5 Best Sump Pump Check Valves – Reviews & Buying Guide
A sump pump check valve basically allows water to flow in one direction only, and this is what makes a sump pump work by pushing out water from deep in the pool without it flowing back.
As such, it is a very critical component to running your pool’s circulation system, and especially when draining out the water for cleaning and general maintenance purposes. Failure to get a high-quality sump pump check valve might compromise the performance of your pump.
With that in mind, this article looks at 5 of the best sump pump check valves that you can get in the market.
- 5 Best Sump Pump Check Valves – Reviews
- How to Buy the Best Sump Pump Check Valve
- How to Install the Sump Pump Check Valve
- How to Determine if the Sump Pump Check Valve is Leaking
5 Best Sump Pump Check Valves – Reviews
1. Campbell 0823-15C Sump Pump Check Valve
1.5-inch sump pump check valve, with a clear PVC construction for easy monitoring and a spring-loaded gate that makes it possible to install in any orientation
2. Zoeller 30-0181 Sump Pump Check Valve
1-1/2 or 1-1/4 sump pump check valve, with a bent flapper over a radius to prevent sharp 90° edges, and a strong, ultrasonically welded PVC construction
3. Superior Pump 99555 Universal Sump Pump Check Valve
Very affordable check valve, with 1-1/4 and 1-1/2 threaded connections and a high-quality Nitril-Bruna N seal for preventing water backflow
4. AY McDonald 4424-100 2069C Sump Pump Check Valve
Very quiet sump pump check valve that is designed to eliminate hammering and features stainless steel clamps for creating tight fittings over 1.5-inch pipe connections
5. Red Flag Products Sump Pump Check Valve with Unions
Relatively expensive check valve with a spring-loaded flapper design and a clear PVC construction, which makes it very easy to monitor the flapper inside
1. Campbell 0823-15C – Best Campbell Sump Pump Check Valve
Editor's Rating: (4.8 / 5)
- Size: 1-1/2 inches
- Material: PVC
- Dimensions: 3.3 x 3.3 x 9.5 inches
Campbell’s 0823-15C is a 1.5-inch sump pump check valve, which means that it has a 1-1/2-inch union that can be attached to any similarly sized NPT pipe in a slip × slip connection, which creates a fixed joint that is very strong.
This gives it a pretty wide range of uses because this pipe size is widely used on most sump pumps, while the slip connections minimize the chances of leaks occurring.
Construction wise, the unit is made of heavy-duty, clear PVC material, which makes it easier to monitor the operations of the valve from the outside and thus, detecting any error, especially on the gate, is very easy.
This strong material also gives the product the benefit of being to handle up to 150 PSI of maximum water pressure at 72°F, with the cracking pressure being much higher, at 300 PSI at a temperature of 120°F.
The result of this is a very durable product, especially if you keep it within the operating range given in the instructions.
For the internal mechanisms, a spring-loaded gate ensures that water flows in only one direction and also enables you to install the valve in any orientation.
However, this also puts some pressure on the pump because it must push the water with enough pressure to overcome the spring’s holding force.
2. Zoeller 30-0181 – Best Zoeller Sump Pump Check Valve
Editor's Rating: (4.5 / 5)
- Size: 1-1/4 or 1-1/2 inches
- Material: PVC
- Dimensions: 9.8 x 6.8 x 17.5 inches
Zoeller’s 30-0181 is a cleverly designed sump pump check valve, with a flapper on the inside that bends over a radius, and this helps to eliminate sharp 90° edges, which might cause water hammering. This helps to prolong the lifespan of the valve.
For installation, this unit gives you the flexibility of either setting it up vertically or horizontally, and features slip × slip unions that can handle up to 10 feet of head at a pressure of 4.3 PSI and at a temperature of 130°F.
The good thing about its slip × slip unions designs is that they can fit 1-1/2 or 1-1/4-inch pipes, and have stainless steel clamps, screws and nuts to further tighten the joints after gluing in the pipes.
Construction wise, the valve’s body is made of an ultrasonically welded PVC material, with an opaque color that prevents visibility to the inside, but is strong enough to handle water at 25 PSI at a maximum head of 57 feet and at a maximum temperature of 130°F.
3. Superior Pump 99555 – Best Budget Sump Pump Check Valve
Editor's Rating: (3.9 / 5)
- Size: 1-1/4 or 1-1/2 inches
- Material: ABS
- Dimensions: 2.8 x 2.8 x 7 inches
If you want a check valve for your sump pump and you are on a tight budget, then Superior Pump’s 99555 is the best option to consider.
Despite its low price, this product is actually fully featured, containing sockets with 1-1/4-inch inner threads for connecting to a similar sized male threaded pipe, and 1-1/2-inch outer threads for connecting to a similar sized female threaded pipe.
In addition to this, the unit comes with 2 adapters, which allow you to reverse these joint connections so that you have 1-1/4-inch outer threads for attaching a female threaded pipe and 1-1/2 inner threads for attaching a male threaded pipe.
This essentially means that you can hook up any 1-1/4 or 1-1/2 pipe to the valve, so long as it has threaded ends.
Structurally, the valve is made of a durable ABS plastic material and it has a high-quality Nitril-Bruna N seal on the inside, which keeps the flapper tightly shut so as to prevent any water backflow.
On the downside, the unit’s flapper is not spring loaded and thus, it is entirely dependent on the backflow pressure to lock the return, and this might cause hammering.
4. AY McDonald 4424-100 2069C – Quietest Sump Pump Check Valve
Editor's Rating: (4.6 / 5)
- Size: 1-1/2 inches
- Material: Plastic
- Dimensions: 3 x 3 x 11.4 inches
AY McDonald’s 4424-100 is the most expensive sump pump check valve in this review, but it has the features to show for it.
For starters, the unit has a very quiet design because it is made to eliminate water hammering, which is usually caused as the water tries to flow back after the pumping cycle is complete.
Other than that, the valve closing mechanisms on the inside are pressure tested to ensure that there are no leaks, and this assures you of good and reliable performance.
Construction wise, this product’s body is made entirely out of plastic and has a one-piece housing that ensures there are no gaskets, which might fail or start leaking over time.
For connections, this unit features 1.5-inch female sockets that are easy to install over similar sized PVC, steel or copper pipes, and each socket has stainless steel clamps that help in creating a tighter joint.
5. Red Flag Products 8615CS – Good Sump Pump Check Valve
Editor's Rating: (5 / 5)
- Size: 1-1/2 inches
- Material: PVC
- Dimensions: N/A
Red Flag Products’ unit is relatively expensive, but it is also the top-rated sump pump check valve in this review, which means that there is something about it that stands out.
For starters, the product has a spring-loaded flapper design, which is very beneficial because it reduces the water hammering effect and this makes it extremely quiet. This design is also very reliable at preventing backflow, which greatly helps in protecting your pump from damage.
On the structure, the valve has a clear PVC construction that enables you to monitor the flapper gate inside so as to detect any damages at a glance.
Connection wise, two 1.5-inch unions are used, and they have slip × slip joints that create a strong and permanent connection with 1.5-inch pipes and require only the standard PVC glue to do so, making the valve very easy to fit.
How to Buy the Best Sump Pump Check Valve
From the review above, you can clearly notice some differences between the products. Therefore, before buying one, you should consider the following factors.
Compatibility mostly has to do with the fittings. Some sump pump check valves have threaded fittings while others have slip × slip connections. For most PVC piping systems, slip × slip check valves are the best to buy because these connections work best with plastic pipes and PVC glue.
However, if you gave metallic piping, such as galvanized iron, steel or copper pipes, you will realize that most of them have threaded ends and thus, require threaded check valves.
That said, there are also PVC pipes with threaded ends and thus, always ensure that you check your piping system’s connections first, so that you buy a compatible check valve.
The size of a sump pump check valve should be chosen based on the size of your pipes. Measured in inches, most of them come in 1-1/2 or 1-1/4-inch sizes and this basically means the size of the socket that connects to your pipes.
Therefore, if you have a 1-1/2-inch piping system, buy a matching size valve. For a 1-1/4-inch system, buy a 1-1/4-inch valve.
However, if you don’t know how to determine what size of pipes you have installed, there are universal fit valves that can connect to either size of pipes, and these should be considered instead.
Strength is the main thing that should be checked in regard to material. The most commonly used one is PVC because it is strong enough to hold the pressure from the pump and the water head. Other plastic structures can also work, but ensure they are sturdy.
Another benefit of using PVC plastic is that some units have a clear colored construction, which makes it very easy to monitor the internal mechanisms at a glance so as to detect any faults.
The next most important factor to consider is noise. This is usually caused by the water attempting to flow back down after the pump shuts off.
Some models depend on this backflow pressure so as to close the valve and in the process, can create a lot of noise as the flapper bangs shut the return opening.
This is called the hammering effect, and it can also be caused when the pump starts, pushing the water to force the flapper open very fast until it hits the other end with a bang.
To avoid all this, newer check valves incorporate the use of spring-loaded flappers, which are far less noisy and therefore, the best ones to consider.
How to Install the Sump Pump Check Valve
#1. Ensure that you have a compatible and fitting valve
The first step towards installing your sump pump check valve is to ensure that you buy a compatible one, with the right couplings (slip or threaded), and in the right size (1-1/4 or 1-1/2).
To make this easier, it is recommended to take a sample of the pipe with you to the hardware store so that you can try out the different types of check valves. This will ensure that you buy the correct one.
#2. Have all the required tools
After you have acquired the check valve, ensure that you have all the tools before beginning the installation. You should at least have a tape measure, a pipe cutter, a pipe cleaner, a utility knife, PVC cement/glue, and a glue applicator.
#3. Turn off the sump pump
The sump pump must be turned off before doing the installation so that you do not wet yourself or your tools.
#4. Locate and cut the discharge pipe
After turning off the pump, locate the discharge pipe and identify which is the best place to install the valve. Usually, this should be installed closer to the pump so that there is not much water trapped between the two once the pump is turned off.
Once you identify the best position, measure the length of the check valve and cut a similar length distance on the pipe so that the valve can fit perfectly.
#5. Fit the valve on the cut section
File, then clean the edges of the cut pipe using a pipe cleaner. After this, insert the valve into the discharge pipe and ensure that it fits.
If it fits on both ends perfectly, remove the valve, apply glue or PVC cement using the applicator to both the discharge pipe and the valve, then fit it back in and let the glue set.
#6. Test the valve
After the cement has dried, test the valve by running the pump. Check whether there are any leaks, then turn off the pump and check whether water is stopped from flowing back.
How to Determine if the Sump Pump Check Valve is Leaking
To check whether the sump pump check valve is leaking, follow the steps below:
#1. Locate the check valve
If you do not know what a sump pump check valve looks like, look for a hard-plastic or metal body on the discharge lines that is slightly larger than the pipes.
#2. If the pump is off, turn it on
The best way to check for faults is when the pump is running. Therefore, if it is off, pour some water (about 5 gallons) into the sump basin slowly. The pump should start automatically after the water level reaches a certain point.
#3. Inspect the connections
Check whether the two connections between the check valve and the discharge pipes have any leaks. For more accurate analysis, wipe dry these parts then feel for water around them using your fingers. Take note of any leaking spot that you find.
#4. Check for internal leaks
Once the pump turns off, check the intake pipe in the sump pit to see if there’s any water coming back from the discharge lines. If there is, then the seal inside the valve has failed.
A sump pump check valve is an integral component for the efficient running of a sump pump in your swimming pool setup.
With the wide variety of them that are available on the market, this sump pump check valve review will help you identify the differences between them and therefore, help you get the best sump pump check valve that matches your needs.