Hardware Store Sump Pump for Drain?


New member
I'm turning a storage room into a fish room. One issue is that there is no plumbing in this room, but there is a nearby unfinished bathroom. So I thought that I could have a makeshift drain by picking up a sump pump at the local hardware store and dropping it into a bucket, running 1" flexi to bathroom sink. ATO emergency drain would go to it as would salt water during water change. So here is my question. Would a standard hardware store sump pump have problems with salt water? I know I could rig something up with a controller, float switches, and a MAG-12 or something like that, but for $125 I could get the complete package from either the Orange or Blue stores.


Premium Member
The SW will likely eat it alive. You can get sump pumps for use in marine environments, but they are spendy.

I am not sure if a sink ejector pump would fare any better, but it would be less hassle to setup and use, and fit properly under a utility sink.


In Memoriam
I have an under-sink sump for my utility sink in my fish room. My water change water gets pumped through it weekly. It's been running for about three years and I haven't had any issues...yet.


New member
I use a Maxi-Jet 1200 to pump the water out of
my sump and down the drain for water changes

If you keep t the line low ,so it does not have
to pump up hill so much, it will work fine.


New member
I use one of the small utility pumps from the orange store to pump new salt water from my garage up to my 180 on the 2nd floor during water changes. It pumps for about 10 minutes per water change and then sits for weeks to months until the next water change. I figured for the price I would just run it to failure and replace it as needed. It's probably 7 or 8 years old now with no problems.

So, I'd say go for it.


RC Sponsor
Premium Member
They work great for moving water but I would not advise leaving one in the tank water 24x7. It will fail or worse, short out without warning. They are not designed for salt water. I used one for many years without issue but it was always removed from the salt water after use and rinsed off. Eventually it failed.


New member
Don't forget that pumps not designed for the marine environment might have copper parts inside that could leach copper into your tank....