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How to Prevent Check Valve Failure: Maintenance and Monitoring Insights

Industrial equipment and pipelines

Check valves, often overlooked, hold a crucial role in controlling the flow of fluid across numerous industries. You've experienced the disruption that occurs when these valves fail, right? This article will explain the reasons behind check valve failure and its possible effects. More importantly, you'll learn how to prevent check valve failure. You'll understand the importance of choosing the correct valves, ensuring their proper installation, and adequately maintaining them. You'll also learn about the necessity of regular monitoring, including various methods tools, and how to interpret the results. So, prepare to take control over check valve failure.

Understanding Check Valve Failure

A check valve failure can cause significant problems. However, understanding the causes can help prevent these issues. This knowledge also illuminates the consequences of these failures. So, are you ready to learn how to prevent check valve failure? Let’s first unveil the common causes behind check valve failures.

Common Causes of Check Valve Failure

Check valves have a vital function in controlling the flow of fluid. But when they fail, they can cause significant operational issues. So, what makes check valves fail? Here’s why:

  • Age and friction wear down the seals of the valve seat.
  • Debris in the pipeline interferes with the valve's internal mechanism.
  • Low fluid pressure can impact the function of the valve.
  • High temperatures can cause the valve components to expand or contract.
  • Improper installation techniques can lead to valve failure.
  • Poor maintenance can also cause valve failure.
  • Reverse flow, which check valves are designed to stop, can cause them to fail.
  • Water hammer, which occurs when a pressure increase happens due to a sudden stop or change in the direction of the fluid moving through the valve, can cause valve failure.

Knowing these common causes helps you to ensure efficient operations. Now, let's look at the potential implications of check valve failure, which we'll discuss next.

Implications of Check Valve Failure

Imagine the chaos a malfunctioning check valve could stir up in your system. Take a sewage or wastewater system as an example. A defective check valve could be the source of disturbing noises and foul smells. A clear sign of trouble could be visible wear on the seals. Additionally, water pressure and temperature problems might also arise. Let's discuss some consequences of check valve failure:

  • Equipment Failure: This could result in water damage or even boiler explosions.
  • Leaks: These could lead to water damage and potential health hazards if the water is contaminated.
  • Disturbances: Unpleasant smells and disturbing noises in sewage or wastewater systems.
  • Visible Wear: Signs of wear on the seals could indicate a problem.
  • Water Issues: Problems with water pressure and temperature.
  • Corrosion or Jamming: If check valves corrode or jam, this could lead to standing water or flooding, posing significant health risks.
  • Reverse Flow: This could destroy the pump by making the impeller spin in the opposite direction.

Checking valves are significant in many systems, considering the potential damage that reverse flow can inflict. You may be wondering how to prevent check valve failure. The next segment in our blog answers your queries.

Also read: How to Choose A Check Valve: Your Comprehensive Guide to Choosing the Right Valve

Preventing Check Valve Failure: Essential Tips

Choosing the correct check valves and installing them correctly, along with regular maintenance, can significantly lower the risk of failure. Let's examine these aspects more closely.

Selection of Appropriate Check Valves

Choosing a compatible check valve for your system is the first step in preventing check valve failure. The check valve should interact well with the fluid medium, and the valve material should resist the liquid it will encounter. The system line's size is also pivotal, as it ensures an accurate connection. The check valve's envelope dimensions need to fit seamlessly within your system.

When you select a check valve, take these factors into account:

  • Interaction with the fluid medium
  • Material's resistance to the fluid type
  • System line's size for an accurate connection
  • Envelope dimensions for a seamless fit within the system
  • Pressure needs (both maximum and cracking pressure)
  • Accessibility for repairs and maintenance
  • Installation orientation (vertical or horizontal)
  • Sizing based on the expected flow condition, not just on the pipeline size

Considering the selection criteria, let’s move on to installation and maintenance measures for your valves.

Proper Installation and Maintenance

Regular check valve maintenance is crucial to prevent valve failure and ensure efficient system operation. But what does this maintenance entail?

Regular cleanliness inspections are vital. This will enable you to detect any debris disrupting the check valve's operation. Make sure to replace worn-out or damaged valves as necessary.

Applying the correct lubricant regularly is critical for maintaining optimal performance and efficient operation. So, a mix of regular maintenance and correct lubrication ensures your check valves last long and perform at their best. Now, let's see how regular monitoring can further enhance the durability of your check valves.

Regular Monitoring of Check Valves: A Preventative Measure

Recognising the condition of your check valves is essential for preventing failure. Observing these valves and understanding their condition helps in ensuring their best performance. Let's look at some efficient methods and tools and understand the meaning of the monitoring results.

Monitoring Techniques and Tools

Regular monitoring serves as an essential element for checking valve performance and failure prevention. Technology has revolutionised Check Valve Monitoring & Diagnostics, offering detailed performance insights for your check valves. Enhanced communication between the control room and the final element controller facilitates data transmission from valves and sensors to a central location. This process allows you to observe trends, detect anomalies, and take immediate action to identify and rectify issues.

Valve Condition Monitoring is another effective method. This monitoring emphasizes predictive analysis to enhance plant safety, availability, and profitability. The goal is to identify potential failures before they occur, enabling you to take action or plan for them, thereby avoiding costly unplanned downtime.

Alongside the above, Automated Valve Testing is another technique that quickly identifies issues without disassembling equipment. This method proves particularly beneficial in process industries where proportional smart control valves play a critical role. Evaluating valve performance with precision can often be a time-consuming process that requires substantial downtime and the extraction of valves from the pipeline.

Remember, regular monitoring is your best defence against check valve failure. It enables you to act proactively and maintain optimal valve performance. Now that we understand the importance of regular monitoring and the available techniques, we can discuss how to interpret the results of this monitoring.

AlterValve sources top-tier industrial valves and parts from global leaders, customized for various sectors like power plants, oil and gas, and petrochemicals across China, India, and Russia. Our steadfast dedication to quality and safety ensures that our products maintain superior standards, delivering dependable performance across industries.

Interpreting Monitoring Results

Understanding how to interpret check valve monitoring results is crucial for maintaining your system's health. Start by zeroing the level, equalising the transducer for accurate readings, and ensuring the recording scale displays readings within the expected range.

Be vigilant for common artefacts in the tracings, as these could signal potential check valve problems.

Evaluate the physical condition of the valve during reassembly. Inspect the housing and trim pieces for signs of damage. Look for signs of corrosion or erosion, rust or severe roughness due to erosion, and signs of wear. If you notice any of these signs, it's time to replace the valve. Remember to choose a reputable check valve supplier like AlterValve, India, for quality and durability when replacing.


You've understood the causes of check valve failure and its impacts. The importance of selecting the suitable valves, installing them correctly, and maintaining them has been emphasised.

Reach out to AlterValve, the industry valve supplier, to learn more about valve maintenance, or seek professional assistance. Remember, "Applied knowledge is power." So, take control, prevent check valve failure, and ensure your operations run smoothly.

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