Let's face it: sump pumps are expensive, and you want to buy the best one available.
When you start shopping around, you will notice two competing sump pumps that stand out in the market: Wayne sump pumps and Zoeller sump pumps.
Both have pros and cons, so how do you make the decision for which one to buy?
In this guide, I provide a detailed analysis including a comparison chart to provide you the most comprehensive Wayne vs Zoeller sump pump information out there.
Wayne VS Zoeller Sump Pump Comparison Chart
Before we get into comparing, we need to consider which models to compare. The best way to do this is to select the pump model by the horsepower it uses. This gives us the most similar specs to compare.
We cannot take a Wayne 3/4 HP pump and compare it to a Zoeller 1/3 HP pump. That would not be an even comparison. Zoeller does not make a 3/4 HP sump pump; they make a 3/4 HP sewage pump, which is not comparable in this situation.
So for this comparison, I have selected the Wayne CDU790 1/3 HP Sump Pump and the Zoeller M53 Mighty-mate 1/3 HP Sump Pump.
Wayne CDU790 1/3 HP
Zoeller M53 Mighty-mate 1/3 HP
4,600 gallons at 0 head
2,680 gallons at 0 head
Cast iron and steel
Thermoplastic and cast iron
9 x 9 x 12 in
7.8 x 10.5 x 10.5 in
4.5 out of 5
4.5 out of 5
The Key Differences Between the Wayne VS Zoeller Sump Pump
There are a few key differences that will shape your decision in which pump to purchase.
Passing Spherical Solids
Clearly, the Zoeller beats Wayne in this department! The Zoeller pump can handle passing spherical solids up to a half inch whereas the Wayne pump can pass spherical solids up to one quarter inch.
If you are sumping debris-filled water, you will need to purchase the Zoeller. Wayne does have a screen that will sift out larger debris from entering the pump, but it will be more prone to clogging up faster.
Gallons per hour
This is where the Wayne sump pump comes out on top. This little pump can push a massive 4,600 gallons per hour at zero head! That blows Zoeller out of the water (literally) as it can only move 2,580 gallons per hour at zero head.
Granted, Zoeller does not provide a zero head measurement; the specifications on their official website only states 43 GPM maximum and that measurement is taken at 5' of head. I can only go by the information the manufacturer presents and if they claim that is their maximum, then so be it.
Now before you make your decision based upon GPH, note that Zoeller can handle larger spherical solids, so you need to consider both specs before purchasing one or the other.
Price of Sump Pump
The Zoeller is more expensive than the Wayne pump. Although prices fluctuate all the time, I could safely say it's between 30% to 40% more expensive at their standard pricing. That is fairly significant.
Although there is a significant price difference, both pumps have received high remarks from its users for the quality.
WAYNE CDU790 1/3 HP Submersible Cast Iron and Steel Sump Pump
Pros and Cons
Even though this pump is powerful, the motor has been engineered to be super-quiet so you will not even notice it running. The manufacturer states that the pump is engineered with upper and lower ball bearings are sealed in oil for virtually silent operation.
The pump has been designed to not have any weep holes which prevents clogging, but users have complained about the bottom plastic grate getting clogged up fairly easily.
The pump's integrated float switch turns on when the float reaches 9 inches of water. It then turns off when the float returns to its 4 inch starting point. Users have reported that the float switch works very well on this pump.
Overall, people love this pump and have given it high remarks for durability, reliability, near-silent operation, and good float switch design.
Just watch out for premature clogging and maintain your pump every few months.
You can download the Wayne sump pump manual here.
Zoeller M53 Mighty-Mate 1/3 Hp Submersible Sump Pump
Pros and Cons
Zoeller sump pumps are well-known for their excellent quality. Their heavy-duty design makes this pump in the top of its class.
The best feature of this pump is the large discharge and the ability to pass 1/2 inch spherical solids, beating its competitors by far. If you have debris filled water, then this is the pump you want to choose.
That being said, the pump doesn't handle the highest capacity as it pumps a maximum of 43 gallons per minute. This could be problematic if you have a higher flow of water needing to be pumped out.
The pump's float switch turns on the pump at 7.25" and turns off at 3".
The pump has a weep hole that gets cloggy, so users recommend to immediately drill it another weep hole.
Users also report that this pump model is louder than previous versions.
Overall, users are happy with this sump pump. Even though it is a bit on the expensive side, many users have had this pump last for over a decade.
You can download the Zoeller product manual
Wayne VS Zoeller Sump Pump: Final Verdict
Both pumps have gotten high remarks from its users for quality and durability. Customer service has an average to high rating for both pumps. They both have three-year warranties.
Both have a reliable float switch but the range of float switch is quite higher for the Zoeller pump since it shuts off at 19 inches versus Wayne which shuts off at 9 inches.
The biggest difference is the amount of water the pumps move and the size of debris the pump can handle. Wayne moves a much higher rate of water but does not pass larger solids. Zoeller moves a lower rate of water but can pass larger solids. To me, this is the lynchpin decision point.
If you want more sump pump recommendations, I suggest checking out my guide to the best sump pumps on the market. I include a couple more brands of sump pumps for you to check out along with an in-depth guide on information about sump pumps.
Special note on sump pumps
I would like to take a moment to talk about backup battery sump pumps. If you are relying on a sump pump to keep your basement from flooding, then I strongly recommend getting a battery backup sump pump as your last line of defense.
A backup sump pump is an actual secondary pump that is installed higher than the primary pump. It is set up on a battery so it has access to power in the event of a power outage.
Being that flooding happens frequently with storms, power outages are an increased threat; if the power goes out and your pump stops pumping, then you are up shit creek.
This is where the battery backup sump pump comes into play.
The battery is on a trickle charge which keeps the battery at a full charge. If the power goes out and you lose power to your primary pump, the secondary pump will kick on once the water level reaches a certain height.
This is also a failsafe system for if your primary pump becomes overwhelmed with water or just fails in general.
I have written a comprehensive guide to backup battery sump pumps that I highly recommend for you to check out.
I hope you have enjoyed my article on Wayne vs Zoeller sump pumps! If you have any questions or comments about these pumps or sump pumps in general, I would be happy to answer them.
I’m a bit confused about your float ranges. Wayne on at 9 and off at 5. Zoeller on at 4 and off at 19? Is the zoeller backwards? And secondly does this mean you need 19 inches of water before it turns on?
Thanks for pointing this out to me. I have re-worded the article so it makes more sense. I completely messed up on the Zoeller on/off switch points and have corrected that as well. Thanks for pointing this out!