Check valve

Tilting-disc inconel check valve
Check valve symbol on piping and instrumentation diagrams. The arrow shows the flow direction.
Vertical lift check valve

A check valve, non-return valve, reflux valve, retention valve, foot valve, or one-way valve is a valve that normally allows fluid (liquid or gas) to flow through it in only one direction.[1]

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, and 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 differential upstream pressure between inlet and outlet at which the valve will operate. Typically the check valve is designed for and can therefore be specified for a specific cracking pressure.

Heart valves are essentially inlet and outlet check valves for the heart ventricles, since the ventricles act as pumps.

  1. ^ Christopher., Dickenson, T. (1999). Valves, piping, and pipelines handbook (3rd ed.). Oxford, UK: Elsevier Advanced Technology. ISBN 9781856172523. OCLC 41137607.