A check valve, also known as a one-way valve, is designed to automatically respond to any pressure loss through the upstream side of a valve to automatically prevent any backflow through the system.
A ball check valve uses a ball as the check in the valve body, with the ball pushing forward under normal operating conditions, allowing unhindered flow of the media through the valve. The combination of high pressure on the inlet side and lower pressure on the outlet side keeps the valve in this position.
Should the pressure up the system drop, the ball inside the chamber of the valve is no longer held in place by the pressure. This allows the ball to immediately push and seat against the inlet port seal, preventing any backflow through the valve. This is essential in many applications to prevent contamination and to also prevent essential components in the system, such as motors or pumps, from being damaged during times of pressure reversals or other similar types of situations.
What to Consider
It is important to carefully select the ball check valve to suit the specific system and application. It is essential to configure the valve for the specific pressures, including the high and low ends, which allow for the valve to be maintained in the open or closed position.
One of the issues that can occur with a ball check valve in high pressure, high volume types of systems is water hammer. This occurs when the pressure changes suddenly and the ball moves back and forth in the valve, creating vibration and noise throughout the lines. By carefully choosing the size of the valve as well as the configuration, these types of issues can be avoided.
Different materials can be used to manufacture the valve body, the ball, and the seals. This becomes critical in aggressive or corrosive types of media to ensure a long life cycle for the valve.
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