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How To Make a One-Way Check Valve - For Cheap!!


by The King of Random on July 18, 2013 Table of Contents How To Make a One-Way Check Valve - For Cheap!! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Intro: How To Make a One-Way Check Valve - For Cheap!! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 1: Watch the Video! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 2: The Easiest Check Valve . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 3: A Little More Complex . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 4: Make Them Multi-Use . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 5: Testing and Applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 6: In Closing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Related Instructables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Advertisements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Comments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 2 2 2 3 5 6 7 7 7 7

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Make-a-One-Way-Check-Valve-For-Cheap/

Author:The King of Random www.thekingofrandom.com


Random Weekend Projects

Intro: How To Make a One-Way Check Valve - For Cheap!!


It's summer. If you're going to build yourself a water-gun or a water pump, you'll need some check valves. These should work for you PVC building enthusiasts! The most expensive parts of a water pump, or DIY Super Soaker, are usually the check valves. In this project, we're making some from scratch, for as little as $0.35 each.

Step 1: Watch the Video!


WARNING: The pressure tests and claims made on these check-valves is based solely on my personal experiences with the ones demonstrated in the video. Individual results may vary, and caution and care should be taken when loading the valves with high pressure. The risk of higher pressures is that the balls may be forced from the adaptor, shooting out like projectiles. High pressures may also cause the ball to lock up, preventing normal operation of the valve, or possibly even structural failure of the valve altogether. These valves are not made, or claimed, to be used in any heavy duty operations. Use of this content is at your own risk.

Step 2: The Easiest Check Valve


In this project, I'll show 2 different ways to make a simple check valve. One is easy (simple but for low pressure applications only), and one a little more complex (good up to around 50-60PSI) In either case, both valves will share 2 common parts. 1. One 3/4" male PVC slip adaptor. 2. A length of 3/4" PVC tubing (1-1/2" or longer) To make the quick and easy valve: 1. Find a 3/4" rubber bouncy ball and slowly cut off the top 1/3rd. 2. Place the ball inside the PVC slip adaptor with the round side facing down, and the flat side facing up. 3. Press the 3/4" PVC tube into the slip adaptor down far enough that it is firm and tight, but leaving enough room for the ball to move around a bit inside. That's it! For low pressure applications, like blowing up balloons, this little device will make your little kids feel like balloon blowing champions. The valve allows air into the balloon, and when you stop blowing, the valve closes and the air stays in the balloon indefinitely.

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Make-a-One-Way-Check-Valve-For-Cheap/

Step 3: A Little More Complex


For this valve, we'll use the harder plastic ball and an O-ring. These are made to be a little more durable. Prepare the tube; 1. Start by taking a piece of 3/4" PVC tubing (minimum 1-1/2") and measure 5/8" from the bottom. 2. Drill a hole at the mark that goes through both walls of the tubing. 3. Find a strong piece of metal, like a thick paperclip or a nail to insert into the holes. 4. Trim the head off the nail so that both ends of the nail or paperclip are flush with the outside walls of the tube. Note: This valve can be built into any length of PVC pipe you choose. Prepare the slip adaptor for connecting; 1. Prime the inside walls of the adaptor, as well as the part of the tube that will slide into it. 2. Insert the O-ring and plastic ball into the adaptor, and check for a good fit and good seal. 3. Glue the parts that were primed, and slide the tube into the adaptor until the nail holes dip just below the surface. Note: Don't press so hard that the ball is trapped in the closed position. You will need a little gap for the ball so the valve can open and close. 4. Let the cement cure for about 2 hours before use.

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Make-a-One-Way-Check-Valve-For-Cheap/

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Make-a-One-Way-Check-Valve-For-Cheap/

Step 4: Make Them Multi-Use


To make these valves more convenient, I tried adding another slip adaptor to the other end of the 1-1/2" pipe. This increases the cost by $0.34, but it's worth it. I chose 1-1/2" as the pipe length, because when the adaptors are pushed together, it leaves only a very small gap and makes the unit very compact. In the picture, you can see the ball held in the unit by the adaptor and the retaining nail preventing it from rolling it out of the tube. I also gave them a quick paint job with some spray paint, and added electrical tape to one side so the direction of flow can be easily identified, similar to the schematic symbol for an electrical diode.

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Make-a-One-Way-Check-Valve-For-Cheap/

Step 5: Testing and Applications


To test your valve, use it to blow up a balloon. The balloon should stay inflated even when you stop blowing. Place the valve into a bowl of water. If there is any air escaping at all, you will see little bubbles coming from the valve. If there are no air bubbles, that means your valve is air (and water) tight. Because we used the slip adaptors, the ends of the connections are threaded, and allow the valves to be integrated into any system, and switched around at will. My motivation in building these valves stemmed from a desire to build a PVC water pump, but the check valves were around $10.00 each. That seemed a little steep for a PVC build, so while looking for alternative options, I settled on this design, which is about the cheapest, while still being practical and useful, that I could imagine. I tried using 2 of these check valves to make a PVC water pump. It can be used as an air pump, a vacuum pump, or a water pump that will pump up to 5 gallons per minute. In my testing, the valves work great with air and water. Air pressures up to 60PSI seemed to be fine for normal operation, while pressures above 60PSI occasionally caused the ball to lock into the O-Ring, and required substantial "back-pressure" to unlock it.

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Make-a-One-Way-Check-Valve-For-Cheap/

Step 6: In Closing
If you try using rubber bouncy balls as the valve mechanism, only use them in very low pressure applications like blowing up balloons, and possibly for improvised water guns. Relatively high pressures used with these balls seems to eventually force them out of the adaptor, and can shoot them out at surprising velocities. Overall, I'm really happy with the valves because they can be fit into any part of a PVC system, and can be duplicated quickly, easily, and for very very low cost. If you haven't seen the video yet, you can still see it below. If you liked this project, perhaps you'll like some of my others. Check them out at www.thekingofrandom.com

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Comments
22 comments Add Comment

TheKingOfRandom says:
Useful

Aug 1, 2013. 6:07 AM REPLY

gunboatbay says:
Very handy. I used the roller ball from my spouse's travel-size roll-on deodorant for the ball.

Jul 28, 2013. 4:26 PM REPLY

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Make-a-One-Way-Check-Valve-For-Cheap/

curtlezumi says:
This is a great Instructable.

Jul 25, 2013. 3:49 PM REPLY

Avoid using PVC for compressed air. Pressurized llquids are OK. If you have a compressed gas and the PVC breaks, it can send shards of the tube flying at high speed. For low air pressure applications like the balloon check valve it's great. For higher pressure limit yourself to liquids.

profpat says:

Jul 23, 2013. 4:21 AM REPLY nice instructable, i plan to build one made of metal for my air compressor external tank! have been thinking of using steel ball bearing and o-rings inside a copper tubing with /8 straight adapter on both sides..

thumpik says:

Jul 22, 2013. 5:16 PM REPLY I bet your brain is in overdrive all the time. This was a really cool idea you came up with. All I need is an application to put it to use. Good Job!

woodNfish says:
Help! My little bouncy ball is round and I can't find the top!

Jul 22, 2013. 12:45 PM REPLY

Wazzupdoc says:
Oh Magoo! You've done it again! Terrific I'ble.

Jul 22, 2013. 11:54 AM REPLY

HOWITZER says:
Amazing!!!, now let's make some transistors XD!

Jul 21, 2013. 10:59 PM REPLY

MikB says:

Jul 20, 2013. 2:37 AM REPLY Another option for a ball style check-valve: An old (wired) mouse ball. These are usually pretty weighty, and have a rubbery coating that makes a good seal against a metal bearer surface. In my case, I used a spacer ring from an old 3.5" hard drive, which had a nicely ground bevel on the inner edge. Gravity (and back pressure) holds the ball firmly into it, a cross-wire above the ball stops it getting pumped clean out :) The ring JUST fits inside a 32mm waste pipe. Just watch out for using these outdoors, when the check valve keeps water inside it and it freezes, it can force the ball to stick!

Wroger-Wroger says:
Mouse "balls" (Oh I remember them) are steel balls with a rubber coating on them...

Jul 21, 2013. 3:47 PM REPLY

Completely clueless about them being used for anything except mice tracking, but I think they would be fine for situations where the seating pressure / area was proportional to the force, and I am not sure about the fidelity of the rubber coating, as it was made for a dry rolling environment, and the coating on the steel ball, may only be good for that, and not sustained immersion in wet and or high mineral content environments waters. But then again - the mouse balls may in fact be check valve balls repurposed - who knows? - and life goes on.

Hoopajoo says:

Jul 21, 2013. 7:01 AM REPLY Where did you find the acrylic/plastic ball? The only ones I can find here that would fit are made hollow from hard & brittle plastic. Any help is appreciated. I'm thinking of planting my rain collection cisterns underground to keep cool, reduce light and therefore algae formation. The pump you demonstrated would fit the bill perfectly for getting water from underground cisterns for watering plants.

lordzamiel says:
Probably the same type I've ordered from Industrial Plastics in the past, here's a link to their 3/4" bag: http://www.industrialplasticsnyconline.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=Acrylic+Balls+3%2F4+inch

Jul 21, 2013. 1:00 PM REPLY

clazman says:
Very nice. I like ideas that develop into something useful. Had I needed one I probably would have come with.

Jul 21, 2013. 12:56 PM REPLY

My only complaint is that you didn't quite go far enough. I would have designed it so that the couplings would have came into contact with each other removing the need to have to pay particular and needless attention during final assembly. This would only require taking careful measurements of all of the components. It is for that reason that I cannot vote for it. Anyway, a fairly decent design. It;s surprising how a video is very impressive for an incomplete design. But, that is the world of marketing.

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Make-a-One-Way-Check-Valve-For-Cheap/

clazman says:
Very nice. I like ideas that develop into something useful. Had I needed one I probably would have come with.

Jul 21, 2013. 12:52 PM REPLY

My only complaint is that you didn't quite go far enough. I would have designed it so that the couplings would have came into contact with each other removing the need to have to pay particular and needless attention during final assembly. This would only require taking careful measurements of all of the components. It is for that reason that I cannot vote for it. A job incomplete. Anyway, a fairly decent design.

Artur Zawadzki says:


Very good idea, easy to do at home conditions and as you can see in the video effectively.

Jul 19, 2013. 10:07 PM REPLY

cybercapri says:
This is a great one way check valve, thanks for sharing....

Jul 19, 2013. 6:06 PM REPLY

downeasta says:
Why flatten the bouncy ball? Couldn't the flat rotate and cause problems?

Jul 19, 2013. 7:52 AM REPLY

billbillt says:
great

Jul 19, 2013. 7:49 AM REPLY

Macflame says:
Top job once again!

Jul 19, 2013. 5:01 AM REPLY

SussoGobbino says:
Really nice and useful!

Jul 19, 2013. 2:28 AM REPLY

SIRJAMES09 says:
you always seem to have the coolest projects!! this is no exception either! 8=) TY for sharing Sir.

Jul 18, 2013. 6:33 PM REPLY

guicarlorobelli says:
Nice idea. Check out the one I made out of brass fittings.

Jul 18, 2013. 2:55 PM REPLY

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Make-a-One-Way-Check-Valve-For-Cheap/