Eliminate Check Valve Noise from your Sump or Sewage Ejector Pump

411 plumb For the homeowner that has a sump pump or, sewage ejector pump system in the basement the sounds of silence have never been possible until recently. Each cycle of the pump had a resounding thump of the discharge pipe when the pump shut off and the check valve closed. The height of the discharge pipe or “Pump Head Pressure” determined the volume of the thump. There was no way of getting around the fact that a 1 ½”  or 2″ column of water pumped 10’ up vertically when the pump shuts off comes crashing down and slams the check valve closed with a thump. Using flexible connectors and firmly securing the piping could help to some degree but could never fully eliminate the noise.

Recently however a number of companies have developed new check valves for use on both sump pumps and sewage ejector pumps that are every quiet compared to the old style check valve. The new valves through the use of springs and or, magnets, and the design of the valves have a controlled rate of closing that is slower and controls the momentum of the water column against the check valve eliminating the noise.

The new valves are manufactured and marketed under a variety of names such as “Silent Check Valve”, “Quiet Check Valve”, and “Smart Check Valve” by several different companies such and A.Y. McDonald Mfg. Co. and PASCO Specialty & Mfg. Inc. The valves come in models for sump pumps, sewage pumps, with models for connection via flexible rubber couplings, unions, slip fit, and solvent welding. Some even come with a shut off valve above the check valve, a valve above the check valve is a code requirement on sewage ejectors to aid in the replacement of the check valves. Nothing lasts forever and provisions for replacement of the check valve are needed. There are even clear models that you can see through and see the liquid being pumped.

Next time you replace your sump pump or, sewage ejector pump check valve or, if you can’t wait until then ask your plumbing supply house to provide you with the sounds of silence.

Comments

  1. Jerry Morris says

    I have this problem do you know if these check valves and be replaced by any plumber. I live in Pueblo West Colorado and have had this problem for years have been pulling my hair out and no local plumbers seem to know about these quiet check valves. does replacing the valve completely quiet the unit or is there additional remodeling required

    • Redwood says

      Hi Jerry,
      In most cases the noise is so greatly reduced that it becomes unnoticeable.
      You could purchase the valve on line and either install it yourself or, hire a plumber to do it.
      You will need to know the pipe size whether it is 1 1/2″ or, 2′ and pipe is measured on the inside diameter.
      and whether this is water from a sump pump or, sewage from an ejector pit as well as how it is attached to what kind of pipe. Union, slip joint, cemented, or, fernco coupling.

      Thanks for the comment,
      Redwood

  2. Hans says

    Greetings,

    I spoke to my Plumber friend at work and he suggested not using a spring style check valve for the Sewage check valve to reduce the chance of the spring collecting debris and remaining open.
    1) Do you agree with his recommendation?
    2) Are these silent check valves spring loaded?

    Thanks,

    Hans

    • Redwood says

      Hi Hans,
      If you look above to the large picture you can see the mechanism of the silent check valve. You will note that the mechanism is behind the hinged portion of the valve where it if unlikely to be in the stream catching debris. I believe that even if some debris were likely to become lodged in a position where the valve would not seat properly it would be washed clear with the next pump cycle. Really the worst case scenario is the liquid remaining in the lift portion of the line would drain back down to the pit where it would be pumped twice before going out the gravity portion of the drain.

      I don’t se this as a big concern as it could happen with any check valve not just the silent ones.

      Thanks for commenting,
      Redwood

  3. Judy says

    Can the quiet check valves like Campbell #B-0823-20C 2″QuietSewage CHK Valve be installed horizontally. Currently we have one that clunks, but it is installed horizontally. If not, can it be installed up higher? The pipe comes up vertically out of the pit about 2 1/2 feet, then makes a 90 degree turn for about 1 foot then turns 90 degrees again and goes up to the ceiling height? Where would you suggest that we install the new check valve?

    Thanks,

    Judy

    • Redwood says

      Hi Judy,
      My preference would be vertical just above the pit and in the case of a sewage ejector would want a ball valve directly above the check valve for isolation purposes. I would check with the manufacturer of your valve to make sure it will work on a horizontal situation.
      Redwood

    • Lyndsey says

      Did you find out if the campbell quiet check valve could be installed horizontally? I am having the same problem. Thanks

  4. Jay Danner says

    I talked with a contractor that is installing my back up sump pump (1/3 h) and he had found that these types of switches take a lot more pressure to open which caused problems.

    Jay

    • Redwood says

      Hi Jay,

      If your contractor is installing a pump that is so undersized that it cannot overcome the small amount of pressure that these valves need to operate you need to find another contractor.

      Redwood

    • Redwood says

      Hi Gary,
      I don’t believe there is much of a difference in the sound, the way the valve closes is what produces the lower noise level not the method used to obtain it.
      Redwood

  5. Lou says

    Thank you for great advice. I can’t wait to silence my pumps and get better sleep. My family will thank you since when the loud thunk happens in the middle of the night the dogs get scared and bark!

  6. Athena Pagedas says

    I had the service man installed the check quiet valve for the sump pump. I still could hear the soft sound continue like tick…..tick….tick. in my bedroom and I could not sleep. I had told him but he could not figure it out. I am going crazy! Please help…

  7. Harold Tunich says

    I have the pounding problem with my sump pump but it doesn’t just bang once, it bounces 4 or 5 times each time getting a little quieter . What would cause it to bounce like that, there is only 46 inches from the check valve to the 90 deg. where it goes horizontal and out of the crawl space. From the 90 to where the pipe goes out through the foundation is about 10 feet on a 2% grade. What are your thoughts on this ?

    • Redwood says

      Hi Harold,
      I’d suggest using one of the quiet check valves I wrote about in this article, and properly securing the pipe in place so it is held rigidly throughout its run. The quiet check will eliminate much of the noise and the problem but not all of it. The proper securing of the pipes so they don’t move, and are rigidly held in place will do the rest.
      Redwood

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