Protect Yourself From Sewage Flooding
One of the worst scenarios for a water damage is a flooded basement, but one of the worst ways that a basement can flood is through sewer lines. This happens when heavy rains or any other form of excessive water overwhelms a sewage system, and rather than flowing safely away from homes, the sewer, over its own capacity, starts forcing water out any way it can, including back out into homes.
When this happens, not only does a home suffer from water damage of flooding, but there’s a severe health risk from raw sewage coming into the basement. There is, however, a device that can prevent this kind of flooding from occurring, and it’s called a backwater valve.
Backwater valves are installed directly into the pipe that connects your home to the sewer line. It’s essentially a “control box” that, during the normal course of household activity, does nothing, allowing the sewage from your own home to flow out naturally into the sewer line. However, in the event of a flood that hits the sewers hard and leaves them unable to cope, that’s when the valve springs into action.
The valve operates on a simple principle of keeping a “lid” of sorts lying in a neutral, open position when water is flowing away from your home. When the flow reverses, however, that change in water direction affects the open lid, pushing it until it rises up and blocks the sewage pipeline entirely, preventing any water from flowing “back” into your home. The lid will remain shut until the flooding subsides and water pressure from your own home is greater than the pressure from the sewer lines. When that happens, the valve resumes its neutral stance and your own home’s water will once again push the lid back down.
Of course, this also means that should a backwater valve be activated, not only is water not going into your home, any sewage generated within the home is not leaving either. So when the valve is activated, you should not be using the toilet, shower, sinks or tub. Most valves installed will also have a hatch built over them for easy access so you can look in to check on the state of your valve.
A backwater valve is an excellent, simple defense against sewage flooding, but it’s not the sort of device that can be bought at a hardware store and then easily installed by yourself. Placement of the backwater valve depends on the location of the sewage line in your home, and may require breaking through concrete in the basement to access it.
If you’re interested in a backwater valve installed in your home, always consult with an expert like AA Action Waterproofing to find out where and how to best go about this.