The Most Common Causes and Bad Check Valve Symptoms

Jan 3, 2024 | News

In numerous industrial processes, check valves play a crucial role in maintaining the proper flow of fluids and preventing backflow. Despite their importance, check valves can malfunction or fail, causing a range of issues. This article will explore the primary reasons for a faulty check valve and the warning signs that indicate its failure.

Causes of a Bad Check Valve

There are several reasons why a check valve may fail or malfunction. Some of the most common causes include:

1. Wear and tear: Over time, the parts of the check valve may wear out, causing the valve to fail. This is especially common in systems where the fluid flowing through the valve is abrasive or corrosive.

2. Dirt and debris: Dirt and debris can accumulate in the check valve, causing it to stick or jam, and preventing it from functioning properly.

3. Incorrect installation: If the check valve is not installed correctly, it may not function properly, leading to system failures.

4. High pressure: High pressure in the system can cause the check valve to fail, as it may not be designed to handle such pressure.

5. Rust and corrosion: Rust and corrosion can weaken the check valve components, leading to failure.

Check Valve

How Do I Know if My Check Valve is Bad?

If your check valve is malfunctioning, several symptoms may indicate its failure. Some of these symptoms include:

1. Leaking: If the check valve is leaking, it may be a sign that the valve is damaged or worn out.

2. Noise: A bad check valve may make noise, such as clattering or knocking, when the fluid flows through it.

3. Difficulty in opening or closing: If the check valve is difficult to open or close, it may be a sign that the valve is stuck or jammed.

4. Reduced flow rate: A bad check valve may restrict the flow rate of the fluid, leading to reduced system performance.

5. Complete failure: In some cases, a bad check valve may fail completely, causing system failure or shutdown.

How to Diagnose a Bad Check Valve

1. Check the valve’s operation: Observe the valve’s operation to see if it is functioning properly. If the valve is not opening or closing correctly, it may be a sign of a problem.

2. Check for leaks: Look for signs of leaking around the valve. If the valve is leaking, it may be a sign that the valve is damaged or worn out.

3. Check for noise: Listen for any unusual noises coming from the valve. If the valve is making noise, it may be a sign that the valve is malfunctioning.

4. Check the flow rate: Measure the flow rate of the fluid flowing through the valve. If the flow rate is reduced, it may be a sign that the valve is restricting the flow.

5. Inspect the valve: Inspect the valve for any signs of damage or wear. Look for rust, corrosion, or worn-out parts.

Check Valve


A bad check valve can cause significant problems in industrial processes, leading to reduced efficiency, increased downtime, and even complete system failure. It is essential to recognize the symptoms of a bad check valve and take prompt action to repair or replace it. By understanding the common causes of check valve failure and recognizing the symptoms, you can prevent system failures and ensure smooth operation.