Want to ensure your air conditioning unit is working properly?

Don’t want to deal with built-up condensation?

To make sure the system is functional, we have designed a detailed guide on ac condensate pumps.

condensate pumps (1)

In this review, you will learn about…

  • How a condensate pump works
  • The advantages of using a condensate removal pump
  • What to keep in mind before buying a new condensate pump
  • Our top-rated choice for the best condensate pump

To assess what a condensate pump is all about, let’s start with how it works.

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

LITTLE GIANT Condensate Pump (VCL Series)
  • ​Top Respected Brand
  • Easy to Set Up
  • Professional-Grade Design
  • Fast-Acting Results

This very high quality condensate pump made by Little Giant is a powerful pump with 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.

What Are Air Conditioner Condensate Pumps?

A condensate pump is designed to remove condensate (water) from an HVAC system.

When the air conditioning unit begins to work, it naturally produces condensate or small droplets of water. These droplets can start to collect and ruin the A/C, if not removed right away using a drain or condensate removal pump. This pump ensures the air can pass through the coil, leave droplets of water, and continue through without being stopped.

With a functional furnace condensate pump, the water has nowhere to go and remains trapped.

In general, there’s a separate drain pan designed within A/C units to collect excess moisture from the evaporator coil. While certain HVAC systems can automatically push the water towards a drain, others cannot. This is when it’s time to consider investing in a proper ac condensate pump.

When the condensate pump is in place, it can help remove the water without getting in the way. This makes sure water doesn’t leave a mess on the floor.

A residential setup often requires a 120-volt condensate pump to handle the additional moisture. When the condensate pump doesn’t produce enough power, it leaves water in the drain pan, which can damage the A/C or fill the room with puddles of water. 

For the average property owner, it is highly recommended to assess whether or not their A/C has a condensate pump or a draining mechanism. If not, it’s best to invest in a professional-grade condensate pump as soon as possible.

The condensate pump may come with specific features.

These features can include a tank (0.5-1 gallon), which helps pump the water away from the A/C unit. To maximize its effect, the condensate removal pump is positioned right under the A/C unit or on top of the main drain pan. This makes the removal as quick as possible.

Additional features include a float switch. This switch helps figure out when there’s too much water in the drain pan and it needs to be drained. Once activated, the pump goes to work and removes the water.

Read Also: Top 5 Best HVAC Leak Detectors (2019 Review)

What are the Benefits of AC Condensate Pumps?

Condensate pumps are essential for several reasons and it’s important to invest in the right one immediately.

To learn more about the value of a new pump, let’s take a look at the main advantages of buying one.

The benefits include:

  • Quick Removal of Excess Water
  • Increased Efficiency
  • Maintains Consistent Performance
  • Reliable Removal of Water To a Drain

With a powerful, well-designed condensate pump, it’s possible to see consistent results without having to make changes. This is essential when the A/C is producing too much water and is being used all the time.

The more an A/C unit is used, the more water it’s going to leave behind. This makes it doubly important to buy the best condensate pump.

How to Install a Condensate Pump

Newer properties come with a pre-designed drain to collect water coming from the HVAC system. The drain is often located closer to the main unit and ensures the water drips into the drain without leaving a mess.

However, older properties do not come with a pre-designed drain. This means a self-installed solution such as a furnace condensate pump becomes essential. It’s the only way to make sure the water doesn’t spread throughout the room.

To install a condensate pump, it needs to be placed alongside the main unit. It will have to come equipped with a drain line (sink, floor drain), which will ensure the water is directed to where it needs to go.

It’s important to install the unit in a place where any malfunction doesn’t damage the system or the property. There should be enough space to set up the air conditioner condensate pump without getting in the way of the A/C unit.

The condensate pump installation process begins by unplugging the main unit, disconnecting the drain line, and emptying the existing water. From this point forward, it’s time to work on the valve and plug in the pump.

Once in place, the ac condensate removal pump can be activated. It will continue to run in the background and help remove excess water as it builds up in the main drain pan.

Read Also: Top 5 Best Rated Washable AC Filters (*2019 Review*)

condensate drain leak in attic

How to Pick the Best Condensate Pump?

1. GPM (Gallons per Minute) Rate

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

The GPM 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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 on or next to the 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.

5. 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: Top 5 Best Rated UV Lights For HVAC (**2019 Review**)

What Are The Main Differences Between Sump Pumps?

The primary reason for investing in a brand-new condensate pump is to remove excess water.

However, not all condensate pumps are the same. There are variations available on the open market and it’s important to determine the differences. This helps shed light on what works and what doesn’t when it comes to HVAC systems.

Here’s a detailed assessment of the different types and how they function.

  • Design

It starts with the pump’s design.

The average pump comes in two types – dynamic and positive displacement.

With dynamic pumps, the emphasis is on using the water’s force (momentum) to push the water where it needs to go. This is often seen with electric-powered hvac condensate pumps, when the water is produced at higher rates. In some situations, the water is reused depending on how the pump is setup.

On the other hand, positive displacement pumps are all about opening and closing as water collects in the drain pan. This ensures the water continues to be pumped out consistently.

Along with these types of pumps, there are additional options involving the use of steam or compressed air. When activated, these systems can help maintain pressure as the water travels through to the other side.

  • Specifications 

It’s also important to note the different specifications available through different pumps.

These specifications can differ based on pressure, power ratings, pump heads, flow rates, diameter measurements, and the operating temperature.

The materials used to create these pumps can also be included in the differences. Some are made of plastic while others are made of galvanized steel. This can make a noticeable difference on how the pump works, how much pressure it can sustain, and how long it lasts once installed.

Read Also: Does UV Light Kill Mold? (How Effective?)

Where to Buy the Best Furnace Condensate Pumps?

To buy the best ac condensate pumps, it’s highly recommended to find a top of the line online retailer such as Amazon.

Amazon is well accepted as one of the finest options for property owners. It offers a wonderful selection of a/c condensate pumps. These pumps come equipped with great safety standards, top features, and the ability to work with any HVAC system.

Find the right fit on Amazon right now!

What are the Best Condensate Pumps?

Best Quality Pick: LITTLE GIANT Condensate Pump (VCL Series)

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.

Pros

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

Cons

  • Average User Manual

Best-Priced Pick:  Beckett HVAC Condensate Pump

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.

Pros

  • Quiet Operation
  • Easy to Install
  • Consistent Results

Cons

  • Below-Par Float
  • Average Build-Quality

Best Designed Pick:  LITTLE GIANT Condensate Pump (554415)

The VCMA Series is a tried and tested favorite by LITTLE GIANT. It’s a line of condensate pumps designed to impress with universal capabilities, automated features, and a high-quality appearance. With a 6-foot power cord and 20-feet of tubing, it’s an ideal addition to the setup without getting in the way.

Pros

  • Sleek Design
  • Affordable
  • Ideal for Residential Setups

Cons

  • Takes Time to Learn
  • Average User Manual

Best All-Around Pick: LITTLE GIANT AC Condensate Pump (VCMX Series)

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.

Pros

  • Beautiful Design
  • Powerful Removal of Water
  • Quiet Operation


Cons

  • Discharge Can Leak a Bit
  • Small Tank

Best Tested Pick:  DIVERSITECH Condensate Pump

The DIVERSITECH Condensate Pump is an all-powerful product equipped with 20-feet tubing and a rugged design. It ensures the user can easily install the pump with modern HVAC systems knowing the results will remain efficient, safe, and in accordance with modern standards. The pump includes motor mounts, vibration dampening feet, unique inlet holes, and beautiful metal hang tabs for complete control.

Pros

  • High Safety Standards
  • Easy to Set Up
  • Powerful Output

Cons

  • Too Large for Some Setups
  • Can be Noisy at Times

Our Top Pick: LITTLE GIANT Condensate Pump (VCL Series)

1. Automated Removal

With the VCL Series, LITTLE GIANT impresses using automated features to remove condensate from the A/C unit. For a modern condensate pump to remain effective, it needs to detect the water, automate the removal process, and ensure the HVAC system continues to work. In this case, the LITTLE GIANT Condensate Pump is packed with quality and works wonderfully as soon as it is set up.

2. Galvanized Steel

To emphasize the pump’s durability, LITTLE GIANT offers a complete galvanized steel cover to protect the motor and pump. This comes with a stainless steel finish based on UL and CSA standards. The condensate pump is also equipped with special inlet openings for more control.

3. Built-in Safety Switch

Safety is always important and that’s what the VCL Series is all about. LITTLE GIANT promotes high safety standards using an automated safety switch when the tank overflows. This keeps both the A/C unit and condensate pump safe when the system isn’t functioning as needed.

4. Large Tank

A large tank is essential when it comes to managing the condensate being produced. Due to its 1-gallon tank capacity, this LITTLE GIANT Condensate Pump is a wonderful addition to any setup. It also comes with a versatile 6-foot power cord to make the installation process easier.

Other Home Guides

Looking to learn more about home maintenance? Check out our other informative home product reviews and guides!

Leave a Comment

Arie Van Tuijl

Arie Van Tuijl

Arie is a licensed home inspector who owns a residential and commercial inspection company in the state of Virginia. He also does specialty testing such as radon gas, termites, air quality, and mold.

About Home Inspector Secrets

Our site is about the essentials of home maintenance from the perspective of a licensed home inspector.

Recently Published Guides