a few users who have experienced float switch issues. Most of the problems are only experienced by homeowners with deep sump pits. If your sump pit is considered deeper than average, then you might want to consider purchasing an adjustable double float on/off switch to bypass the one on the pump.
5. Zoeller 53-0002 N53
A Zoeller non-automatic sump pump only operates when you tell it to, which means they're not the ideal choice for sump pumps. However, non-automatic pumps come with some advantages over automatic ones, like a wider range of applications. The Zoeller 53-0002 has all the same features as the popular M53, but instead of automatic operation, this is a non-automatic pump.
Non-automatic pumps aren't for everyone, but they're great if you want complete control of the pumping situations. If you plan on using this pump for a variety of applications and not just your sump pit, this is a better choice than the original automatic version of the 50 Series. Just like the original, it's constructed from mostly cast iron with bits of thermoplastic and stainless steel throughout.
For even more durability, the N53 comes with a powder-coated epoxy finish. The clog-resistant design has no screen to interfere with passing dirt and debris, and it's capable of passing solid spherical objects that have a ½" diameter. Like all Zoellers, the entire unit is factory-tested for pressure and performance, and this is why Zoeller is considered the leader of quality control in the entire industry.
Since this is a non-automatic pump, it does require a float switch, but all in all, this is just as strong as the other top-rated Zoellers, and it offers plenty of pumping power. This model comes with the standard 9' power cord, but you can upgrade to a longer one (up to 35') if needed).
6. Zoeller 98-0001
- 1/2 HP pump for residential sump pits or...
- Automatic model with integral float switch,...
- Performance: 72 GPM at 5' head, shut-off: 23'...
- All cast iron construction with stainless...
So far on this list of Zoeller sump pump reviews, we've only covered pumps with ⅓ HP motors. Although ⅓ HP is plenty for most residential sump pumping scenarios, there is another option if you're looking for more power. The Zoeller 98-0001 is equipped with a ½ HP motor, so instead of 43 gallons per minute, it has an impressive flow rate of 72 GPM.
According to the majority of Zoeller M98 sump pump reviews left by customers of the 98-0001 model, this is the epitome of powerful performance. It's completely automatic and has an integral float switch with a 1.5" discharge and ½" capacity for passing solids. It's very similar to the other Zoeller pumps, but it has that extra oomph that some people prefer - especially those living in areas with high flood risks.
Zoeller says that the Model 98 products are specifically designed for "effluent or dewatering submersible pumps for septic tanks, low-pressure pipe (LPP) and enhanced flow STEP systems."
This can be used for both residential and industrial situations that require more heavy-duty pumping. But as always, with more power comes a higher price tag. The 98-0001 is still very affordable considering its durability and performance features, but it will cost you more than the ⅓ HP Zoeller pumps.
7. Zoeller 508-0005 Aquanot
The 508-0005 Aquanot is entirely different from any Zoeller sump pump we've covered so far. It's specially designed as a battery-backup system that automatically starts as soon as your existing sump pump fails. This is a 12V, highly-efficient backup sump pump that can pump up 2340 gallons per hour (that's 39 gallons per minute).
The 508-0005 is the perfect backup system thanks to its built-in alarms for high water, low battery, and reverse polarity alerts. You’ll be alerted as soon as the pump is activated during a power outage. The thing we love most is the self-contained battery design, mainly because it’s equipped with battery burnout and overcharge protection. The LED screen displays all important information, including battery voltage and lifespan.
Like all Zoeller products, this one is handbuilt, and 100% tested in the USA, and it comes with a 3-year consumer warranty period. Just remember that this is a BACKUP system, so there is no primary pump included - you'll have to purchase that separately if you don't already have one. The main con is the high cost, especially considering that this is a backup system, but it's a small price to pay to keep your home - and more importantly, your family - safe.
8. Zoeller 503-0005
- No electricity required - works during power...
- Can be used with any existing brand of sump...
- Non-corrosive PVC construction and stainless...
- Removes up to 2 gallons per gallon used
The last of the Zoeller water powered sump pump models to review is the 503-0005, another excellent choice for homeowners who are prone to power failures. It's called the "Home Guard Max Water Powered Emergency System” for a reason. Whether you’re used to power failures or not, this is the best Zoeller for handling emergency power outages at home.The 20 GPM flow rate is significantly lower than the other Zoeller sump pumps, but remember that this is for power failures - not for all-the-time use. It's powered by water - not by a battery or motor. There's absolutely no electricity required, and it can be used with any existing brand of sump pump - not just a Zoeller.
Here's what the Zoeller company has to say about this pump backup system:
“Home Guard® Max is a high-capacity, high-efficiency, water-powered backup system. With no electricity or batteries required, the Home Guard® Max takes over seamlessly when your primary sump system fails. It comes fully assembled for fast, easy, and trouble-free installations, and its small footprint allows for installation in even the smallest sump pits. With superior performance and discharge capacity, it uses less water and costs less to operate."
All in all, there's no comparison if you're looking for a power failure solution. We love that there's no battery to charge - you don't have to rely on anything other than water to power this system. The PVC construction isn't quite as heavy-duty as cast-iron or thermoplastic, but for the price (and for a backup system), this can be overlooked.
Zoeller Sump Pump Styles & Material Types
All Zoeller products are designed with durability and reliability in mind, but there are a variety of models to choose from, ranging in both style and material.
There are two main Zoeller styles available, the most common being the Zoeller submersible sump pump. This type can be fully submerged underwater in the sump pit, which works differently from a pedestal pump that is positioned above the water and cannot be submerged.
When comparing sump pump style differences, the Basement Health Association says that a "because the motor on a submersible is in the pit it is quieter than the pedestal pump. However, it is more expensive, and if the pump fails, it is harder to replace because it is stored deep inside the pit. The submersible pump does handle greater volumes of water and is built to handle solids or particles."
You’ll also have to choose between the automatic vs. non-automatic pump style. Automatic pumps come with a factory preset switch, and they're engineered for powerful performance and a long lifespan. These are ideal for sumps, while a non-automatic pump is the better choice for septic systems.
The two common materials used for construction Zoeller sump pumps are cast iron and thermoplastic. Cast iron construction has the obvious advantage of durability, but that doesn’t mean you should completely rule out thermoplastic.
Puroclean says that "both are designed for long life. Besides the stronger material, the advantage of cast iron pumps is that they distribute heat from the motor better, maximizing the cooling ability of the sump pump. Plastic sump pumps, on the other hand, are less expensive."
Comparing Zoeller to Other Brands
Like we said before, there’s no shortage of sump pump brands and models available on the market. Before settling on a Zoeller product, feel free to shop around to see what other popular brands are offering, like Barracuda, Little Giant, Wayne, and Everbilt.
The most common comparison is between a Wayne vs Zoeller sump pump, mainly because these are two of the most reputable manufacturers in the industry. When comparing the two, you’ll see that there are a lot of similarities in terms of style and material, but there are a few components that make Zoeller the obvious winner.
The first is Zoeller’s strategic use of cast iron motor housing. All Zoeller pumps have additional housing around the motor, and it’s always made from heavy-duty cast iron for better dissipation of heat. Wayne, on the other hand, uses less durable stainless steel. On top of that, Zoeller uses vortex impeller technology that lets debris up to .75” in size pass through the pump.
Essential Zoeller Sump Pump Parts
To better understand how a Zoeller pump operates, this Zoeller sump pump parts list gives you a rundown of all the essential sump pump parts and the roles that they play:
Zoeller Sump Pump Float Switch
The Zoeller sump pump adjust float is one of the most critical pieces of a sump pump. It's the part that activates the pump to turn on when the water reaches a certain level.
Although a check valve is small, it’s essential to sump pump operation. It works to prevent any unwanted water from making its way back into the sump after it has been discharged.
A battery backup doesn’t rely on utility electricity for power, which means that it’s essential in the event of a power outage. We've reviewed the best battery backup sump pumps in this article.
The sump pump stand (also referred to as a base) is responsible for keeping the device upright, even when entirely submerged by water.
Water Level Alarm
A water level alarm works to alert homeowners when the water is filling up too quickly for the pump to handle. It’s one of the best investments if you’re not trying to deal with a flooded basement any time soon.
Sump Pump Installation
Zoeller provides detailed instructions for installation with each of its sump pump products. Before you install, always inspect your pump thoroughly and carefully read the user manual. After you’ve removed the old pump, clear out any sediment, debris, or standing water that remains in the sump pit. It’s also a good idea to turn off the electrical power to the plugs you’ll be working with.
Then, Zoeller says to “place your pump in the sump and attach the discharge piping. Be sure that the pump is positioned so that the float switch moves freely without touching the wall of the sump or other obstructions.” Once that’s done, install your check valve to prevent backflow (this can result in shortened motor life).
The next step is to plug the float switch cord into a grounded outlet, and then plug the pump into the switch plug. Turn the power back on, fill up the sump pit to check that the automatic float switch is working correctly. It's also suggested that you install a sump cover if you don't already have one to keep things (and people!) from falling into the pit.
There are also various YouTube videos to guide you, though they may differ depending on the specific product you have.
Troubleshooting & Maintenance
The most common issue that Zoeller sump pumps experience (and any sump pumps, for that matter) is float switch malfunction. If you’re experiencing Zoeller sump pump float switch problems, it might be time for a replacement. You can either replace the entire sump pump, but the easier (and cheaper) fix is to replace the float switch only. Another common problem is a noisy or humming pump.
Zoeller says that a humming pump means that “the pump is probably air-locked...If you have a check valve in the system, make sure your 3/16" (5 mm) vent hole has been drilled and is not clogged. If it has not been drilled, disconnect the pump from your power source, and drill the hole.”
People Also Ask (FAQs)
How should you expect a Zoeller sump pump to last?
Here’s what the FAQs page at Zoeller says about the average sump pump lifespan: “Under normal service conditions, we feel that the unit is designed for a 7-10 year service life. But during this period, the pump may require periodic servicing.”
Can I get user manuals online for Zoeller sump pumps?
Absolutely. If you lose the hard copy of your sump pump manual, you can access any Zoeller sump pump user manual on the product page of the company website. You can often find the manuals on each pump’s Amazon product page as well.
What is included under a Zoeller sump pump warranty?
Here’s a full explanation of the Zoeller pump warranty policy:
“For submersible pumps, depending on the specific model, warranty could be either two years from the date of purchase (builder series), three years from the date of purchase (professional series), or five years from the date of purchase (premium series). Proof of purchase is required. Abuse or misapplication can void this warranty. Check with individual products for specific warranty information.”
How much does a plumber charge to replace a sump pump?
To repair or replace a sump pump, HomeAdvisor says that “the national average cost to repair a sump pump is $504. The final price could range anywhere from $110 to a little over $1,000, depending on the extent of the service. Homeowners pay $308 and $732 on average.”
Where is the model number on a Zoeller sump pump?
The model number of each Zoeller sump pump can be found either on the bottom of the sump pump unit or in the user manual. While the pump is in use, it is much easier to access the model number from the manual than from the pump itself.
Can I add a battery backup system to an existing Zoeller sump pump?
Yes. Adding a battery backup to an existing sump pump is relatively straightforward, and it comes with a lot of benefits. There are three main steps to installing a Zoeller battery backup sump pump:
- 1Mount the battery to the wall near a grounded AC outlet.
- 2Make all the necessary connections according to the specific manuals.
- 3Test the battery installation by checking to see if the pump is working properly.
Where is the best place to buy Zoeller sump pumps?
Buying Zoeller sump pumps on Amazon is becoming more popular, mostly because Amazon offers the best price and a pretty decent selection. If you buy directly from the Zoeller website, expect to pay a bit more.
Other options are shopping at Menards, Home Depot, or Lowes, but Amazon still wins when it comes to shopping convenience and the lowest prices.
After all is said and done with these Zoeller sump pump reviews, our #1 choice at Plumbing Lab is the M53 sump pump. It’s perfect for residential sump pumping in every way - horsepower, flow rate, durability… the M53 has got it all.
If you need something a bit more powerful, go with the Zoeller M98 sump pump instead (it’s equipped with a ½ HP motor instead of ⅓).
Matt is a freelance writer, English graduate, & keen traveler from the UK. As a specialist plumbing expert, he enjoys writing about everything there has to do with at-home plumbing products & related problems. When he isn’t writing, he’s usually drinking coffee or planning his next adventure. In his spare time, he also runs his own blog all about digital nomad life.