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Backwater valve (Flood Protection)

Is water continuously flowing back to your property? Is your home vulnerable to flooding? Installing a Backwater Valve is the solution for you! Whenever there is heavy rain, you are at risk of experiencing water damage or even flooding in your home due to reversal of water in your pipes. Dirty sewage water could unexpectedly enter your basement and this could cause significant damage to whatever it comes into contact with. However, to solve this problem and to avoid the damages and expenses, install a backwater valve.

What is a Backwater Valve?

A backwater valve is a device that is installed in your drain/sewer. It protects your building against the backup of water and sewage from the municipal sewer. The backwater valve is a one way direction valve, which prevents reversal water/sewage from flowing back into your house. Backwater valves commonly activate when a city’s sewer lines are unable to handle a large amount of falling precipitation; this puts homes that are tied into the storm lines at risk of having water flow-back into them.

A Backwater Valve will keep the water or sewage flowing in one direction; away from your house. An unexpected rainfall can cause city sewer lines to become overwhelmed. This would result in sewer water flowing-back into your home. This is where a backwater valve comes in. The backwater valve will prevent sewage from flowing back into your home. This especially applies to homes with a basement or if their first floor is below street level, as they are more susceptible to water reversal back to their homes.

How does it work?

Inside the valve there is a little flap that opens to let water exit your house, and it also allows the sewer gases to be vented. At each side of the flap, there is a small flotation device that closes the flap when sewer water begins to flow back into your house. These small floatation devices will block off and prevent any water/sewage from re-entering your home.When the water stops moving in the wrong direction, gravity will cause the flap to open and water will flow away from your house.

How would you install a Backwater Valve?:

  • They are installed into new construction or into existing homes (aka retrofitting)
    • A plumbing permit from your municipality is needed for installation
    • They dig down to the main sewer line, cut out a part then replace it with a new valve
    • *these valves are transparent, making it easy to view if they are functioning properly
  • Note: if installation is done by yourself, make sure to follow instructions thoroughly, otherwise damages to pipes and your property could occur

Installation costs:

  • Initial construction will cost about $150-250
  • Retrofitting will cost about $1000-2000
  • There are subsidies to aid in installing backwater valves(contact us for more information)
  • These are some standard instructions (follow the necessary Backflow Valves Installation in Toronto (GTA) or Mississauga based on your area:
    • prepare connecting pipe (cut the ends square, “deburr and bevel”);
    • orient valve;
    • solvent cement valve end to the drain pipe (make sure that solvent cement doesn’t contact with the flap assembly’s internal body);
    • install the flap assembly;
    • verify free operation and flap seating;
    • install access cap.

What should I do if something goes wrong?:

  • Regular maintenance should be done to avoid the valve being damaged, due to a blockage of items
  • The valve should be checked regularly for debris
  • If the pipe is clogged or dirty, what can you do?:
    • The valve has a cover that can be easily removed for easy cleaning
    • You can either clear out the pipe yourself or call an expert to clear it up
    • You could run some hot soapy water and scrub the under the flap if it is dirty 
    • Avoid flushing down things like “wipes” and diaper lines” as they could clog the system 
  • Note: The valve can sometimes prevent water flowing out of your house if you were to run too many of the water works (e.g. showering, washing machine) at once 
    • This could result in the flooding of your own house

How do you maintain your Backwater Valve?

  • Check up on the valve annually and check if there is any debris that could clog up the valve 
  • Ensure that all movable parts can move freely
  • Clean the valve using rubber gloves, a brush and hot soapy water if needed
  • Check the o-ring found around the lid, make sure that it is in good condition. If this is not the case, then it is highly recommended to replace it. This is to make sure there is a proper seal for the valve to work effectively. 
  • Check the float’s condition on both sides of the flap. Replace these when necessary, otherwise they will lose their ability to float and lift the flap when needed. 
  • Don’t flush wipes, diaper liners, or other disposables that should go in the garbage, down the toilet. This will make sure that your system doesn’t become clogged. 
  • If you are ever unsure of the condition of your backwater valve and/or are uncomfortable with attempting to fix it yourself, call a plumber for help at +1(647)861-7191

How long do they last?

With proper maintenance, it should last many years. Be sure to follow all the instructions that the manufacturer has given you. Also, remember to clean and check up on the valve at least once a year. Doing this as well as following the instructions mentioned above will allow the valve to last longer.

The backwater valve and your home insurance provider:

  • Your home insurance provider may want to know if there is a backwater valve installed in your home 
  • This could affect your home insurance rate or even prevent you from obtaining insurance entirely
  • To avoid this and costly repairs, maintenance of your backwater valve is crucial 

Rooter Team will make the best solution for your situation! Don’t forget to ask us about city subsidy programs.