Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: June 24, 2021
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A submersible pump can be a great way to pump water from wells and other boreholes as well as to clear flooding and water buildups. They can be used in the home and in a lot of different industrial uses, and for this reason there are loads of different types of submersible pump. In this guide, we’re exploring the best submersible pump options for a variety of uses.
We found the Zoeller M53 Mighty-mate Submersible Sump Pump to be the very best choice on the market having looked at 20-30 different pumps. It is well made with epoxy coatings to stop its quality from degrading over time. It also has 3/10 HP which is more than enough for most home uses. We love how hard-wearing this pump is, and it can last many, many years if treated right. The 43 GPM rating also means it can cope with a lot of water entering the pit at once and clear the water quickly and effectively.
We’ve looked at a number of different options and explored some key features when making our list of the best pumps. We’ve looked at the motor power, which can determine how far the water can be pumped, the maximum flow rate of the pump, the power and what it is best used for. Things like the GPM values can be vital if you need to clear lots of water quickly. Our team spent weeks doing this research. You will find a simple overview of the models reviewed, before we go into the individual reviews and a buying guide to inform your final decision on which to buy.
"Though this pump with 800 GPH has been designed foremost for use in a pond, there is a lot you can do with this including water features, fountains, waterfalls and even irrigation systems to ensure your plants grow properly."
"It has been designed specifically for use in boots, but actually, it can be used in some other scenarios, as well as all sorts of yachts, cruisers and other watercraft. With 1100 GPH it is suitable for use in hydraulic systems that use cold water and that are fed by gravity."
This is arguably the best submersible pump for home use and it has some incredible features that will allow for reliable pumping for years to come. It can be used within a sump pit or a septic tank, and has plenty of power to quickly remove rainfall, for instance, to prevent flooding. The maximum flow rate is 43 GPM, which means that even if there is a lot of quick rainfall it can get rid of it.
The 1 ½ “ discharge is plenty, and some spherical solids can even be passed through so there is less chance of blockages. The float mechanism is okay, and means this kicks in when you need it to.
This is a residential model of sump pump first and foremost so probably won’t cut it in some commercial settings. It offers good value for money, especially when you consider the epoxy resin and brilliant build quality, as it can last years, or even decades with the right treatment. The 9 ft 115W power connection is fine for most US homes.
What are its best features?
Can last 5-7 years according to Zoeller advice.
Good value for money.
Reliable residential pumping.
Works well for sump pump or septic tanks.
What could be improved?
Float switch could be a little bit more sturdy and reliable in an ideal world.
More features: can be used as a sump pump, fits ¾ inch garden hose adapter, 25 ft max head, 10 ft cord, removable suction screen and handles up to 1/8 inch solids, thermoplastic construction, UL/CUL listed and CSA certified, 1-year warranty
We’ve named this pump the best value, and could just have easily named it the most versatile pump on the market. It has a lot of brilliant features and can be used in different scenarios, being a “universal” pump. This means it has home use, garden use and even some industrial use, and the fact that the price tag is so appealing makes it the second best submersible pump on the list.
In spite of being one of the cheaper options on our list it has a lot of the same features as the elite models. The motor power is decent at ¼ HP but this is probably not the best for large scale industrial projects, it really depends on what you plan to use it for.
It can be turned into a sump pump or just as easily be used within the garden, as it fits a garden hose adapter. The 10 ft cord is plenty and it also has a 25 ft maximum pumping capacity, meaning if it is fitted within a basement it should be able to pump water up and away.
All of this is backed up with a 1 year warranty from the manufacturers, who clearly have a lot of faith in their product. If you still want some third party validation, the UL/CUL certification as well as CSA means that you know it has been tested thoroughly and rigorously.
For those on a budget who don’t need huge pumping power, this could be a very good choice.
What makes it special?
A very versatile pump, this can be used in loads of different situations.
Thermoplastic and built to last.
Excellent value for money.
Comes with a one year warranty from the manufacturer.
What cons did we find?
Could ideally be a little more powerful, though ¼ HP is ok for most people.
Some people are looking for the best submersible pond pump or an option for things like fountains, gardens and hydroponics. The Homasy Submersible Water Pump is fairly modest in terms of the flow rate and lift height, for instance, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t a great option. You won’t want to use it as a sump pump, or for industrial use, but this is a good submersible pump for water features, for instance, or for your pond or aquarium.
Keep in mind that the flow rate is only 80GPH or gallons per hour. It also only lifts up to 2.6 ft, so may not be suitable for pumping a lot of water or pumping it large distances. However, if your needs are modest, this has some very positive features, one of which being the fact that the volume is incredibly low. It has an ultra-quiet motor, so if you need to use this indoors, it will not cause loads of sound that is annoying, especially indoors. You don’t want an indoor aquarium that is constantly buzzing away in the corner! It is also very simple to take apart and clean, something bigger pumps don’t tend to be.
As always, it will come down to what you need your submersible pump for, this is nowhere near being the best deep well submersible pump, but it is fine for aquariums and ponds, for instance.
What makes it special?
Ultra quiet, great for use in ponds or any indoor use.
Simple and reliable design.
What cons did we find?
Low lift height and low gallons per hour pumping capacity.
If you’re in the market for the best submersible well pump brand then this could be a very good call for you. The Hallmark Industries MA0414X-7A is the best 1 hp submersible well pump we’ve reviewed for a variety of different reasons, and the fact that it can pump from lower pits makes it a very good choice for even very deep wells.
There are some brilliant build-quality features as you would expect from this sort of product, and it is made out of stainless steel, built to resist any corrosion. There is a 207 feet max head for open water tanks, which is an absolutely massive capacity for pumping high.
The control box and thermal protection are built in and designed to protect against any extremes such as temperature rises and overheating from long term use.
It pumps at 33GPM which is more than a lot of the other 1 HP pumps on the market, especially ones that are having to pump from so deep down in the ground. A 1-year warranty protects the purchase, but this is so well-built that you will probably not have to use it. Obviously, if you need a sump pump or a different form of submersible pump then this might not be the perfect design, and other products on our list are likely to suit your needs far better.
If you are looking for a submersible pump for a pool then this could be a good option for you. The Little Giant APCP-1700 is a specific pool pump and is designed with exactly the sort of features people are normally looking for when they build a pool for their home or need a new pool pump. The name, Little Giant APCP-1700 comes from the 1700 GPH capacity for pumping which is really impressive.
It has a motor power of ⅓ HP, fine for most medium sized home pools.
It has an Integrated float switch for automatic operation so it only starts when there are 2 inches of water or more within the pool.
The maximum head is 23 ft, so ensure that the body of water is not bigger than this, but it is very unlikely to be. To be honest, looking at this product, it doesn’t look incredibly durable, but it is very well-made with a glass-filled polypropylene, and this is backed up by the manufacturers who have given a warranty of 3 years to protect the purchase, too. A removable intake screen also makes it really easy to clean this from time to time, as required, and this will help it to have a longer life, too.
Like a lot of the models on the list, it’s only suitable for certain uses, in this case, for a pool. It’s not much to look at, but this isn’t the cheap and flimsy plastic design you might assume at first glance.
What are our favorite features?
Side discharge gives optimal water removal.
Easy to clean from time to time.
Automatically activates when required.
3/4-Inch garden hose connection means you can use it for garden functions, too.
This is undoubtedly one of the very top pumps out there for use in a wide variety of situations, and though it has been designed first and foremost for use in a pond, there is a lot you can do with this including water features, fountains, waterfalls and even irrigation systems to ensure your plants grow properly.
It’s flexible in terms of installation too, with 4 suction cups and 3 different outlet adapters to allow you to fit this just about where you like. The 10 ft max lift height is not as high as some other options, so this may not be submersible to the same depths as some of the other models on this list, but it can certainly pump with power. 800 gallons per hour is more than enough for the vast majority of ponds, especially around the home.
This is also quite a convenient pump, you don’t need any tools to disassemble it, so when the time comes for cleaning, you can just take it apart and clean out any unwanted mess, ensuring it keeps operating at a high level for a long period of time.
What are our favorite features?
Easy to disguise and hide in a pump.
Comes with a 2-year warranty.
What could be better?
Could do with a higher max lift height, ideally.
Only a 5 ft cord, half the length of some other models on the list.
The WAYNE WWB WaterBUG Submersible Pump is a clever and versatile design, it can do a lot of different things and be used in the garden, with a simple and easy garden hose attachments.
It has both a top discharge and a side discharge, which is why it is so good for versaitility. You might want it to discharge from the top for things like window wells or buckets, but if you have a flat surface like a roof or a basement, or you have standing water somewhere in the yard, the side discharge is much better.
It has a very impressive pumping power too, at 1257 GPH when pumping flat. At 10 ft, it can still manage an amazing 900GPH. All this is controlled by the “Multi-Flo” tech which lets you select exactly what you want the pump to do.
It’s made in the USA, and has an impressive build quality. You can see just by looking at this product that it is an amazingly sturdy product, and can stand to be submerged in water even for long periods of time. The ⅙ HP doesn’t sound huge, but it definitely gets the most out of it.
Why is it special?
Excellent pumping capacity and flow rate.
Can be used in multiple scenarios.
Very sturdy and built to last.
Comes with a 1 year warranty.
What are the flaws?
No auto shut-off, you need to unplug as soon as water has stopped being removed.
More settings and choices so can be harder to operate.
This is a model which is built exclusively for wells, so though it isn’t the most versatile, it can do a really good job of pumping water as required for a well. As with many of the best submersible well pump options, this has a non-corrosive design so it can be used for long periods and kept underwater without getting damaged. It has a close tolerance and increased performance from the PPO staging, too.
The best quality materials have been used, which is why this is cCSAus listed. It has stainless steel washers and a Franklin motor, and can pump up three meters in total. The 115V compatibility is good, but it comes with stripped leads so will need a bit of expertise in order to wire it in.
Some people have also used this as a sewer pump, but make sure you know what you are doing before attempting this.
The Little Giant WE20G05P4-21 has a ½ HP design so it is more powerful than a lot of other well pumps out there, making it truly one of the best options for this. The 26 GPM flow rate is great when you consider the fact it can be used at fairly big depths.
This is arguably the best aquarium pump submersible up to 11 ft. It has a huge flow rate and plenty of power, and it is impressively quiet. If you have a big aquarium or fish tank in your home and you need a hefty pump that can do the business, the FREESEA could be a very good choice.
The water can flow at up to 1100 GPH and it has a height lift of 11 ft, which you shouldn’t need to utilize in normal fish tanks, but in a pond or an aquarium this could be really useful. The 5.9ft cord is also plenty for most uses around the home.
This comes with a one year warranty, but perhaps even more useful is the fact that you get two years of aftersales service, meaning that you can still ask questions and get support long after you have bought the product. If you need some help with the pump functionality, the company can provide.
The 1100 GPH flow rate is definitely plenty for ponds and aquariums, with some people also managing to use this as the central point for hydroponics systems.
If you need something that is cheaper but doesn’t have so much power, the brand also makes a lot of different models that are the same but have less in terms of flow rate.
Why did it make our list?
Plenty of power for home use in ponds, aquariums etc.
Lift of up to 11 ft.
1 year warranty and a further year of support.
What is not ideal about it?
Not as long-lasting as other models, could do with a steel design.
The MAXZONE Submersible Boat Bilge Water Pump has been included in our list as it is the best for boats, and if you are looking for a specific boat water pump then you might find that your options are a little bit limited. So, you can use a product like this one!
It has been designed specifically for use in boots, but actually, it can be used in some other scenarios, as well as all sorts of yachts, cruisers and other watercraft.
It is suitable for use in hydraulic systems that use cold water and that are fed by gravity.
This is totally saltwater safe, so whereas some pumps would degrade with saltwater, the MAXZONE should be fine.
The hourly flow of 1100 gallons is plenty for most small boats, making this a great bilge pump. It uses 12V power supplies and the engine inside is water cooled to prevent overheating. For people who just love to be out on the water, this can be a very positive option. It’s clear just from one look that it is very different to a lot of the other choices we’ve included on our list!
Why did it make our list?
Small and compact.
Totally safe for use in saltwater.
What is not ideal about it?
12V power, not suitable for home use.
Best for use on watercraft, so not the most versatile.
Things to Consider
On to our buying guide. When we do some product reviews it is pretty self-explanatory which features to look out for. This is not the case when you are looking into the best submersible pump brands as there are many different models built for different purposes. There are a lot of reasons you might need a pump to sit underwater, whether you are a boating enthusiast or you need a product for your pond, water feature or even to clear water out of your home as a sump pump.
This is why there are so many different choices on our list, and the features vary greatly. It’s almost impossible to name one the best overall, so we’ve named products based on their suitability for different uses, for instance the best submersible fountain pump or well pump.
Below, we look into the features to consider and some other considerations when you are buying a sump pump or any other kind of submersible pump.
Things to consider before buying a submersible pump
All of the things listed below need to be considered in at least some way before you decide on making any sort of purchase. You need to think mostly about what you need the pump for. It is not just a simple case of picking a model you like or finding the most durable pump, instead you need to match up your needs to the right model. Do you need to use it at home? Do you need to pump water upwards or sideways? These are things that need to be considered.
The usage of the pump is by far the most important factor in the buying decision. Where do you plan to use it and how? In each of our pump reviews we have discussed the right use for the pumps. Some are far more versatile than others, as for example VIVOSUN Submersible Pump.
You might need your pump for a pool, you might need it for use in a sump pit, it’s very unlikely to find a pump that can do both, so you need to decide on the usage first and foremost. Some pumps can do more than one thing, for instance, it may be suitable for both a pond and an aquarium.
The motor power is normally measured in HP or Horsepower. It is not the only thing that plays a part in the power of the motor overall, but it does have an impact. The power is relevant, but you may prioritize some functions over this. There is no point in having a huge level of horsepower if it doesn’t actually do what you want it to, such as lifting to a certain height.
The voltage of the system is more a compatibility issue than anything. You need something that suits the voltage of what is available in your home. This is why, for instance, the boat model, the MAXZONE Submersible Boat Bilge Water Pump has a 12V connection, which is more suited to using on a boat rather than within a home. Many have 110V or 115V connections which is the standard for households throughout America.
Flow rate is definitely more of a priority for some than it is for others.
This comes down to how much water you need to shift in any one time period.
For instance, if you are looking for a sump pump and you find a model with a low flow rate, it’s unlikely to do what you need it to. If water falls quickly and your sump pit fills, you need a flow rate (measured in gallons per minute or gallons per hour) that can keep up. For instance, the FREESEA Submersible Water Pump can pump a lot of water, 1100 GPH.
This is closely tied to the flow rate and the speed at which the pumps can operate. In some scenarios you will need a very fast flowing pump that can quickly clear a lot of water. If you are using your pump in an industrial setting, this can certainly be the case.
It isn’t always essential for a pump to have certifications, but it certainly helps, and when you are looking to purchase a pump you should at least look out for any certifications. These tend to mean that a third party has checked and verified certain qualities of the pump such as the speeds and how hard-wearing they are. As an example, the Superior Pump 91250 is CSA certified. It’s not always the number one priority, but it should be taken into account, as a certification is like a vote of confidence.
Any product that is dealing with water and/or electricity is vastly improved by the offer of a warranty. Most of the submersible pumps on our list come with some form of warranty to back up the product they have offered. The Little Giant APCP-1700, for instance, comes with a 3-year warranty. One year is pretty standard, but you may get more in certain scenarios. It is always best to check with the company if you are unsure of what warranty is on offer. Some pumps can last years or even decades of use, so don’t take any chances that your pump will break after just a few months.
Additional features may depend upon the actual usage of the pump. For instance, a sump pump may have a float that detects when water reaches a certain level, and then kicks in when it needs to. This is very much on a case-by-case basis, depending on which pump you are buying and what it is for. Our editor’s choice, the Zoeller M53 Mighty-mate Submersible Sump Pump can be a very good option if you need this sort of float mechanism.
Once again, this is something that is relatively hard to pinpoint, as it depends on what you need the pump to be able to do. Are you looking for a sump pump? You will probably need to spend a couple of hundred dollars to get something decent. A pump for an aquarium is far less likely to cost this much, especially if you don’t need that much power.
This is one of the reasons we have included so many of the best submersible sump pump reviews, as it will help people to work out the sort of price they are going to have to spend if they are to find a good quality submersible pump, but if you are in need of just a small budget-friendly option Homasy Submersible Water Pump will be your pick.
Naturally, once you get into the realms of needing a pump for industrial uses, you will find that some of the choices are far more expensive.
Submersible pump installation and maintenance tips
If you are in a position where you are buying a pump for the first time, you may well be worried about the installation and how to maintain it. Also, if you have had a pump before and had to replace it, you’ll be hoping that this one lasts a lot longer, and the key to that is maintenance.
Before we fully go into our tips for installation and maintenance, you should definitely be aware that there is an element of risk involved. If you are uncertain or do not have the proper tools or instructions then you should leave it to the professionals. There are plenty of tradespeople who are more than happy to install submersible pumps and they can usually do so relatively quickly.
For installation, it is impossible to give a one-stop guide. The key is to check what each manufacturer says about how to install your submersible pump. Each will be slightly different. They will need some form of power supply, which is one of the hazards. If you opt for a pump that needs to be wired in then you might find that it is far better to get an electrician to do the job for you, stripping wire and hooking up to mains power can be tricky at the best of times, but especially where water is involved.
In terms of maintenance, this is another area where it is utterly essential to check the manufacturer’s guidelines. However, there are a few simple tips that can be followed. You should always perform regular checks, especially if you want your product to last as long as it has the potential to.
Our maintenance tips include:
Regular cleaning. Once in a while, it’s vital to open up the mechanism and give it a clean. Be cautious and follow manufacturer instructions.
Audio and visual checks. If the pump looks or sounds wrong, it could be time for a replacement or repair.
Check the voltage and flow of submersible pumps as regularly as you have the ability to.
Some of the manufacturers also offer a hotline or some other form of additional support, this means that should anything go wrong, they can help you to troubleshoot and establish what the issues are, and even help you to solve them. Additionally, a warranty can be very useful as it guarantees that you will get a certain amount of use out of your pump.
It’s important to check, even if you need to email the seller to check, but in the majority of instances the product itself will say in its description if it is saltwater safe. If it doesn’t, it is probably the safest option to avoid using this option in salt water as it can cause a lot of corrosion and shorten the lifespan of your pump, as well as stopping it from being as effective.
Yes, you can use a submersible well pump all through the year, assuming it is of a high enough quality. A lot of these products will come with some form of temperature control to either cool or warm when needed, so that the motor is not impacted by extreme temperatures through the different seasons.
If you have had a flood then yes, a submersible pump can be used to get rid of the water that is left. However, it is best to install a sump pump well in advance of this, to prevent ever needing to pump water out after a flood. Sump pumps can detect when water is entering a pit and then take the water to a safe area for discharging. They are a very clever way to avoid flood damage.
It is worth stating again that it is utterly vital to make your decision based on your unique needs. Our editor’s choice product is the Zoeller M53 Mighty-mate Submersible Sump Pump. This is a great sump pump with an automated float. We’ve given it a very high rating of 9.9/10 as it can last many years.
Next on our list of the best submersible pump options is the value pick, the Superior Pump 91250, rated 9.8/10. This pump is versatile so it can be used in a number of different scenarios.
The Homasy Submersible Water Pump is our budget pick. It doesn’t have as many features or as much power as some others, but for aquariums, for instance, it could be a very good pick. It is also ultra-quiet, so if you need a pump that can be used indoors with minimal disturbance, this could be the one. We’ve rated it 9.7/10.