Backwater valves are a popular item lately given the recent heavy rainfall and resulting destruction caused by extensive basement flooding. Often times people aren’t quite sure what to call them, a few names we’ve heard include “sewer check valve” and “backflow valve” when attempting to describe this valve. Regardless, we all should be aware of the important role that backwater valves play, to prevent sewage backup from causing extensive, and costly, basement floods. Nevertheless, when it comes to these important devices, there are many questions we hear time and time again. In today’s post we’ll look to a couple of those questions in an effort to shed some light on these questions for those who find themselves attempting to gain further insight into the matter.

What Causes the Failure of Backwater Valves?

The mainline backwater valve is fairly durable and sturdy device, able to withstand great pressures (as it must) to prevent sewage waste and water from flowing back into a home through the main drain. However, there are times when a the valve is simply not enough to prevent basement floods. The valve can become damaged from extensive use without regular maintenance for instance. Alternatively, people may not be aware that their backwater valve is engaged and continued to use the plumbing in their home, when the water has nowhere to drain out to it can backup into their home. The best way to prevent this from occurring is through the installation of a backwater valve flood alarm.

Do I Need A Backwater Valve?

This question can be a difficult question to answer. It requires a thorough diagnosis of your home, flooding problems or potential for flooding, and an examination of your homes location in relation to surrounding underground plumbing and soil conditions. There are some cases where people have never needed one until they witness the effects of large storms such as the one we had in July of this year or even the storm of July 2012. If trends keep up we’re in for a wild summer in 2014; if you’re interested in pro-actively protecting your home from being flooded by sewage backup then you should contact us to discuss the installation of a mainline backwater valve.

Does The Valve Require Maintenance?

While the valve is fairly durable and sturdy, it does require annual maintenance and inspection to make sure that it is working without any problems. This is not the sort of device that you’d like to find out it has failed because you basement is flooding during the next heavy storm. Along with the installation of valves we also provide backwater valve inspection services to customers across the Greater Toronto Area, providing them with peace of mind whenever the forecasts are calling for heavy rain.

Let’s face it, the climate has been doing some very odd things lately and scientists are calling for more weather extremes. If you have a home that’s at risk of flooding, or you suspect is at risk, we strongly recommend you give us a call to discuss your options. Preventing sewage from backing up into your home is always preferable to the alternative.

Andrew Olexiuk - Your Toronto Plumbing Expert
Andrew Olexiuk - Your Toronto Plumbing Expert
Andrew has over 20 years of experience as a plumbing contractor. He is co-owner and operator of Absolute Draining & Plumbing, a professional plumbing company serving residential & commercial properties across the Toronto, Ontario region.
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