A sparkling clean water source is essential to successful agriculture. After all, crops need proper watering to thrive, like bees need pollen to make honey. But it’s not as simple as connecting your irrigation channels and watching the magic unfold. You’ve got to have the right device to ensure your water stays fresh and contaminant free—that’s where check valves come in.

Like every piece of equipment, check valves require a certain level of maintenance to continue functioning optimally. But what does the upkeep for one of these bad boys involve? We’re glad you asked. Explore our brief guide to find out.

What Is a Check Valve?

Before we delve into check valve upkeep, a clear understanding of what they are and what they do is required. Check valves are a small device that attaches to your irrigation channels and keeps water from moving backward through them.

Most check valve designs implement a two-port system:

1.) An opening that allows water to pass through 

2.) A valve that closes once the fluids pass

Additionally, one-way water check valves typically shut off automatically if too much pressure from the downstream becomes too high. This means your water never flows backward, keeping everything clean.

Maintaining a Check Valve

Now that we know what a check valve is, we can explore some essential maintenance tips that help keep them in excellent condition. Some of the most standard tasks include:

#1. Keeping It Clean

You can do a lot for your check valve by keeping it and the area around it clean. Depending on how accessible they are, cleaning your check valves should be relatively easy. All you should need is a clean towel to wipe off any dust, dirt, or debris buildup that might be on it or around it.

If your valves are harder to reach, you might need to call in some professional assistance. Either way, cleaning them can help prevent harmful dirt or debris from damaging your valve.

#2. Performing Regular Inspections

Of course, maintaining any piece of equipment involves performing inspections of it regularly. There aren’t many other ways to catch an issue early enough to fix it before it becomes a bigger problem.  

When you examine your check valve, be sure to do the following things:

  • Look for signs of leakage, corrosion, rust, and mineral buildup
  • Replace your valve if leaks are extensive or if there are worn or broken pieces
  • Open and close the valves to test their function
  • Examine the temperature and pressure of fluid flowing through it

Pro Tip: If you have high-stress or high-pressure valves, evaluate them more often.

#3. Applying Lubrication Regularly

This last maintenance tip is often overlooked. However, lubricating your check valve can save you a lot of time and money in repair or replacement costs. Plus, well-lubricated valves will ensure optimum operation of your devices for much longer.

How? It’s simple. The lubricant prevents rust and makes sure that all of your check valve's parts function properly. Just be sure to look into your system’s requirements, as each check valve will react differently to certain lubricants.

Final Thoughts

In short, check valves are an essential asset to any irrigation system. As such, they should be inspected and maintained on a regular basis. Remember, if you’re in the market for new check valves, Rural Water Direct has the products you’re looking for. So give us a call.