Check Valve With Airline Control Valve Installation Question

Discussion in 'Air Pumps' started by TheBettaSushi, Feb 13, 2019.

  1. TheBettaSushi

    TheBettaSushiWell Known MemberMember

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    hey all! I have decided to install a new airstone/bubbler for my planted tank to use at night when the lights go off but not sure if I installed the check valve and airline control valve correctly and in the correct place. I read somewhere that the check valve should be installed BEFORE the airline control valve... is this correct?

    (The air pump will be below the tank and from my research, I will need a check valve to keep the water from being sucked out of the tank if the power was to ever go out. I also included the airline control valve because the air pump I purchased does not have an adjustable flow. I will be using a 2 watt air pump in a 6 gallon tank and may need that airline control valve If I ever need to adjust the flow.)

    I also read that I should install these in places that are easy to access. Since I am working with a Fluval Edge, I figured the best place would be to put it under the hood next to the filter pump. Do you think the check valve is too close to the filter/lighting?

    I attached the air tube to the airstone and attached the check valve on the other end. Then I cut a small piece of tubing and attached that from the check valve to the airline control valve. I used the remainder tubing to insert it from the other end of the airline control valve into the air pump. If this is not correct, please let me know. I haven’t started the airstone because I am still waiting for the air pump to arrive.

    This is my first go on using an airstone/air pump.
     

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  2. mattgirl

    mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

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    When I set mine up I always put the check valve 4 or 5 inches from the pump. Once installed you shouldn't have to do anything else with it so don't have to have easy access to it. I then run a piece of tubing long enough to reach the top of the tank and put the control valve there. Then attach a piece of tubing to the control valve long enough to situate the airstone where you want it to be. This keeps the control valve up top and within easy reach for adjustments.

    Be sure to put the check valve so air can go to the airstone. Blow through it. You should be able to blow through one end but not the other. It will probably have a mark on it telling you which way the air moves through it.
     
  3. OP
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    TheBettaSushi

    TheBettaSushiWell Known MemberMember

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    Thanks for the reply. So did I not put the check valve in the correct place? The check valve where it says “in” is connected to the control valve and where it says “out” is connected to tube going into the airstone. This is the website I used to help install the check and control valves. Aquarium Air Check Valves – Save Your Tank!

    I would prefer to have the control valve directly on the top of my tank right next to the filter but this website above suggests otherwise.
     

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  4. Islandvic

    IslandvicWell Known MemberMember

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    It appears to be set up correctly.

    Some people install a "T" fitting inline on the tubing and place the control valve on it.

    The control valve vents to the atmosphere. When closed, 100% of the air goes to the air stone/bubbler.

    When you want to decrease air flow to the bubbler, crack the control valve open very slightly. The air will take the path of least resistance and a portion of the flow will vent to the atmosphere.

    Bleeding the air that way places less back pressure on the diaphragm of the airpump.

    Here is a link to a site that describes it better.
     
  5. mattgirl

    mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

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    As long as the check valve is between the pump and the first control valve it is all good.

    It looks like you put the control valve about where I would put it. None of mine are close to the filter but only because the tubing doesn't run close to one. All of mine are at the top of the tank though so it is easy to change the pressure when necessary.

    I agree with @Islandvic suggestion about adding a t-fitting somewhere between the check valve and the control valve and attaching another control valve at that t-junction to bleed off air if necessary.
     
  6. OP
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    TheBettaSushi

    TheBettaSushiWell Known MemberMember

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    Ok so I did do it correctly! Woohoo! The air control valve is elbow shaped. So I would need to get a T valve too? Then place that above or below my air control valve?

    The only problem is that I don’t have enough space in my Fluval Edge. Not sure if you’re familiar with these tanks but there is a backing which houses all of the wires and can be pulled through a small opening underneath it to connect to the outlet. I also have an enclosed hood which only measures to the size of the small opening on top of the tank. Therefore, it doesn’t leave me much room to add anything else besides a small airline tube, and a heater wire because the filter pump takes up the majority of it. The arms that hold the lighting also take up a lot of space. This is why the check valve and airline control valve look smushed together. I had no choice but to put the airline hose/check valve near the lighting wires.

    Wait, I put the check valve after the control valve if you’re going to use the air pump as a starting point. For example: Air pump to tubing, the tubing on the other end of the air pump is the control valve, then a small piece of tubing connects the end of the control valve to the “in” part of the check valve then another tube connects the “out” part of the valve which then connects to the air stone in the tank. If this isn’t right, let me know. Also I would like to know where to install the T valve and the other check valve If I even need it. My issue is the confined space I have. The check valve and control valve I installed barely fits in the filter/wire housing on my Fluval Edge. If I don’t put them there, I won’t be able to close the lid on my tank.

    I attached photos so you can understand what I mean.
     

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  7. OP
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    TheBettaSushi

    TheBettaSushiWell Known MemberMember

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    I have made diagrams so that it’s easier for those of you trying to help me so that I can understand the correct way to install valves/connectors to an air pump.

    Sorry if it seems a bit much but I am a visual learner.

    If you can please tell me which example is correct, I would greatly appreciate it. I have included 4 examples if I were to use a bleed valve (if necessary) and 2 examples using a airline control valve. Please leave the example number in the comments so that I know which example is the correct way to install it to my tank.

    I would like to know the correct installation of both variations (using a bleed valve AND the regular setup I have now which is just a check valve and a airline control valve). Thank you.

    With bleed valve:

    5FB5F38F-72EF-43E6-85F6-0578DED8DF57.4E3708AF-3230-4770-94C0-1C097D369E35.0B472011-40D1-485D-B474-BD4DCEF5B71A.
    Which one is correct?

    Without bleed valve (this is what I have now):
    4145EB80-708A-48A4-BC37-D3DC519A605C.884F43CC-2020-49FC-B221-FC097540072D.
    Which one is correct?

    If anyone is wondering... There is no example 3 as two check valves would be next to one another in that senario.
     
  8. Ricksza

    RickszaValued MemberMember

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    I would go with what you have currently. If for any reason water were to return in the air line, when it comes back on there would be less water to be push out. Some pumps have a difficult time doing that.
     
  9. OP
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    TheBettaSushi

    TheBettaSushiWell Known MemberMember

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    That’s a good enough reason to keep it the way I have. The instructions that were sent with the airstone show it differently than what I have. It tells me to install it like this:
    63A54E31-D8AE-421D-B1C1-9B5879CBA688.

    However, another website stated to put the check valve before the control valve. So now I’m confused lol
     
  10. Ricksza

    RickszaValued MemberMember

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    Personally, I think the most important thing is just have a working check valve somewhere in the line.
     
  11. Islandvic

    IslandvicWell Known MemberMember

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    Look again at the link I provided on how to install the "T" fitting.

    The "T" is just a connector, not a valve.

    The straight part of the T has the airline going in and out, then the part that T's off has the control valve. The valve bleeds off to the atmosphere.
     
  12. mattgirl

    mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

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    This is the way it needs to be done if you aren't going to add a bleed off valve.

    In this example they call it a reverse valve but it is the check valve we are talking about. The check valve doesn't have to go through the narrow opening in your tank. The check valve (reverse valve) needs to be the first thing in air line.

    When I set mine up I cut a piece of of tubing about 4 inches long. I attach one end to the air pump and the other end to the "out" side of the check valve.

    If I am not going to add a bleed off valve I cut a piece of tubing long enough to reach the top of the tank. I attach one end of this long piece of tubing to the other side of the check valve and the other end to the air control valve.

    Then I cut a piece of tubing long enough to go from the air control valve to the airstone. Attach this piece of tubing to the other side of the air control valve and the other end to your airstone. This is the only piece of tubing that will have to go through the small opening in your tank.

    If you decide to put a bleed off valve on the line you will need a T connector. It is just a piece of plastic that basically is shaped like a T but all three legs are the same length. will show you what we are talking about

    To use it you will need to cut the piece of tubing going from the check valve to the air control valve. It doesn't matter exactly where you make the cut but I usually cut it at least 3 or 4 inches from the check valve. Just put it where it will be easiest for you to reach to make adjustments as needed.

    Once cut join the 2 ends back together using the T connector. Once you do that cut another small length of tubing (2 or 3 inches long) and attach one end of this piece of tubing to the remaining leg of the T connector and the other end to another air control valve.

    Occasionally air pumps put out more air than needed and if we just close down the one air control valve we may be putting too much back pressure on the air pump. Having a bleed off valve should prevent damage to the air pump.

    I hope I have explained this clearly enough but if not please don't hesitate to let me know.
     
  13. OP
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    TheBettaSushi

    TheBettaSushiWell Known MemberMember

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    Ok so I have it set up incorrectly from the description you wrote. So I have to switch the check valve and control valve? Therefore it should be air pump then place tubing from air pump to “out” part of the check valve, then another tubing into the “in” part of the check valve then connect that piece of tubing to the control valve then use another piece of tubing to insert it into the end of the control valve and into the Airstone? Like shown in example 2 of my photos without the bleed valve? That way I can just have the air control valve next to my filter and keep the check valve out near the air pump?

    And If I were to use a bleed valve, to go with example 2 with the bleed valve?

    I purchased a aqua sepreme Dennar 2 watt air pump. Do you think that will be too much for a 6 gallon tank? Would I need to make a bleed valve for it?

    I’m really sorry if I sound like an idiot. I can assure you that I’m not. This is just sounding complicated because I can’t get a clear visual of it. Pictures are better for me that’s why I made all of those examples.
     
  14. mattgirl

    mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

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    Your example #2 without the bleed valve is the closest of all your examples but even in that one you have the control valve in the tank and the check valve at the top of the tank. In all of the other examples you have 2 check valves. No matter how you set it up you only need one check valve. The photo you posted in post #11 is the way I would do it if I wasn't going to use a bleed valve.

    It really is simple to set up but I see how it can be a bit intimidating the first time. The aip pump you have should work fine.

    You can wait on adding the bleed off valve. It can be added later if you find you need it. You should be able to tell if you need it if it sounds like the pump is working too hard.

    You can check this out once you get it all set up. If the pump sounds like it is working too hard disconnect the tubing that goes from the control valve to the airstone and open the control valve all the way. If the pump gets quieter then you will know it will help to add a bleed off valve..
     
  15. Islandvic

    IslandvicWell Known MemberMember

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    20190214_181523.

    Here is an example.....

    Air pump would be on the left.

    Air enters the "T".

    Off the T is the bleeder valve that vents excess air from pump to the atmosphere. Turn the dial to close it, and the air pump's full output continues down the airline.

    Turn the knob slightly, and the bleeder valve will vent off some of the flow of air, thus reduces the air going to the stone. It's fully adjustable to control how much air you want to go to the air stone.

    The check valve is on the right. It's output goes to the air stone.

    There are dozens of ways to set up air line tubing, valves, fittings etc.

    This is just one example.
     
  16. OP
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    TheBettaSushi

    TheBettaSushiWell Known MemberMember

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    Mattgirl and Islandvic You guys are awesome! Thank you so much! I’ve officially had a dumb moment for once in my life thanks to this lol! I’m going to get that T connector now since I need to go to the pet store anyway so I can have it on hand just in case!

    I know that I have the control valve too close to the tank but that’s the only place I have that will fit and can have easy access too unless I connect it closer to the check valve which I will be putting outside of the tank about 5 inches from the air pump per your recommendation. This means that it will be hanging towards the floor behind a big cabinet that my tank is on... better then nothing right? Having the control valve too close to the filter/airstone isn’t a problem though right?

    The tube between the airstone and the control valve is less than a fingers length because the airstone looks like a co2 diffuser but it’s an actual airstone. I figured it’s a better kind to have so that my sand doesn’t fly everywhere compared to regular air stones... it won’t be touching the substrate at all and because it’s completelt clear, it won’t be too noticeable when not in use.
     
  17. mattgirl

    mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

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    hahahahaha....we all have to have a dumb moment at least once in our lifetime :D I wouldn't call it dumb though....What 'cha don't know you don't know but now you do
     
  18. OP
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    TheBettaSushi

    TheBettaSushiWell Known MemberMember

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    LOL! I made it to be way more complicated than what it really was... but, I’ve never used an air pump before so looking at all this made me confused! Now I know. I’ll post a photo of the setup when I get the air pump just to pick your brain some more lol. Thanks again for all of your help.

    This photo helped me a lot!!!! Thank you for this.
     
  19. Ilovebarbslol

    IlovebarbslolWell Known MemberMember

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    Great post
    Great help. Keep up the wonderful job and I’m just commenting so I can view it later
     
  20. OP
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    TheBettaSushi

    TheBettaSushiWell Known MemberMember

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    :emoji_thumbsup::emoji_thumbsup::emoji_thumbsup:
     
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