While we typically review sump pumps for homeowners, every now and then we get calls for different kinds of consultations, including those involving laundry, drain, or dishwasher pumps. If you move your laundry to the basement, for example, you’ll need a pump to raise the washing machine’s outlet water to the ground floor (where it can be ejected from your home). Similarly, if you add a laundry tub to your basement, you’ll need a way of expelling the water via a pump and discharge connection. The same case can apply with dishwashers, garbage disposals, wet bar sinks, condensate from air conditioning units, water removal from dehumidifiers, or really in any situation where you need to remove water without taking advantage of gravity flow (water flowing downhill through pipes). So what are your options?
You need a drain pump, but not just any pump. It’s tempting to buy a box store bargain basement pump, but if you do, you’d better be prepared to buy it again and again and again (while cleaning your basement in the mean time), because we can say with very direct experience (from recommending the pumps that replace the cheap ones) that the cheap ones don’t last more than a year or two at the most. A quality laundry pump, on the other hand, can give you a good 10 years (or more!) of service before you even need to think of replacing it. Today we’re going to review one of those quality laundry pumps: it’s the Zoeller 105-0001 Laundry Pump Package with the M53 Sump Pump, and it’s our drain pump of choice for most single family home installations. If you’re wondering whether it’s worth the roughly $200, we’ll tell you right now: it absolutely is, and you can buy it here.
The Zoeller 105 Laundry Pump Package is composed of a sump pump, catch basin, and check valve. The pump, the Zoeller M53, features a 1/3 horsepower motor with a 1 year warranty from the date of purchase (or 18 months from date of manufacture). It is 12.5″ tall, 14.5″ wide, and 14.5″ deep. It includes an automatic vertical float switch. It features a 9-foot power cord and runs on 115 volts. It doesn’t come with a battery backup, it weighs 19.1 pounds on our scale. The working temperature spans 40-130 degrees Fahrenheit and is housed in bronze and cast iron. The discharge size is 1-1/2″ NPT. The pump is capable of passing 1/2″ spherical solids as well as laundry lint. It can move up to 2,580 gallons of water per hour and has a max head of 19.25 feet.
Our Short and Long Term Experiences Installing and Using the Zoeller 105 Laundry Pump Package
We found installation a snap, even if you aren’t a plumber; as long as you’re patient and have some plumbing experience, you should be fine. The instructions are straightforward in the manual; you essentially connect your inlet to your catch basin, your catch basin to your pump, and your pump to your discharge outlet, power everything up, and off you go. It’s quiet, it’s reliable, and it stays out of your way when you don’t need it. It typically runs for a few seconds when necessary before turning itself off.
The catch basin isn’t the largest or the highest in quality (we’d personally like the plastic to be a bit sturdier), but it works just fine, and the pump more than makes up for the basin in the aesthetics department. We can confirm that the tub is small enough to fit in pretty much any spot where you’d reasonably expect to install the package; after about an hour of installation time, you’ll be on your way and won’t need to deal with drainage problems again.
We’ve also been happy to see how well the Zoeller 105 does when draining multiple devices at once; we’ve connected it to dishwashers and washing machines simultaneously; we’ve had dehumidifiers and water softeners connected; we’ve thrown several sinks at once at it, and it’s held in a range of situations.
Unlike typical drain pumps that tend to only last for a couple of years before giving up the ghost, we’ve heard from several families with 105 installations going on more than a decade without so much as a hiccup. In fact, we know of at least one household with 20 years of the equivalent model; they check it every few years but don’t maintain it in any way, and it continues working. That’s the kind of reliability you’re looking at here, and when you keep the saved time, stress, and money in mind, it really doesn’t make sense to choose anything cheaper. We’re also happy to find another product made locally in the USA, instead of traveling across freight ships after being made by fellow humans earning pennies per day thousands of miles away.
Troubleshooting and Installation Tips to Get Your Zoeller 105 Laundry Pump Package Working Sooner
Depending on your basement configuration and plumbing comfort, you might be able to connect the 105 to an existing vent in your basement; there are a number of homes with 1-1/2″ vents that may not be occupied for one reason or another (or you can always add connectors).
Keep in mind that the pump is a fast-draining one; if you have an old 1-1/2″ drain system, you might find it overloaded by the volume created by the pump. If that’s the case, consider upgrading to a larger line; we like 2-3″ lines depending on flow rates, and we’ve yet to find an application for this pump that didn’t work with a 3″ main line.
Zoeller 105 Laundry Pump Package Pros, Cons, and Value Comparison
Overall, we’ve yet to find a better solution for draining water against gravity than the Zoeller 105 package. It’s not designed to go in a sump pit (you’ll want a unit like the Zoeller M267 for that), but it’s a great choice for basement laundry, laundry sinks, wet bar sinks, dishwashers, air conditioning units, dehumidifiers, garbage disposals, or any other similar situation where you need to drain water and eject it from your home while working against gravity. And as far as aesthetics go, it’s also rather attractive for a pump.
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