Our experience reviewing residential and industrial pumps has taught us two basic things: 1.) you get what you pay for, and 2.) it’s cheaper to pay a lot and cry once than to cheap out and cry over and over and over again. To put it simply, if you want a quality pump that’s not going to break down once the warranty runs out and leave you with a flooded basement (or worse) to clean up, you need to focus more on longevity than on spending as little as possible.
Each area in plumbing has products to stay away from and products to spend good money on. The best AC sump pump, for example, is the Zoeller M267. The best DC backup sump pump is the Wayne WSM3300. The best AC/DC combination system is the Wayne WSSM40V. But what about when it comes to utility pumps? Where should your hard-earned money go when you need to completely drain a flat surface as quickly as possible?
The best pump we’ve found for the task so far is the Tsurumi LSC1.45-61 Submersible Residue Pump. It’s a mouthful, but it’s one of the best pumps you’ll ever find to completely clear water from areas like rooftops, underpasses, parking garages, basement floors, pools, hot tubs and spas, and service utility pits. We put it through its paces in our review below, but if you’re simply wanting to know whether it’s worth the money, it absolutely is, and you can buy it here.
Key Features of the Tsurumi LSC Submersible Pump (60 Second Summary)
The Tsurumi LSC is a manual low level submersible residue pump. To put it another way, it’s an electric utility pump designed for water removal and drainage in flat areas where sumps are unavailable. It features a 2/3 HP 110V, 6.1 amp motor with a max flow rate of 2,700 gallons per hour (45 gallons per minute) at 5 feet. This rate drops to 2,400 gallons per hour at 10 feet, 1,800 gallons per hour at 20 feet, 1,080 gallons per hour at 30 feet, 600 gallons per hour at 35 feet, and shut-off at 40 feet. It can remove water down to 0.04″, or 1/25 inches (1 mm) above a flat surface. It is backed by Tsurumi’s 2 year standard warranty.
The LSC is submersible and can be started at any water level within its pumping range since it can be primed through its discharge outlet. It also includes an internal check valve that maintains the prime and keeps back flow from occurring when the pump is stopped or otherwise turned off. It includes a 3/4″ top (vertical) discharge outlet designed to work with garden hose-sized tubes. As a manual pump, it requires starting and stopping by the user or the addition of an automatic float switch; it does not include auto on/off functionality. It weighs 23 pounds, the power cable is 32 feet long, it is 8-1/4 inches in diameter and 11-3/8 inches in height.
How Does the Tsurumi LSC Submersible Compare to Other Drainage Pumps?
Compared to most other drainage pumps on the market, the LSC is a stronger choice. It’s designed for industrial as well as domestic applications, and has much beefier specifications as a result. In particular, you’re unlikely to find more than a handful of other utility pumps capable of pumping water up to 40 feet vertically while pumping at up to 2,700 GPH at 5 feet and draining down to 1/25ths of an inch. The draining functionality in particular is one of the biggest strengths of the pump; as a low-level pump, it’s designed to essentially completely rid a surface of water. Yes, at 1/25ths of an inch there’s still technically some water there, but that’s also equivalent to 1 mm, which is negligible and likely to be evaporated rapidly in outdoor environments.
It’s certainly more expensive than other budget utility pumps we’ve reviewed like the Wayne WWB Waterbug or the Wayne EEAUP250, but it’s also a far, far more capable machine, as evidenced by its frequent use in expensive and large-scale environments (e.g., freeway water clearance, mining, civil engineering, wastewater, sewage treatment, and flood control). Even domestic homeowners and landowners can see it as a solid, lifelong investment. We’ve seen a number of people use them to keep basements dry in homes without sump pits or working sump pumps, and it has been described as a “house saver” for flood control after heavy rainfall and hurricanes.
Our Short and Long Term Experiences Installing and Using the Tsurumi LSC Submersible Pump
There’s very little to the Tsurumi LSC’s installation; you essentially plug it in, connect an outlet hose–a simple garden hose will work just fine–to the discharge outlet, set the pump where you want it to work, and turn it on.
The main thing to keep in mind is that you’re going to need to watch the pump whenever it’s on to ensure it’s not running dry (running while water is not present), as this is a quick way to kill an expensive and highly capable pump. If you mind this rule, you can easily expect up to 10 years of functionality or more from the Tsurumi; we’ve seen them in use by a range of municipalities and industrial and domestic applications.
In fact, the only failures we’ve seen in the Tsurumi have exclusively occurred in theaters where it was turned on, abandoned, and left to run dry and burn itself out due to user negligence. Avoid this, and you’ll have a very long-lasting and reliable draining solution. While the pump does include a built-in thermal protection unit to shut off the motor if it is overheating, you don’t want to rely on it exclusively, as it will simply lead to the pump cycling back on whenever the temperature drops below a critical level, which still isn’t good for the pump over time.
In practice, it’s important to note that the pump will frequently drains water down to 0 mm due to the vacuum effect it creates around the base of the pump by its bottom rubber lip. This is an unexpected but welcome bonus in indoor draining environments (e.g., when clearing flooded basements).
Troubleshooting and Installation Tips to Get Your Tsurumi LSC SubmersibleWorking Sooner
Although the Tsurumi includes a semi-vortex impeller that can handle small solids that pass through its base straining holes, it does slow down if you let a lot of debris accumulate against the side notches of the pump; you’ll want to rock it back and forth gently so the debris moves around the side notches. That said, it’ll work like a trash pump, but with smaller intake holds.
While the Tsurumi is compatible with an accessory float switch, you’ll want to remember that if you use one, you’re no longer going to be able to drain water down to surface levels due to the inherent design of a float switch. That said, the convenience of no longer needing to watch the pump can easily outweigh the drawbacks of not being able to drain water completely down to concrete or deck level. Good utility pump controllers we’ve used successfully with the LSC include the HydroCheck HC7000, and HydroCheck HC6000 which can be set to activate with as little as 1/2 inch of water and turn off with as little as 1/8 inches. Both are rated for pumps with up to 3/4 horsepower and 14 amps, making them safe fits for the Tsurumi. Both are also indoor pumps; if you’d like an outdoor utility pump controller, we recommend the HydroCheck HC6100. Like the HC7000 and 6000, we’ve reviewed it and found it capable of controlling the Tsurumi with a minimum of fuss.
If you don’t want to spend money on an automatic float switch, keep in mind that you’re going to need to babysit the Tsurumi whenever you want to use it. If you don’t, you’ll burn out the motor because it won’t turn off once it drains water due to a lack of a float switch. The motor is designed to be water-cooled, which means it will overheat and self-destruct if you run it without water–unless, of course, you connect it to an automatic float switch.
Tsurumi LSC Submersible Pump Pros, Cons, and Value Comparison
Overall, it’s hard to find a better utility draining pump than the Tsurumi LSC, especially when considering its pumping speed, pumping height, and minimum level of water clearance. It’s not a cheap pump, but for demanding applications involving large amounts of water that need to be nearly completely drained, and quickly, this is likely the best pump on the market for under $400-$500. Our primary suggestion for improvement would be to pair it with an automatic utility pump switch to avoid the need to monitor it throughout its operation.
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