The Foot Valve is effectively a check valve or one-way valve, with an attached strainer. Foot Valves are designed to be installed on the end, or “foot” of water pipes leading into wells or other deep sources of water, for vertical pumping operations.
Foot Valves allow water to flow up from the source and into the piping and pump operations, then close when the pump stops. This self-closing mechanism on a foot valve allows the pipes to remain full, and keep the pumps primed. This function is important, as the lines draining may require re-priming, or even damage to the pump from requiring the pump to run dry to refill the pipe.
Foot valves are designed with optimized sizing in mind, the valve opening is made to be larger than the line itself, to minimize head loss. Foot valves come in many materials. These foot valves are made of painted cast iron, for high durability in most applications. The valve portion of the foot valve is made of rubber.
Foot Valves are designed with a screen to prevent debris from entering the line and blocking the valve from closing. Always make sure that some clearance is given from the bottom of the foot valve to the bottom of the well, to prevent mud and debris from being collected by the pump. In some cases, the mud and debris may clog the valve, preventing it from either closing or properly sucking up water. Be sure to check your foot valves on a regular basis to ensure they are clean and in working order.