Top 5 Best Condensate Pumps (2022 Review)

Picture this: you walk into your utility room and water is all over the floor.

Well, if you have an unreliable condensate pump, this is an ever-present possibility.

The best condensate pumps have durable motors (with steel shafts) and safety switches that will automatically turn off your HVAC if it detects a water leak.

I invite you to check out my list of the best condensate pumps. You will love these water pumps!

best condensate pump reviews

In this HomeInspectorSecrets.com guide, you will discover:

  • Our overall top pick for the best condensate pump
  • How to install condensate pumps for an HVAC system
  • What you need to know to buy the best pump

Below is a quick list of all our top products. Keep scrolling to learn more about how to choose and use the best condensate pumps.

ImageProduct
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Little Giant VCMA-15ULST
  • Safety Switch
  • Handles Acidic Condensate
  • Budget Friendly
  • Safety Switch
  • Handles Acidic Condensate
  • Budget Friendly
View on Amazon
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Little Giant 553201
  • One Gallon Tank
  • Safety Switch
  • Thermal Protection
  • One Gallon Tank
  • Safety Switch
  • Thermal Protection
View on Amazon
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Beckett CB151UL
  • Quiet Pump
  • 6-ft Cord
  • 120 Gallon Flow Rate
  • Quiet Pump
  • 6-ft Cord
  • 120 Gallon Flow Rate
View on Amazon
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Little Giant VCMX-20ULST
  • 1/30 HP
  • Easy Servicing
  • 20-ft of Tubing
  • 1/30 HP
  • Easy Servicing
  • 20-ft of Tubing
View on Amazon
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Diversitech CP-22
  • Quiet Pump
  • Budget Friendly
  • Quality Float
  • Quiet Pump
  • Budget Friendly
  • Quality Float
View on Amazon

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

Updated On September 14, 2022

Our favorite pick for the best condensate pump goes to the Little Giant 554415. The Little Giant can pump 65-gallons of water per minute with a 1/50-hp motor. There also includes three inlet drain ports so you can connect up to 3 different condensate sources such as a furnace, A/C, dehumidifier, or condensing boiler. The pump includes a safety switch, 20-ft of tubing, a 6-ft power cord, and a thermally protected motor.

What Are Condensate Pumps?

Condensate pumps are specialized water pumps designed to remove water (condensate) from air conditioners, high-efficiency furnaces, boilers, and dehumidifiers when using gravity alone isn't workable.

These water pumps are usually installed in homes when a floor drain isn't close by, or if installing condensate piping to a drain would pose a tripping hazard.

The drain hose is usually a 1/4-inch clear vinyl tubing or 3/4-inch white PVC pipe that is routed to a floor drain, utility sink, or to the outside.

When water enters the water tank, a float switch activates the condensate pump, and it automatically pumps out the water.

What Appliances Use Condensate Pumps?

Here are a few of the top home appliances that commonly use condensate pumps:

Air Conditioners

When the A/C is on, it naturally produces condensate or liquid water as part of the air conditioning process. Especially in humid areas of the country, an air conditioner can produce up to 20 gallons of condensate per day that needs to be automatically drained.

High Efficiency Furnaces

In addition to air conditioners, modern high efficiency furnaces can produce a significant amount of condensate.

Since these furnaces are so efficient—up to 98.5%—much more heat is pulled from the heated gas unlike low/medium efficiency furnaces. In fact, there is so much more energy pulled from the heated gas, that it actually allows it to cool down and produce condensate.

Dehumidifiers

Condensate pumps are also used together with dehumidifiers so homeowners don't have to worry about constantly pouring out the water tank. If you have a moist basement, having a dehumidifier and a condensate pump can greatly help to automatically remove basement moisture.

Read Also >> Why Is My Condensate Pump Running Continuously?

How To Install A Condensate Pump?

Installing a condensate pump is a pretty simple DIY job for a handy homeowner. Here are a few general steps to install a condensate pump, though every install will be a little different.

  1. Unpack The Condensate Pump And Remove Insert
  2. Secure The Condensate Pump So It Won't Move
  3. Connect The PVC Drain Piping To Condensate Pump
  4. Connect Discharge Tubing To Floor Drain Or To Outside
  5. Secure Discharge Tubing And Make Sure It Slopes
  6. Connect Safety Switch Or Alarm
  7. Plug In Condensate Pump
  8. Test The Condensate Pump By Pouring In Water

Step 1 - Unpack The Condensate Pump And Remove Insert

Unpack the condensate pump and remove the cardboard insert that secures the float switch during shipping.

This insert will have to be removed prior to operation.

Step 2 - Secure The Condensate Pump So It Won't Move

Secure the condensate pump to the furnace, wall, or to the floor.

Even though many condensate pumps are loosely laid on the floor, they are supposed to be secured to either the air handler or to a wall.

Condensate pumps have two slots on the side that are used to screw the unit to the furnace or wall. You want to make sure that the pump is flat and that it is below the condensate drain pan.

top best condensate pump reviews (1)

Step 3 - Connect The PVC Drain Piping To Condensate Pump

Connect the 3/4" PVC drain piping from the furnace or A/C into one of the top inlets.

Its a good practice to cut the end of the PVC in a sharp slant (not flat) in order to prevent any type of suction.

Insert PVC drain piping at least 1-inch into the pump.

Read Also >> How To Tell If Your Condensate Pump Is Working?

Step 4 - Connect Discharge Tubing To Floor Drain Or To Outside

Connect the 3/8" discharge tube to a floor drain or to the outside.

The standard size for the condensate discharge tubing is 3/8" and is usually clear and made out of vinyl.

Clear tubing will help you notice any blocks to the line such as algae or mineral deposit build up. Its a good idea to secure vinyl tubing with a small clamp to the check valve.

top best rated condensate pump reviews

Step 5 - Secure Discharge Tubing And Make Sure It Slopes

Secure the discharge tubing so it won't move and make sure there is the proper slope.

Homeowners should first install the vinyl tubing vertically to the required height, and then horizontally. 

The horizontal portion of the discharge tubing needs to be sloped downwards to help draining. Most lids on condensate pumps can be reversed if you want the discharge tubing on the other side of the pump.

Step 6 - Connect Safety Switch Or Alarm

Connect the safety switch or alarm so that it will shut off the HVAC if there is a drainage problem.

If the condensate pump has extra wiring for a safety switch, then you must connect these wires in series with the low voltage thermostat circuit. This will turn off the furnace or A/C automatically if the condensate pump fails or overflows. You can also connect these wires to a water alarm instead.

(An update to the International Plumbing Code requires a safety switch to be connected if the condensate pump is located in an unfinished space such as an attic or crawlspace. Without this safety precaution, an overflowing condensate pump can cause significant structural damage to the home.)

Step 7 - Plug In Condensate Pump

Plug in the condensate pump into an outlet.

It is usually a standard 3-pronged plug to a standard 120-volt outlet—GFCI protected. If there is no plug, you will have to hardwire the pump to the furnace.

Step 8 - Test The Condensate Pump By Pouring In Water

Test the pump by pouring in water into one of the extra inlet holes on the top of the pump.

Pour the water up to the top of the condensate pump until the float activates.

Read Also >> How To Tell If Your Condensate Pump Is Working?

How to Pick the Best Condensate Pump?

Choosing the best condensate pump involves making sure that it is powerful enough for your system with the right horsepower and flow rate. Homeowners should also make sure that it has safety features to prevent water damage. Below are a few key considerations when looking for the best condensate pump.

GPM Or GPH (Gallons Per Minute Or Hour) Rate

This measurement is critical in determining how much water can the pump remove per minute or per hour. To determine this number, each unit comes with a pre-determined or pre-tested discharge rate.

The GPM /GPH rate lists how many gallons can be removed per minute once the pump is activated.

In general, the average AC condensate pump can remove twice the amount of condensation depending on its tank size. As a result, it’s best to invest in a unit with at least a 1-gallon tank for maximum results.

Safety Switch

Its a smart move to buy a condensate pump with a safety switch. This special switch is connected to the furnace or A/C so that it will turn it off automatically if the condensate pump fails or overflows. These low voltage wires can also be connected to a water alarm instead if you prefer.

condensate drain leak in attic

Voltage 

Depending on the system, a certain amount of power is needed to remove water from the drain pan. With a traditional residential unit, it’s acceptable to use a 120 volt outlet.

For larger units, the system may require a 220 volt outlet for more power.

It’s important to assess the property’s needs along with how much condensate is produced by the A/C unit.

Horsepower

The amount of horsepower generated by the HVAC condensate pump can help determine how much water it can pump out. In most cases, the average residential condensate pump is going to have no more than 1/30-1/50 hp.

With larger units, the furnace condensate pump may offer up to 1/3 hp.

Just like the voltage, it’s important to begin by assessing the property’s HVAC system and how much condensate it produces per day. This can help determine how much horsepower is required to keep the system in check.

Measurements 

Measure the pump to make sure it can be placed next to the A/C unit.

Remember, the condensate pump needs to be installed nearby the condensate drain pan and will actively remove excess water once the HVAC is operating. This means it needs to have enough space so the pump doesn’t get in the way or so the drain line doesn’t get damaged with people walking over it.

Durability 

How durable is the air conditioner condensate pump?

The best A/C condensate pump should be made of high-grade materials such as galvanized steel. This is the only way to make sure the pump doesn’t break down as soon as the HVAC system produces condensate.

When a condensate pump can’t remain durable, it starts slowing down. This can compromise the system, how it performs, and how consistent it is throughout the day. 

Read Also >> Why Is My Condensate Pump Running Continuously?

Our Reviews of the Best Condensate Pumps

My #1 top pick for the best condensate goes to the Little Giant 55415.

This 1/50-HP condensate pump can remove up to 65-gallons of water per minute and has 3 inlet drain ports so you can connect three different appliances to the pump.

The Little Giant 554415 can be used for a furnace, A/C, dehumidifier, or condensing boiler. It can also handle high acidic condensate from high-efficiency furnaces.

It comes with a safety switch that can be wired to automatically turn off the A/C or to an alarm in case of an overflow.

  • 1/50 HP to automatically remove condensate
  • Suitable for high efficiency furnaces with acidic condensate (as well as A/C or dehumidifier)
  • Comes with safety switch to automatically turn off A/C
  • Mostly plastic parts
  • Poor instructions

The VCL Series is a power-packed option by LITTLE GIANT offering a 1-gallon tank, state-of-the-art features, and a well-designed look.

It’s ideal for residential properties and quietly removing condensate without hurting the HVAC system’s overall performance.

It comes with all the necessary equipment and offers a straightforward installation process for those requiring a seamless addition to their room.

  • Easy to Set Up
  • Professional-Grade Design
  • Fast-Acting Results
  • Average User Manual

The Beckett A/C Condensate Pump is a new addition to the company’s top-tier line of medium-sized pumps.

It is designed in accordance with modern safety standards and remains engineered to uphold user-friendly requirements.

The pump has a unique design with Beckett’s patented look and promises to offer a quiet addition to the room. The pump includes an all-encompassing dual-float design to improve the system’s quality, durability, and consistency.

  • Quiet Operation
  • Easy to Install
  • Consistent Results
  • Below-Par Float
  • Average Build-Quality

The VCMX Series by LITTLE Giant is all about using automated removal features to push moisture away from the A/C unit using its patented mechanisms.

This line of condensate pumps is all about a high-performance motor, top safety standards, and quiet operation.

  • Beautiful Design
  • Powerful Removal of Water
  • Quiet Operation
  • Discharge Can Leak a Bit
  • Small Tank

The VCMX Series by LITTLE Giant is all about using automated removal features to push moisture away from the A/C unit using its patented mechanisms.

This line of condensate pumps is all about a high-performance motor, top safety standards, and quiet operation.

  • High Safety Standards
  • Easy to Set Up
  • Powerful Output
  • Too Large for Some Setups
  • Can be Noisy at Times

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