The Crucial Role Of A Backwater Valve

The Crucial Role Of A Backwater Valve

What is a backwater valve and why should you care?

If you live in a home with a basement, you definitely want to understand the crucial role of a backwater valve. We’ll paint a little story for you and then share some technical information that will help you determine what you may need.

Imagine waking up to find your basement that you remodeled so your teen or possibly renter could have their own living space, appears to be flooded. But wait, the water looks dirty and stinks horribly. Then it hits you, this is not a flood, this is not a foundation leak issue, this is a sewage backup. This nightmare is all too familiar in older homes and neighborhoods. In areas such as Seattle, Kent, Renton, Puyallup, and Tacoma, there’s a lot of historic homes that are running into this issue. Trust us, it’s not something you ever want to deal with. 

Preventing Basement Flooding and its Costly Consequences

The importance of a backwater valve cannot be overstated. It’s a simple, and yet critical device that prevents sewage from backing up into your basement. Another way to think about when this is relevant is, any part of your home that is below street level where your plumbing runs to the city’s main. Washington State Department of Health regulations can be found here.

What is it? It’s a mechanical device installed to cut off access in the event of heavy rainfall, flooding, blockages or sewer system overloads or backups. It has a flap (often called a gate) that allows water to flow out of the home and into the sewer line. But, when water attempts to flow back into the house for a myriad of reasons, it immediately closes and seals off access to the house, acting as a dam of sorts. It has a secure seal that prevents sewage from entering the basement. 

Here’s a few headaches you’ll be avoiding by getting this device installed.

  • Gross basement flood that will likely destroy anything it comes in contact with.
  • The loss of income if you use it as a rental.
  • Exhausting insurance claim process – and increased premiums. 
  • Potential structural damage to your home and/or internal systems.
  • Disrupting construction that could last weeks or even months.
  • Health issues related to being exposed to matter that should not outside of a toilet.
  • Mold and mildew issues, if not handled properly. 
  • Emotion and mental turmoil. 

In case you are wondering, yes… we can help with this. Our team is standing by to help you with this and any other plumbing need you may have. Whether it be an emergency or a preventive improvement, we can take care of you. Just give us a call at: (206) 785-1404 or reach out on our site. We look forward to hearing from you.

Call Us at 206-785-1404

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