Check valve problem

ngocpebbleApril 15, 2013

I am not able to get my pump to prime. The pond is 8 years old and I decided to redo all the pipes this year. Anyway, this is not because of the new pipes. When I fill the pot with water, it wouldn't not fill. I think I have a problem with the check valve. My check valve is buried close to the bottom of the pond. I think it doesn't close properly. I noticed there are a lot of snails in all the pipes, and this could prevent the check valve from closing. The last thing I want to do is to dig up the check valve sine there are a few trees in the area and it would be a big task.

I have a Performance Pro pump and had them did a tune-up on it last week so that should be good. I would like to know if anybody has suggestions on how to clean the check valve or how to get this thing primed. I read one of the suggestions by mike_il, and thought that was interesting. To clean the check valve, I was thinking about getting a garden hose and push it down the pipe. Using a power-wash would be too much and can damage the pipes.

Thanks

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chas045(7b)

I have no personal experience and I''m also not sure what you mean by 'power wash' but you could try one of the strobing plumber uncloger things that swells in the pipe for sealing and sends jets of water further down the pipe. They certainly work to unclog small blockages in drain lines and I would think it might knock snails and other crud off of a flapper or whatever, if the hose was fairly close to the valve. Maybe that's what you are already thinking about.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 8:12PM
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joe_09(z7 ny)

which performance pro do you have,the artesian is self priming.to answer your post,it sounds like your check valve is stuck open and you will have to dig it up to clear it.you could check the suck side of the pump and make sure there is no air leak.if there is a air leak you will never prime the pump.i hope this helps

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 9:28AM
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mike_il(WChi)

Joe is correct as far as the pump goes and as far as the air leak goes. I doubt that an eight year old pump would need a tune up other than changing the oring on the lid of the basket. Getting the pump to prime can be done without doing anything with the current check valve. If it was me I forget about a check valve that was buried down by the bottom of the pond. I would either install a valve on the suction side of the pump near the pump or install both a check valve and a valve near the pump. If it is a self priming pump it should prime itself if there are no air leaks. If it is not a self priming pump than close the valve by the pump and fill the priming pot full of water. Put lid back on the priming pot. Turn pump on and open the closed valve by pump. The basket will go empty. While the pump is still running close the valve by the pump. Turn pump off and refill pot. Turn pump back on and than open valve. Depending on the length of pipe that you have to prime you may have to do this procedure several times. Just make sure that you only open and close this valve by the pump when the pump is running. If this valve is opened at all when the pump is off you will have to start the procedure all over again.

Mike

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 4:47PM
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Crazme(4)

The check valve in my Aquascape pump is broken and I have been told to buy a new one, which retails for around $79. My question is whether it is necessary to replace it. The pond runs on two pumps, one for the bio filter system and the other to augment the waterfall flow...both pumps are identical, therefore interchangeable. right now I have hooked up the waterfall pump with the good pump. The design of the part holding the valve is pretty interesting,since there is no other choice than to order a new part because the broken float just rattles around, and can possibly get stuck if not replaced. What problems would I have if I leave the valve and hook it up to the pump that feeds the waterfall. or, alternatively, is there any way to get the broken float out of the pipe? And just let the water flow down the waterfall?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 2:17AM
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mike_il(WChi)

Crazme,

Weather the plastic backing plate that has come off be removed depends on if you have a new style or old style. The new style has a union at the base of the check valve. If you have a new style you can shake the check valve so that the plastic piece gets to the opening and grab it with a needlenose pliers. Then you can take a saw blade and cut the piece in half so that it falls out. This is not easy and be very careful not to cut yourself. This check valve has this problem and it is very common.
Mike

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 8:10AM
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Mike56(7a)

Mikes method will work just fine. I tried to do that a few years ago but found it very hard to saw and hold at the same time. What I did instead was to disassemble as Mike described then using the edge of a rasp I filed two slots into the flapper seat 180 degrees apart from each other. The seat is what keeps the round disk from coming out. Once you have made the slots large enough you can grab it with a plier and line it up with the slots to pull it out. Be sure to use a rasp not a file or you will me working on it for days.

You must remove it because it can block off the water flow and kill your pump. They are not needed.

another Mike

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 11:15AM
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