When it comes to draining water from an appliance or sink in your commercial or industrial building against gravity, you’re going to need something besides a drain pipe. This is where a good drain pump comes in. Perhaps you’re dealing with a laundry tray in the basement. Maybe you’ve got a washing machine, dehumidifier, air conditioner, or water softener. Or maybe you’ve simply got a bar sink, mop sink, dishwasher, or garbage disposal you need to drain. Whatever you’re dealing with, you’re going to want a compact and low profile drain pump to get the job done–something you can fit beneath a sink or in a closet to simply get rid of that excess water. So what are your options?
When it comes to draining gray wastewater below a gravity line, we’re not going to tell you that you won’t be able to get by with a cheap drain pump from a box store. But as plumbing consultants, we’ve seen enough of these break down in a year, a few months, or–as is most often the case–just after the return period–to urge landlords, homeowners, and commercial property owners not to waste time with them. Time is money, and the less you spend making trips to the hardware store or knee deep in water leaks, the more money you save.This is true whether you’re in the home of your dreams or running a small business like a family restaurant.
Fortunately, a good drain pump doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Good examples we’ve reviewed recently include the Zoeller 105 and Laundry Pumps 404. Today we’re going to look at an upgraded version of the 404, the Laundry Pumps 405 Commercial 1/2 HP Drain Pump. Don’t let the name scare you; it works equally well on residential applications, but it has the power to drain large volumes of water quickly, quietly, and reliably. Our full review is below, and you can buy it here.
Key Features of the Liberty Pumps 405 Laundry Pump (60 Second Summary)
The Liberty Pumps 405 is a compact and fully automatic commercial and residential drain pump designed to drain gray wastewater water from appliances, commercial sinks, and tubs against gravity. The pump is powered by a 1/2 horsepower motor and features a 3 year warranty from Liberty Pumps. The motor runs on 115V at 60Hz AC while drawing up to 7.3 amps. The motor is oil-filled and includes thermal overload protection. It will clear water at up to 3,120 gallons per hour (52 gallons per minute) at zero feet. When pumping water at 77F, this rate drops to 2,640 GPH at 10 feet, 1,920 GPH at 20 feet, 720 GPH at 30 feet, and shutoff (max head) occurs at 34 feet. When clearing water at 180F, the maximum liquid temperature, shutoff occurs at 25 feet.
The Liberty Pumps 405 is 14-1/8 inches tall and 13-3/4 inches wide. It has a 5.5 gallon capacity and weighs 16 pounds. It includes a 2 inch inlet, a 2 inch discharge, and a 2 inch vent. It can handle solids up to 3/8 inch thick and fluids up to 180F. It includes a 10 foot grounded power plug. Liberty Pumps notes it is particularly well suited to commercial and industrial applications requiring a higher maximum head. The 405 also includes a larger basin capacity at 5.5 gallons vs 4.3, and is slightly taller, though not wider, as a result.
Liberty Pumps 405 Feature Comparison With the Liberty Pumps 404
Compared to the Liberty Pumps 404, the 405 is superior in nearly every respect. The maximum water ejection speed is roughly 50% higher at 3,120 GPH vs 2,100 GPH. They can both handle solids up to 3/8 inch in diameter, but the 405 can handle significantly hotter liquid temperatures at up to 180F vs 140F. The 405 also features a much greater max head at 34 feet vs 21 feet. The warranty length and coverage is the same between the two, as is the ease of installation. To accommodate the larger volume of water the 405 is capable of handling, it includes 2 inch-sized inlets, outlets, and vents, compared to the 1-1/2-sized connections in the 404.
Our Short and Long Term Experiences Installing and Using the Liberty Pumps 405
Installing the 405 is as easy as installing the 404, which is, as we noted in our 404 review, as easy as it gets for a drain pump, even without advanced plumbing and DIY experience. It includes detailed, clearly written, and easy to follow directions. The main steps are to connect the 405 to your drain line through PVC or similar tubing, connect your laundry sink or appliance to the inlet, vent the pump, install a check valve or two, plug it in, and let it get to work.
Once you’ve set it up and plugged it in, you’ll probably not hear the 405 very often. It’s a reliable machine and with few exceptions, we’ve come across nothing but good reviews for it from a variety of small business and home owners throughout the Chicago area. Operation is fully automatic and you can typically expect at least 10 years of continual use without problems.
Troubleshooting and Installation Tips to Get Your Liberty Pumps 405 Working Sooner
It’s important to remember that while the 405 arrives fully assembled and is fully automatic once installed, you are going to need to have a few accessories on hand for a successful installation. At a minimum, you’ll need PVC or flexible tubing to connect to the outlet as well as to your appliance or sink. You’ll also need piping to vent the pump. When connecting your PVC, you’ll also need three threaded adapters or fittings. On top of this, you’ll need a check valve to keep water from flowing backwards into the pump and forcing it to run needlessly; this will need to be a 2 inch check valve. We’d recommend putting in a quiet check valve while you’re at it so you don’t hear slamming when the flapper closes; a good example is the Campbell check valve.
Contact Liberty Pumps if you ever need to replace the float switch; we’ve come across a few cases of intermittent operation, and if this is the case, they will send you a new float switch free of charge as long as you provide them with the information of your pump.
When installing the pump, if you turn off your electricity locally via your circuit breaker before the installation (always a good idea), don’t forget to turn it on afterward and before running water through the pump. We’ve come across a number of kitchen installations where mild flooding occurred due to DIYers who planned on draining dishwashers and sinks but forgot to power the pump after connecting it; this just results in water shooting out of your pump. It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how easy it is for this to occur.
Liberty Pumps 405 Pros, Cons, and Value Comparison
In conclusion, there isn’t a better drain pump on the market for less than $300 in our books. The Liberty Pumps 405 is fast, quiet, highly reliable, automatic, and easy to install with a minimal amount of time, effort, and experience. The best thing we can say about a drain pump is that it works so well we forget where, when, and how we installed it, and that’s something we can easily say about the 405. If you don’t need quite as much power as it offers or are on a smaller budget, it’s little sibling, the Liberty Pumps 404, will offer some of the same benefits for 2/3rds the price.
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