Check valve for well pump

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Jul 8, 2010
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I have a submersible pump in my well. The pipe (1" copper) comes into the house, goes through a check valve, then into the pressure tank and the rest of the plumbing. That check valve is failing. I noticed a couple of days ago that the pump was running when it shouldn't have been and found the pressure was dropping even with all the valves off, meaning the water had to be going back down the well. I tapped the check valve with a hammer and fixed the problem. However, I know that's probably only temporary and I should replace the check valve. So, I have a couple of questions:

1. All the piping is 1", but the check valve is 1-1/4, with reducer bushings on either side of it. I'm guessing that was done for flow rate reasons, but it could also be that whoever did it just got the wrong valve and used reducer bushings to make it work, rather than exchange it for the right size. I will need to replace the reducer bushings with the valve (they used galvanized bushings in an otherwise copper/brass system, so I'll replace them with brass), but if I could use a 1" valve instead, I could just get rid of them altogether. Am I right to think that a 1" valve will reduce the flow compared to the 1" pipe, and I should use a 1-1/4 valve, or am I okay to go with a 1" valve?

2. Any real reason to go with a dual check valve instead of a single? The ones I'm finding that are listed for well pumps are only single check valves. I've found a couple of dual check valves that seem like better parts, but they're listed for use in fire sprinklers or for preventing contaminated water from backflowing. They're for potable water, but don't say anything about well pump applications. Can I use them or is there no real advantage to a dual check valve in this case?


Fixer Upper
Staff member
Feb 5, 2013
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Erie, PA
The 1” should handle the flow fine with 1” pipe all thru the system.

A single check is all that is required and what I would use. The more checks in line might improve safety if there was some reason you wouldn’t want back flow but IMO also doubles the chance of having one stick shut or open.

Sounds like yours is open ok but not fully closing.