Installing a backwater valve will prevent overflowing sewers backing up and flooding your home.

Backwater Valves Stop Flooding

Sewer backflow is a problem in the City of Toronto; we experience very heavy rainfall during the summer months which can cause the municipal sewer system to backup through the sewer drains of homes and property. The result is a flooded basement; luckily the City of Toronto (and some neighbouring cities) provides flood prevention rebates of up to $3,200 to aid in the cost of installing devices including a backwater valve Toronto residents can depend on.

final inspection of completed Toronto backwater valve installation

Final inspection of a completed Toronto backwater valve installation. The backwater valve is ready to prevent sewer water from flowing back into the drain system.

The most effective method to prevent the sewer backflow is a simple device called a backwater valve. Installation of this valve prevents water from traveling back into your home as it is a one-way valve. It is bylaw now that modern homes are built with this valve installed, but the majority of older homes are still at risk of basement flooding via sewer backflow which can be a very costly and traumatic experience.

In particularly bad weather it is not uncommon for water damage to be in excess of $25,000+ – protecting your home is always a good idea when compared with the potential cost, loss of personal property, and inconvenience of basement flooding.

when is the installation of a backwater valve required in Toronto households

Example of which homes might require backwater valve to prevent basement flooding resulting from sewer back flow.

Does my Toronto home need backwater valve installation service?

Depending on how flood prone your home is you may know already whether or not you require a backwater valve. When required, a backwater valve will be the difference between a flooded basement filled with sewage and a clean and dry basement.

One simple way to tell whether you require backwater valve installation is to consider your location to the nearby sewer system that services your home and surrounding properties. Imagine there is a street on a gradual hill, there are three homes on this street and the sanitary sewer drain is located at the top of the hill. If the homes further down the hill are below the top of the sanitary sewer than there is a good chance that the sewer will backflow into those homes.

Under these circumstances a valve will need to be installed to ensure that these basements do not flood. Additionally, there are circumstances where there does not appear to be any specific cause for concern, but when it rains the sewer system backs up and into people’s homes. In these situations installation of a backwater valve will also be helpful.

If you are experiencing basement flooding but are unsure of the specific cause, we provide additional basement waterproofing services.

Can you help me to claim my City of Toronto backwater valve rebate?

Yes. Our plumbing services including providing you with assistance to claim your City of Toronto flood prevention rebate. We have installed many backwater valves in Toronto and fully document the process to help you expedite your flood prevention rebate claim.

How does a backwater valve work?

backwater valve diagram showing how the valve functions in Toronto homes

Diagram showing how a backwater valve functions

Developed by a plumbing contractor in the City of Edmonton, the mainline backwater valve was an innovation in sewer backup protection. Typically, plumbers would need to install check valves on all of the sewer branch lines in the home. This meant that the kitchen drain, the bathroom drain, the laundry drains all needed to have their own backflow protection. The biggest problem that was noted with each line having its own check valve was that these valves were all over the place, behind walls, under floors, out of sight and hard to access. Not only was that an annoyance to maintain these valves but during drain cleaning services the check valve could easily be damaged by the drain snake. Further, it would be very hard to tell if the check valve had been damaged, it would only be obvious when made evident by a flooding problem.

The mainline backwater valve was the perfect solution; this valve installs directly on the main sewer drain of the property and virtually eliminates the need for multiple check valves scattered throughout the house.

The real innovation of the valve is that it remains open while in its natural position. This is very important as the sewer line must be able to vent gases, the normally open position of the backwater valve allows for unrestricted flow of waste water out and sewer gases in. However, in the event of sewer backflow the valve closes, restriction the access of this backflow and stopping basement flooding from occurring. With earlier closed valves this was just not feasible, this is why contractors install a backwater valve Toronto residents trust their basements with.

The invention of the backwater valve is quite interesting, and is a piece of Canadian plumbing history.

What’s the difference between a backwater valve and a backflow preventer (aka backflow prevention device)?

backflow prevention flow

Installed backflow prevention device

People are often curious what the difference is between these two devices. They sound similar enough that the confusion is not unfounded. Let’s just clear this up, a backwater valve is a device that’s installed on your sewer drain so as to prevent the backup of sewage water back into the drain pipe, which would otherwise flood your basement or wherever the drain pipe connects.

A backflow preventer on the other hand is to prevent the backflow of clean water back into a water source. Typically a water supply line is under heavy pressure and there is little chance of the water backing up, but under high-demand or problems such as a burst main this pressure will drop allowing for the potential backflow of contaminants into the water supply. To stop this backflow preventer devices are installed in high risk areas to keep the water supply fresh and clean.

To recap; backwater valves prevent the backflow of sewer water into your drains, and backflow preventers prevent the backflow of potentially contaminated water into the water supply lines. We are fully certified to provide backflow prevention device installation and testing.

For more information feel free to call us at 416-252-5557, or contact us online.

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