Do You Need A Check Valve For A Sump Pump?

A sump pump is the basement's ultimate sidekick. It helps move the water from your basement out of your home to prevent problems like flooding. But you might wonder, does a sump need a check valve for improved use? We did all the research to answer this, and serve your sump pump's needs.

Check valves play a significant role in every sump pump system. These valves prevent backflow in the pipes and at the same time, save the motor from pumping too hard. Without check valves, the sump pit's water level would rise and could cause too much pressure on the pump, wearing it out.

Taking sufficient care of your sump pump is essential to lengthen the operation, quality, and effectiveness of the device. You can read further and know more details on how a check valve makes sump pumps even better.

A submersible water pump for flood prevention in a basement floor, Do You Need A Check Valve For A Sump Pump?

Check Valve Contributions


When the pump is turned on, the water passes the valve and is forced right through. When the pump is turned off, the law of gravity wants the discharged water to drop back into the pit which causes the water level to rise and makes your pump run more often. This increases electricity costs.

The check valve helps the sump pump to become more effective with its job. It makes sure that the amount of water pumped out in the sump's pit liner and discharge plumbing will not fall back into these areas.

Check valves help prevent sump pumps from short cycling. It helps sump pumps become more durable and efficient to serve their main purpose.

Submersible water Pump for flood prevention in a wet basement floor


Sump pumps that work too hard make the pump's motor hotter. This will exhaust the pump to the extent that will cause extreme damage like short cycling and overheating.

When this happens, the sump pump's lifespan will eventually be inadequate. Although you can fix it or replace it with another sump pump, it is smarter to know how to make sump pumps work productively to save your time and money.

Installing check valves protects sump pumps and further extends their life because check valves prevent the water in the pipe from flowing back into the pit when the pump switches off. It helps the sump pump become more reliable and at the same time, reduces the possibility of your basement flooding or leaking.

A sump pump installed in a basement of a home with a water powered backup system


Sump pumps and check valves should go hand in hand when it comes to installation. Doing so means you are well-prepared to keep your pump running in the first place.

Just imagine how a sump pump works without check valves. The sump pump is likely prone to errors and the water running in the wrong directions can cause you lots of trouble to repair or replace it.

CPV Manufacturing highlights the importance of check valves and how they should be installed with the sump pump, fundamentally. When it comes to the maintenance, safety, and endurance of the sump pump, check valves are the best associates you can ever get!

This is why it is highly recommended to get them to work together with your sump pump as a pre-condition to make things smooth sailing, specifically because they function underneath your basement.

Plumber installing sump pump

What Height To Install A Check Valve On A Sump Pump?

The placement of your check valve is important. One of the best ways to assure yourself of the effectiveness of the check valve is to correctly measure the height it's going to be installed.

Usually, it should be two to three feet away from the top of the sump pit. It is crucial to avoid putting it in too low of a position to hinder the pump's motor from running over time.

At the same, it is generally important to know that the location of the check valve should be close to the floor level so that it can perform its duty to reduce the weight of the water above it. This also gives the advantage of convenience and easy servicing just in case it's time to replace the check valves.

However, there are cases where the owner's manual has the say on what height to install your check valve. It is good to follow it accordingly or better yet, call your plumber to confirm the right height.

What Kind Of Check Valve Is Used For Sump Pumps?

There are different varieties of check valves that you'll encounter in the world of plumbing. Knowing what kind of valve that best suits your sump pump prevents things from going out of hand.

There are three kinds of check valves used from sump pumps:

ABS Sump Pump Check Valve

This is a universal sump pump check valve. It has a 15-degree seat that blocks the noise caused by the water hammer. It is designed with a one-piece flapper for a positive seal and since it's universal, this can be installed in a lot of ways.

It's made from durable ABS plastic fit to any 1-1/4 inches or 1-1/2 inches of an NPT male or female thread. It can hold a maximum water pressure of at least 11 pounds per square inch.

Click here to see this ABS check valve on Amazon.

PVC Swing Check Valve

This type of check valve has a unique feature that allows water to flow in one direction only. This is usually applied to reduce backflow to refrain from damaging susceptible components of the sump pump that could cause flooding or leaks. It's installed easily and works automatically.

This type of check valve is high quality. It suits any two inches of any discharge pump and can be installed vertically or horizontally. It has stainless steel hose clamps capable of holding enough water pressure in one direction.

Find this Everflow PVC check valve on Amazon.

Air Relase Hole

This type of check valve vents the air that is trapped in pipelines that brings fluid. Trapped air shortens the pipeline's efficiency and lifespan which is why it is vital to get rid of it and this type of valve just does the job.

It is a one-way valve that equalizes negative pressure with the use of a vent to release the air. Its 1-1/2 inches by 2 inches is fit to handle 3 inches of vent pipe has a 24 drainage fixture unit capacity.

Click here to purchase Oatey's Air ADM Valve.

How Do You Know If A Check Valve Is Really Working?

To be sure that you completed your checklist to make your sump pump and check valve work together accurately, here are three things you need to do:

Step 1

Fill the pit halfway with water. Then switch off the water supply of the check valves.

Wait for 15-20 minutes for the water pressure and see if it drains.

A sump pump with some water around it

Step 2

Tap on the side of the check valve with a screwdriver or any tool that can make it rattle. A rattling sound is definitely okay. This is a sign that indicates your check valve is doing well.

A squeaking sound means that the valve is stuck in some debris so check for moisture on seals, connections, and in the valves.

Step 3

Turn the water supply for five seconds and then turn it off again.

Put your hand in the valve and place your ear near it. If you can feel or even hear some water running, the seal is leaking. If there is a soft clicking noise, the valve is sufficiently working.

What Happens If A Check Valve Is Not In Place?

Displacement of check valves will produce a backflow of high water levels at a fast rate. When this happens, the pump impeller is going to turn backward and detach the motor shaft.

At the same time, the sump pump's motor can sound like it's operating but unfortunately, it doesn't pump out any water from the discharge line.

In Conclusion

A check valve plays a very significant role in every sump pump's system. It maintains the pressure of your water systems and aids help to the sump pump, producing desired service and reliability.

Remember, getting a sump pump includes getting check valves to keep your basement functional and on the go!

You can also visit the following articles on our site for more helpful ideas related to this topic:

Does A Crawl Space Need A Sump Pump?

Can I Drain Basement Dehumidifier To Sump Pump [And How To]

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