Test Your Main Backwater Valve

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Imagine dirty sewage filling up your basement – seeping into all of your belongings and causing lots of damage. Fortunately, there is way to prevent this from happening. You can prevent sewage from backing up into your home by routinely testing your mainline backwater valve.

installing a backwater valve protects home
The Backwater Valve may not look pretty, but it does a great job of protecting your home.

A backwater valve is designed to allow water or sewage to flow only one way – out of your house! Without a properly functioning backwater valve, anytime there is a sudden influx of rain (or melting snow) the city sewer line can become overwhelmed causing sewage and water to flow back towards your house. If you have a properly functioning backwater valve, it will prevent the sewage and water from entering your home.

Even if you think your backwater valve is functioning perfectly, it is still advised to have it tested and maintained once a year. It is better to be safe than sorry – because no one ever wants sewage in their home!

At Butler Plumbing, we are major advocates of proper maintenance. Your backwater valve should be checked to make sure there is no debris that could potentially clog the valve. Most valves have an easily removed cover which allows for quick cleaning. Always wear rubber gloves and make sure to use a long handled brush to scrub around and under the flap.

You will also want to look at the O ring around the lid to make sure that it is in good condition. If not, it should be replaced to ensure that you maintain a water-proof seal. Finally, check the floats on either side of the flap. If they have lost their ability to float, they will need to be replaced. If the floats do not work properly, they won’t be able to lift the flap when needed.

Most backwater valves will have a manufacturer’s recommendations regarding maintenance. If you have lost yours, or just do not feel comfortable attempting the maintenance yourself, give us a call! Our knowledgeable technicians will complete a full inspection for you and answer any questions you may have.

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