Why a Backwater Valve is an Important Plumbing Tool

The plumbing in a home is complicated, and it’s not just straight lines of pipes, valves, and drains. It’s a complex compilation and network of plumbing products that make it possible for your home to have clean water and safe waste removal. Unless there are problems with specific fixtures or the overall system, most people don’t worry about their plumbing. When it’s working, it’s easy for it to fade into the background. Because plumbing is such an ingrained part of our lives and how we live, we trust our plumbing systems are reliable and safe.

Most homes are constructed with plumbing systems to protect a property from sewer backups from the mainline. If there is an obstruction in the line connecting to the municipal sewer, these safeguards will go into effect to protect the home from raw sewage. Basic sewer protections aren’t always enough for some properties because of how a home was built or how the plumbing lines were installed. In these situations, a backwater valve is needed to provide automatic closure between the sewer line and the home.

Can a Backwater Valve Protect My Home From Flooding?

In addition to protecting property from sewage backups, a backwater valve can also prevent a plumbing system flood. Backwater valves are also a safety measure to stave off public sewer backups due to flooding. When there’s a widespread flood, the extra water will pour into the public plumbing system, which will raise water levels. This can cause a sewer overspill, which can be a safety hazard. While a backwater valve may not be able to keep all the water out of your home, it can prevent blackwater and hazardous sewage from infiltrating your home.

How Does A Backwater Valve Work?

Backwater valves have two parts, the flap, and the cleanout. These parts together prevent sewage from flowing through your plumbing system into your home. The flaps on a backwater valve are protective, and they ensure that water is only allowed to move in one direction, outside of the property. The cleanout is used to ensure the plumbing lines connected to the home remain free and clear. They allow homeowners to access the plumbing lines to handle any necessary maintenance on the plumbing system or the valve. Once a backwater valve is installed, it can prevent water from flowing in from the public lines, but it’s also important to note that the valve will also prevent water or any sewage from leaving the house. So, once your valve is activated or in use, it’s important to avoid using your system until it’s back to normal operation.

5 Signs Your Backwater Valve Needs Repair?

If your backwater valve is broken, the water from your system could be contaminated. Where clean, safe water is odorless and pleasant tasting, contaminated water typically is:

  • Brown, yellow, or discolored to some degree
  • Odorous
  • Slow flowing or sputtering from plumbing fixtures
  • Visibly tainted from floating particles or minerals
  • Poor tasting

A backwater valve can prevent freshwater contamination from encroaching sewage. If you have a backflow device installed, it’s important to have it tested and inspected by professionals to ensure that you and your home are protected. You can count on the team at All City Plumbing to provide you with professional advice and quality services. Call us today at (909) 552-7550 to schedule an appointment.