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What is a Backwater Valve?

Back water valve installation

Remember 2013? Record-breaking floods swamped the city of Toronto so badly that the subway system was shut down and tens of thousands of us were without power. It was a devastating incident that caused a lot of damage and cost a lot of money to fix. Many people were left wondering what they could have done to prevent the damage and there is an answer – a backwater valve installation. A backwater valve is a simple but extremely helpful installation that prevents sewage from backing up the main line into your home.  Water and waste can flow out of your home but when anything comes back up the line, it forces the valve closed and stops it from flooding into your home.

How Does a Backwater Valve Work?

A backwater valve is essentially an insurance policy on your drains. When all is going smoothly, the backwater valve doesn’t actually do anything. But as we saw in 2013, when the weather gets out of control or if there’s an issue with your main sewer line, things can go wrong. If the main line is no longer able to handle the flow of water due to clogs or high volume, it can back up into your home. When the water backs up, it triggers the valve to close, shutting off the flow and effectively sealing your drain before the flooding can reach the inside of your home.

The benefits of backwater valves

It does not matter how organized you are in your home, the foul smells from clogged pipes can ruin the ambiance of your home. It may not always be possible to prevent overland flooding, but the installation of backwater valves can help reduce the sewage related problems if you live in a low-lying area.

A sewage backwater valve is a fixture installed on a sewer line or drain line in the building foundation of your basement or home in order to prevent sewer backflows. There are a number of different backwater valves, each of which may differ in the tightness of their seals, ease of operation, and complexity.

The flap or check valves are simpler to use. These allow the sewage to flow out of the home and will close immediately after, thus preventing the backflow of the sewage. Comparatively, gate valves are more complex, but also require you to operate them when the flooding is occurring. Gate valves supply a tighter seal than flap valves.

How Much Does a Backwater Valve Installation Cost?

Many factors can affect the cost of a backwater valve installation.  If you have a small home it may be just a few hundred dollars to have your backflow valve installed.  A larger building that requires more valves will, of course, have a higher cost. Backwater valve maintenance which requires a professional plumber to inspect the installation every few years is also something you need to keep in mind as part of the expense.  That said, it’s more than worth it to have a backwater valve installed for all the damage and inconvenience it can prevent. The City of Toronto offers a substantial rebate program for homeowners getting a backwater valve installed.  We have extensive experience in dealing with these rebates and can assist you in filing your claim. Additionally, it’s worth remembering how much money you stand to save by having a valve installed then next time you need it.  The cost of installing a valve today is far more affordable than the cost of repairing flood damage down the road.

Backwater Valve Installation Rebate

The City of Toronto actually requires you to have a backwater valve. In order to facilitate the installation and to make sure that they are working properly the City of Toronto administered a special subsidy called New Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program.

With this subsidy, you can get up to 80% of the invoiced cost (up to a maximum of $1,250) including eligible labour, materials, permit, and taxes. However, only a city-licensed plumber can do the work in order to be eligible for the refund. If you try to install the valve yourself and it results in damages the city can’t be held liable. That’s why you should always call a licensed plumber to get the job done right the first time.

Drain and backwater valve

Dr. Pipe Drain and Plumbing are licensed by the City of Toronto and all of our work is eligible for this subsidy.

What You Can Expect Choosing Us for the Installation

Our team of qualified and licensed plumbers will help you in your backwater valve issues quickly and professionally. You can expect every aspect of our work to be done right including:

  • We can help you claim your City of Toronto flood prevention rebate;
  • A proven history of backwater valve installations in Toronto;
  • Fully documented installation process to help expedite your City of Toronto flood prevention rebate claim;
  • Honest and fair pricing up front;
  • A team of fully bonded and insured professionals;
  • Thorough testing after work is complete to make sure everything functions properly;
  • Trade license verified and fully up to date certification;
  • A clean house after our work is finished.

How to Choose the Right Plumber for the Job

If your home is prone to basement floods and sewage backups, you need to install a backwater valve. It’s definitely not a DIY job so you need to call in professional plumbers to handle the task. Here are some tips on how to choose the right plumber for the task.

1. Check If They’ve Done a Backwater Valve Installation Before

Backwater Valve Installation

As mentioned before, this installation process is quite intricate and requires some experience. The plumbers need to determine the right location for the pipe, dig a trench and expose about 4 to 5 feet of sewer pipe, grade the soil around the pipe to ensure it has the right amount of slope before they install the valve. They also need to be careful when they refill the trench in order to ensure the valve body isn’t damaged by soil pressure or concrete. This requires skill and knowledge of the process so don’t hesitate to ask your plumber if they’ve done backwater valve installation in the past before you hire them.

2. Consider the Quote Carefully

Most municipalities offer subsidies for backwater valve installation so you won’t have to spend too much money on the project. Before you hire a plumber, make sure they’ve taken these subsidies into account. You should check with you municipalities to see if they offer the subsidy and how you can claim them.

3. Licenses

Backwater valve installation must be performed by a licensed professional so before you hire a plumber, check their licenses and certifications. You should hire a plumber who has any of the licenses mentioned below:

  • ENG license
  • Master Plumbing License
  • Plumbing License
  • WSIB

We treat your home the way we expect workers to treat our homes.  That means coordinating with you from the moment you call for a quote all the way through the final work we perform.  Our team will cover and clean everything in their work area so you don’t have the added stress of a mess to tidy up, and we’ll finish as quickly and efficiently as possible. Our work speaks for itself. Check out the testimonials from past customers we’ve worked with and then call us for a no-obligation quote.

Give us a call today: 416 663 4777 for a free upfront estimate!