A garden hose check valve and backflow preventer is one of the best ways to control the flow of water in your outdoor garden hose. Without one installed water can drain back into the piping from the hose causing damage once the water is turned off.
In this article we will teach you everything you need to know about using and check valve and backflow preventer with your outside water supply and garden hose!
What is a Garden Hose Check Valve?
A garden hose check valve, also known as a backflow preventer, is a one way valve that attaches to the end of the hose near the base of the faucet. This small device keeps water flowing ‘one way’ and does not allow water to reenter the water pipe once it has entered the hose.
A garden hose check valve is usually made of brass or steel, and is just bigger than the diameter of an outdoor garden hose. There are ‘male’ and ‘female’ attachment ends – end entire unit is not more than a few inches long and weighs just a few ounces.
Most homes do not have them installed when newly built so you will likely have to buy your own at the store or on Amazon.
Top Rated Garden Hose Check Valves
In the market for a new check valve but not sure which one is right for your backyard? We reviewed all the top models so you can pick from the best!
American Valve G31SL 3/4″
This valve can be installed horizontally or vertically and is guaranteed to be lead free which is important if your family drinks from the hose or fills the swimming pool!
Homewerks Worldwide VACBFPZ4B Vacuum Breaker Hose Bib Backflow Preventer
Guard against frozen pipes and backflow with the VACBFPZ4B. It is a 3/4″ threaded outlet and made of corrosion-resistant brass which is a good choice for all outdoor conditions.
SUNGATOR 2-Pack Vacuum Breaker Set
This two pack of valves can be installed temporarily or permanently by breaking off the attachment arm! It fits 3/4″ lines and works at a max PSI of 125 – which is perfect for outdoor garden hoses!
HQMPC Heavy Duty Brass Shut Off Valve Garden Hose Shut Off Valve Garden Hose Connector
Solid brass garden check valves that can be installed by hand and allow water out – but not back in! These brass valves fit 3/4″ lines and are guaranteed not to leak.
Superior Pump 99555 Universal Check Valve
Made from space age ABS plastic Nitril-Bruna N seal to prevent backflow. Unlike other models this is adjustable to fit 1 1/4″ and 1 1/2″ NPT male and female lines.
How do I Install a Garden Check Valve?
Installing a garden hose check valve is easy and can be complete in about 5 minutes. Start by detaching the garden hose from the faucet and drying the area off with a towel so you have a clean working area. Next, screw the new valve into the exterior faucet. Make sure to turn it enough that the seal is ‘watertight’ but make sure not to over tighten and crack the unit! If it does not easily attach double-check the alignment before causing permanent damage.
Once the valve is attached to the faucet attach the hose to the check valve by tightly screwing it on. It should securely wrap around the check valve just like the before when it was attaching directly to the faucet. Once everything is attached test the valve out by slowly turning the water pressure up to full!
Picking The Right Garden Check Valve
There are a few factors to choosing a new check valve. The most important are the size, male or female connectors and type of build material.
- Size – Check the garden hose line size, the most common size is 3/4” but there are other sizes. If you don’t measure you may end up with a valve that does not fit.
- Male or female connectors – Both types of ends are available so you will always be able to prevent backflow.
- Build material – The two most common build materials are brass and ABS plastic. Brass is stronger, heavier, and can handle a higher PSI. ABS plastic is lightweight and cost less, but works at lower temperatures and PSI.
Check Valve or Backflow Preventer
A check valve and a backflow preventer are similiar, but slightly different tools. Check valves are slightly less reliant but still good enough for outdoor garden usage. Backflow preventers on the other hand are used in fire control and water supply systems and are much more reliable but at a higher cost!
Do I need a backflow preventer on my garden hose?
Backflow preventers are not required to use a garden hose but they make it more efficient and easier to use.