Best Dehumidifier Condensate Pump

Condensate pumps make different HVAC equipment more convenient for your use. If you need one for your dehumidifier, some factors you’ll have to consider are the flow rate (in GPM or GPH), voltage and horsepower, as well as safety features such as a float switch.

The main purpose of dehumidifiers is to remove moisture from the air. In high humidity areas, they can collect huge amounts of water per day. In most cases, you can use the internal water tank to collect the water and drain it by hand when it’s full. Alternatively, you can attach a drain hose to automatically drain the water via gravity. However, you’ll need a floor drain for this and there’s usually a limit to the length of the drain hose you can connect to the unit. If you don’t have a floor drain nearby, you may think you have no choice but to manually empty the water. This is where a condensate pump comes into use.

Most dehumidifier brands offer units with a built-in pump, but a common problem with these units is the durability of the pump. If you want a good dehumidifier and a durable condensate pump that can last longer, then you may need to look for an external pump. While some dehumidifier brands offer a brand-specific external pump, most units are also suitable for use with an external pump. We’ve put together a list of the best condensate pumps you can use with your dehumidifier, air conditioner, and other HVAC equipment.

Top 5 Best Condensate Pumps for Dehumidifiers

Little Giant VCMA-15ULST 554415

Little Giant VCMA-15ULST 554415 Condensate Pump

Voltage: 115 V
Wattage: 60 W
Horsepower: 1/50 HP
Capacity (@1’ head): 65 GPH

Little Giant is the go-to brand when it comes to condensate removal for any of your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. One of its best-selling condensate pump units is the VCMA-15ULST 554415 from the VCMA-15 Series with 1/50 HP motor. It has a half gallon ABS plastic tank and pumps out 65 gallons of water per hour. The motor is thermally protected, with galvanized steel cover to endure 140°F maximum water temperature.

This model includes a safety switch which you can connect to your appliance to automatically shut off, or to an alarm system in case of possible water overflow. It has three inlet drain holes allowing up to three appliances to use one condensate pump. Along with your dehumidifier, you can also connect an air conditioner or heater, as long as the total inflow of water is not greater than the rated output of 65 gallons per hour. It’s also ideal for a high-efficiency furnace or condensing boiler equipment which may produce acidic condensate.

This unit, as well as the rest of the models in this series, use a 115V outlet. It features a 6-ft power cord and includes a 20-ft long ⅜” tubing. It can pump out up to 15 feet vertically, so you can operate your dehumidifier in the basement, for example, and have the hose run up to a sink or out of a window.

Little Giant condensate pumps have generally favorable reviews, but one problem is the unclear description and instructions in the manual. There are many available models with just a few letters and digits to differentiate them and it can be very confusing to find the right one for you.

PROS

Affordable
Easy installation
With safety switch

CONS

Poor instructions

Little Giant VCMA-20ULST 554435

Little Giant VCMA-20ULST 554435 Dehumidifier Condensate Pump

Voltage: 115 V
Wattage: 93 W
Horsepower: 1/30 HP
Capacity (@1’ head): 80 GPH

Next in our list is also a condensate pump from Little Giant. The VCMA-20ULST 554435 is one of the 115V automatic condensate pumps from the VCMA-20 series with a powerful 1/30 HP motor. It can pump out 80 gallons per hour at one feet, and up to 20 feet vertically.

It has the same features as the VCMA-15 series (like the unit above), with the safety switch and 20-ft tubing inclusions. It also has a ½ gallon tank and three 1-1/8-inch diameter drain inlets that allow you to connect it with up to three appliances at the same time. The pump will automatically start when the water level reaches 2.5 inches, and stop when it’s at 1.1 inches. This condensate pump is ideal for dehumidifiers, air conditioners, high efficiency gas furnaces, and condensing boilers. It comes with a one-year warranty like most Little Giant pumps.

PROS

Affordable
Easy installation
With safety switch

CONS

Poor instructions

DiversiTech CP-22

DiversiTech CP-22 Dehumidifier Condensate Pump

This high-capacity DiversiTech CP-22 condensate pump is suitable for commercial use. It has a maximum flow rate of 1.6 gallons per minute and a 22 feet vertical lift instead of the typical 20 feet. It’s built with rubber feet and elastomeric motor mounts to dampen vibrations and reduce noise. The tank can hold ⅓ gallon condensate up to 160°F.

This heavy duty pump also includes a safety switch with ¼” quick connect terminals for easy connection. The two terminals allow flexibility to connect an air handler shutdown or alarm as you see fit. Also included are shatter-proof stainless steel hang tabs for easy mounting, and a removable check valve for easy cleaning.

An additional feature we like is the indicator lights. The green light means power is supplied, yellow means the pump is running, and the red light is a visual alarm for high water levels. DiversiTech provides four inlet holes with reinforced walls for greater durability, compared to the two or three holes in other brands. 

If you want a highly efficient and powerful condensate pump, then the DiversiTech CP-22 is a good choice. It is, however, on the more expensive side for a pump. It is backed with a one-year warranty.

PROS

Easy installation
22-ft vertical lift
Maximum temperature 160°F
Four inlet holes
With stainless steel hang tabs

CONS

Smaller tank
More expensive

Beckett CB151UL

Beckett CB151UL Dehumidifier Condensate Pump

Voltage: 115 V
Wattage: 53 W
Capacity (@1’ head): 120 GPH

Beckett is a well-known and trusted brand in the food equipment industry. They provide OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) products such as medium condensate pumps. The CB151UL 115V condensate pump can push out 120 gallons of water per hour at one foot, with a maximum lift of 17 feet and maximum water temperature of 150°F.

Engineered with a patented airflow design, this condensate pump allows for quiet operation and heat reduction for better functioning and longer life. The powerful motor enables medium-sized particulates to pass easily. It has thermal protection The unit features four 1.1” inlet holes, a ½ gallon tank, and a 6-ft cord set that can be mounted on either side. Also included is a safety switch to prevent water overflow in case the pump fails. The ⅜” tubing is not included with this model. It comes with a 12-month warranty.

PROS

Easy installation
High flow rate
Quiet operation
Four inlet holes
With safety switch

CONS

Tubing not included

Little Giant VCMX-20ULST 554550

Little Giant VCMX-20ULST 554550 Dehumidifier Condensate Pump

Voltage: 115 V
Wattage: 93 W
Horsepower: 1/30 HP
Capacity (@1’ head): 84 GPH

The last in our list is another condensate pump from Little Giant, particularly the VCMX-20 series. Its slim design allows for greater flexibility for installation. This powerful 1/30 HP pump uses 115 volts and pumps out up to 84 gallons of water per hour at one foot, with a maximum lift of 20 feet.

It comes with all the optional features of Little Giant we mentioned above, including three 1-⅛” diameter inlet holes, a 6-ft power cord, and a 20-ft long ⅜” tubing. The ⅜” OD is barbed with 1/4-turn quick release check valve to make draining much easier. It also features thermally protected motor, stainless steel motor shaft, and oil-resistant tank for greater durability. This Little Giant pump series comes with a three year warranty.

PROS

Easy installation
High flow rate
Quiet operation
Slimmer size
With safety switch
Three year warranty

CONS

Smaller tank
More expensive

What is a Condensate Pump?

A condensate pump is designed to remove the condensate produced in heating or cooling, refrigeration, dehumidification, high efficiency furnace, or condensing boiler systems. It’s commonly used with a high capacity dehumidifier when gravity drainage isn’t possible.

If you have a damp basement, then you may be in serious need of a dehumidifier. But another problem arises if you don’t have a floor drain nearby. You have the option to use the tank and manually empty the water, but this can be very inconvenient. Another instance where you may need a pump is with a crawl space or whole-house dehumidifier. These units are able to collect huge amounts of water from your house and the most practical drainage option is through a condensate pump.

Additionally, an air conditioner naturally dehumidifies the air during the air conditioning process, thus resulting in condensate dripping down from the machine. The greater humidity in the air, the more condensate it can produce. Similarly, a gas furnace can produce high amounts of condensate, depending on its capacity and efficiency. These heating or cooling systems are able to produce up to 20 gallons of condensate a day.

In most household situations, automatic drainage via gravity may be enough to pull all the water towards your drain system. However, in some cases, a condensate pump is your best (or only) option. Some high-capacity dehumidifiers include an internal pump, but if your unit doesn’t have one, then you need an external condensate pump.

How Does a Condensate Pump Work?

In the case of dehumidifiers with pumps, the water is collected in the tank. When it’s full, the pump will automatically start and work to push out the water, typically up to 15 feet vertically, with the included 20-ft hose. This is a common feature in commercial dehumidifiers. 

An external condensate pump works similarly. It has a small tank, around 0.5 to 1 gallon, where the condensate is collected. When the water reaches a certain level, it will trigger the float switch in the pump. This will turn on the motor which pumps out the water through the drain tube. When the water goes down to a specified level, the float switch will trigger the condensate pump to shut off again.

The flow rate of the water will vary depending on the height. The higher you position the opening of the hose, the slower the pump can push out the water. Additionally, the maximum vertical lift varies per pump model. The standard is 15 feet, but some go up to 20 feet and beyond.

How To Install A Condensate Pump

Condensate pump installation should be a simple task for most homeowners. Each model may require different steps, but here is a general guide you can follow to install your condensate pump properly and get it working right away.

Although most condensate pumps can be simply placed on the floor near your dehumidifier, it has a mounting slot so it can be screwed to the wall. What matters most is that your condensate pump is laid flat on a level surface not too far from the dehumidifier or any other appliance connected to it.

Once you’ve found the best location for the pump, insert the drain hose from the dehumidifier (most units are compatible with a standard ¾” garden hose) into one of the inlets. Next, you must connect the discharge tubing to the pump (standard size is ⅜” diameter). Most of the models we featured above include a 20-ft long, clear tubing.

If your condensate pump has a safety switch, then you also need to connect the wirings to your dehumidifier or alarm system. Once you’ve secured all the wires and pipes connections, it’s time to plug in your dehumidifier and pump and start operation.

Condensate Pump Buying Guide

Consider the following features before purchasing a pump for your dehumidifier unit.

Flow Rate (Gallons Per Minute Or Hour) 

This measurement determines the volume of water (usually in gallons) that the pump can remove per minute or per hour. You’ll need a pump rate that’s at least twice bigger than the extraction rate of your dehumidifier and all the connected appliances combined. Take note that the higher you place the pump, the slower the rate it can remove the condensate.

Float Switch

The float switch is an essential component of a condensate pump. It monitors the level in the water tank and triggers the unit to start pumping out the water and stop when the level goes down. You want to make sure you have a good quality float to keep your pump functioning properly.

Safety Switch

The safety switch is connected to your dehumidifier, air conditioner or other appliance to turn off automatically in case the pump fails. If needed, you can also connect it to a water alarm system to alert you of possible water overflow.

Voltage 

Unlike built-in pumps, your external pump needs to be plugged separately from your dehumidifier. Most residential units use a 115-120V outlet, although the larger models may require 230V for more power.

Horsepower

The horsepower (HP) determines the power of the pump to remove water. A higher value equates to faster condensate removal. The average household condensate pump has 1/30 to 1/50 HP.

Pump Head Measurement

The pump head measurement is the maximum height at which the condensate pump can raise the water up to the outlet. A standard pump has at least 15 feet vertical lift. This means it can only pump out water up to 15 feet while the flow rate decreases the greater the height.

Best Portable Dehumidifier with Built-in Pump

Some high-capacity portable dehumidifiers include an internal pump for hassle-free automatic drainage. Here are a few of the best dehumidifiers with internal pumps for a more convenient moisture removal.

Frigidaire FFAP5033W1

Frigidaire FFAP5033W1 Dehumidifier

Frigidaire is a top performing dehumidifier in almost any aspect. This Energy Star certified dehumidifier with pump removes 50 pints of excess moisture per day with a large water bucket capacity of 16.9 pints. This energy efficient dehumidifier is made with quality materials to operate in low temperatures without an auto defrost mode.

hOmeLabs HME020391N

hOmeLabs HME020391N Dehumidifier

This 50-pint hOmeLabs dehumidifier also includes a built-in pump for automatic drainage. It can effectively remove excess moisture from a 4,500 square feet space. This Energy Star rated dehumidifier with a pump comes with all the features you need for your home.

AlorAir Sentinel HDi90 Dehumidifier

Aloroair Sentinel HDI90 Crawl Space Dehumidifier

If you need a commercial dehumidifier with a pump for the crawl space in your house, then AlorAir is a good choice. The Sentinel HDi90 extracts up to 90 pints of excess moisture from a 2,200 square feet area. It also has an Energy Star rating for greater savings.

FAQ

Does a condensate pump run all the time?

A condensate pump will only pump out the water from the tank when it reaches a certain level and stop once the water level goes down. If there’s a significant amount of condensate being produced by your HVAC system, then it may seem your pump is running continuously.

How do you clean a condensate pump?

First, make sure it’s unplugged. Disconnect the pipes both on the inlets and outlet. Remove the top (which contains the motor and wirings) to access the tank at the bottom. Clean the tank and the discharge valve until they’re free from clogs or any debris. Rinse and replace all components.

What happens if a condensate pump fails?

If your condensate pump fails, the water may overflow and spill. However, if you have a properly working safety switch connected, then it will automatically shut off your dehumidifier or any other appliance to prevent overflow.

Why is my condensate pump so loud?

Condensate pumps are naturally loud due to the motor and the movement of water. If possible, add insulation to block the noise. But if you notice your unit getting unusually louder, then it may be a case of a clogged drain pipe. It makes a gurgling noise as it tries to push out the excess water and whatever is stuck in there. If you don’t check as soon as possible, it can lead to water leakage. 

How long does a condensate pump last?

Just like any device or appliance, it depends on your usage and maintenance. A lot of users get the most of their condensate pumps from five years up to ten years.