Well water pump line end check valve aarrangement

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by mariner, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. mariner

    mariner New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Hixon, BC
    Hi Guys,

    Have a couple of questions that I hope someone will be able to help me with.
    The house end of the well pump plastic (1" diameter ?) inlet water line, has a brass/bronze check valve arrangement on it. From the check vale the water goes to the pressure switch and to the pressure tank. On this check valve body there is a small snifter valve? or vacuum breaker valve, that looks to be about 1/8" NPT thread.

    What is this small valve - is it a relief valve or a vacuum breaker valve? What is the pipe thread size ? This small valve leaks and I want to replace it with a new one, but need to know what it is before I can buy same. Would there be a problem with just fitting a plug in place of this valve as a temporary measure ?

    Thanks in advance for any information - much appreciate the interest.


    mariner
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,991
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    You can buy replacemnt valve cores for them. Do not substitute it with a tire valve. The snifter valve has a much weaker spring than a tire valve does.

    It is used to take air into the line to charge the tank with. Without it, the tank would likely waterlog.
  3. bcpumpguy

    bcpumpguy New Member

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Langley BC
    does it look exaclty like a tire valve? if so it is a snifter valve and it is used to pressurize a steel bladderless tank or perhaps was put into winterize the system. I have replaced these with tire valve cores without a problem whatosever. If you do not use it, plug it most likely would be 1/8 npt like you said.
  4. masterpumpman

    masterpumpman New Member

    Messages:
    729
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    This was a valve that was used for years to inject air into the pressure to prevent air logging of the pressure tank, then there was an automatic air volume (AVC) control on the side of the tank to release excessive air in the tank! If you still have this kind of system, replace the Schrader Valve (or the special valve stem) and you'll be OK! If you have a Bladder Tank you should update the rest of your system by pulling the pump up (about 20') and removing the snifter valve or plug the small hole drilled in the drop pipe then run the pump back down. Next remove the check valve and the Schrader valve. With todays technology you should only have one check valve on or near the pump.

    Bladder tanks are much better and don't require adding or releasing air to the tank (except for the initial tank pressure setting when the tank is installed). It's a set it and forget it! If you would prefer up to date and a simple technology system with constant pressure I suggest that you research Cycle Stop Valves at http://www.cyclestopvalves.com/index2.html. or if you're needing to replace the tank http://www.cyclestopvalves.com/prod_psidekick.html.
  5. mariner

    mariner New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Hixon, BC
    Hi guys,

    Thanks for your replies. You have pretty much confirmed what I thought this might be. I have some 1/8" NPT brass plugs, so I will go ahead and fit the brass pluc.

    The pressure tank is fitted with a bladder - I am pretty sure that is the case. So plugging off that small connection won't cause any harm in the short term. If the performance drops off (frequent starting and stopping of pump) then the tank bladder would be shot. As it is, it seems to work just fine.

    Just needed to be sure on my guesstimate as I live 40 miles from town and want to be sure that I have what I need to do the job.

    Thanks again guys, much appreciated.

    mariner
  6. mariner

    mariner New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Hixon, BC
    Just a follow up to the above. I was pleasantly surprised to find the small air valve turned out easily - I was expecting to have to drill and tap to put in the plug. The valve body was completely covered in rust from the metal cover over the valve itself - the cover came apart in my hands as I removed the valve. Anyway, the 1/8" NPT brass plug went in easily and has stopped the water seepage/leak - I had visions of the valve blowingout and my basement getting flooded.

    Thanks again for the info.

    mariner
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