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Most Common Backwater Valve Installation Issues


Just imagining the thought of putrid liquid and sludge flooding into your basement, spewing from your toilets, shower and tub drains, and your kitchen and bathroom sinks is almost more than anyone can handle. Sadly, such a problem can be a very real possibility for homes that are not properly protected from backflow finding its way into their home. And the damage is ghastly, especially, especially when basements are nicely finished and part of the home’s day to day living quarters, or when a lifespan of family treasures and heirlooms are stored in the “safety” of the basement. Whenever any area of the nation is hit with excessively high levels of precipitation, homes without properly installed backwater valves provide welcome outlets for back flowing sewage to depressurize.

Stomach-Turning Damage and More
Raw sewage invading the comfort of your home–just the thought of it is unimaginable. The extensive damage that this type of event can cause is not only a source of the worst odors and disgusting messes to clean up, but that nasty raw sewage, once in your home, is a real health hazard as well. In addition, incoming sewer sludge typically produces damage to your home that can be quite difficult and costly to repair. Often, the cleanup process must be mitigated by professionals, not only to ensure a thorough eradication of every single trace and element of the mess, but often, it is just not something a family member, relative or friend is physically and mentally able to tackle.

Proper DIY Backwater Valve Installation in the Right Location
On paper and in theory, it would appear that installing a backwater valve in a home’s drainage system would be uncomplicated and easy. For this reason, many homeowners attempt to do this on their own, often without understanding a few important details pertaining to the process. Installing a backwater valve is actually a complicated process, and it is made more complicated when the right location for the valve lies directly under a section of the basement’s concrete floor. A professional plumber must be called in to set the right location for the valve and install it. If installed in the wrong place, it might prevent sewage from entering the home through that floor drain, but it might reroute it into another drain source in the home, like a toilet or even a washing machine.

Need to First Check
Most likely, your county or municipality has policies in place that affect backwater valves. They are often required by building codes, and sometimes there are very specific restrictions about elements of their installation. In some areas, a building permit is required to install them. Check, before you begin, for no later regrets.

Importance of Understanding Proper Placement
There are backwater valves available for protection of individual drain lines within a home. When it’s impossible to install a valve on the main line, these are great. If this is your case, you will need to install one on every outlet drain in the home, otherwise, only the blocked drains will be protected, and anywhere else within the home will have “spew” potential, as before. For this reason, a plumber’s assistance is highly recommended.

Proper Sizing
Backwater drain valves come in a variety of sizes, so the measurement must perfectly seal off the pipe. Some drains have odd sizes that will require the insertion of a special sleeve to be fitted into the pipe, which will create the right size opening for the valve.

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