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7 Best Quiet Sump Pumps for Basements

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Yes, it is reassuring to know your sump pump is working by hearing (and feeling!) the pump kick on. But on the flip side, it sure can be irritating to be constantly hearing the buzzing motors, sloshing pipes, and gurgling drains during the wet seasons.

Fortunately, the solution can be as simple as replacing your worn-out pump with a new quiet running sump pump. We’ve gathered and analyzed the data, talked to several plumbers to make this list of the 5 best and most quiet sump pumps.

Top Quiet Sump Pumps

Sump Pump:
WAYNE CDU800 1/2 HP Submersible Cast Iron and Steel Sump Pump With Integrated Vertical Float Switch
ZOELLER Sump Pump 1/2 hp 115V Model # M98
Superior Pump 92511 1/2 HP Cast Iron Submersible Sump Pump with Vertical Float Switch
Material:
Cast Iron/SST
Cast Iron
Cast Iron
Motor:
1/2 HP
1/2 HP
1/2 HP
Max Flow:
5200 gph
4320 gph
4200 gph
Weight:
18.5 lbs
38 lbs
22 lbs
Min Basin:
11 in
18 in
n/a
Cord Length:
8 ft
15 ft
10 ft
Check Price at:
Check Price at:
-
Sump Pump:
WAYNE CDU800 1/2 HP Submersible Cast Iron and Steel Sump Pump With Integrated Vertical Float Switch
Material:
Cast Iron/SST
Motor:
1/2 HP
Max Flow:
5200 gph
Weight:
18.5 lbs
Min Basin:
11 in
Cord Length:
8 ft
Check Price at:
Check Price at:
Sump Pump:
ZOELLER Sump Pump 1/2 hp 115V Model # M98
Material:
Cast Iron
Motor:
1/2 HP
Max Flow:
4320 gph
Weight:
38 lbs
Min Basin:
18 in
Cord Length:
15 ft
Check Price at:
Check Price at:
Sump Pump:
Superior Pump 92511 1/2 HP Cast Iron Submersible Sump Pump with Vertical Float Switch
Material:
Cast Iron
Motor:
1/2 HP
Max Flow:
4200 gph
Weight:
22 lbs
Min Basin:
n/a
Cord Length:
10 ft
Check Price at:
Check Price at:
-

*Last updated 2022-06-24 at 09:42 / Product Links & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How We Evaluated & Ranked the Pumps

When looking for the quietest sump pumps on the market, we found the most important factors to be the following:

First, cast iron construction and a submersible design are most important when it comes to quiet pump operation. Why is that exactly?

  • A cast iron base is heavy, damping out motor vibrations, limiting impeller noise, and absorbing sounds that a thermoplastic pump body can not. Cast iron pumps will set down solidly at the bottom of the basin and not move.
  • Submersible pumps can be enclosed entirely in the sump basin blocking out much of the impeller noise, as well as most of the gurgling at the end of pump cycles.

Second, you could have a completely silent sump pump but would do you no good if it failed to have reliable floats and switches or was designed and manufactured without durability and longevity at the forefront.

Most Important Factors Additional Factors
Cast Iron Body Brand Reputation/User Experience
Submersible Design Pump Horsepower Options
Reliable Floats & Switches Flow Capacity
Durability & Longevity Backup Features

Top 5 Quiet Sump Pumps

1. Wayne CDU800 – Best Overall

The Wayne CDU800 features a solid cast iron base, epoxy coated stainless steel body, and a glass-filled polycarbonate impeller. While it’s not 100% cast iron, you still get the benefits of all-cast iron construction, plus it’s more affordable.

The CDU800’s top suction design filters out solid debris up to ½” diameter, minimizes the chance of clogging and eliminates the need for a weep hole in the pipes. The end result is fewer gurgling sounds and quieter operation.

Other notable features include longer-lasting carbon ceramic seals, dual rolling element bearings, and an oil-filled motor that provides exceptional cooling. The integrated float makes installation simple, but it lacks the height adjustment that a tether float offers.

Key Points

  • Higher flow rate than competing ½-horsepower sump pumps.
  • Tested to 1 million rapid cycles without failure by independent labs
  • Simple installation, 1-½” pipe thread inlet
  • Drain set up at 9″ of water, pumps down to 4″
  • Needs a minimum 11″ diameter sump basin for the integrated float switch.

Pros

  • Cast Iron base, Stainless Steel body provides affordable quality.
  • Tested to 1 million cycles, equivalent to 270 cycles a day for 10 years.
  • Assembled in the USA, 3 yr warranty on defects.
  • More than 25% of all reviewers love how quiet it runs.

Cons

  • While heavy enough, the body is not completely cast iron.
  • Shorter warranty compared to some Zoeller models.

Interesting Note: I’m quite certain the RIGID 1/2HP (check price on Home Depot) is identical to the CDU800. It has the same cast iron base, stainless center housing, same float switch, cover, and handles, but rebadged as a RIGID.

  • Need more HP? The Wayne CDU980 is the 3/4HP version.
  • Need less HP? The Wayne CDU790 is the 1/3HP version.
  • Want a longer warranty? The Wayne CDU980 and CDU1000 both have a 5-year warranty.

2. Zoeller M98 Premium 1/2 HP – Fully Cast Iron

The Zoeller M98 features full cast iron construction with an epoxy hard coat painted body for increased durability and corrosion resistance. Unlike the Wayne CDU, this unit features a bottom suction design that’s less prone to seal failure and clogging.

It also features an impressive cast iron vortex impeller design, whereas other competitors typically use thermoplastic impellers. Capable of passing solid debris despite its impeller design being a bit less powerful and efficient than open impeller designs of the same horsepower, such as the Wayne pumps. The M98 trades its lesser performance specs for higher reliability.

The M98 has a built-in discharge hole to prime the pump and bleed off air to prevent air lock. However, this hole is among the first things to clog up. You”ll still need to drill a 3/16″ hole below the check valve and pit cover, at a downward angle, to stop air lock and gurgling sounds.

Key Points

  • Unique vortex impeller design excels at passing solid debris up to ½” without clogging.
  • Capable of discharging 72 gallons per minute of water.
  • Zoeller switches have been tested to 1 million mechanical cycles, as well as 250,000 electrical starts.

Pros

  • Full cast iron construction excels at dissipating heat and noise. It’s a heavy sucker!
  • Epoxy hard coat painted body resists corrosion.
  • Each and every pump is 100% factory tested before leaving the assembly floor.

Cons

  • More expensive compared to cast iron and steel units like the Wayne CDU and Superior Pump.
  • The bulky size makes it a tight fit in narrow sump pits.

Need a Smaller Pump? – The Zoeller M53 Mighty Mate 1/3 HP is very similar, with a plastic vortex impeller.


3. Superior Pump 92511

Like the Zoeller and Basement Watchdog, the Superior Pump features full cast iron construction with a one-piece motor housing for improved durability and heat dissipation, plus its heavier weight keeps it planted in the pit regardless of water rise.

The ½-horsepower pump features solid copper motor windings, double O-ring motor plate seals, and heavy-duty stainless steel jacketed shaft seals for improved performance and longevity.

An electronically controlled split capacitor provides an extra power boost on startup and greater efficiency during continuous operation. Side inlets are also incorporated into the sump pump’s design to increase water flow.

Also features a thermoplastic vortex impeller, similar to Zoeller. This style not only makes clearing solid debris a breeze, but it’s also less prone to clogging than other impeller designs. A removable intake screen also makes for easier cleaning.

The Superior Pump also comes with a waterproof and replaceable 10-foot power cord with a piggyback feature that allows for automatic or manual pump operation.

Key Points

  • Pumps down to just 1″ of standing water – very low compared to the competition.
  • Capable of lifting water up to 25ft of vertical height.
  • Handles up to 3,480 GPH at 10ft and up to 4,200 GPH at 0ft.
  • 1-1/2″ NPT discharge for use with 1-1/2″ discharge pipe.
  • The thermoplastic impeller also handles ½” solids.

Pros

  • 10-foot power cord is 2ft longer than Wayne’s but shorter than Zoeller’s 15-foot cord.
  • Piggyback power plugs allow use as an automatic or manual pump.
  • Assembled in the USA (Minnesota).
  • Comes with a 3-year warranty.

Cons

  • No battery backup option
  • Design issues with float can cause the pump to stay on

Other Notes:


4. Wayne HALO Basement Guardian – Best Smart Sump Pump

Like the CDU800, the Wayne HALO Basement Guardian comes with an epoxy coated stainless steel body and cast iron bottom construction for a mix of quality and affordability. At ¾-horsepower, it’s also more powerful than other sump pumps in this review.

Other features include a steel shaft and a glass-reinforced thermoplastic impeller. The ¾-horsepower motor also features an oil-filled design for reduced noise and a longer, more efficient service life.

What sets this sump pump apart is its various smart features. A built-in digital controller and included iOS/Android app lets users monitor and manage sump pump activity from any location. The app lets you monitor sump pit water levels in real-time, review how often the pump runs, and compare pump activity across multiple days, weeks, and months.

Users can also monitor pump health via the mobile app. It even sends alerts whenever there’s a problem or if the pump itself is due for replacement. If you have Alexa in your home, you can use it to queue up the HALO’s current status and receive performance reports.

While it lacks a battery backup, it makes up for that missing feature with super-quiet operation.

Key Points

  • Same Wayne quality with built-in sensors to monitor the pump functions.
  • Requires a minimum 22″ sump pit height and 11″ pit diameter
  • Can move up to 4,620 GPH at 10ft and up to 5,520 GPH at 0ft
  • Drain set up at 9″ of water, pumps down to 4″
  • Uses WiFi, no bridge or hub required for installation and usage

Pros

  • Monitor your pump from anywhere with a smartphone app.
  • Patented Air Switch tested to 1,000,000 cycles
  • Comes with a 5-year warranty like other Wayne products

Cons

  • You pay a premium for the smart features.
  • Make sure you can get a decent WiFi signal in your basement.

5. Basement Watchdog CITS-50 – Best Pump/Backup Combo

Just as the name implies, the Basement Watchdog offers 24-hour protection via its battery backup system. Comes equipped with a ½-horsepower PSC primary pump and a battery-operated backup pump.

The pump itself features cast iron construction and comes pre-assembled with check valves, elbows and pipe already measured and glued. Features dual primary and backup pump float switches for added reliability. Both primary and backup pumps come equipped with non-corrosive strainers.

An optional Basement Watchdog CONNECT Module enables smart monitoring features with real-time alerts via text, email, or mobile app.

Key Points

  • Check valves, elbows and pipes are pre-assembled for easy installation.
  • Max flow rate of 73.3 GPM with 25ft max lifting height
  • 3,540 GPH primary pump capacity at 10ft lift, 4,400 GPH at 0ft lift
  • 1,850 GPH backup pump capacity at 10ft lift, 2,600 GPH at 0ft lift
  • The primary pump uses a 1-1/2″ check valve, backup pump uses a 1-1/4″ check valve

Pros

  • Single battery backup provides days of intermittent pumping power
  • Can connect two batteries in parallel for doubled run time
  • Compact design fits sump pits as small as 12″ diameter
  • Compatible with wet cell and maintenance-free absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries

Cons

  • The installation process can take some time to finish
  • Battery sold separately

More Quiet Running Sump Pumps

6. Barnes 112551 Model SP33VF

The Barnes is another quiet solution to consider. In fact, in terms of features and price point, the Barnes is quite similar to the Wayne CDU800. What you get for your money is a 1/3-horsepower pump with a split capacitor motor for added starting torque and reliability. Oil lubricated ball bearings, a heavy-duty carbon/ceramic seal, and a stainless-steel shaft add up to a sturdy design.

With a max flow rate of 50 GPM and a 1-1/2″ threaded outlet, the Barnes pump features a max lift of 30″ while handling ½” solids. The vertical float also makes it more compact for narrower sump pits, not to mention it also adds more reliability compared to a tethered float. Built-in automatic thermal overload protection prevents the motor from burning up and failing in the event of a malfunction.

At just 24 months, the Barnes pump comes with the shortest limited warranty of any pump listed in our roundup. While it’s a cause for concern for long-term users, this unit’s track record suggests you won’t run into too much trouble. Nearly all of the reviews for this pump praise it not just for its performance, but also for its longevity compared to similar ½-HP and 1/3-HP pumps.


7. Little Giant WRSC-6 Pump & Tank Combo

If you’re looking for a versatile option that handles more than just residential sump pits, the WRSC-6 is the one to choose. The compact 1/3-horsepower pump also features a 3-1/2-gallon polypropylene tank with 1-1/2″ inlet, outlet, and vent threads. The motor itself is housed in a durable epoxy coated cast iron case and oil-filled for excellent thermal performance.

The self-contained nature of the WRSC-6 makes it ideal for draining laundry tubs and bar sinks. O-rings help maintain a watertight seal. An integrated diaphragm switch lets the WRSC-6 drain at up to 7″ and pump down as far as 1″ before shutting off.

The unit’s 2,760 GPH flow rate pales in comparison to the other entries, but it’s good enough for under-bar and laundry tub duties. It’s also not built to handle large debris, although the removable filter does a decent job of preventing clogs.

The unit comes pre-assembled for faster installation, plus it’s also covered under a 3-year warranty.

What Makes a Good Silent Sump Pump?

Before we dive into quiet sump pumps, it’s helpful to know what features we evaluate to determine what features in sump pumps are important.

Sump Pump Brands

Lesser brands, cheap imports, don’t offer cast iron pumps, and generally don’t last long. The best quiet sump pumps are American made (or at least assembled in USA)

  • Wayne
  • Zoeller
  • Superior Pump

Other Good Brands

  • RIGID
  • Barnes
  • Little Giant

Cast Iron Body

Your search for a silent sump pump should focus is on cast iron pump systems. They are built solid and weigh far more than inferior plastic pumps. All that extra heft absorbs sound and dampens vibrations from the pump motor, leaving you with a purring kitty of a pump.

Submersible, Not Pedestal

Submersibles are quieter than pedestal models for the simple fact they can be stashed below the basement floor and under a sealed lid covering the sump pit. You simply cannot do this with a pedestal model.

HP & Flow Capacity

Standard sump pumps run ⅓ to ½ horsepower, with 1.5″ outlet pipe diameters. For most residential basements, this is plenty of power for keeping your basement dry when the heavier rains come.

Another factor to consider is the length and height of the discharge pipe run. Carefully read the manufacturer’s specs to ensure you have the HP and flow capacity you’ll need to push the water up and out of the basement.

Reliable Switches

It’s a big deal if a switch fails during a major storm. No switch means no pumping, no pumping can lead to potential flooding.

Invest in higher quality sump pumps with switches that actually get tested by outside labs. Most cheap imports are never going to go to those lengths to validate the switch design.

Backup Features

Backup pumps on a battery can save your bacon if you live in areas prone to rainstorms and power outages.

A backup can also kick in when the primary pump suddenly clogs, buying precious time to clear the clog and reset the system.

Conclusion

In the end, the Wayne CDU800 is our top recommended pick. It is an excellent pump in terms of specs, performance, and longevity. You’ll appreciate the top suction design and the cast iron base.

If you desire peace of mind a longer warranty can give you, then the easy alternative is the Zoeller M98. You’ll have the confidence of a 5-year warranty, and the bulletproof design of a full cast iron pump.

*Last updated 2022-06-24 at 09:42 / Product Links & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Tom Davidson

I'm a Design Engineer, husband, and Dad to two. I have a taste for building, playing bad golf, and tackling all kinds of home improvement projects. Read more about the SPT Team.

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