All ball-style check valves require gravity and reverse liquid pressure to reseal. Basic ball check valves have four parts: a body, or pipe; a ball; a valve seat; and a specially designed conical spring. The pressure created by the gases or liquids flowing through the body cause the ball to rise.
The conical spring balances the volume of the flowing liquid or gas by counteracting the force caused by the rising ball. They are most often used in the plumbing industry and are designed to prevent water from flowing backward through the piping system, sump pumps and water heaters. Ball check valves can be manufactured with stainless steel or brass among other materials.
Advances in ball valve manufacturing design and materials have significantly increased their popularity. In addition to their versatility, ball check valves are typically small, easy to use and inexpensive. The ball in the valve is typically constructed from metal, although it is also available in other materials as well to increase durability.
Ball check valves have many useful applications such as sprinkler and other piping systems. Double ball check valves are often used as backflow prevention devices to keep potentially contaminated water from reentering municipal water supply lines. Ball check valves can handle high pressure and a large volume of fluids. Ball check valves are common in many household devices, such as liquid or gel mini-pump dispensers, spray devices, manual air pumps and dispensing syringes.