Backwater Valves

A backwater valve is a device that prevents wastewater in an overloaded sewer from backing up into your basement.

A gloved hand unscrews the top of a backwater valve

Install a Backwater Valve

When blockages or extreme rainfall overwhelm municipal stormwater or wastewater systems, water can flow in reverse into your home. A backwater valve creates a one-way seal in your pipes. It allows the wastewater from your home to drain into the wastewater system, but closes if the wastewater flow reverses and begins moving backwards into your home. Installing and maintaining a backwater valve could save you money and avoid preventable clean-ups of sewer water inside your home! 

Check with your plumber to determine if a backwater valve is right for your home.

Maintain Your Backwater Valve

It is essential to maintain your backwater valve regularly. Always wear protective gloves and eyewear when doing maintenance on your backwater valve. Your goal is to identify any potential blockages or debris that would prevent the gate of your backwater valve from closing correctly. First, remove the access box lid. Then, unscrew the cleanout plug on the top of the backwater valve and visually inspect it, looking for debris build-up on the valve body, gate, and beneath the valve gate. If debris is found, clean by flushing the valve with a hose or bucket of water. If there are still grease deposits or other debris, you can scrub the inside of the valve to clean it out. Remember to tighten removed caps and access ports to maintain a closed seal. This maintenance should be done twice a year.