Backflow Preventer VS Check Valve – Major Difference

We all know that the backflow preventers and check valves are used to keep the flow of water in one direction. Each one of them helps to retain the backflow of water but each one has its own life span and each one is suitable for one specific water flow pipe. Moreover, the prices of each one also vary. To find out the best one for yourself and your family I have brought a clearer picture of each one below.

Backflow Preventer VS Check Valve

Backflow Preventer VS Check Valve

Backflow Preventers Advantages

Backflow preventers are durable and reliable. They use a fail-safe design that does not allow the water to flow back. This type of valve is more suitable for the potable water supply pipes as even if they break down they will throw out the water instead of mixing it with the freshwater. Moreover, the backflow preventers are highly dependable and work for years. They need no maintenance for years.

Backflow Preventers Disadvantages

The disadvantage of the backflow preventers is that they are higher in price. But that’s not a disadvantage to me because the material and design used in its making are worth the price in my opinion. Moreover, the installation of the backflow preventers is also difficult.

Backflow Preventer VS Check Valve

Check Valve Advantages

Check valve’s biggest advantage is it is low in price. This is affordable for almost everyone and is also reliable to some extent. Moreover, it allows all the water to pass at once and then closes its valve to prevent the backflow of the water. Furthermore, they are best suitable for the basement sump pumps and need lower maintenance. Have a look at the best sump pump check valves.

Check Valve Disadvantages

The check valve is less dependable and less durable. You have to keep its maintenance and have to change it after every 5 years. Along with it, check valve swing and seals are at risk to loosen up just after a few months. If this happens, the unhygienic water may flow back and probably get mixed with the potable water.


Now if you are still bewildered while considering which one is the best out of these two valves then let me inform you that do not ever compromise your health, and choose Backflow preventers for the valves that are attached to the potable water lines. But if you need one for the sump pumps in the basement, then you can install a check valve for that which will benefit you as they are reasonably priced, however, its lifespan is less and you will have to change it after a few years.


How backflow systems are effective?

They are effective to keep the water flow in one direction and do not let the wastewater mix with fresh water.

How does backflow occur in pipes?

Backflow occurs when the pressure in the pipe changes and this makes the unhygienic water to flow back into the pipe only if backflow preventers or check valves are not present.

Is a double-check valve better than a backflow preventer?

Double-check valve is not better than a backflow preventer but is far better than a check valve. Double-check valve also has some drawbacks and advantages just like the other two.


Each one of them, the backflow preventers and check valve, has its own benefits and disadvantages. If you want the most reliable option then go for the backflow preventers as they are long-lasting and work systematically, but if you have a certain budget then choose a check valve but keeping an eye on its maintenance is necessary. Lastly, I would like to say that choose according to the place where you want to install the valve as backflow preventers are best for potable water lines and check valves are best for sump pump lines.


We participate in affiliate programs to help us fund MechanicsGear. Some of the links in this website are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product using our link, we will earn a small commission. Don’t worry! This comes at no additional cost to you, and we will never base our reviews on whether or not we earn a commission off of a product. With that said, if you find our review helpful and decide to purchase an item we review, we would be very appreciative if you use our links to do so. It will help us bring you more awesome content in the future!

Leave a Comment