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This spring, McGuire Manufacturing launched its new integral check valve, the ICV Defender. The valve was designed to address the growing concern and challenges related to cross connection and reverse flow at the fixture, which can contaminate potable water supplies and systems.
In the following Q&A, Plumbing Engineer shares more about the new valve and unique details for plumbing engineers, designers and specifiers.
Q: Why did McGuire Manufacturing develop the ICV Defender?
A: This product has been in development over the last two years. We have had a lot of discussions with engineers, contractors, and reps all of whom expressed interest and excitement with the product’s purpose and performance capability. We developed this innovative product to be installed no differently than any other McGuire stop valve and to deliver added protection from contamination. To further explain, the ICV Defender is McGuire’s first angle stop that includes an internal mechanical check. This valve uses the same body as our heavy pattern valve, which is a machined valve made from brass bar stock. The body, stem, spindle, and bonnet are also made from brass bar stock. We chose McGuire’s purple EPDM peroxide cured washers because of their superior performance against high-temperatures, chlorines, and chloramines. The check feature is also made from brass and uses a stainless steel 316 spring.
Q: What makes this check valve different from others on the market?
A: Check valves, in general, are designed to allow flow in one direction only and automatically prevent reverse flow when water in the line reverses direction or when there is a sudden loss in pressure. They are one of the few self-automated valves that do not require assistance to open and close. The ICV Defender is an integral check valve with the check assembly built into the valve itself. There are standalone checks that connect to the supply which adds another connection, however, they are generally not serviceable, or repairable. McGuire’s integral check valve (ICV) is completely serviceable and does not require any third-party components. Additionally, replacement parts are readily available from McGuire.
Q: What benefits or special features should be noted for those designing and considering specifying integral check valves on projects?
A: McGuire’s patent-pending ICV Defender has an internal check that is spring actuated made from brass C4600 and Stainless Steel 316. The design is simple and effective. The Stainless Steel 316 spring and spindle are housed in the brass stem which acts as a piston. The ICV Defender is a heavy pattern chrome plated and polished valve, the internal washers feature McGuire’s high-temperature, chlorine and chloramine resistant purple washer. Because of the location of the check assembly, the ICV Defender is completely serviceable and does not require any third-party replacement components. Also, very important to note is that the ICV Defender has its own unique logo markings so inspectors can verify it is what the engineer specified and was actually installed.
Q: Is there anything innovative about the manufacturing of this check valve that engineers, designers and specifiers may find interesting?
A: Its simplicity and performance. We did not want to design a check that compromised the integrity or added additional potential failure points. We took our highest quality valve, the heavy pattern full turn valve and incorporated the check assembly.
McGuire’s heavy pattern valve is used in hospitals, schools, dorms, and high-public use facilities across the country and is known as the leading specified valve in the industry. We have had tremendous success because it was designed for longevity. It only makes sense that we would offer this new mechanical feature utilizing our premier heavy pattern angle stop.
I’d like to note that the heavy pattern valve without the check feature is still a value-added specified product line and always will be.
There are other protective devices in a building’s plumbing system, that address cross connection water contamination and that can sometimes fail and lead to costly downtime and high-labor replacement charges. By specifying the ICV Defender in healthcare, education, high-use public facilities where quality water management is critical, the engineer is providing a serviceable solution with added protection to the plumbing system.
Q: Is there anything untraditional about this check valve that may trip up or confuse engineers, designers and specifiers?
A: The product is fairly straight-forward. We added the check feature, which is acting as a last line of defense for the water supply. The beauty in the development of the ICV Defender series is that we took what we do best and what we have been known for in the industry for over 65 years and designed a product to address an industry problem. McGuire has a long-standing reputation for listening and collaborating with engineers and contractors and providing product solutions that are not only cost-effective but are within our expertise. We design, manufacture and live in the plumbing fixture trim arena and will continue to address issues inside that framework. It is what we do best.
Q: Are there any certification standards for this check valve that are especially timely or notable for engineers, designers and specifiers?
A: McGuire’s ICV Defender is IAPMO and NSF/ANSI 61 and 372 certified and backed by a 3-year warranty. We will be announcing additional industry certifications this winter that will further demonstrate the ICV Defender’s marks of excellence.
Q: Is there anything else to note, in general?
A: We talked a little about the multi-design approach to address current building water issues but equally important is the specification of future building design. McGuire’s progression into product development to address industry concerns such as cross connection and reverse flow issues is the beginning of how we are reinventing what we specialize in and what we can bring to the engineer’s specification. Equally important to note is the expansion of our operations and distribution facilities. We recently opened a new distribution center in Reno to further support McGuire customers on the West Coast with readily available products including the ICV Defender product line. We are confident that the engineer will see great value in specifying this product on key buildings/jobs such as healthcare, hospitality, education and high-use public facilities and we are committed to making sure the contractor is also educated on the ease of use and cost savings.