Attention to detail is highly recommended when dealing with plumbing and the role of check valves is a bright example of this. Did you know that if you could get your hands on the best check valve available, you will prevent returning water from damaging your sump pump? Not only that, but this part will also significantly reduce water hammer.
These arguments alone should be enough for you to rush to the store and get a check valve. However, we got even more useful information for you in the guide below. Our crew will lead you to select the finest product for your needs. Our check valve reviews are carefully constructed highlighting all the important aspects. Don’t miss any of the sections below and make a safe purchase.
Campbell Check Valve Quiet
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Zoeller 30-0181 PVC Check Valve
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Campbell Mfg Check Valve
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AY McDonald 4421-100 Silent Check Valve
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Superior Pump 99555 Universal Check Valve
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Homewerks VCK-P40 In-Line Check Valve
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Best Check Valve Reviews – (Recommended Picks)
We wouldn’t have it any other way – we have to kick-off the article by talking about the best check valves available. We haven’t arranged them in any particular order and we have been more than objective when it comes to describing their ups and downs.
1. Campbell Check Valve Quiet
This is a very interesting product mainly because of the way it looks. The Campbell Check Valve has a transparent mid-section where you can actually see the flap. This is perhaps the quietest check valve you will ever find as it will significantly reduce water hammer and water noise.
It is about 10 inches tall and has a diameter of 3.3 inches. Installation is not a huge hassle but it will require a little PVC glue.
The downside of this is that when a replacement is needed, you will have a tougher time undoing the valve. This is why we recommend using rubber couplers instead. You shouldn’t see any leaks. A little bit on the downside is the short shelf life of the unit. In most cases, it lasts about 2 years. This is still a good purchase keeping in mind the peace and quiet that you get.
2. Zoeller 30-0181 PVC Check Valve
This unit on our list is considered to be a heavy-duty check valve. This means that it will be able to withstand larger water pressure and in our case, we are talking about 4.3 PSI. The check valve is lightweight as it is made of plastic, namely PVC. Furthermore, connecting it to the discharge pipe won’t be of concern because there won’t be any twisting and screwing. The 1-1/2 slip unions allow for easy installation without any additional tools required.
What’s great is that the valve can be installed both horizontally and vertically. A thing to keep in mind is the width of the mid-area. The clamps might need some more extra fastening in order to avoid leaks. If your hearing is extra sensitive then you might hear a little tap sound when the internal flap closes. This shouldn’t bother people but it is definitely there.
3. Jackel Sump Check Valve
Did you know that ABS stands for Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene? Well, now you know because this special kind of plastic is exactly what the Jackel Sump Check Valve is made of. This sort of body gives the unit plenty of flexibility paired with sturdiness and reliability. Safety is further boosted by the presence of the stainless steel clamps and fasteners. In fact, you get 4 of those and not only 2.
The manufacturer doesn’t recommend installing the valve horizontally although it is an option. However, sticking to a 45-degree or vertical installation is the best choice. One thing to watch for is the noise of the water hammer. There’s no way around it – the valve will be sort of noisy. Connecting the unit to a discharge pipe isn’t hard and it will fit both the 1-1/4-inch and 1-1/2-inch pipes. Thanks to the well-crafted clamps, leaks are not to be expected.
4. Campbell Mfg Check Valve
The guys from Campbell stay true to their well-known transparent design here. The Mfg Check valve will set you back an impressive amount of money but the positive effect will definitely be there. First of all, you shouldn’t expect to hear any more rattling from your sump pump because the valve is significantly quiet.
There might be slight troubles at both ends of the valve as it is not very well-sealed by the O-rings. You might want to opt for new O-rings or use sandpaper to remove the ridge at the end. Similar to other check valves, you have to weigh between lightweight, flexibility, and longevity.
This is one of the longer check valves we’ve reviewed as it stands at 10.5 inches. The widest part is 4.3 inches. The two fittings on each end can easily be replaced with different ones depending on the size of your discharge pipe.
5. AY McDonald 4421-100 Silent Check Valve
Here we will look at one of the most expensive check valves on our list. It is debatable whether it will give you the best bang for your buck but nonetheless, this is a quality product. Upon inspection of the product, you will notice that it comes with its own clamps. There won’t be any twisting required – you just insert the pipe and fasten the braces.
Unfortunately, using fittings here is not really an option. So you will have to put up with the 1 ½-inch flow. It will be impossible to reduce it to 1 ¼-inch one.
Installing it vertically isn’t the only option – you can go horizontally as well. It isn’t recommended, though, because the flapper movement uses gravity to close. When it comes to reducing the water hammer noise, the valve will do a fairly good job. The easy installation is what might make you think about this unit.
6. Superior Pump 99555 Universal Check Valve
So what you get from the Superior Pump 99555 is a tremendous amount of flexibility. This is because of the fact that the valve comes with 2 extra adapters. The default size of the unit is 1-1/4 inches but it will also fit 1-1/2-inch FPT if needed because of the two fittings that you get. The plastic constructing the body is not just any plastic but it is ABS. Additionally, the seal is made of specialized, high-quality Nitril-Bruna N-seal.
The dimensions are 8 inches x 3 inches. Now depending on the use of the valve, you might need to get extra adapters. For instance, attaching it to a garden hose would require a ¾-inch fitting. Even though the plastic is a sturdy one, you do not want to tighten the valve too much. It may crack. The valve is somewhat quiet which still makes it a nice value purchase.
7. Homewerks VCK-P40 In-Line Check Valve
We move on to a very simplistic looking check valve which doesn’t impress a lot with its visual qualities. The Homewerks In-Line Check Valve is basically one whole piece. The fittings and the mid-section are all laid out together. This makes it exceptionally tough to pair with adapters or different pipes. This is why the manufacturer gives you a wide array of sizes. So you have to buy the right size before you actually commence to any sort of installation.
Your options range from 0.5 inches all the way to 2 inches. The good thing is that it will work just as fine if installed horizontally. The set also includes a spring-loaded poppet, a nice O-ring seal and a stainless steel spring for the flapper. Since we mention the spring, bear in mind that the valve is pressure-operated. This means that your water flow must be strong enough to pass through it.
Why Do We Need A Check Valve Anyway?
A check valve has many applications in a household because plumbing systems can get quite complicated. The most popular use of a check valve is related to owning and running a sump pump. We are talking about any type of sump pump really. Even if you want to plug in your aquarium sump pump, it’s better if it has a check valve.
The check valve is a vital component of any pumping system because it allows water to go only in one direction without letting it come back to the pump. This is a short explanation.
Being familiar with what exactly a check valve is and how it works is important because you might find yourself in a situation needing one. Now, most sump pumps come with a check valve and you might think that reading our guide is pointless in this case.
In reality, you might not like the stock check valve that you get and you might have to purchase a replacement separately. This alone is a fair reason to why you should get to know more about the differences between check valves and their characteristics.
The Upsides Of Using A Water Check Valve
It is a small part, indeed, but since it is a very useful one, it is only fair that we list a few of the benefits of check valves. Here we will show you a concise list of the best advantages of small check valves.
- Cheap – yep, we shouldn’t overlook the money aspect because a check valve is a fairly inexpensive component but its value is tremendous. That being said, the money that you pay for it is truly neglectable.
- Lowers the noise of water hammer – peace and quiet are among the top-selling points of each top-class sump pump. A check valve enhances those characteristics because it will almost prevent water hammer.
- Low maintenance – check valves will barely need your attention. You got nothing to worry about and when the part gets worn out, you just replace it with a new one.
- Flexible – a check valve can handle various water pressures. The amount of water passing through is determined by the size of the valve and the strength of the spring (if there’s one).
- Will prevent damage to your pump – no matter what sort of a device you have before the check valve, rest assured that no water will come back to it. This is pretty much the essential purpose of each check valve.
- Works well in combination with a sump pump alarm.
How Does A Check Valve For Sump Pump Work
In this section, we will not only dissect how exactly a check valve performs but we will also draw a line between the two most common types of check valves. This is essential because the difference in their mechanisms will, to a large degree, matter to you when it comes to picking the right product.
So you are looking at the following:
- Check valve with a spring mechanism
- Check valve with gravity-powered flapper
The More Complex Check Valve
First, we will take a look at the valve with the more complex mechanism – the one with a spring. The most important thing to mention here is that the components of the check valve are in constant contact with one another. This means that it is not a good thing for the valve to remain inactive for long periods of time. You want to have some water run through it relatively often.
The components of a spring check valve are:
The focus should fall on the last part – the O-ring. If contaminated water passes through the valve, you run the risk of damaging the O-ring. Some chemicals might cause it to expand while debris and silt might lead to a reduction in the size. Both of these will result in the O-ring not performing to par.
The water comes from the side of the spring. As the spring gets pushed because of the water pressure, the valve opens and water passes through. It is completely up to you to decide how much water you want to pass. If you increase the pressure, the valve will open all the way and the maximum allowed amount of water will go through it.
As the water is being turned off, the spring will go back to its initial position and the valve will be shut.
Simplicity Is Often Considered More Useful
The second type of check valve is the one with a regular mechanical flapper. It is also called a swing valve. Such a device is simpler than the one we described above but it can be just as effective. Again, we rely on water pressure in order to have the valve open. And here are the components.
- A seat
- A disc
- An arm
- Pivot Pin
The pivot pin plays the role of the spring. This is where the arm is attached. The other end of the arm is, of course, on the disc. When at rest, the disc obviously lies against the seat thus blocking any water flow. When water comes in, it pushes the disc and the seat is now open.
Depending on the water pressure, the disc may swing all the way up. This will allow the maximum amount of water possible to go through the pipe. The wider the pipe, the more amount of water (and pressure) you will be able to get.
The force of gravity will do its job when the water flow stops. The arm will pivot back down and the disc will again shut the valve. In many cases, this type of check valve is installed horizontally. This is the preferred type when we talk about a check valve for a sewage pump.
Best Check Valve Comparison Chart
|Zoeller 30-0181 PVC Check Valve||$$||9.8 x 17.5 x 6.8"||14.4 ounces||1-1/2"||Plactic and Metal|
|Campbell Check Valve||$$$||3.3 x 3.3 x 9.5"||1.2 pounds||1-1/2"||Metal|
|Superior Pump 99555 Universal Check Valve||$||2.8 x 2.8 x 7"||7.2 ounces||1-1/4 or 1-1/2"||Plactic|
|AY McDonald 4421-100 Silent Check Valve||$$$||3 x 3 x 11.4"||1.76 pounds||1-1/2"||Plactic|
|Homewerks VCK-P40 In-Line Check Valve||$$||6.6 x 2.6 x 2.1"||9.6 ounces||1-1/2"||Pvc|
|Campbell Mfg Check Valve||$$$$||3.3 x 4.3 x 10.5"||1.13 pounds||2"||Pvc|
Even More Types Of Check Valves
What needs to be highlighted here is the fact that we will divide check valves according to two principles. The first one is related to the material they are made of. In this case, we are talking about:
- PVC Check valves
- Brass check valves
The first type of valves is definitely more popular nowadays because they are light and easy to dispose of. Most PVC valves are also transparent and you can see whether the flapper in there works properly or not. Plastic check valves are also easier to install. On the downside, if you tighten them too much, you run the risk of cracking them.
Metal check valves are definitely going to be more durable. However, they might generate more build-up leading to clogging. You will replace a brass check valve less frequently but since the price isn’t high, this isn’t a big deal.
The other way to divide check valves is by orientation. We’ve already mentioned this above:
It is also true that you can have a 45-degree check valve also known as a Y-valve. Be sure that if you are looking to get the best quiet check valve for the sump pump out there, its orientation will not matter at all. Most check valves allow you to install them any way you wish. But bear in mind that regular swing valves which count on gravitational forces in order to close might be better off horizontally.
After all that we explained above, we are pretty sure that now you feel like you know more about getting the best check valve on the market. Our article on check valves goes to show you that no component should be overlooked when it comes to domestic plumbing. We hope to have helped you make the right choice but just in case – go back and look through our check valve reviews if needed.
Let us know if you think we could have added some more information and feel free to provide us with any feedback. Don’t hesitate to share the article and see our other pieces as well. Thanks for reading and as always – stay put!