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The 5 Best Portable Transfer Water Pumps [Ranked]

Portable Transfer Water Pumps

Top5Reviewed is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Portable water transfer pumps are designed to quickly pump water out of flooded basements, boats, & water heaters.

They are also often used to increase line water pressure, helping to irrigate lawns and gardens- any application where you need to transfer water from one place to another.

The Wayne Anderson PC4 portable transfer pump is one of our favorites- it is a US-assembled pump, made from a combination of domestic and foreign parts, all with a one-year limited warranty.

It's got 1/2 hp, and can pump 1,450 max gallons per hour at 0 feet. Its users are generally impressed with its power and performance, saying that it is a little bit loud, particularly if you're working in an enclosed area, but nothing that some hearing protection won't help you deal with.

The Wayne PC4 is an low-priced, compact and rugged portable pump that functions best when connected to an inlet or outlet hose that is of an adequate diameter.

Because of its ability to work off of a small emergency generator and transfer over and above 1,000 GPH, this makes it particularly helpful during emergency sump pump and dewatering applications.

It also can work as a supplementary lawn irrigation pump because it has sufficient flow and pressure to drive at least one impact sprinklers.

All that said, the PC4 is best suited for occasional, as opposed to continuous use, because its motor brushes need to be swapped every 100 hours of use.

Let's take a look at 5 of the best-selling portable transfer water pumps on the market today and see how they compare. 

Comparing The Options

The Five Best Options

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

The 115 V, 0.1 HP, 330 GPH HydraPump Portable Transfer Water Pump is an effective option that weighs only 5.9 lbs. Its users like that it is durable even with a plastic impeller, but also note that it has problems with self-priming.

 

It is made of durable material with metal hose connectors for higher reliability than plastic threads. It measures 8.8” x 8.3” x 7.8” and comes with a 6-foot garden hose with water suction attachment that allows removal of water down to 1/8″ of the surface. A complete impeller replacement kit is also included in the package.

 

This portable machine is a good option if you are looking for a small yet heavy-duty transfer water pump.

 

Many users of this water pump are impressed with its durability, given that its impeller is made of plastic. The extra impeller included in the kit is a bonus. One user said that he has used it for a total of more than 20 hours, and it’s still pumping like a champ.

 

He also mentioned that even though the manufacturer recommends using for clean water only, it worked well in sucking even silt and small debris at the bottom of his swimming pool. However, a lot of users also said that this is not a self-priming pump, and suggest adding vegetable oil to get it working.

 

There were also users who said that its noise is more than expected, and the hose gets kinked, but these were minor inconveniences for the low price of the pump.

Pros

  • Economical
  • Lightweight
  • Impeller replacement kit included
  • 6’ hose and suction attachment included

Cons

  • Self-priming is problematic
  • Can get too noisy

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

The 115 V, 0.1HP, 340 GPH Wayne PC2 Portable Transfer Water Pump is a very good option that pumps 300 GPH even at 10 ft. of discharge lift. Its users love how efficient it is, but also note that it also needs priming with vegetable oil. It is designed for rugged use, with a metal pump and motor housing.

 

It can lift water over 35’ and drain down to 1/8″ using an included suction attachment. A bronze plated discharge and intake provides long life and resists thread damage common to alternative plastic models. It also includes 6’ suction hose and impeller replacement kit. It comes with a 1-year warranty.

 

This transfer water pump is a great option if you are looking for a relatively affordable yet powerful motorized water pump.

 

This water pump has received generally positive reviews from its users. Users like its portable and simple design that many have used for various jobs without any issues. One user says it really is quite efficient, allowing him to transfer water from his 35-gallon tank to his travel trailer water tank in about 6-7 minutes.

 

It’s not self-priming, so you have to prime it with a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Users thought that the included replacement impeller, hose gasket, motor brushes/springs, etc. are a nice touch. There were a few who found the noise from the pump a too noisy for its size, especially when operated inside a room, but this was not a deal-breaker for them.

Video Overview

Pros

  • Compact
  • Powerful for its small size
  • Impeller replacement kit included
  • 6’ hose and suction attachment included

Cons

  • May be too noisy for some
  • Requires vegetable oil for priming

3. The Power Clear Transfer Water Pump Review

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

The 110V, 0.5 HP, 9.25 GMP (555 GPH) Electric Centrifugal Peripheral Power Clear Water Pump is a practical option that has a 98’ maximum head of delivery. Its users like that it is very affordable, but also note that the product came with very sparse instructions, and may not be too user-friendly for first-time users of pumps.

 

It weighs 11 lbs and measures 11” x 6” x 7”.  It’s a little heavier than other portable water pumps but also delivers greater power. The unit comes with a filter and check valve, and a 1-year warranty. This portable machine is a reasonable option if you are looking for a budget-friendly transfer water pump.

 

Users of this water pump agree that although it comes at a very cheap price, it works nicely and is reliable. They also like that it is solidly-built and feels durable enough to last for a long time.

 

However, priming requires a few steps and may be a bit challenging for inexperienced users.  A user warned that running it without priming will result in damage. It may not be the most convenient and user-friendly water pump, but its low price point and relatively greater output make it attractive to buyers.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Greater GPH
  • Delivers greater power than other smaller portable pumps

Cons

  • Challenging to use for inexperienced users

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

The 115 V, 0.5 HP, 1450 GPH WAYNE PC4 Cast Iron Multi-Purpose Pump is a solidly built option that is made from durable cast iron steel. Its users love that it is heavy duty and durable, but also note that it is quite noisy and a bit on the heavy side. It weighs 14 lbs and measures 9” x 5” x 8”.

 

The motor boosts line pressure up to 40 PSI and generates up to 15 ft. of suction lift at inlet hose. A top-threaded priming port is easily filled, and the ball bearings have lifetime lubrication. The 3/4-inch brass hose connections resist stripping while easily connecting to garden hoses. With an easy carry cast iron handle, carrying is made easy. Included with the unit is a reinforced thermoplastic suction strainer to keep out extraneous material.

 

It comes with a 1-year limited warranty. This motor pump is a solid option if you are looking for a portable transfer water pump that is also good for generating pressurized water.

 

The overall consensus on this product is that it is very well-made and durable. They like that it primes quickly and generates a lot of line pressure. One user even noted that he got 70 PSI, which is much higher than the expected 40 PSI described on the product.

 

Users have very little complaints regarding this water pump, although some mentioned that it produces a much louder noise than expected, and it is quite heavy to lug around, but these were not too much of an issue for them.

Pros

  • Generates more than 40 PSI of line pressure
  • Heavy-duty and durable
  • Easy to prime

Cons

  • Produces loud noise
  • Heavy weight

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

The 115 V, 0.5 HP, 1450 GPH HydraPump Pro Portable Transfer Water Pump is a reasonable option with cast iron casing. Its users like that its motor runs with much less noise than expected, but also note that it may rust easily. It weighs 17.9 lbs and measures 12” x 10.4” x 7.8”. Standard sized 3/4” corrosion-resistant brass hose connectors are included.

 

The unit also comes with a hose filter to keep debris from entering the pump and a set of extra replacement brushes (6mm x 10.5mm x 21mm). This option for a water pump is not bad if you are looking for a cheaper alternative to the other leading brand of portable transfer water pump.

 

Users of this water pump are overall satisfied with its performance. They say that it is quite good, particularly given its cheap price. Many users think it is well-made and works well for medium-sized water transferring jobs.

 

There are a number of negative feedback on the product though. This includes the priming cap, which they say rusts far too easily. In addition, priming is complicated by the need for a wrench to accomplish. There were also a few users who complained that their unit broke after a few months of use.

Pros

  • Low-priced

Cons

  • Priming cap rusts easily
  • Wrench is needed for priming
  • Some units broke after a few months of use

What Are Buyers Saying?

The Wayne

One of our favorite transfer water pumps is the Wayne PC4 transfer pump- this US-assembled transfer pump is designed from cast-iron steel and Wayne Anderson provides a one-year limited warranty with purchase. It was one of the most popularly received portable pump that we reviewed, with most users fairly impressed with its functionality.

One buyer said that once you have it assembled and pumping water, he found that in general it was equal to or in excess of a water pump rate of a typical kitchen faucet. This particular user employed it to pump water up a hill to power a sprinkler system- and he ran it for hours on end without any issue.

One small problem he discovered is that this portable water transfer pump can be a little bit slow to prime. Another bit of advice he provides for prospective buyers is that you'll want a particularly rugged hose to use while performing suction with the intake- your standard garden hose will likely constrict and pucker if you use it for any length of time.

Another buyer describes using this pump to transfer water from his flooded basement up to street level, roughly 85 feet away. It does the job well, though this particular reviewer does say that it is a bit louder than the traditional sump pump located beneath his residence. Yet another reviewer says that he purchased this particular portable transfer pump to help him drain his hot water heater when he closes his summer cottage down for the winter.

He is particularly impressed by the speed and power of the pump, saying that he's been able to drain 10 gallon buckets of water with ease-noting that the water literally shoots out of the hose, rapidly draining the bucket of its contents.

Buyers, in general, find this to be a relatively inexpensive, but solid, portable and multi-purpose water transfer pump. Indeed, it even has emergency applications- it can easily function as an emergency sump pump if you are able to power it with a generator during power outages.

Some particularly metric-minded buyers conducted some assessments and found that in terms of its performance it produces 40 pounds per square inch of static pressure. One negative is that if you don't use it for a while, it's likely to discharge some rusty water-so it's best to service it every 100 hours of operation.

The Wayne PC2 portable transfer water pump is another solid option- the predecessor of the more powerful PC4. Again, buyers were fairly impressed with this model, with one purchaser in particular describing how he used it to flush a tankless water heater- saying that its performance was flawless and the little transfer pump didn't overheat during the 45 minute process.

One criticism a reviewer had was that even though the manufacturer said that this is a self-priming pump, the included instructions indicated that you should prime it with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Another minor criticism this particular reviewer had was that since the pump inlet and outlet are male fittings, if you are trying to connect to a tankless water heater, or even a different hose, you will require a female-to-female adapter.

Definitely a lot of power in a small package- another reviewer advises you to wear hearing protection, particularly if you are working with this transfer pump in a small enclosed area. The noise can certainly become pretty loud. Some other users that have significant experience employing these transfer pumps say that if you're going to be moving the hoses around a great deal during operation, it makes sense to mount the transfer pump on a solid foundation to provide it with stability-you don't want it flopping around if you accidentally jar the hoses.

Another helpful reviewer advised that if you are flushing your waterless tank using vinegar, you will also want to clean out the pump as well as all of its fittings and hoses with a good water wash down because the vinegar can actually eat away the brass fittings if it is not adequately flushed after use.

Another reviewer who needed to empty a rain barrel that he uses to irrigate a small survivalist garden says that it gets the job done, but he notices that it will overheat if it runs dry for any length of time. Another interesting application that one reviewer put this portable pump to was draining his waterbed. Hey was happy with the job that it did, and raining a king-size water bed, making it easy to transport for his move, and was much quicker than manually siphoning it as he had done in the past.

The HydraPump was another option we examined- it received less favorable ratings from its users than some of the other pumps we surveyed. One unimpressed user says that he had to oil it after every use and he also says that he has significant self-priming issues with the transfer pump. Another buyer said that he concurs with the self-priming criticism, but still found a way to get a ton of use out of it, describing it as a particularly rugged and low-priced option.

In particular, he uses it as a complement to a submersible pump, saying that using the included hose he is able to empty relatively deep depths of standjng water. While the manufacturers say that it should only be used for clean water, another reviewer says that he found it an effective way to help vacuum silt that had fallen to the bottom of his summer home swimming pool.

He was able to screen out some of the larger sediment debris and it was effective for cleaning out the bottom of his backyard swimming pool.

Final thoughts

Indeed, these transfer water pumps have a variety of uses- whether you are trying to dry out a flooded basement or boat, or even helping to irrigate lawns and gardens, these are handy tools to keep in your garage.

Sometimes you'll have to adapt them to your purpose- and oftentimes they don't always run perfectly out of the box, but most users, particularly those who purchased transfer pumps from Wayne Anderson, were generally satisfied with the performance that they got out of them.

  • Updated September 20, 2019
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