Making the choice to use a plastic check valve or to choose a metal option is often more of a complicated decision than it should be. A lot of this indecision has to do with the history of using metal pipes, fitting and valves in all types of systems from water lines through to industrial processing systems.
Metal is often not the right choice. There can be many different factors that come into play that make plastic a more durable, cost effective and beneficial option not just in the short term but over the life of the valve.
Corrosion Resistance and Price
When considering any type of metal or plastic check valve, it will be important to compare the price over the life cycle of the valve. Plastic is corrosion resistant, but so is brass and stainless steel. The biggest issue with brass or stainless is the much higher cost without a significant benefit as to how long the valve will operate before it needs to be replaced.
On the other hand, when extreme temperatures have to be considered, plastic may not be the best choice regardless of what the difference in price may be. Knowing these factors will be important, and it will also be essential to understand the specifics of use.
Specific Questions to Ask
If you are considering a plastic check valve, make sure to ask questions about the valve you are selecting. Ensure it is designed to be used with the extremes of the temperature range for the system. Don’t go just by the average, look to the hottest and coldest possible temperatures when selecting a valve.
New types of plastics used in valves and fittings can stand up to chemicals and never pit or oxidize. They are a much lower cost option than metal check valves, which makes them an ideal solution for small or large system installations or upgrades.
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