How to Install Sump Pump Check Valve – Updated 2024

Last updated on December 26th, 2022 | By: Grady Galvez

sump pump backflow valve

Ever thought what would happen if there were no sump pump check valve? The water from the discharge pipe would flow back into the sump pit. Thus, this would raise the water level in the sump pit forcing the sump pump to work in a loop that may result in inflated energy bills as well as a shortened lifespan of your pump.

Therefore, it is quintessential to install the sump pump check valve. Being the most vital part of the sump pump, its importance can’t be denied in preventing the backflow. Backflow refers to the motion in which water under the influence of gravity flows through the pipe in the direction opposite to that of the sump’s basin.

However, if the water flow changes its direction, this can lead to serious repercussions like a flooded basement and a burnout. Therefore, put a stop to the backflow by installing a check valve on your sump pump.

Why Is A Sump Pump Check Valve An Indispensable Part Of A Sump Pump?

sump pump check valve placement

  • Ensures the optimum efficiency of the pump- Once the pump shuts off, the force of gravity pushes down the water thus making the water fall into the pit again. In order to prevent this situation from occurring, the check valve comes as a rescue. The check valve stops the pump from re-pumping the water. Re-pumping often affects the efficiency and effectiveness of the pump thereby making it more vulnerable to damage.

  • Makes the pump last longer- When the water is pumped twice, it increases the chances of short cycling. Short cycling comes with disastrous results. It makes the pump motor hotter thereby affecting the pump’s life and soaring the energy cost too. Therefore, by installing the sump pump check valve, you can diminish the occurrence of short cycling thereby making the pump last for an extended period of time.

How Does A Sump Pump Check Valve Work?

check valve for sump pump

A sump pump check valve comes with a flapper style valve that gets installed in the discharge pipe of the sump pump. It is a one-way valve that allows the water to move in unidirectionally. When the pump starts and the water starts flowing through the pipe, the valve flapper gets opened by force. Once the pump shuts off and the force of gravity pushes down, the valve flapper closes.

The Applicable And Suitable Place To Install A Sump Pump Check Valve

Refrain from installing the sump pump check valve in an inappropriate manner and at the incorrect spot. If installed at the wrong place, say, too high on the discharge pipe, this will empty the pit during the run cycle.

sump pump backflow valve

However, when the pump shuts off, the water below the check valve will come back into the sump pit, therefore, raising the water level in the basin. This will cause the pump to start again making it more prone to damage.

The right place to get the valve installed is close to the floor level so that water doesn’t flow back to the sump pit. This also makes a regular inspection, service, and maintenance a convenient task.

Diverse Types Of Sump Pump Check Valves

Apart from the appropriate installation of check valves, it is imperative to get the right type of check valve installed. Each incorporates unique characteristics and can be selected depending upon the user’s needs and requirements. Let’s have a look at its diverse types.

Sump Pump Check Valves

  • Swing Check Valve- It is traditional and basic check valve design. It comes equipped with a swing that allows forward flow and when the flow is stopped, the disc swings move back to the seat and restrict the backflow of water. This type of check valve results in the uninterrupted flow of water.

  • Silent or Spring Check Valves- The mechanism in which the pump shuts off and the force of gravity pushes down leading to backflow of water doesn’t work here. However, in this type of valve, the spring closes in one-tenth of a second. As soon as backflow occurs, the valve immediately bangs the valve shut. Unlike the flap on a conventional check valve, it closes quickly owing to its short traveled distance.

  • Ball Check Valve- A very simple and cost-effective check valve, it makes use of the rubber-coated ball. The ball is intended to move up and down inside the valve. It has a seat that fits the ball and the chamber guides the ball to stop a reverse flow. You can choose lighter or heavier ball depending upon the pump’s capacity. The best part is that they don’t demand more frequent maintenance.

  • Resilient Hinge Check Valve- It is more effective and faster than swing and ball check valve. It offers disc stabilization, low head loss, and clog-free in an either vertical or horizontal direction. It utilizes rubber moulded flexes that moves up and down and out of the way when fluid flows through the valve.


Check Valve is the crucial part of the sump pump. Without its presence, the sump pump will not work as it is intended to be. Apart from this, one needs to ensure its correct installation at the appropriate location. Else, your time and money will be all in vain.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What Will Happen If There Is No Check Valve Installed In The Sump Pump?

Ans. In case of no sump pump installed on the discharge pipe, the sump pit’s water flowing through the discharge pipe would flow back into the sump pit. Thus, this would raise the water level in the sump pit thereby leading to re-pumping. Re-pumping not only augments the energy bill but also badly affects the life of the pump. Therefore, a check valve is a savior.

Q2. After How Long A Sump Pump Check Valve Needs To Be Replaced?

Ans. The check valve requires regular maintenance. Even if it is continuously working, you need to get it checked after every 12 months. In case of replacement, you can replace it after every 3 to 5 years. However, you should also replace it when you are installing a new sump pump. It has high chance of being exposed to minerals or corrosion.

Q3. What Happens If The Check Valve Fails?

Ans. If the sump pump check valve fails, the backflow of water will occur. The water instead of flowing outside of your home will flow into your home. Also, the backflow will cause pump impeller to rotate backwards and unscrew off the motor shaft. Thus, the pump’s motor will not able to discharge off the water.