Check valves are ubiquitous in all sorts of piping systems. Although they may be familiar to plumbing and mechanical contractors, the more than half dozen different types of check valves are designed for different functions and types of service. Contractors need to take care to select the correct check valves for the piping systems they are designing and installing.
The simplicity of the check valve should not hide the importance of its function or its potential to cause problems. Check valves are installed to protect piping systems, equipment and public health. Improperly installed check valves can result in costly repairs and system shutdowns.