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Zoeller M53 Mighty-mate Review

Zoeller M53 Mighty-mate Review

  • Motor
  • Reliability (common switch problems)
  • Customer Svc (customer told to replace switch yearly)

The leading name in sump pumps the Zoeller brand is the most recommended sump pump by professional plumbers and basement waterproofers.  Being the least expensive of the Zoeller sump pumps the M53, valued in the low $100’s, seem like the ideal sump pump for a great price.  The Zoeller name being so trusted you’d think the M53 would be flawless. You’d be wrong.


Built Tough?

The most frequent complaint of failure with Zoeller M53 is due to the float switch malfunctioning after a couple years.  There are reports of people calling in to customer service and being told that the switch should be changed every year.  Say what?!  27% of the reviews on Amazon, as of this writing, are 3 stars or less.  The complaints of most of these individuals are regarding the float switch.  That’s a bit more than 1 in 4.  This is the reason why I do not recommend the M53 and gave it a lower score than that found on Amazon.  I don’t think anyone should gamble with being the 1 in 4 who has a float switch problem and suddenly discovers their basement totally destroyed.  I’d rather you spend your hard earned cash on something more reliable.  This potential issue is just too severe, if you were to be one of the unlucky ones, to not warn about.



The 1/3 HP motor is perfectly fine for a sump pit that doesn’t have a constant flow of water year round.  The motor is the same as the one in the M57 model which has no issues.  It does it’s job.


Features & Specs

- 1/3 HP motor

- 43GPM at 5ft, 34 at 10ft, 15 at 9ft (shut off at 19.25ft)

- Width 10-3/32″ Height 10-1/16″

- Automatic with float activated switch

- No screens to clog

- 9ft cord


How much should you expect to pay for it?

The Zoeller M53 ranges from $120s to $200 online.  The best prices are usually found on Amazon.


Does it include a warranty?

Yes, starting 12 months from date of installation or 18 months from date of manufacture with the option to buy 3 years directly from Zoeller.


What are others saying?

Consumers on Amazon have given the Zoeller M53 a  rating.  That being said, a fair number of people have had problems with the switch failing on them after a few years.   Some of the comments to date:

  • “If I had it to do again, I’d get M57s, even though the M53 is a fine pump.”
  • “A coworker who I recommended the pump to also had a switch fail after 2 years. The pump itself good, but the switch is junk.”
  • “The M53 pump runs strong and on demand. It is quiet while still being powerful. The only downside to this pump would be I had to change the switch float to a more “lenient” float setup, otherwise my pump would run much more than really necessary. Otherwise, the 1/3HP M53 has been a winner in my book.”
  • “I just replaced my 20 year old Mighty-Mate with an identical model. The original Mighty-Mate was already installed in our house back in ’93 when the house was built. The float switch finally gave out after 20 years of service.”
  • “My M53 also experienced a switch failure to the “on” position after having it in use for approx. 2 1/2 yrs.” (read more…)


Zoeller M53 bad float switchI Can’t Let You Do That…




 When you look on Amazon you will find more good reviews than bad.  I am pointing out the bad because I have done research across the web on this model and the float switch being stuck after a few years is not an isolated issue.  I don’t want anyone to have the issue this gentlemen had: “While on vacation in Florida the switch on the pump failed and my basement was flooded with water causing $16,000 in damage (most of which was covered by insurance). However, we had to throw away a lot of non-insurable stuff, e.g., pictures, records, etc. that the insurance did not cover.” No thank you! While many are happy with the Zoeller M53 you’re better off getting the Zoeller M57 or the Liberty 257 (which is in the same price range and composed entirely of cast-iron).  These have a better track record for 1/3HP sump pumps.


  1. I have a Zoeller model 53 pump that after 4 years, fails to come on when the tank is full unless I jar the tank. It turns out the switch is stiff and when the water level rises slowly the tank overflows. Jarring it causes the switch to activate. I read your review and was about to order a Model 57 pump, but I went to the Zoeller web site first to make sure the dimensions were the same as those for the Model 53 so that the pump would fit in my tank. It turns out that the only difference between the Zoeller models 53 and 57 are that the Model 53 has a glass filled plastic impeller and the model 57 has a cast iron impeller. The switch/float systems are identical. I don’t understand how these pumps would act differently with respect to float switch problems. Could it be that the model 57 is used less commonly and therefore there just fewer complaints because there are fewer pumps out there?

    • Wally – I had wondered the same thing. I am unsure why the Zoeller M57′s float switch wouldn’t have the same issue. While researching I found there just aren’t that many people complaining about the float switch as there are on the M53 to warrant a warning about it. I cannot figure out why this would be the case. I would recommend you check out the Liberty 257 if you have concerns with Zoeller switches. If a Zoeller fit chances are the Liberty will as well. It will fit in a 10″ diameter sump pit.

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