What Is a Backwater Valve?

What Is a Backwater Valve?

If you’re looking for the solution to your problem and keep seeing talk of backwater valves, you may be wondering what, exactly, they are. A backwater valve is what’s used to prevent sewage from the local sewage system from entering your home system. How does that work and why is it necessary? Let’s dig into the details.

How Does a Backwater Valve Work?

The first thing you may be wondering is how exactly a backwater valve works. It’s actually fairly simple. In laymen’s terms, it turns your sewage main into a one-way exit. The cover of the valve will only open one direction. That means any sewage that presses against it from the other side will only push it more firmly shut.

Why Is a Backwater Valve Necessary?

A backwater valve is a huge necessity when it comes to safety, hygiene, and keeping your home undamaged. Because backwater is full of other people’s waste, having it back up into your home is a huge hazard, especially if it overflows. Not only is it gross, a backup will introduce tons of foreign bacteria into your home. You also can’t rule out the presence of parasites and disease – both common presences in sewage systems. A backwater valve keeps all of this gross matter from gaining access to your home. We think that’s pretty important.

What Happens During a Local Backup?

Remember how we said that when your local sewage backs up, it closes the valve? Because of this, if your local area has a sewage backup, your own home may have its own. That’s because, while local sewage isn’t able to get in, your sewage also can’t get out. Fortunately, it would take you a while to fill your own pipes all the way up with sewage. Therefore, you only need to do a little bit of damage control, mostly regarding water usage.

As soon as you catch wind that there’s a local sewage clog, you’ll want to minimize water usage. This helps to ensure you don’t flood your own house while you’re waiting for the local sewage problem to be solved. As you can’t be positive how long it will take them to solve the problem, it’s best to be cautious.

  • Don’t take any showers or baths
  • Don’t run washing machines or dishwashers
  • If you don’t have a dishwasher, save washing by hand for later too, as it often uses up even more water than dishwashers
  • Keep sink use to the bare minimum by washing hands quickly and turning off the water while you lather with soap
  • Refrain from flushing the toilet unless you’ve pooped or there’s a few uses worth of toilet paper waiting to be flushed (we don’t need to add more clogs to the mix)

How Do I Install a Backwater Valve?

Backwater valve installation is quite intensive and can only really be done by a professional. It involved digging a trench and messing with some of the biggest pipes in your sewage system. Therefore, you don’t want to DIY this. Plus, it’s quite a dirty job. Fortunately, you can count on POM Waterproofing to serve you anywhere in Toronto. Give us a call if you’re interested in backwater valve installation and we’ll make it happen!

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