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What Is a Slide Check?

By Allen Woodruff
Updated May 17, 2024
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The purpose of a slide check is to allow the user to safely vent the gas out of a pressurized system without depressurizing the whole system. This valve is primarily found in paintball marking systems. It also might have uses with other pneumatic devices, such as nail guns or pressurized spray paint guns.

During paintball play, sometimes debris or other problems might interfere with the operation of a marking gun. If this occurs, the player should stop, depressurize, and then correct the paintball system. This usually is done by closing the control valve attached to the cylinder.

This procedure is slow and cumbersome, particularly during a fast-paced game of paintball. Some players might take advantage of others who are experiencing this problem. To help avoid this annoyance themselves, the player might install a slide check valve.

When a paintball system is equipped with a slide check valve, the user can quickly vent the contents of the marking gun and correct the problem. After the problem has been corrected, the user can quickly re-pressurize the gun and continue on with the paintball game. The slide check enables the user to quickly and safely fix the problem while minimizing his or her downtime during play.

The player operates the slide check by manually shifting a barrel-shaped sleeve. As the barrel-shaped sleeve continues to travel, it locks a check valve in place and prevents the remaining gas from moving downstream. As the barrel sleeve continues to travel, a vent opens on the upstream side, releasing the pressurized gas to the atmosphere. After correcting the problem, the player next shifts the barrel sleeve in the opposite direction. This re-pressurizes the upstream side of the system by closing the vent and unlocking the check valve.

A slide check valve can be mounted singly or as a dual component incorporated within a quick-disconnect coupling assembly. The construction of a quick-disconnect valve and a slide check valve are similar and, as such, it is practical for both units to be incorporated into one mechanism. Each type of valve can be purchased and used separately.

The term "slide check" also is used for a similar and more widely used valve known as a check valve, or one-way valve. A check valve allows a gas or fluid to flow in only one direction. Traditional check valves are mechanically opened and closed by the change in the direction of a fluid's flow.

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