If you are involved in everyday use of common household appliances such as furnaces, refrigerators, and air conditioners, you certainly have unidentified experience with condensate pumps (Source).
These devices come in handy when draining water, produced by the operation of household appliances. Without draining, the vapor accumulated would cause dysfunction (Source).
Condensate pumps work centrifugally. They transfer energy to fluids, resulting in strong pressure and momentum, which pushes the fluid in the designated direction. They get their name from the fluid that they push – water from condensed steam.
Choosing the best condensate pump can be an intricate process. A good product should provide enough horsepower to drive the fluid, have sizeable head measurements, and be of standard voltage.
To ease your search process, we have reviewed some of the best products on the market.
Best Condensate Pumps 2019
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Condensate Pumps 2019
- 2 1. Little Giant 554425 VCMA – 20ULS Condensate Pump – Best Safe Condensate Pump
- 3 2. Little Giant 554401 VCMA – 15UL Automatic Condensate Removal Pump – Best Professional Grade Condensate Pump
- 4 3. Little Giant VCMX – 20ULST 554550 VCMX Condensate Pump – Best Condensate Pump for Household Appliances
- 5 4. Little Giant 554421 VCMA – 20 UL Condensate Pump – Best Versatile Condensate Pump
- 6 5. Beckett CB151UL Condensate Pump – Best Quality Functional Condensate Pump
- 7 Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Condensate Pump
- 8 When to Replace a Condensate Pump
- 9 FAQs About Condensate Pumps
- 10 Our Final Take
|Little Giant 554425 VCMA – 20ULS Condensate Pump|
|Little Giant 554401 VCMA – 15UL Automatic Condensate Removal Pump|
Stainless steel shaft
|Little Giant VCMX – 20ULST 554550 VCMX Condensate Pump|
Has a safety switch
|Little Giant 554421 VCMA – 20 UL Condensate Pump|
|Beckett CB151UL Condensate Pump|
1. Little Giant 554425 VCMA – 20ULS Condensate Pump – Best Safe Condensate PumpThe Little Giant 554425 VCMA – 20ULS Condensate Pump is one of the VCMS series of Little Giant products. It is ideal for detecting, collecting, and automatic removal of condensate from appliances like high-efficiency furnaces, humidifiers, condensing boilers, and air conditioning equipment.
Notably, it has a ¼-turn check that allows servicing of the machine without necessarily removing the tubing. This makes it good for efficient water spill elimination. The pump also comes with a mounting bracket for easier installation and a safety switch that can be wired to an air conditioner system or other appliances.
As you may guess, the safety switch is useful if the machine fails and the water level has reached an overflow point. The switch prevents the compressor from running and overflowing by switching it off.
Additionally, it features 20 feet of tubing and a 6-foot long power cord. The pump comes with rubber feet that are built to absorb vibrations when installed on hard-working surfaces. Likewise, its overly slimmer footprint size provides a lot of flexibility, too, if there is a need to install in tight spaces.
More Reasons to Like this Product
The Little Giant 554425 VCMA – 20ULS Condensate Pump is very resistant. Actually, it is heavier compared to similar products on the market, probably due to the stronger materials employed in its making.
Moreover, setting up it up is quite simple and straightforward. Clear instructions are provided within its package.
Laslty, this pump is quiet, automatic, and does a flawless job emptying your condensation system easily.
2. Little Giant 554401 VCMA – 15UL Automatic Condensate Removal Pump – Best Professional Grade Condensate PumpYet another product in the VCMA series, the Little Giant 554401 VCMA – 15UL Automatic Condensate Removal Pump is designed for automatic collection and removal of condensate from refrigerators, dehumidification equipment, and air conditioners.
It is a professional-grade pump suitable for high-efficiency oil and gas-fired furnaces as well as condensing boiler equipment. This machine provides a 1/50hp with a strong flow of 65 gallons hourly.
As such, its collection tank and motor are made with durable ABS plastic that prevents damage over time. Additionally, it employs an automatic start and stop function with a check-valve.
Just like our first product, the Little Giant 554401 VCMA – 15UL Automatic Condensate Removal Pump is easy to install and runs quietly. It also won’t be an eyesore in your space due to its slim nature. Overall, this device is easy to remove, clean, and replace.
3. Little Giant VCMX – 20ULST 554550 VCMX Condensate Pump – Best Condensate Pump for Household AppliancesIf you are in the market for a low-grade and reliable household condensate pump, the Little Giant VCMX – 20ULST 554550 VCMX pump should be your choice. It gives 115v and 1/30hp, a perfect choice for household appliances.
Additionally, it comes with a strong flow of 84 gallons per hour and a one-foot lift. It can be easily mounted on the wall or the floor where the pump’s rubber feet lessens vibrational noise.
Having installed your pump, you won’t need to worry about your appliance running optimally. You can’t notice this condensate pump running, thanks to its quiet operation.
The pump is also reasonably priced despite its higher lift capacity and has better transfer rates compared to other condensate machines.
4. Little Giant 554421 VCMA – 20 UL Condensate Pump – Best Versatile Condensate PumpThe Little Giant 554421 VCMA – 20 UL Condensate Pump is a good choice if you need a pump for household appliances as well as heavy-duty uses. It works well for home furnaces as well as industrial dehumidifiers.
The pump’s versatile nature is provided by the 115v and 1/30hp operation with a half-gallon tank made from durable and rustproof ABS plastic. Additionally, it comes with a 6-foot power cord that offers protection from thermal overload.
Likewise, installing this product is a breeze, too. You can choose if you want to install the machine on a flat surface or mount it on the wall. Meanwhile, when it comes to replacing the pump, you can easily do it by yourself.
However, it feels overly lightweight and misleadingly flimsy compared to other pump. But worry not: this device is an excellent option if you need an affordable, long-term, and reliable condensate pump.
5. Beckett CB151UL Condensate Pump – Best Quality Functional Condensate PumpBeckett is a well-known brand and a trusted company in the food industry. Therefore, you should rest assured the Beckett CB151UL Condensate Pump will provide the much-needed quality functionality.
The pump comes with a 115v motor and boasts a 120-gallon flow rate per hour. With this, even the largest particles will pass through the tubing without any trouble. Moreover, installing this is quite simple.
Additionally, its plastic tank protects the pump from damage, especially when in heavy use, too. And despite being slightly pricier, this is a dependable product with great durability.
Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Condensate Pump
Finding the right condensate pump for your appliances can be tricky, especially if you are new to this industry.
There are lots of pumps and installation options available on the market with varying features, brands and price ranges. Before looking at the various factors to consider, it is imperative to highlight how condensate pumps basically work.
How a Condensate Pump Works
Household appliances, including air conditioners, accumulate water as they operate. This water needs to be drained to maintain the conditioner’s proper functioning. This is the condensate pump’s work.
Condensate pumps reduce the level of accumulated water when it reaches a certain level. The pump only gets activated when the water gets to the float switch. The condensate pump’s motor turns on, and water is suctioned into the impeller, which drains the accumulated water by rotating.
With most HVAC systems, they are designed so that condensate pump filters water to an outside drain. However, not all are made this way. Steam systems, for instance, have their condensate pumps made in a way that water is directed into another area to be cleaned and recycled back to the steam area.
This is an input that is used to energize the pump. When the water in the tank accumulates and reaches the level set on the float switch, it triggers a signal to start and operate the pump until the level of water is reduced substantially.
Once the level is reached, the pump automatically stops operating.
Most pumps come with tanks ranging from two to five liters.
However, small pumps may not have tanks. As such, they are placed directly on the drain pan to pump the condensate water.
If you are looking for a pump for use in a heavy-duty setting, consider a pump with a large tank. Similarly, a small sized tank can be perfect for household use.
Other Crucial factors You Should Consider Include:
- Pump head measurement – determines the maximum height at which the condensate pump can deliver a liquid to the pump’s outlet.
- GPH/GPM – the gallons of water that the pump can remove in one minute or hour. You may want a system that removes two to three times more than the system’s condensing rate.
- Voltage – 115v to 120v for household appliances, 230v for industrial appliances, and 460v for commercial grade systems.
- Horsepower – usually 1/30hp to 1/hp.
- Extra features – automatic shut-off and thermal overload protection or a removable check valve option that prevents the backflow of water into the tank in case the outlet line level is higher than the tank.
- Long power cord and plug – should be long enough for a convenient application.
- Stainless steel shaft – prolongs the condensate pump’s life.
When to Replace a Condensate Pump
Many people easily forget their condensate pumps are appliances. And like many appliances, these pumps have to be replaced. However, this doesn’t mean that you will have to replace the pump too often. If you are keen, you will easily identify when the pump isn’t working and when to replace it.
With continuous use, the pump’s motor may start failing or the automatic float switch may fail to turn on and off due to the accumulation of debris and dirt. The most obvious sign that your condensate pump requires urgent replacement is leaking.
When it comes to replacing your condensate pump, doing it by yourself is possible. Installing a condensate pump is quite a simple process. You can follow the instructions in the manual to replace your condensate pump without asking for help from a technician.
FAQs About Condensate Pumps
Q: Do I need a condensate pump?
If you have a lot of appliances that use up water or tangle with humidity, you need a condensate pump. For example, boilers and air conditioners usually can’t get rid of condensed water away from the area you’ve placed them in, so that’s where the pumps come in.
Q: What is the purpose of a condensate pump?
As mentioned before, condensate pumps get rid of condensed water made by certain appliances. They divert water from a spot and move them to a remote place like a drain.
Q: How do I tell if my condensate pump is working?
If it’s able to efficiently do its job without making unnatural sounds, then it should be normally working.
Q: How do I know what’s wrong with my condensate pump?
- If it’s not working or turning on, check if the power source is plugged in.
- If it is on but doesn’t have water gushing from the storage, check either the microswitch or the motor itself.
- If the pump suddenly shuts off and upon inspection you notice the float became stuck due to debris build up, tap on it lightly until it moves.
- If the float is damaged, you’ll have to replace it.
- If the machine stops producing water, check for clogs.
- If the water is not properly flowing, clean the condensate pump valve.
Q: How do you clean a condensate pump?
First, switch off both the pump and the appliance it is connected to Then, simply use warm water and dish soap to clean it.
Our Final Take
The first step to finding the best condensate pump is determining if you will subject the machine to household or industrial use.
Then, figure out the lift requirements of the pump; identify the discharge point and where the pump will be mounted. As a rule of thumb, the output flow of the pump should be double the input rate from the appliance.
Lastly, be sure to know about the condensate pump’s installation and ascertain its voltage requirements.