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View Full Version : Can a check valve be trusted?


jmccown
12/18/2009, 02:25 PM
I've read so many horror stories about check valves failing, resulting in major floods. How many use these valves and trust them?

Monkeyfish
12/18/2009, 03:25 PM
Neither use nor trust them. A properly configured display and sump doesn't need one.

jthomps123
12/18/2009, 03:32 PM
The only one i've ever used had a slow leak its whole life, then one day didnt work at all.

billdogg
12/18/2009, 03:34 PM
NO!!! Do not use one - as stated in the first reply - if your DT and sump are set up properly, there is absolutely no need for one. Unless you are will to clean it frequently, (Daily?) it WILL fail.

jm.02

acecool
12/18/2009, 04:49 PM
I think you do not need one if you have a big enough sump. I have a Wye check valve for 8 years and consider it a good part of my setup. I would not count on just a tiny hole in my Durso pipe to break the siphon and my returns are 3 inches below water level.

albano
12/18/2009, 05:21 PM
For over 5 years, I have had 2 Y-check valves in my 300g DT dual 1" return lines, because they run over 75' in total length and pump upstairs about 14' (so they hold a lot of water)...unfortunately they are glued in place, but they failed within the first 2 or 3 months...save your $

acecool
12/18/2009, 07:52 PM
Hmmm…I trust mine but am I the only one who never had a failed Wye check valve? Mine is right off the return pump mounted perfectly straight up and never failed me in 8 years +.

bhammer
12/18/2009, 07:59 PM
Trusted, depends on the application and what it is being trusted for. I use several. The first ones are used for my water change setup so I can pump old out and new in and don't worry about pumping new right out and I trust them to do their job...

I also have one on my return but, and it is a big BUT, it is only there to keep the DT from draining quickly while I have the pumps shut down for feeding or maintenance. This way, there is less splashing when it starts back up because the returns remain underwater. My sump is big enough to handle the volume of water if the check valve were to fail. I trust it to do just that but nothing more.

tkeracer619
12/19/2009, 02:19 AM
NO, they are awful.

goochesfish
12/19/2009, 09:04 AM
Worthless. I have one placed horizontally which is even more worthless. I just set the sump level to accommodate the water from the tank when the return is off.

Spinny
12/19/2009, 11:17 AM
While I agree that they should not be completely trusted, like many things in this hobby. A back plan should always be in order. I have a GF brand 1 1/2" Y type check valve, and I have to admit it is well built. This style is also easier to maintain.

http://i481.photobucket.com/albums/rr171/Spinny10/P1020387.jpg

http://i481.photobucket.com/albums/rr171/Spinny10/P1020388.jpg

http://i481.photobucket.com/albums/rr171/Spinny10/P1020389.jpg

albano
12/19/2009, 12:49 PM
I have a GF brand 1 1/2" Y type check valve, and I have to admit it is well built. This style is also easier to maintain.
I think, those are the EXACT ones that I have (but 1"), pretty sure I bought them from Savko...how often have you 'maintained' them?...I did open them up for cleaning, the first time I realized they didn't work, (as previously posted, both were 'inop' within months) but after 2nd failure, I never touched them again!

skanderson
12/19/2009, 02:21 PM
ive never used them and never will. the system needs to be designed so that in the event of something bad happening nothing worse happens. items like chech valves will always add head to your plumbing and may not save you in the event of an emergency.

HUNTINREDNECK
12/19/2009, 02:28 PM
the salt eats the diafram it was a mess

HUNTINREDNECK
12/19/2009, 02:30 PM
thay make some for hottubs that my friend is testing has ben doing ok for about 6 mounths not promasing anythang

wisdan92
12/21/2009, 12:44 AM
Been using same check valve for almost 4 years now, still works perfectly fine. In my opinion you should always have more than one failsafe. Could the the check valve fail? yes. Could a properly designed sump and plumbing system fail? yes. It is always better to have redundancies built into your system; rather than relying on one specific item.

Garage1217
12/21/2009, 08:24 AM
There is a reason they call them a "check valve" you have to check them every time you turn the main pump off if you system is not properly setup :D

Monkeyfish
12/21/2009, 10:22 AM
Could a properly designed sump and plumbing system fail? yes.

I respectfully disagree.

Power goes out. Tank drains until water is not able to enter overflow box or sinks below drain level. Water goes into sump. And that's it. Nothing else happens if you have properly planned your sump and made it large enough to accomodate this additional volume of water.

If plumbing fails then it would have failed regardless of a power outage and the check valve wouldn't have helped any way.

ctripi
12/21/2009, 12:41 PM
Consider the clear PVC true union check valves on marinedepot.com. Totally clear to monitor its use and can easily be removed to clean....no metal parts either. Better choice IMO if a check valve is needed.

solitude127
12/21/2009, 12:49 PM
I had a check valve in my 90 for 3 years. Never cleaned it, never changed it and each time I turned my pump off to do a water change, the check valve always worked. I'd use one again.

stevensun
12/21/2009, 04:22 PM
Consider the clear PVC true union check valves on marinedepot.com. Totally clear to monitor its use and can easily be removed to clean....no metal parts either. Better choice IMO if a check valve is needed.

+1
Mine is over a year old and still kicking. If the valve failed, I could just replace the valve part with ease.

tkeracer619
12/21/2009, 09:59 PM
Consider the clear PVC true union check valves on marinedepot.com. Totally clear to monitor its use and can easily be removed to clean....no metal parts either. Better choice IMO if a check valve is needed.

These are garbage if used with more then a few feet of head pressure. I have had one burst in half down the molded seem. Return is a hammerhead. You can probably envision what happened when it busted.

teesquare
12/21/2009, 10:08 PM
No one has addressed the feet of head added to your system when you use a ck. valve. It will rob you of some flow....
As well - there only 2 kinds of ck. valves....those that WILL fail, and those that HAVE failed:p.

If you are one of the minority that that has been lucky - pat yourself on the back, and go buy a lottery ticket. But your time is coming.:bigeyes:

T

Suzukibusa06
12/22/2009, 06:19 AM
I work for a service company so I guess I should chime in on this since I have hundreds of tanks out there that have them. Simply they work. I have seen some of the Y's fail and we use the clear true union ones."tkeracer619" I have never seen that happen to one of these check valves. I have a Tiger Shark on one and it's no problem and probably 15 or 20 hammerheads on one. Not one problem. In fact its really rare I clean them. I will tell you something I experiemented with though. I put a few in overflow boxes submerged in water due to space issues under the sump and not having room. When the pump is shut down it makes a loud banging noise and doesnt work that good. I beleive it has some to due with the pressue. It lets some water through on that account until during the water change the "Air lock" is broke Then it stops. So IMO they work and I would get the clear true union. If you have a large enough and properly sized pump that 1 foot of head that a check valve takes is not going to be a problem and is figure in. Properly designed sumps we all would like to have but due to space and money issues it can be hard to accomate one that is big enough. I would use a check valve on a 2 liter if I could because I don't want a flood even if I have a big enough sump. I also on the regular make sure I drill the holes in the returns on the inside of the elbows when i install a tank and clean it regularly with a pipe cleaner as well for the siphon break. Sometimes though thats not always possible if its not over water or in an overflow box but we try.

teesquare
12/22/2009, 07:56 AM
And THAT - Ladies and Gentlemen, is why God invented Insurance!:lolspin:

T

solitude127
12/22/2009, 09:56 AM
God actually invented insurance? WOW, news to me.
And THAT - Ladies and Gentlemen, is why God invented Insurance!:lolspin:

T

tkeracer619
12/22/2009, 10:47 AM
I work for a service company so I guess I should chime in on this since I have hundreds of tanks out there that have them. Simply they work. I have seen some of the Y's fail and we use the clear true union ones."tkeracer619" I have never seen that happen to one of these check valves. I have a Tiger Shark on one and it's no problem and probably 15 or 20 hammerheads on one. Not one problem. In fact its really rare I clean them. I will tell you something I experiemented with though. I put a few in overflow boxes submerged in water due to space issues under the sump and not having room. When the pump is shut down it makes a loud banging noise and doesnt work that good. I beleive it has some to due with the pressue. It lets some water through on that account until during the water change the "Air lock" is broke Then it stops. So IMO they work and I would get the clear true union. If you have a large enough and properly sized pump that 1 foot of head that a check valve takes is not going to be a problem and is figure in. Properly designed sumps we all would like to have but due to space and money issues it can be hard to accomate one that is big enough. I would use a check valve on a 2 liter if I could because I don't want a flood even if I have a big enough sump. I also on the regular make sure I drill the holes in the returns on the inside of the elbows when i install a tank and clean it regularly with a pipe cleaner as well for the siphon break. Sometimes though thats not always possible if its not over water or in an overflow box but we try.

It didn't break due to the hammerhead it broke due to the slamming shut and just being cheep. The hammerhead decided to provide plenty of water to the room once plugged back in. That said i have seen a ton of them in use that work fine and equally as many that don't.

A properly designed setup is much more effective. The tank that had the valve burst is set up properly and would not flood should the power fail. It was put in as a "back up" and ended up causing the flood.

If you go into a house that uses a sump pump for drain removal and look at the check valve used there it looks like it could be used in a large commercial boat. The cheap thin plastic crap we get sold to us is just that.

teesquare
12/22/2009, 03:11 PM
Yep Solitude - that is what it said on the "Humor Channel" news!:rollface:
Ck your local listings...Your mileage may vary....And - get out more, too much solitude can't be good for you!:bounce3:

T

Monkeyfish
12/22/2009, 04:05 PM
lol

JonnyD91
12/22/2009, 04:34 PM
I have used the clear ones from MD, for 5+ years. Never had it fail. If it did my sump is still large enough to hold the remaining water.

teesquare
12/22/2009, 04:41 PM
So - JonnyD...
If your sump is large enough to contain any back flow from the tank - why the check valve? It does cost you flow in that it adds a few feet of head to the configuration.
T

JohnM99
12/22/2009, 05:26 PM
I bought a check valve over 6 years ago and I have never had an issue with it.

That is because I read a bunch of horror stories on RC back then, and never installed it. It is sitting in my parts box, and looks great.

That being said, you would have to be crazy to design a sump system that didn't have enough extra room in it to accommodate backflow during power failures. This isn't much of an issue for undertank sumps - mainly a concern for remote sumps - mine has about 18' head pressure and will dump quite a bit of water when it goes off. Every single piece of my plumbing has had a snail crawl through it at some point - I don't believe there is such a thing as a snail proof check valve, is there?

I have mopped up my basement fish room many times - but that has been from my own stupidity - not connecting a hose correctly, or having my ATO overflow because I used to only have one cheap valve in it - ALWAYS HAVE A BACKUP.

teesquare
12/22/2009, 05:42 PM
Amen JohnM99....Amen!
T

FLSharkvictim
03/30/2016, 07:31 PM
Mine is over a 2 years old and still working totally fine. It never hurts to have a back up mate! Also, what I like about them is t3hey have a removable plunger that can be cleaned easily without having to remove the main body of the check valve from your plumbing.. Why would you not run one unless you can't spare 35.00 bucks :)

Ou8me2
03/30/2016, 07:39 PM
Never used one and Never Will us one.:deadhorse1:

Flippers4pups
03/30/2016, 07:42 PM
No, never will one see my tank!

albano
03/30/2016, 09:15 PM
Mine is over a 2 years old and still working totally fine. It never hurts to have a back up mate! Also, what I like about them is t3hey have a removable plunger that can be cleaned easily without having to remove the main body of the check valve from your plumbing.. Why would you not run one unless you can't spare 35.00 bucks :)

Disaster waiting to happen... Please don't depend on it!