One way valve not necessary?

newbietetra

hi,

i am using an Aqua One ap150r air pump (3watt) with a 1.5 meter long 4mm-hose and a small corner box filter. i have the pump below the tank. i turn the pump off to feed the fish everyday. I never get water back siphon into the pump.

So why do people need to install a one way valve?

i dont get it.
 

Flyfisha

If you move the pump above water level you can get away without a one way valve.

Sooner or later you will get a back siphon. It may not happen every time but it will happen one day.

Perhaps the humidity in the air condenses inside the air line on humid days and that is enough to start the siphon.
 

mattgirl

A check valve to me is a very inexpensive piece of hardware that gives me peace of mind. I have them on every length of airline coming from my air pumps. All of then have 2 outlets so 2 check valves on each pump. It's kinda like using a water conditioner when using well water with no chlorine added. To me both are just inexpensive insurance.
 

newbietetra

it is not the cost.

it is that 1-way valve will reduce air flow that i dont like.
 

Flyfisha

Some valves are slightly better than others but yes they all reduce the flow slightly. Mount the pump above the water line is my suggestion.
 

saqib

Some air pumps do come with a check valve built inside of it, not allowing a siphon to begin in the first place.
I've had my share of water getting all over the floors and would'nt go about not having a check valve ever. Its of a partuclar risk especially if you have your electrical outlets anywhere near the air pumps.
 

newbietetra

thi
Some air pumps do come with a check valve built inside of it, not allowing a siphon to begin in the first place.
I've had my share of water getting all over the floors and would'nt go about not having a check valve ever. Its of a partuclar risk especially if you have your electrical outlets anywhere near the air pumps.
this reminds me i need to relocate the powerstrip, which is under the tank.
 

Yeoy

They can reduce flow but I'd never not have one in an air-pump that's situated below the tank. They might reduce flow a small amount but they cost like $1 and prevent serious problems going wrong.
 

WRWAquarium

Yeah, not worth the risk of going without one.
 

mattgirl

Some valves are slightly better than others but yes they all reduce the flow slightly. Mount the pump above the water line is my suggestion.
I agree. As long as the pump is above the water line a check valve isn't totally necessary.
 

RayClem

You can purchase stands that will allow you to hang your air pump on the back of the tank. However, check valves are inexpensive and can prevent damage to the pump and to the floor. Yes, they do add a slight amount of back pressure, but it is not enough to be an issue.
 

JeremyW

If it can happen, Murphy's law dictates that eventually it will. And you will find out about it at the most inopportune moment possible. Like 5 minutes before leaving on the vacation of a lifetime. Or just as you convince your significant other that a new 125 gallon would look fantastic in the living room.

We know that it can happen; therefore, we should assume that it will.

If you are concerned about air flow, buy a bigger air pump, or get that pump above the tank.

The one time when that valve saves your butt, you won't even know about it.
 

newbietetra

i looped the line 10 inches higher. and put air pump as high as i can. is this good enough?
You must be registered to see images
 

Flyfisha

Sorry mate that is not going to stop a possible siphon starting if the power goes out. Almost but not quite. It looks like you need a brick or chunk of wood. A book is to likely to be moved?

Looping the line up doesn’t help at all . Like vacuuming a tank it’s the height of the low end that is possible going to drain the water level down to that height.
 

JeremyW

That might work, or it might not. You'd probably be fine, the air inlet is pretty close to the surface of the water. But its not above.

I'll just level with you. I'm a machine design engineer, and I really don't like the word "probably". I like the word "definitely" much better. And with a check valve, you'd definitely be fine.

In my experience, "probably" is an expensive word that causes all sorts of avoidable headaches.

Make your own life easier, and use the cheap component that changes your "probably" into a "definitely". Those are design choices you never regret.
 

RayClem

Why are you so set against using a check-valve? They are like $2 and have no significant impact upon the air flow to the tank.

You either need a check valve or you need to place the air pump on a shelf ABOVE the water level in the tank. Those are the only two methods that guarantee success.
Looping the air line above the tank might give you a few seconds extra safe zone, but it does not guarantee you do not have a problem. Besides, the extra loop of airline is not visually pleasing. Use the loop only until you can save up the $2 to purchase a check valve.
 

Flyfisha

I have tried a number of brands check valves . There are at least 5 brands sold in Australia but made overseas.
My experience showed me with the cheapest $3 ( Australian) even from new they are no guarantee of a seal. Some work well some don’t work as designed at all. Some offer resistance to air movement needing a stronger pump.

Unless you superglue the air line on you are risking loss of air from two joins. If the join breaks its the same as losing power , you risk a back siphon. Unless you check the valve has not perished often you will not know if it’s safe or not.

With over 50 air lines running in my house I choose to mount the 70 litre per minute air pump high up at ceiling height and suggest that is the only way to stop a back siphon. I recommend everyone running an air pump should have it above the water level.

A simple test is to put the valve up to your mouth and blow through the $3 safety device.
I am pretty sure if you test 20 two year old valves at least one of them will be frozen stiff and off no practical use.
 

DoubleDutch

Sorry mate that is not going to stop a possible siphon starting if the power goes out. Almost but not quite. It looks like you need a brick or chunk of wood. A book is to likely to be moved?

Looping the line up doesn’t help at all . Like vacuuming a tank it’s the height of the low end that is possible going to drain the water level down to that height.
Why not exactly ?
 

Flyfisha

Double Dutch if you are asking why the position of the pump is to low compared to the height of the top of the water then it is the height of the end of the hose on the pump that is the issue. I am sure you know how the siphon hose empties water out to the bottom of the discharge level ? The pump is lower than the top of the water.

If you are asking about why taking the hose up 20 inches to the curtain and then down 23 inches to the discharge end makes no change in a siphon compared to going the shortest root then you do not understand how condensation from evaporation leads to moisture droplets forming in the airline. It is these droplets in the air line that CAN begin the siphon when air stops flowing.
 

JeremyW

I have tried a number of brands check valves . There are at least 5 brands sold in Australia but made overseas.
My experience showed me with the cheapest $3 ( Australian) even from new they are no guarantee of a seal. Some work well some don’t work as designed at all. Some offer resistance to air movement needing a stronger pump.

Unless you superglue the air line on you are risking loss of air from two joins. If the join breaks its the same as losing power , you risk a back siphon. Unless you check the valve has not perished often you will not know if it’s safe or not.

With over 50 air lines running in my house I choose to mount the 70 litre per minute air pump high up at ceiling height and suggest that is the only way to stop a back siphon. I recommend everyone running an air pump should have it above the water level.

A simple test is to put the valve up to your mouth and blow through the $3 safety device.
I am pretty sure if you test 20 two year old valves at least one of them will be frozen stiff and off no practical use.

I agree that elevation is the only 100% effective method. All mechanical components can fail. They all require routine maintenance and/or replacement.

But don't let perfect be the enemy of good. If for some reason, elevation of the air pump is not an option, then check valves are the next best thing. If the OP isn't going to elevate the pump, then they need a check valve.

One option is definitely superior, but both have an acceptable level of risk. Especially when compared to doing nothing.
 

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