Basics of Check Valves – what are they?
Check valves are essential plumbing components found in all residential and commercial plumbing pipes. For example, a check valve would be located inside of your discharge line from your basement sump pump. They are also found in all other types of pump, as well.
As you can guess from the above clues, a check valve is a type of device that keeps water flowing in one direction. As in the sump pump example above, you would not want dirty contaminated water that is being expelled outside of your home to inadvertently flow back inside due to a pressure change. Back flow, or reverse flow, is avoided when a check valve is present and working properly. Check valves are relatively maintenance-free, however, there can be times when they may need replacing.
Common problems of check valves
You may have a bad check valve in need of replacement if you are noticing back flow (as described above), vibration, noise or even leakage emanating from your water pipes. Any of these occurrences may result from built-up scale or debris from inside the pipes getting trapped around it.
The cause of the check valve going bad could be that it has worn out, as this tends to happen with metal on metal components over time. Or perhaps a wrong style of check valve had been previously installed and is not able to handle the pressure or the flow of the line. In both of these scenarios, it should be replaced with a fast closing check valve which would be more suited to the pipe it is assisting with. When in doubt, let an expert determine the correct type and style of check valve for your particular pipe’s needs.
Repair of check valves
Thankfully, the replacing of the check valve by itself is not a huge financial undertaking. The part is quite inexpensive, and the time it should typically take an experienced plumber should be relatively short. However, if the faulty check valve is left in an unrepaired state for a long period of time then disaster can strike. Use common sense when you hear or see something not right with your pipes. The inexpensive replacement of a check valve could save you additional hundreds or thousands of dollars replacing other piping and fixtures, such as sump pumps.
If you have recently experienced backflow or odd sounds coming from your water pipes, contact the plumbing experts at Elk Grove Village and Plumbing. Let us help you determine if a simple check valve replacement is all that is needed.