By Home master

Some Problems with Backwater Valves

A lot of homeowners might not really understand how backwater valves work. However, it could be the best solution for homes with high annual precipitation, harsh winters, or those that experience upstream flow or flooding. Sewage lines that back up into homes are some of the toughest plumbing problems that you could ever face. Water and waste that could come right back into your property and even your fixtures are such a chore to deal with, and you might be hard pressed to find an answer for this.

Most localities recommend the installation of backwater valves for these problems. They keep the waste in until it finds a line that can carry it out, and can also take care of water that comes into your property by transporting it away from your home through the lines inside the valve. However, some backwater valves might not be as capable or powerful as you imagined. It can be a source of some other sanitary or plumbing problems if you make a mistake with your choices, or if you expected something else from it. Read about some issues you might encounter with backwater valves, and what measures you can take or things you can do to improve it.

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Swing check valves
By HS [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Check Valve Reverse Flow

The backwater valve aims to correct the flow of water outside of your home by carrying the water that has found its way inside, out into the main sewage lines. This equipment is meant to do that job, and when it fails to carry it out, you could face serious flooding and water damage problems.

Check valves that can end up having a reverse flow, this usually happens in the discharge of the pump, when the pump spins the wrong way. The reason behind reverse flow could be because you picked a backwater valve that is incapable of responding appropriately to the volume of water that enters the pump, and the valve is not able to open up immediately to carry the water in. You might consider replacing the parts for this purpose, but it is more advisable to just replace the entire check valve mechanism. A faster-closing valve is your best option, and it can carry out water more efficiently and prevent reverse flow from happening and allowing water to enter your home again.

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Sticking and Worn Parts

Your backwater valve could have a problem with the entry door that is a disc connected to the valve body. This can be caused by damage from the seat of the valve or could be because of solid waste and trash lodged in the valve, which can also cause leakage. You can clean up the lift of the valve to prevent it from sticking, and you can try sealing the cause of the leak with an elastomer to prevent waste and water from seeping through the valve.

If you notice that your backwater valve is missing parts, it could be because not enough water is keeping it near the stop, which could cause the dislodging of some of its internal parts that could eventually be carried away by a sudden influx of water into the valve. For this, you can choose to replace your backwater valve with a lower horsepower, which can better prevent the movement of its parts so that it will not run out of your valve when the water is discharged.