DS Pipe and Steel Supply

Check Valves

Check valves, or non-return or one-way valves, are designed to allow fluid to flow in one direction while preventing reverse flow. These valves are crucial for maintaining the integrity and efficiency of piping systems by preventing backflow, which can lead to contamination, damage to equipment, and disruption of processes. Check valves come in various designs, but they all share the common feature of allowing flow in only one direction.


The primary function of a check valve is to prevent the reverse flow of fluid in a pipeline. It allows fluid to flow in one direction (forward flow) while automatically closing to block the flow in the opposite direction (reverse flow). Check valves are designed to operate in specific orientations. Installing them in the correct position is crucial to ensure proper functioning.

Some check valves, like swing check valves, may require horizontal installation to allow the disc to swing freely.

Types of Check Valves

  • Swing Check Valve: This type of check valve has a hinged disc that swings open in the direction of flow and closes when the flow reverses.
  • Lift Check Valve: Lift check valves have a disc or piston that moves up and down to allow or block flow.
  • Ball Check Valve: A ball is used as the check mechanism. It lifts or rolls away from the valve seat to allow flow and returns to the seat to prevent backflow.
  • Dual Plate Check Valve: Consists of two plates that open and close in response to flow direction. It offers a compact design and is often used in high-pressure applications.

Design Features

  • Spring-Loaded Check Valves: Some check valves are equipped with springs to assist in closing the valve quickly and prevent water hammer or reverse flow due to gravity.
  • Silent Check Valves: These valves incorporate design features to minimize the noise associated with the closing of the valve, making them suitable for applications where noise is a concern.

Maintenance and Considerations

Check valves require minimal maintenance, but periodic inspection is essential to ensure proper functioning. Considerations such as the type of fluid, pressure, temperature, and material compatibility are crucial when selecting check valves for a specific application.