What is a Sump Pump Check Valve and Why It Is Important?

Sump pump check valve blocked

November 3, 2021

A sump pump is an important part of a waterproofing system. The main function of a sump pump is to collect and remove water that has accumulated below the basement floor before it can enter the basement and cause damage.

A sump pump is part of the waterproofing system that helps protect against your basement flooding and a check valve is one of the essential parts of the sump pump to allow it to function.

What is a Sump Pump Check Valve?

A sump pump check valve is a one-way valve that is placed within the discharge line. The reason why it is called a one-way valve is that it only allows water to flow in one direction. The main function of a check valve is to ensure that the water does not flow back into the sump pit even when the pump switches off.

Why Is a Sump Pump Check Valve Important?

To Keep The Sump Pump System Working

When the sump pump system is fully operational the pump will force the water through via the valve. When the pump turns off, gravity will want the water to fall back into the discharge pipe back into the sump pump pit.

The sump pump check valve is used to ensure that this doesn’t happen. Without the check valve, the pump would have to re-pump the water out of the system which will mean that the system could overheat on a regular basis. Over time, this will save you on electricity costs.

Extend Life of Sump Pump

When the pump motor overheats this will shorten the life of the pump dramatically. By having a check valve in place this will extend the life of the sump pump.

Location of a Sump Pump Check Valve

The sump pump check valve should be located near the floor level to reduce the amount of water that could potentially be drained back after the end of the pumping cycle.

Another main reason for this location is that it is easy for an engineer to carry out a service or the replacement of the check valve. The check valve can be placed inside of the sump pump it but the installing and servicing is much more difficult to carry out.

What Happens if It Is Not Installed Correctly or There Is Not One in Place?

If your sump pump check valve is not installed it will cause the water, that is in the discharge pipe to go back into the sump pump pit. When this occurs, the water levels inside the pit will begin to rise and will therefore mean the pump will have to pump the water more regularly causing your energy costs at your property to increase.

If your sump pump check valve is not installed correctly, for example, it is placed too high on the discharge pipe, the pump will empty the pit during the pumping process.

When this happens the excess water that is in the check valve will drain back into the sump pump basin causing the water levels to increase at a faster rate. When the water rises to a certain point this will trigger the float switch which will start the pump again, therefore, making it have the potential to breakdown more quickly as it is working harder.

Replace the Check Valve With a New Sump Pump System

If you are looking to install a new sump pump at your property and if you have an existing check place in place, we recommend that the check valve you should be replaced with a new one as well.

The reason for using a new sump pump check valve as well is due to the fact that the valve flap could have been damaged or corroded over time.

Two Types of Sump Pump Check Valves

There are many different types of check valves available.  One of the most popular is the gravity check valve. The reason for the popularity is that the price of the valve and that it works well with a battery backup system. Using a gravity valve does not take much water to open it which allows for the system to work at optimum capacity when using battery backup power.

Another type of check valve is the spring-loaded clear check valve. One of the main positives for this type of valve is that it is visible so you can see if the pumping system is pumping the water out properly. Due to the valve being spring-loaded it means that it doesn’t make a loud noise which can occur in a gravity check valve.

How Can We Help?

As we have explained, having a check valve within your sump pump system is important for it to work at full capacity. You can install a sump pump check valve yourself, but it is always best to have a fully qualified engineer to carry out the works to make sure it is installed correctly.

If the check valve is not installed properly, it could not only mean that your pump is overworking but it could also breakdown more often.

At The Basement Sump and Pump Company we have engineers across the country, to contact us please call us on 0800 019 9949 or request a service.

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