What is a Sump Pump Check Valve – Why is it Important?

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If you have a basement in your house, then there is a good chance that you already have a sump pump installed. Otherwise, you would be down there with a bucket keeping the water out anytime it rained instead of reading this article. But do you know who the true unsung hero behind any good sump pump is? Answer – It’s a check valve.

Simply put, the sump pump check valve is the component that prevents the backwash of water into the sump pit by preventing it from going back down the discharge pipe. Most sump pumps these days come with their own check valve. But installing a new aftermarket unit offers many extra benefits in some cases. So, why is it important?

  1. Increased efficiency
  2. Extended lifespan
  3. Less vibration and noise

In this article, we will give you a clearer picture of what exactly is a check valve and what major advantages it brings for your sump pump.


What is a Sump Pump Check Valve?

The check valve is often referred to as a one-directional valve and quite aptly so. This component inside the discharge line in your pump makes sure that the water inside it can only move in one direction. As a result, the water that you just discharged with the pump cannot flow back into it.

What Is A Sump Pump Check Valve

Image Source: libertypumps.com

What Does a Sump Pump Check Valve Do?

It is an important component that serves to prolong the lifespan of any sump pump. The working mechanism of a check valve is pretty simple. When the motor works, the water rises up through the check valve, pushing the flapper aside. After enough water has been removed, the motor shuts down, and the flapper also falls back into place, preventing water from falling back down. This way, the sump pump does not have to pump out the same water twice through the motor. It reduces a lot of strain on your machine and ensures it works optimally without any problems.

Typically, you should get one with any sump pump you buy. But for best performance, we recommend getting an aftermarket unit that better suits your pump.

Benefits of Installing a Check Valve

You should never underestimate the importance of a high-quality check valve. The major benefits that you get from installing a good check valve for your sump pump are:

1. Enhanced Pumping Efficiency

Consider how a sump pump works. Once you turn it on, it starts to pull water out via a discharge line. After shutting it off, the remaining water within the line naturally wants to gravitate back to the sump pump. However, the check valve blocks that and makes sure that the remaining water does not reach down to reactivate the motor.

This greatly enhances the pumping efficiency of your device. Because it eliminates the need for repeated pumping. That’s why you don’t need to worry about any short cycling if you have a good check valve installed in your sump pump. It also saves a lot of bucks you’d otherwise have to spend on power consumption since there is no need to pump additional water.

2. Better Lifespan

If the water from the discharge line pours down into the pump, then you have to pump it again when you turn on the machine. This can cause the motors to run harder, which can generate a lot of heat. It is known as a short cycle, and it can wreak havoc on your sump pump. You can eliminate any chance of short cycling in your pump with a simple check valve. Not only will it save your electricity cost, but it also extends the lifespan of your sump pump. Since it is easy to install and does not cost much, you should never overlook the importance of installing a decent check valve.

3. Reduced Vibration and Noise

A sump pump is quite a noisy machine. Since the motors are always running, there is a lot of vibration going around. And inside the confines of a basement, the sound gets even louder. You can reduce both the vibration and the noise coming out of the machine with a high-quality check valve. A check valve, in essence, acts as a pressure regulator that saves energy and reduces vibration. You will notice a drastic reduction in a lot of the hammering noise that comes out of the device naturally after installing your check valve. You can also find silent check valves that completely eliminate the noise.

Can You Have Two Check Valves on A Sump Pump?

Although there is nothing wrong with having two check valves in series on a sump pump, it is really not necessary. The thing with having two check valves is if one of the units gets stuck in the open position, your secondary check valve will ensure the rest of the operation goes smoothly. However, if one check valve gets stuck in the closed position, the flow of water will be disrupted even if the other one is working perfectly. It is usually a better idea to invest in one high-quality check valve instead of two moderate ones.

Can You Run a Sump Pump Without a Check Valve?

Yes, you can, but that does not mean you should. A check valve on your sump pump ensures that water cannot fall back down the discharge pipe, raising the water level after pumping. Your sump pump will have to run longer, pumping the same water without a check valve. This causes the pump motor to work harder, which can cause the motor to short cycle. In addition, since the pump is working longer, you will have a much higher energy cost than normal.

Where Should a Sump Pump Check Valve be Located?

The sump pump check valve is installed in the discharge pipe of the machine. Since its job is to prevent water from falling back into the pit, the discharge pipe is the most obvious location for installation.

Closing Words

Your sump pump is working tirelessly to protect your basement from flooding. The least you could do is treat it well with a high-quality check valve. It would greatly boost the performance and durability of your machine, and you would be patting yourself on the back for it. By now, you should have a good idea of what a sump pump check valve is and how it works. Here are some excellent choices if you are on the market for an excellent check valve for your sump pump.

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