How to Install a Sump Pump Check Valve – A Beginner’s Guide

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Is the old check valve inside your sump pump acting up? Well, it might be time to consider a replacement. Most people like to put off any upgrades for their sump pump, especially when it comes to check valves sheerly out of fear. But with our help, you will be able to install a new check valve quite easily.

Installing a sump pump check valve involves the following steps:

  • Cleaning the sump pit
  • Taking measurements
  • Marking the check valve position
  • Cutting the discharge pipe
  • Cleaning the discharge pipe
  • Test fitting the check valve
  • Installing the check valve

Sure, in hindsight, it might seem like a lot of hoops to jump through. But once you go through our guide, you will see exactly how easy it is to follow along and install a new check valve on your sump pump like a pro.

How to Install a Sump Pump Check Valve

Installing a sump pump check valve is simple enough that you do not need to call a professional plumber for this project. If you want to shave off a couple of bucks, you can just cut open the discharge pipe and install it yourself. However, if you are not fully confident of your abilities, we recommend asking for help from a professional.

How to Install a Sump Pump Check Valve


For those who want to do it by themselves, here are a couple of things that you need before you can get started:

What You Need:

  • Pipe Cutter
  • Pipe Cleaner
  • PVC Cement
  • PVC Applicators
  • Safety Gloves
  • Marker
  • Measuring Tape
  • Metal File
  • Couplings
  • Check Valve

After gathering everything on this list, you can start installing the sump pump check valve yourself. Here is a detailed rundown of the steps you need to follow to install it.

1. Clean the sump pit

Before you even buy your sump pump check valve, you want to clean out the sump pit. Over time, debris or sludges starts to clamp up inside the sump pit. Since you need to access the drainpipe, it is necessary to clean it out. Besides, it is also good hygiene to clean it up from time to time.

2. Take measurements

With clear access to your drain pipe, use the tape to take its measurements. You want to take this measurement to your hardware store for reference when buying the check valve. You also want to take a part of your discharge pipe that you can find next to the sump pit to test fit the couplings and check the valve.

3. Marking the check valve position

Figure out where on the pipe you want to install the check valve. Ideally, you install a check valve in a position so that there is minimal water between the pump and the valve. You can find more information regarding proper installation location on your copy of the owner’s manual.

4. Cutting the discharge pipe

After marking out the position, you can start cutting the pipe in two positions. The check valve goes in between the two points. Use the pipe cutter to cut out the pipe in the proper places. Then use the metal file to trim out the edges. Make sure you take things slowly. You do not want to cut any more material than you have to.

5. Clean the discharge pipe

Once you cut open the pipe, do not install the check valve right away. Similar to the sump pit, the inside of the discharge pipe should also be filled with sludges. This is the perfect time to whip out your pipe cleaner and clean up the insides of the discharge pipe for a better flow of water.

6. Test fitting the check valve

Test fit the check valve to see if it fits properly. If you look closely, you should be able to find a marking on the check valve which dictates how the water should flow through it.

7. Installing the check valve

Now all is left is to install the couplings and the valve inside the openings of the discharge pipe. Use the PVC cement and applicator to seal the joints and let them dry. While applying the cement, make sure there are no gaps. Now you can simply reconnect the sump pump, and your check valve should work nicely.

Where to Put the Check Valve on a Sump Pump?

The sump pump check valve goes in the discharge pipe to prevent water from backwashing through the chute back into the pit.

What Height to Install the Check Valve on a Sump Pump?

There are varied opinions regarding the proper height. Logically, you should place it as close to the sump pump as you can. It should stay within 2 feet of the sump pump for easier access to the check valve and optimal performance.

Can a Sump Pump Check Valve be Installed Horizontally?

You can install a check valve both horizontally and vertically. However, when it comes to sump pump systems, vertical installation is the way to go. Besides, municipal law in many states prohibits the horizontal installation of sump pump check valves.

How Far Should the Check Valve be from the Sump Pump?

As long as you stay within 2 feet of the sump pump, there should not be any issue with the check valve.

How to Check/Test the Sump Pump Check Valve?

After installing a check valve on your sump pump, you should test the pump to see if everything is working correctly. To do that, all you have to do is fill up the sump well with water until the pump activates. Then watch if the pressure from the pump is forcing the water to move through the check valve without any issues.

Once the pump automatically shuts down, see if the valve closes to prevent excess water from falling back into the sump pit. You should also watch out for any dripping from the pipe through the connection points. As long as you do not find these issues, your installation is perfect.

Final Thoughts

If you want a long-lasting sump pump protecting your home from flooding, you must invest in a quality check valve. Remember, most aftermarket check valves offer superior performance and longevity. Since it does not cost much and installing it is a piece of cake, you really do not have an excuse not to go for one.

We hope our guide on how you can install a check valve was informative and easy enough for you to follow. All the best!

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