When it comes to basements and sump pumps, we believe most homeowners can be divided into two camps: those who have never experienced a significant power failure, and those who have. Those who haven’t are far too likely to only have an AC sump pump, while those who have experienced the disastrous results that accompany a power loss with only an AC sump pump in the sump pit are the ones who typically invest in a DC backup sump pump once they make it to the nearest hardware store. However, we’re firm believers that it’s far better to install a backup sump pump system before your basement’s under six inches of water (and rising). So what are your options?
There’s the combined option (we frequently recommend systems like the Wayne WSS30V and the Wayne WSS20V). However, if you’ve already got a functional AC sump pump and don’t feel like throwing it out just to have a battery backup system, you can take advantage of separate DC backup sump pump systems. We recently reviewed the Wayne ESP25 (which makes up one half of the WSS30V) and found it a great starter option for most homeowners. However, if you want the best of the best (e.g., a system that can actually call you on your phone whenever your power cuts out and the backup pump engages), you’ll want to take a very close look at the Wayne WSM3300 Sump Minder Battery Back Up Sump Pump System. At close to $400, it’s not the cheapest DC system out there, but it’s definitely the most capable. If you’re ready to buy and just want to know whether we’d recommend it, then we’re here to tell you that it’s worth every dollar. You can buy the WSM3300 here.
The Wayne WSM3300 is a battery backup submersible sump pump system. The pump is DC-powered and features a 12 volt motor. It features a 3,300 gallon per hour maximum water flow rate and a 2 year limited warranty . It’s 14.3″ tall, 9.7″ wide, and just under 9.3″ deep with a maximum pumping height of 20 feet and a switch-on/switch-off height of 4″ and 9″ respectively. The aforementioned pump switch is vertical.
The WSM3300 doesn’t use AC; it’s a DC battery backup, although the battery isn’t included; you’ll need a 12 volt deep cycle battery with either 40 amp hours or 75 amp hours. It weighs 13 pounds. Although the discharge flow can reach 3,300 gallons per hour at 0 feet, it drops to 2,300 gallons per hour at 10 feet, 1,500 gallons per hour at 15 feet, and 400 gallons per hour at 20 feet.
The working temperature spans 33-120 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s self-priming and housed in thermoplastic, and the sump pump outlet diameter is 1-1/2″ FPT. It’s designed to be used with sump pits (sump basins) at least 15 inches in diameter.
It features a programmable computer system to monitor battery status and a trickle charger designed to maintain battery charge at optimal levels. The system performs a self-test of the sump pump every 14 days and can be programmed to call 5 different phone numbers in a variety of situations, including pump activation, high water levels, low battery charge levels, and pump malfunctions.
How Does the Wayne WSM3300 Compare to the ESP25 Sump Pump?
The most significant differences between the WSM3300 and the ESP25 involve technology; the WSM3300 is essentially a smart sump pump, and as noted above, has self-monitoring and external communicative abilities. The ability to monitor battery status, maintain charge more effectively, run self-tests, and call a range of numbers whenever a range of issues arise (including power outages, high water levels, and more) places the WSM3300 far beyond the ESP25 and any other sump pump on the market. On top of that, it also has a greater pumping range than the ESP25 (it works down to 20 feet while the ESP25 tops out at 15 feet). On top of that, it includes a dual float switch system instead of a single for additional redundancy and reliability.
Our Short and Long Term Experiences Installing and Using the Wayne WSM3300 Sump Pump
Installation was a breeze with our prior experience, and we suspect it would also have been achievable in a couple of hours even if we didn’t do this many, many times a year. The most tricky thing is getting your plumbing pipes together correctly and making sure you have enough power cord length (extension cords will be your friends) for powering the pump’s battery charger. Once installed, it simply stays out of your way until you actually need it, with the exception of the bimonthly tests it runs to make sure it’s still ready to work at a moment’s notice. Keep in mind that the manual provided, while somewhat accurate, is also very general, so treat it more as a guide than as gospel.
Noise levels for the WSM3300 are more than acceptable. Since it’s a backup pump, you won’t hear it very often ideally, but because it self-tests twice a month, you might hear it every couple of weeks. That said, it’s a very quiet machine, and we were unable to hear it working during self tests from more than a few feet away. Even when we deliberately cut the power to activate it for an extended period of time, it was next to inaudible in practice. And it did a good job at keeping the sump basin under control.
Troubleshooting and Installation Tips to Get Your Wayne WSM3300 Working Sooner
Remember that since this is a backup pump, and as a result, DC powered, you’ll need to attach a 12 volt deep cycle battery. If you don’t, your pump won’t work, although being a smart pump, it’ll also call you right away to let you know there’s something wrong with the battery. We suggest (and Wayne requests) you choose either a 40 or 75 amp battery; if you try to use a larger battery, you might not get it to fit in the battery box. You need a 27-frame sized battery. Wayne estimates you can get up to 92 hours of operation with this setup; we tested it and got roughly 90 (equivalent to roughly 4 days and 3 nights when running every 5 minutes), which was close enough to satisfy us.
To test the WSM3300 once installed, you might want to run a garden hose into the sump pump basin while turning off your primary sump pump as well as the trickle charger of the WSM3300; this will simulate a power loss. If your WSM3300 is working correctly, it should notice that AC power has been cut out and start working once the float switch is triggered. The pump will perform a similar self-test every few weeks, but it’s always good to perform the first test on your own when you’re there to supervise the results.
Keep in mind that if you’re going to take full advantage of the phone-for-help feature (which is an amazing one and well worth the price of the WSM3300 alone), you’ll need to be able to run a phone cord from a phone jack somewhere in your house (e.g., the living room or ground floor) to the sump pump. On top of this, you’ll also need to have phone service in the event of a power outage. Since phone systems are on separate lines than electricity lines in most communities, this probably won’t be a problem, but you’ll want to verify this so your sump pump can call for help when it needs to. Many modern phone systems (e.g., Verizon FIOS) include their own backup batteries; these are good to test as well.
Wayne WSM3300 Sump Pump’s Pros, Cons, and Value Comparison
To be frank, this is the most advanced backup sump pump system on the market today. The sheer ability to call a range of numbers (e.g., yours, your plumber, your neighbor, your best friend…) to alert them to a range of potential problems (ranging from the obvious of high water levels or low battery charges to more mundane issues like the activation of the backup pump) put it ahead of every other backup system on the market right now.
We’d recommend it for owners of finished basements, homowners with particularly valuable items in their basements, owners of second or additional homes, rental property owners, as well as for frequent travelers or vacationers (snowbirds, you know who you are). It’s the next best thing we’ve found to leaving someone at home 24/7 to watch your basement. And given the increasing likelihood of flooding and hurricanes with climate change, it can’t hurt to have a more capable system on your side.
If your AC sump pump is also on the way out, we’d recommend buying the Wayne CDU980E to accompany the WSM3300. And if you’re wary of the smart technology but just want the best combination AC/DC system on the market, we’d recommend the WSS30V.
You can buy the Wayne WSM3300 here on Amazon. You can buy the Wayne WSS30V combination sump pump here. You can buy the Wayne CDU980E sump pump here. You can buy a 75Ah backup pump battery here. You can buy a battery terminal set here.
If you find our work at PumpThatSump helpful, you can support our relentless testing 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.