If you need to conduct water out of your home from a fixture that can’t be connected to a gravity drain line, you’re going to need a drain pump. Maybe you’ve got a laundry tray in the basement, or a washing machine, water softener, dehumidifier, or a similar project involving basement remodeling–the possibilities are varied. Whatever you’ve got going on, it helps to have a compact and low profile drain pump on your side–something that can fit under a sink or out of the way and simply pump out water when you need it to. So what are your options for draining gray wastewater below gravity lines?
While it’s possible to get away for a few months or maybe even a year with a cheap box store drain pump, as plumbing consultants interested in long term solutions, we always recommend spending a bit more to get a quality product that’ll last for many years without needing to be babysat. We reviewed the Zoeller 105 recently, and found it great at expelling water from a range of devices, including dishwashers, garbage disposals, air conditioner condensate, and mop and bar sinks. A good drain pump should be able to last for 10 years or more without even a hint of a need for replacement. Today we’re going to look at another strong candidate in the field: the Laundry Pumps 404 1/3rd HP Residential Drain Pump. It’s compact, fast, fully automatic, and reliable, and we recommend it heartily. Our full review is below, and you can buy it here.
Key Features of the Liberty Pumps 404 Laundry Pump (60 Second Summary)
The Liberty Pumps 404 is a fully automatic residential drain pump designed for indoor applications involving draining water from fixtures and appliances against gravity. The pump includes a 1/3 horsepower motor with the standard 3 year Liberty Pumps warranty. The motor runs at up to 3,450 RPM on 115V AC at 60Hz and is oil-filled and thermally protected. It can pump up to 2,100 gallons per hour (35 gallons per minute) at zero feet. This figure drops to roughly 1,380 GPH at 10 feet, 150 GPH at 20 feet, and shut off occurs at 21 feet (max head).
The Liberty Pumps 404 is 11-1/8 inches tall, 13-3/4 inches in diameter, has a total basin capacity of 4.3 gallons, and weighs 13 pounds. It includes a 1-1/2 inch FPT inlet, a 1-1/2 inch FPT discharge, and a 1-1/2 inch FPT vent. It is capable of handling solids up to 3/8 inch thick and fluids up to 140F. The power cord is 10 feet long and is a 3 wire grounded plug.
Liberty Pumps 404 Feature Comparison With the Zoeller 105
Compared to the Zoeller 105, there are some advantages to the 105 and some advantages to the 404. The 105 technically has a higher maximum water ejection speed at 2,580 GPH vs 2,100 GPH, but the peak speed will be highly dependent on what’s being drained and the drainage path, which means that both will likely have the same effective draining speed. The 105 can handle slightly larger solids at 4/8 inch vs 3/8 inch in the 404. On the other hand, the 404 can handle slightly hotter liquids at 140F vs 130F. The max head on the 404 is slightly greater at 21 feet vs 19.25 feet in the 105.
The warranty is significantly better in the 404 at 3 years compared to 1-1.5 years with the 105. The 404 also comes with a slightly longer power cord at 10 feet vs 9 feet, which can make it slightly easier to install. Aside from the increased warranty span, perhaps the most significant advantage of the 404 is that it arrives fully assembled and ready to install out of the box, while the 105 does require a few additional steps since it isn’t an all-in-one sealed unit the way the 404 is.
Our Short and Long Term Experiences Installing and Using the Liberty Pumps 404
Installation is about as easy as it gets for a drain pump, even if you have next to no plumbing experience. The instructions are clearly written, detailed, and easy to follow; you essentially connect the pump to your septic line via PVC or flexible tubing, connect it to your laundry sink or appliance, vent the pump, add and set up a check valve, plug it in, and you’ll be off and running.
Once installed and plugged in, you’ll barely notice the 404; it will start quickly when necessary and shut off as soon as it’s no longer needed. Operation is fully automatic and should stay that way for the life of the device, which will typically be at least 10 years in most scenarios.
Troubleshooting and Installation Tips to Get Your Liberty Pumps 404 Working Sooner
Keep in mind that you’re going to need a few accessories to install the 404 on your own. For example, you’ll need either flexible tubing or PVC pipe of the correct diameter to connect the pump to your external drain as well as to your sink or appliance. You’re also going to need piping for venting the pump. To connect that PVC or flexible tubing, you’ll need three threaded adapters or fittings. You’re also going to need a check valve to prevent water from flowing backwards into the pump and forcing it to run more than would otherwise be necessary.
Venting can be done with a simple pipe setup, such as through an open 6 inch pipe. Make sure that the check valve is installed upstream of the pump (before your dirty water gets to the pump); this will also help keep sewer gas out of the pump. If you patch the pump into an existing drainage connection (e.g., that for a sump pump), you’ll want to make sure you have a check valve installed in your discharge line as well, preferably as close to the 404 as you can get it; this will keep water from flowing back into the pump or into your sink or appliance. We recommend a quiet check valve like the Brady check valve.
Liberty Pumps 404 Pros, Cons, and Value Comparison
In conclusion, the Liberty Pumps 404 is easily one of the best drain pumps you can buy today at the $200 price point. It’s quiet, fast, compact, reliable, easy to install, automatic, and simply works. The highest praise we can offer a pump is that it does its job so well we forget it exists, and the 404 delivers on all fronts. Our only recommendation would involve upgrading to the Liberty Pumps 405 if you need more of what the 404 delivers, particularly in the areas of power (1/2 HP vs 1/3 HP), speed (3,120 GPH vs 2,100 GPH), and maximum liquid temperature (180F vs 140F), and maximum pumping height (34 feet vs 21 feet).
You can buy the Liberty Pumps 404 here on Amazon. You can buy the Liberty Pumps 405 here. You can buy a silent check valve here. You can buy the Zoeller 105-0001 Laundry pump package here.
If you find our work at PumpThatSump helpful, you can support our relentless reviewing of every sump pump on the market by shopping via our Amazon link for whatever you need to make your house a home. Despite being self-employed, we promise not to spend it all on health insurance.