A Backwater valve prevents the flow of water or sewage in the drains from reversing its direction back into the house. It ensures that there is only one-way flow of water. At times, the sewer system in the city may become clogged. Unless one realises that there is such a problem, they would keep running taps and flushing toilets. If this continues, the water starts to back up into any of the empty pipes, include those that provide drainage from other houses.
If there is no backwater valve, sewage level would rise and the basement would be flooded. A brass metal disc in it swings open when the wastewater flows towards the sanitary main. It closes when the water flows backwards. Optionally, there is a basin installed before the check valve in which the wastewater a collected. A pump is installed to forcefully pump the wastewater beyond the check valve.
- The valve closes automatically when the sewage backs up from the main sewer.
- It must be placed such that, backup of sewage is stopped and does not overflow through other outlets such as sinks, toilets and showers.
Who should have it definitely?
Sewer surges can be prevented by installing backwater valve. It is recommended for all the homes even those on higher ground. Assume there are 3 houses on a gradual hill and sewer drain is located at the top of the hill. If there are homes below the sanitary sewer, there are more chances that sewage will flow back into those homes.
If your home is prone to floods, installing it is a must so as to maintain a dry and clean basement. How close your home is from the nearby sewer system also plays a role in determining whether you require a backwater valve.
The ideal time to install a backwater valve is before renovating or finishing your basement. It is easy to install it when you have an unfinished basement, as a 2-3 feet long trench must be dug in your home to accommodate the device. The trench may need to be larger according to your home’s construction and layout of the pipe.
If you are installing a backwater valve while the home is being built, the owner is presented with two choices:
- Normally open: To protect the entire building. It is installed in the building sewer.
- Branch: installed on the branch serving the fixtures connected to that branch.
- Check your valve annually and see if there is free movement of all moving parts.
- There are chances of debris being accumulated inside the trap. Clean it once in a while.
- If you are not sure about the condition of the valve, contact a plumber.
If you are facing sewage back-ups because of sanitary flooding, this is the way to protect your home. You can get the help of professional agencies such as Absolute Draining & Plumbing in Toronto, Ontario to install a backwater valve and get rid of sewage problems.
Chris Johnson is a licensed plumber, and he works with one of the most trustworthy company, Absolute Draining & Plumbing in Toronto, Ontario. For any kind of plumbing services for your new or old buildings, please visit their website to book for an appointment.