Sump Pump Check Valve Failure

It’s important to prevent and quickly troubleshoot sump pump check valve failure. If your check valve doesn’t work you risk burning up your sump pump or flooding your basement.

You can see my #1 quiet check valve recommendation: the Zoeller Check Valve on Amazon.

What does a sump pump check valve do?

A sump pump check valve is installed along your discharge hose to keep water from flowing back into your sump basin when the pump isn’t running. A check valve is a “one way” valve.

I highly recommend the Zoeller 30-0181 Check Valve on Amazon if you’re experiencing loud noises, hammering or clapping with your existing check valve when your sump pump is running. It’s specially designed to greatly reduce or eliminate all that annoying check valve noise - and it easily installs with only a standard head screwdriver.

The Zoeller 30-0181 has 1 ½” slip x slip unions, and you can install it vertically or horizontally!

And you can check Amazon’s price on the Zoeller 30-0181 Check Valve.

If your sump pump check valve isn’t working, the water that your pump has pumped into your discharge line will just wash back into your basin – which will make the pump work too hard. You’ll probably burn up the engine of your pump, or have a flood issue, unless you fix your sump pump check valve failure promptly.

Sump Pump Check Valve Review

If you need to replace your check valve, my sump pump check valve review will help you make the right choice:

Brady CLEAR Sump Pump Check Valve Review:

I wanted to review this new type of sump pump check valve: the Brady Clear Quiet Check Valve on Amazon.

You can see that the Brady check valve has a clear display which is incredibly handy for viewing or testing the valve function. Really, being able to check your valve, without taking it off the discharge pipe, is genius, in my opinion.

And this Brady check valve is very quiet - no more loud thuds or banging sounds all over your house.

You can install the Brady clear quiet check valve horizontally and vertically!

Check Amazon's price on the Brady clear quiet check valve.

The Brady Clear Quiet check valve is made in the USA by Simmons Mfg.

Top 5 Causes of Sump Pump Check Valve Failure................

Here are my proven tips for troubleshooting sump pump check valve failure.

You can see my #1 recommended quiet check valve: the Zoeller Check Valve on Amazon.

Here’s a quick list of the top 5 reasons you could experience sump pump check valve failure in your basement.

  1. Clogs! Over time, you’ll see that debris, mud or tiny stones can build up around your check valve. And your check valve won’t work if it’s clogged. A clogged sump pump or check valve is an easy fix.
  2. Electrical power outage or faulty electrical fixture.
  3. Frozen discharge pipe. Yes, your sump pump discharge pipe can freeze and you’ll have sump pump check valve failure.
  4. No air relief hole or clogged sump pump weep hole in the discharge line. You should always have a sump pump weep hole in your discharge line to prevent damage to your pump and check valve. And if your sump pump weep hole is clogged, use the end of an open paper clip to clear it.
  5. Unfortunately, all things, including sump pump check valves wear out. Eventually all worn out check valves need to be replaced to fix sump pump check valve failure.

Video - Fixing Sump Pump Check Valve Failure

I wanted to share this informative video that spells out some excellent tips about fixing sump pump check valve failure:

If you're a relatively handy homeowner, there's no reason why you can't do your own check valve repairs.


Sump Pump Check Valve Failure Tips

The #1 reason for sump pump check valve failure is that it’s simply clogged! Yes, tiny stones and debris will accumulate around your check valve over time. Actually, homeowners should really clean out around their check valve once a year. Before you replace your sump pump check valve, take a moment to check for clogging.

Here's a photo of a sump pump pit with a sump pump check valve.

You can see my #1 recommended quiet check valve: the Zoeller Check Valve on Amazon.

Take a look at your check valve, clean it up and then you can turn your pump back on. You can slowly pour water into your sump pit, if you need to, and your pump should start up automatically. You really shouldn’t have to pour more than 5 gallons to get the pump working again. If you pump starts cycling, then you’ve solved the problem.

Check the Sump Pump Weep Hole

Look closely to find the small sump pump weep hole that’s drilled into the discharge line right between the sump pump and check valve. This hole is also called an air release vent hole. Sump pump weep holes are usually 1/16” to 1/8’ in diameter. A sump pump weep hole helps maintain the proper pressure in the discharge pipe and allows the pump to do it’s job. And if your sump pump weep hole is clogged,  your pump will become air locked & will stop working.

If your weep hole is clogged with debris, just unfold a small paper clip and use one end of it to push the debris out of the hole. Easy. Yes, a blocked sump pump weep hole is a common cause of sump pump check valve failure.

Sump Pump Check Valve Failure Due to Improper Installation

Another common reason for sump pump check valve failure is due to improper installation. You’ll want to take a look at your check valve and confirm that it’s installed on a vertically rising discharge hose. Also, make sure the flow arrow on the sump pump check valve is pointing UP! Yes, the flow arrow must be pointing up to work properly, otherwise you risk sump pump check valve failure.

Also check the condition of your discharge pipe. If you see damage, rust or cracks on your pipe – get it replaced. Now! Otherwise, you soon may have a bigger problem on your hand than sump pump check valve failure!


Popular Articles on this Page:

Sump Pump Check Valve Review

Top 5 Causes of Sump Pump Check Valve Failure

What else does a sump pump check valve do?

Brady Sump Pump Check Valve Review

What's a sump pump weep hole?


Replace Your Sump Pump Check Valve

If you’re tried all of these sump pump check valve failure troubleshooting tips, and it’s still not working, you’re going to have to replace your failed check valve. Fortunately, sump pump check valves are generally inexpensive and easy to find. My advice: always choose a sump pump check valve that’s quiet! Some of the newer check valve models are very quiet and won’t make a loud clapping noise when they open and shut.

I highly recommend the Zoeller 30-0181 Check Valve on Amazon if you’re experiencing loud noises, hammering or clapping with your existing check valve when your sump pump is running. It’s specially designed to greatly reduce or eliminate all that annoying check valve noise - and it easily installs with only a standard head screwdriver.

The Zoeller 30-0181 has 1 ½” slip x slip unions, and you can install it vertically or horizontally!

And you can check Amazon’s price on the Zoeller 30-0181 Check Valve.

If you'd like to read the manufactuer's specs, click here.


Installing Your New  Sump Pump Check Valve

When you’re chosen your new sump pump check valve, you can either install it yourself or hire a plumber. If you’re handy and thinking about doing the job for yourself, you’ll need to carefully cut the discharge pipe where it meets the old check valve.

And follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing the new sump pump check valve, which usually involves using some PVC glue and making sure you point the flow arrow in the up direction.

Proper check valve installation will help prevent sump pump check valve failure.


Video - Installing a Check Valve to Your Sump Pump

If you're like me, you appreciate videos that show you plainly & simply how to get a project done. So I thought you'd like this video that details how to install a check valve to your sump pump.

And don't forget, before you start to install or replace your check valve, make sure that your sump pump cord is unplugged - first.


Sealing Your New Valve After Sump Pump Check Valve Failure

Ok, you bought a new & quiet check valve after your existing sump pump check valve failure. And you've fit each end of your discharge pipe to your new sump pump check valve. You've determined that you have a good fit and you've used couplings to secure it all together.

That's a great way to correct sump pump check valve failure, but I always remind my readers to get some PVC cement to seal it up properly. You'll want to put a generous amount of PVC cement on all of the connections to make them water tight & secure.

Let your cement fully dry - according to the directions - before you test your new sump pump check valve.

What else does a sump pump check valve do?

Besides preventing water from flowing back into your sump pit, a sump pump check valve is indispensable for keeping mice, rats, snakes or insects from getting into the pipes of your sump pump system.  Seriously. If a small animal or insects get into your sump pump system, they can cause clogging and sump pump failure. But a sump pump check valve protects you and your home.

Another point to consider when you're wondering what does a sump pump check valve do.

And if you'd like more information about how check valves function, you can read this article from WaterWorld magazine.

Would you like to see my recommendations for the best sump pumps for homeowners

Proper maintenance and quick troubleshooting can help prevent the basement damage caused by sump pump check valve failure.