A check valve, clack valve, non-return valve or one-way valve is a valve that normally allows fluid (liquid or gas) to flow through it in only one direction.
Check valves are two-port valves, meaning they have two openings in the body, one for fluid to enter and the other for fluid to leave. There are various types of check valves used in a wide variety of applications. Check valves are often part of common household items. Although they are available in a wide range of sizes and costs, check valves generally are very small, simple, or inexpensive. Check valves work automatically and most are not controlled by a person or any external control; accordingly, most do not have any valve handle or stem. The bodies (external shells) of most check valves are made of plastic or metal.
An important concept in check valves is the cracking pressure which is the minimum upstream pressure at which the valve will operate. Typically the check valve is designed for and can therefore be specified for a specific cracking pressure.
There are several different types of check valves. A ball check valve consists of a ball that sits over the valve's opening. When liquid flows past the ball, it pushes the ball away from the mouth of the valve, which gives it room to flow through the pipe. When the liquid begins to flow the other way, however, the ball fits tightly over the valve opening, essentially plugging it.
Most valves work in a similar way, although they may not contain balls. For example, swing check valves contain a swinging door on hinges that blocks backward-moving material, and split disk check valves contain a folded metal disk that springs open when the material moves backwards.
Check valves are useful in several different types of devices.
.They stop flooding in water-related devices, such as sump pumps and water heaters.
.They also protect equipment that can be harmed by the reverse flow of material, such as control valves, strainers, and flow meters.
.In addition, check valves can stop material from constantly flowing backwards when a device is off, which can save power and protect the parts of the device.
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