The primary function of the sump pump check valve is to make sure that the water being pumped out of the sump pump pit liner and through the discharge plumbing cannot drain back into the liner.
The sump pump check valve kicks in when the pump stops pumping and there is no more water being pushed up through the discharge pipe. Sump pump check valves, like all check valves, “flow sensitive” and rely on water in the line to open and close.
What Happens If A Sump Pump Check Valve Is Not In Place?
Without a sump pump check valve in place, all the water in the discharge pipe empties back into the sump pump pit liner. This causes the water level in the liner to rise. Higher water levels in the sump pit liner causes the pump to run more often, increasing energy costs.
A Sump Pump Check Valve Also Provides Other Protections
The sump pump check valve also prevents insects and rodents from possibly entering the impeller chamber of the sump pump through the discharge pipe. Insects, rodents and other large debris can cause clogging and pump failure.
Below are Two Types of Sump Pump Check Valves
Sump Pump – Spring Loaded Clear Check Valve
There are many types of sump pump check valves on the market today. My favorite is the spring loaded clear check valve. When installed above the lid of the sump pump pit liner, this check valve allows for quick visual inspection when trying to determine if the pumping system is pumping water.
The spring loaded valve also prevents the loud banging sound commonly experienced with gravity check valves.
Sump Pump – Gravity Check Valve
Gravity check valves do cost less money and are very easy to find in your local hardware store. They are also well suited for a battery back up sump pump system. The gravity valves take very little force to open and allow for maximum efficiency when on battery power.
The Sump Pump photo below shows you a typical sump pump system configuration; you can see where all the sump pump parts belong and how the pump parts fit.
Helpful Hints Regarding Sump Pumps
When you install your sump pump check valve make sure you drill a small hole in the side of the plumbing where it attachés to the base of the pump. Without this hole an air pocket can form below the check valve and create whats commonly referred to as “vapor lock”. This will prevent the sump pump from being able to pump water.
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