Pool check valves are used in swimming pools, spas, or hot sauna tubs that use a solar heating system. Pool check valves prevent the back flushing of water from the solar heater panels into the pool when the pump is turned off. When the check valves are not functioning properly, you can hear the gurgling sound of the filter and you may also see the formation of thin slices of siliceous sedimentary rock (diatomaceous Earth) in the pool around the sump. Such malfunctioning valves have to be replaced with new check valves. Replacing the pool check valves are a relatively simple process.
Step 1 - Observe the Valves
In order to examine the condition of the check valve, you should turn off the pump initially. Afterwards, observe carefully both the check valves to find which one of them is leaking. The outer covering of the valve shows an arrow indicating the correct flow direction of the water. Examine whether the water is flowing in the correct direction. At times both the valves may not be working properly – then both the pool check valves have to be replaced.
Step 2 - Remove the Fittings
Use a strap wrench to loosen the fittings on one end of the faulty check valve. When both the valves are leaking, start by removing them one by one in order to prevent confusion of the water flow direction. Loosen the fitting in the next end of the check valve also. Now remove the pool check valve from the fitting.
Step 3 - Lubricate the Ring
Apply the lubricant to the O-ring of the new check valve and position it in the place of the removed check valve and then tighten the fittings which you loosened in the previous step. After this, repeat Step 2 and 3 if you are going to replace the other leaking pool check valve.
Step 4 - Test the New Valves
Turn on the pool pump and check the flow of water. The water should go to the solar panels and come back from them and flow into the pool. Now switch off the pump and you should not hear any gurgling sound emanating from the pump. The entire pool plumbing system should work without making any noise.
Step 5 - Maintain the Valve
Though replacing the valve is simple, instead of letting the valve leak, it can be maintained through some easy steps. Check the lint basket on a daily basis. Remove it and empty the contents of the lint basket since the clogging of the basket will prevent the proper flowing of water into and from the solar heater panels. In the same way apply lubricant to the o-ring of the pool check valve at least twice a year. This lubricant will prevent the corrosion of the check valve and also the deposition of the diatomaceous Earth.