Your Checklist For Choosing The Right Check Valve

Imagine water or some other fluid like oil or gas is flowing through a pipe. You need it to flow in one direction and not “backtrack”. That’s where a check valve comes in.

It’s important to use the right type of check valve in order to avoid problems or damage to pipeline systems. Here’s our easy guide to check valve types.

The Purpose of Check Valves

Check valves are designed to prevent the backflow of liquid through pipes. They are usually closed until the fluid goes through. They are also able to shut off the valve if the downstream pressure becomes stronger than the upstream pressure. 

In order for the system to work right, it’s essential that check valves are installed at the proper intervals.

Choose the Right Type of Check Valve

There are several types of check valves, and each serves a different purpose. Let’s take a look at the 3 main types.

1. Swing Check Valve

A swing check valve is one of the most common types of check valves. It consists of a body, a bonnet, and a disk with a hinge. The hinge allows the disk to swing back and forth (much like a gate hinge).

Swing valves keep fluids flowing forward. You can find them in different configurations, including traditional, dual-disc, and tilted disc.

Common uses of swing valves:

  • Flush toilet mechanisms
  • Water & waste pumping systems
  • Sewage systems
  • Firefighting & flood prevention
  • Work with materials like gas & liquids

Swing check valves are a little larger so they are better suited to situations where a full port valve is required and where space and flow are not an issue.

2. Lift Check Valve

A lift check valve works much like a globe valve. Rather than a hinge, it uses a piston or ball to open and close the valve. They are designed for use under high-pressure conditions or high-velocity flow.

Common uses of lift check valves:

  • Water pipes
  • Heating systems
  • Pumps
  • Domestic uses
  • Industrial processes:
    • Pipelines
    • Oil & gas
    • Food & beverage
    • Biopharma industry
    • Marine industry

You can use lift check valves in either horizontal or vertical pipelines.

3. Piston Check Valve

Piston check valves are similar to lift check valves. The difference is that the design incorporates a “dashpot”, which consists of a piston and cylinder. This creates a cushioning or damping effect, which decreases the chances of damage to the pipes.

Piston check valves are available in a couple of different configurations, including Y pattern and 90-degree.

They are often used in conjunction with globe and angle valves, and in pipelines that change the direction of flow frequently.

Uses of piston check valves:

  • Oil & gas pipelines
  • Water & sewage pumps
  • Water pipes

Piston check valves are well suited for high-pressure and high-velocity situations.

Choosing a Check Valve

Check valves offer an effective way to manage the forward flow of fluids through pipes and pipeline systems. They have many uses in domestic and industrial situations.

However, you must think about the needs of your system in order to choose the right type of check valve. You also need to think about the size and other specs for the pipes or systems.

Contact CVP Manufacturing for more information regarding check valves and our recommended applications or request a quote.