Back Water Valves

If your home or office building is on the top of a sewer system (cul du sac, in the middle of a block at the crest of a hill or in an industrial park) the sewer may be prone to backups. If you are down stream of the backup, your situation does not change. However, if you are upstream of the backup, you may have the misfortune of having all buildings upstream of your building or house discharging sewage to your property.

Anchor Sewer & Drain Cleaning

A Back Water Valve is basically a check valve installed on the residential sewer line. It allows sewage to flow out of the building but does not allow sewage backups from downstream of the back water valve to flow upstream into homes or places of business. When municipal sewer backups occur, the sewage continues to flow from upstream the blockage. However, the sewage cannot flow downstream in the direction it would normally flow if there is a blockage. Therefore, the house or come up through basement floor drains.

The sketch above will be helpful for you to remember. This is a back water valve. It opens from the top and should remain serviceable when installed. If the plumbing does not flow out of the house. Do not open the back water valve unless you are absolutely certain there is not a blockage in the sewer system, downstream of this valve. The result could be that you will flood your home with sewage from your neighborhood. And the flood will not stop until the blockage is free and sewage is able to traverse the municipal sewer system again.

The back water valve has a flapper, check ball or a floatable gate inside. When water rises to the backwater valve, it either rest against a flapper with a rubber seal, causes the buoyance of a plastic ball or a gate to rise to the back side of the upper chamber in the back water valve. This action does not let go until the sewage has subsided from the downstream side of the upper chamber.

Anchor Sewer & Drain Cleaning

This diagram demonstrates the effectiveness of back water valves on the first two homes and how the backup will affect the homes next upstream of the blockage.

When the back water valve is in place, the sewage cannot pass beyond the back water valve and your home is safe from sewage. However, if sewage is not coming up, keep in mind, no sewage will get out, either. In fact, one of the signals your sewer is backing up outside your home is usually the result of having water and sewage from your home, not being able to get out and the pipe becomes full with sewage. On the bright side, you have the ability to stop using water and clean up the mess, without sewage continuing to pour into your home. The next step is to find where the problem is and call a plumber (if the problem is on your property) or the city if the problem is theirs to rid.

Reviews

Anchor Sewer & Drain Cleaning
Google Review

Michael Fitzgerald

“Outstanding experience! James and his assistant arrived exactly at the time he said they would. They were both very respectful and courteous to myself and my property, and even coordinated with the city’s sewer department... ” Read More

Anchor Sewer & Drain Cleaning
Yelp Review

Jon B

James is the man. We needed someone on a Saturday night to figure out why our kitchen sink wasn’t draining and why our disposal wasn’t working . We needed it fixed by 10am the next day as we had a bunch of friends coming over. James came over immediately, diagnosed the issue and then agreed to come... Read More

Anchor Sewer & Drain Cleaning
Facebook Review

Peter Sheehan

“The service I received from Anchor and James was nothing short of amazing. They fixed my problem and provided the best customer service I have ever seen, also kept me informed throughout the whole process. I would recommend this company to anyone and definitely use them again...” Read More

Anchor Sewer & Drain Cleaning
Yellow Pages Review

Manny C.

“Amazing Customer Service! Yesterday, I was reminded that there are still some really wonderful people in this world. First thing in the morning, I realized that our home’s drainage system was backed up and there was raw sewage in our downstairs tub and toilet and it would not drain....” Read More