Where are check valves needed in well setup?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by Washer55, Mar 1, 2019.

  1. Washer55

    Washer55 Member

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    Mar 18, 2016
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    Ontario
    I currently have a flowing well with a submersible pump. There is polypipe coming into the house which transitions to 3/4" aquapex into the pressure tank and beyond.

    Currently there is a 3/4" check valve between the tank and the iron remover.

    I'm getting a new iron remover and am told it has a built in check valve.

    Can I remove the 3/4" check prior to the iron remover or does there need to be one on 5hat line still? I'm trying to reduce any bottlenecks on the supply where possible and not cause any issues.

    Thanks.
     
  2. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    The only check valve needed is the one on the submersible pump.
     
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  4. Washer55

    Washer55 Member

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    Mar 18, 2016
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    Okay I'll take that into consideration with my replumb.
     
  5. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

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    I think Cary is just talking about the piping between the pump and the pressure tank. Having a check valve after the pressure tank has no impact on how the well pump works. If you have anything plumbed in between the pressure tank and the iron filter, it will cause some water to backflow through the iron filter which is a bad thing. The backflow will loosen the media pack and will allow iron to leak through the iron filter.

    Do keep in mind that a check valve after the pressure tank makes the house a closed system so an expansion tank is needed after the check valve.
     
  6. Washer55

    Washer55 Member

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    There is one outside faucet after the tank but before the check valve and iron filter. Maybe that's why there is a valve there?

    What do you mean by expansion tank and closed system? I'd rather have iron filtered outside water as it's mostly for washing car, so should I remove the check valve after the tank?

    I think the iron remover has a build in check valve.
     
  7. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

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    If the iron filter has a built-in check valve then the one inline can be removed. It will still be a closed system and so should have an expansion tank for the water heater. When water is heated in the hot water tank, it expands which can raise the pressure to the point the TPR pops.
     
  8. Washer55

    Washer55 Member

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    Ok thanks. I don't think expansion tanks are common in Ontario I've never heard of one but they certainly make sense. I'll consider getting one as I would think the pressure ultimately would stress the pex and faucet hoses much Moe than the copper.
     
  9. Midriller

    Midriller Member

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    Spot on, Air Charged Iron Filters require a check valve to avoid air leaving the iron system thru the supply and going out the outside faucet you mentioned or just back to the pressure tank
     
  10. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

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    Not only air charged systems... Any reverse flow can loosen the media pack which can allow iron to move forward past the filter.
     
  11. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    You would not recommend that people put check valves between their pressure tanks and backwashing non-air iron filters, would you? I would certainly not do that.
     
  12. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

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    What I am saying is that tapping into the line between the pressure tank and iron filter can have consequences if that tap draws hard enough to reverse flow the iron filter. It can be made worse if there are fast closing solenoid valves such as on a sprinkler system.

    If you have iron moving forward because of it, you do what you have to do or live with the consequence.
     
  13. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    The flow would be coming from the pressure tank and pump, rather than from the pipes after the iron filter.
     
  14. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

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    That depends on how much pressure is stored in the plumbing downstream of the iron filter. As a test, shut the main valve to the house and immediately open a valve downstream to see just how much there is stored. You might be surprised.

    There will always be _some_ reverse flow as the pressure equalizes and it does not take a lot to disturb the media pack. Things can be made worse when there is a take-off before the iron filter to feed irrigation. Of course if the iron filter provides enough GPM to satisfy the need of the sprinklers, they could be changed to feed after the iron filter. That is what I ended up doing and in so doing I get less iron staining on the overspray onto walls and sidewalk, etc.

    I did keep one outside hosebib plumbed before the iron filter and the wife sometimes forgets and connects to it. A couple of years ago she decided to water a nice clump of paper white Birch and it iron stained the bark something awful. She also hand watered the foundation gardens and stained my white vinyl siding.

    But I digress... I did not opt to install a check valve before the iron filter because then I would also have to install an expansion tank. I opted instead to replumb most of my outside hosebibs to after the iron filter but before the softener. That take-off in between the iron filter and softener proved to me how easy it is to upset the iron filter media pack. Easy test was to draw heavily from the before iron filter hosebib and then sample the water from the hosebib after the iron filter but before the softener.
     
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