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If you stay in flood-prone or low lying areas, sewer backwater valves are a necessity for you. To ensure a flood-proof basement and prevent any kind of sewer problems, it is very important for you to know your location with respect to the sanitary water system, which serves your building or apartment. Sewer backwater valves can become the difference between staying high and dry and having your basement flooded knee-deep with raw sewage.

Understanding the benefits of backwater valves

No matter how well organized your home is, clogged pipes, giving out foul smell can ruin your home ambience. Unplanned lying of sewage main lines can lead to sewage problems. Flooding too can cause sewage problems. Overland flooding can’t always be prevented; however, if you stay in a low-lying area, you can lower the sewage related problems considerably by installing backwater valves. A sewage backwater valve is a fixture installed on a drain line or a sewer line in the basement of your building foundation or your home to prevent sewer backflows.

Sewer backwater valves differ in their complexity, ease of operation and tightness of their seals. For instance, check or flap valves are usually simpler; they allow the sewerage to flow out of the house and then close automatically to prevent the backflow of the waste matter. On the other hand, gate valves are comparatively more complex and require you to operate them at the time of crisis. In comparison to flap valves, gate valves supply a tighter seal.

When installing sewer backwater valves, it’s important for you to note the points given below:

  • Some valves efficiently incorporate the benefits of both flap and gate valves into a single design. Contractors and plumbers can offer you advice concerning the relative benefits and disadvantages of different types of sewer backwater valves.
  • Don’t forget to check your local codes and ordinances with concerning backflow valves.
  • It is recommended that you seek the services of only licensed contractors or plumbers when making any kind of change to home plumbing. Licensed plumbers and contractors will ensure that the work is done efficiently, correctly and as per all the applicable codes.
  • It’s recommended that you install the backwater valves on all pipes that are connected to the equipment located below the potential flood level. Thus, you can install the valves on laundry sinks, rain downspouts, washing machine drain lines, sump pumps, fuel oil lines and septic/ sewer connections.


To determine whether you need to install backwater valves, you can contact your builder or an experienced plumber. It’s always a wise idea to have backwater valves installed in your home, as sewer problems can lead to a significant amount of damage and require you to clean up the mess. As per the laws, municipalities and towns can’t be held liable for damages caused due to sewer problems; it’s the responsibility of the property owner to install backwater valves.

Now that you know the benefits of sewer backwater valves, it is important that you install them at the earliest to avoid sewer problems.

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