check valves and spa/swimming pool

We have a pool and spa that we just paid big bucks to replumb, which has been a multi-month project.
The spa is elevated (partially above pool level), but always maintained its level when the pump went off.
The first thing I found was that they failed to replace the former check valve that kept the water from draining out of the spa once the pump was off.
The first solution was to place a check valve (spring loaded) on the spa return. Unfortunately, for their conveniences, they placed it BETWEEN two PCB pipes, at a 90 degree angle, making it impossible to either see the clear area or remove the cover to work on the spring mechanism without cutting and then replacing an adjacent pipe. When I asked them whether this valve would require maintenance I was told that since it was on the other side of the filter, it would never need servicing. My thought is then why the eight screws on the valve? Am I wrong in worrying about maintenance at this location?
There is more to this saga, but I thought I would start with the easy question first.
Thanks to anyone that has some info!
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Frank writes:

No, you're right.
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On Fri, 19 Nov 2004 19:50:27 -0600, Richard J Kinch

Thanks.
Question #2. They also claim that they won't put a check flow valve on the drain from the spa because the additional load it creates on the pump motor when being primed will shorten the life of the motor. Their solution is to always leave the the spa drain closed unless I am only circulating water to a from the spa (heating just the spa). They say there is enough circulation by having the water returned to both the pool and the spa and allowing water to exit into the pool over the spill over water fall. These seems a little more credible than the BS they gave me on the inaccessible check valve.
Are they right about this one? Thanks.
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