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Backwater Valve Installation

The backwater valve installation should be done underneath the floor of your basement, close to where the main sanitary sewer in your home. What happens when raw sewage starts to gurgle or bubble up through the floor drains in your basement? Have you ever considered what you should be doing to protect your property from these hazards of flood? As a homeowner, you probably take great pride in the maintenance to keep your home safe from uncertain consequences. However, most of the homeowners don’t consider repairing their plumbing system until the flood or wastewater comes back up the floor and as a result it causes damage to the home. It not only ruins your home but it can cause major health problems too. Fortunately, you can help prevent this issue by installing a backwater valve.  backwater valve installation is an extra component that is giving you the peace of mind in knowing that your home is protected and water damage repair is done. Wastewater treatment is a must.

backwater valve
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What is a Backwater valve ?

A backwater valve is simply a device that is installed on the sewer or waste pipe that prevents sewage or waste water from flowing back into the building. The valve acts as a physical barrier installed in a building drainage pipe that allows the sewage to flow in one direction, but prevents the backflow from plumbing fixtures such as toilet floors, shower sinks, bathtub and drains.

Why Backwater Valve Installation is important?

All of the plumbing waste in your house will come together at a main sewer pipe and exist through your foundation into the municipal sewer system. When a heavy rainfall occurs, rain water can enter the city’s sanitary in a number of ways, including direct sewer connections, through manhole covers etc. This rainfall can cause the sewer to surcharge and back up into homes, resulting in basement flooding. When drainage is not following the rules, you are going to need a backwater valve.

rough in work for drain line

Backwater valve installation under the basement in residental property

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How does a backwater valve installation help to prevent flooding?

All backwater valves work with a combination of correct installation and regular inspection and maintenance. Without the proper installation and maintenance, a backwater valve will not work properly. Just like an exterior door, backwater valves are projected to provide protection in the form of physical blockade. Generally, the valve allows sewage and wastewater to leave the home undisturbed, but when sewage begins to flow back into the home, the valve is notified and it activates stopping sewage from flowing back into the home. This would even stop the use of plumbing fixtures inside the building like toilets, sinks etc because the valve is closed. When the blockage is discharged, then the plumbing fixtures can be used as normal.

How Does Backwater Valve Work?

Water and sewage can flow out of your home through the sewer system. If the main sewer system becomes overloaded, a backwater valve will prevent water or sewage from entering your home. In most cases, you may see through the clear cover on the backwater valve access box to determine if it’s working properly.

who backwater valves prevent from flooding
Backwater Valve Working Process

A little flap inside the valve is generally open, allowing water to depart your property. It also enables for the venting of any sewer gases. Each side of the flap has a little floating device. These floaters cause the flap to raise up and close whenever water or sewage starts to flow back into the house, keeping anything from entering your home.

When the water stops flowing back towards the home, gravity will allow the flap to open again, allowing water and sewage to flow out of the house once more.

A plumbing permit from your town is required if this backwater valve is being installed in an existing home rather than being installed during the initial building. A certified and qualified plumber will need to cut a hole in the concrete floor near the floor drain. They’ll dig down to the main sewer line, cut out a section, and install the new valve in its place. The top of these valves is usually clear so you can see if they’re working properly. A cover that can be removed for cleaning is included.

Sewage might enter the basement through a floor drain, sinks, tubs, and toilets if a backwater valve is not correctly located and fitted.

Find out if any local permits are required, as well as what kind of equipment they recommend, by contacting your municipal authority.

Make sure your drains and downspouts aren’t connected to the sanitary sewer or weeping tiles. In most situations, disconnecting the foundation drain will necessitate the installation of a sump pit and pump in your property. For information on how to correctly disconnect downspouts and foundation drains, consult a plumber and your local government authority.

Employ the services of a qualified plumber. They will be able to install the backwater valve as well as get any required building permits.

If you have a correctly installed and positioned backwater valve, you should have few difficulties as long as you maintain it properly. Things can become trapped in the valve, preventing it from closing, or sharp objects can harm the valve. Regular maintenance can identify these flaws before they become a major issue.

Backwater valve internal view

Backwater valves are typically easy to open, and you should be able to see if water is flowing smoothly or if anything is blocked thanks to the glass top. There are a plethora of instructional videos available to assist you “do it yourself,” or you may hire a professional if the idea of inserting your hand in a sewage pipe does not appeal to you.

Steps to install a backwater valve

  • Determine the best backwater valve for your needs
    Depending upon where you live local plumbing codes may require to install the backwater valve. Similarly,it is crucial to check for the valve that is ideal based on the recommendation of your local plumber and city municipality. Selecting a high-quality backwater valve plays a vital role in protecting your home against costly plumbing issues. These devices prevent the sewage backflow in your home and reduce many of the associated risks.
  • Apply for Building permit
    Plumbing permits are required from your municipal government before installing a backwater valve. You can also check a list of approved plumbing specialists from your municipalities in Toronto to get your backwater valve installed. Otherwise call Everest Drain & Plumbing, the best local plumbing specialist in Toronto. 
  • Setup and Installation
    After you get a permit, the drain specialist will make necessary arrangements to install the valve. While installing a backwater valve, foundation drains should not be connected to the sewer line. The use of a sump pit and pump can allow you to disconnect drains and downspouts before backwater valve installation.
  • Inspection/Checking
    When eavestroughs are disconnected from the sewer system, make sure they should be drained onto your property but not directly towards your neighbour’s property. Take a moment now to call a professional plumber to check or inspect if the backwater valve is working or not.

    Like other parts of your home, backwater valves require periodic maintenance to ensure it is functioning properly. For this you need the help of a qualified plumber and carry out the needed maintenance of the valve. Also if you suspect any fault and unsure about backwater valve maintenance, make a call to
    Everest Drain & Plumbing. We will be able to help you sort out any issues fast.

Backwater Valve Installation Reimbursement (Flood Protection Subsidy Program)

The Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program is designed to assist residents in preventing flooding in their basements. To help, the city offers a financial subsidy of up to $3,400 per property to homeowners who install flood prevention systems such as a backwater valve installation, a sump pump, and pipe severance and sealing of the home’s sewer pipe or external drain. If you install a backwater valve we will give you money back as a basement flooding protection subsidy program. To help homeowners, there is a Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program (BFP). The BFP is a financial assistance program that helps homeowners disconnect downspouts, execute investigative camera work, and install a sump pump and/or back-water valve by providing a financial subsidy (flood protection
devices). This initiative aims to prevent or eliminate the harm caused by sanitary sewer = backwater (back-up). The program is for homes in identified sanitary sewer issue areas or places that are prone to sanitary sewer surcharge conditions that cause flooding damage.

Need a qualified backwater installer around Toronto?

Choose Everest Drain & Plumbing as your trusted specialist  of Greater Toronto Area for all your backwater valve installation needs. Call us today on (416) 383-7378.


  • Backwater Valve Installation
  • Backflow Preventation

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Backwater Valve FAQs

  • 1. How do I know if a backwater valve is installed in my home?

    Your local plumber who is familiar with your facility, they can check if you have one. But you can also check yourself by looking in your lawn or yard for the riser poking out of the ground. They usually have a green or white flapper and are about 8 inches.

  • 2. What is the life expectancy?

    The backwater valve lasts many years if the periodic inspection and proper maintenance is done. Likewise, keeping your system free of unnecessary materials will also help to extend the life expectancy.

  • 3. Where should we install a Backwater Valve?

    The backwater valve should be installed under the floor of your basement, attached to the main sewer line where it leaves your house. Depending upon where the city sewer lines are located, it can sometimes be located in your back or front yard.

  • 4. Will the City municipal perform the work?

    No, the city municipal doesn’t offer installation services.

  • 5. Does every home need a backwater valve?

    A backwater valve is the last line of defense from not letting wastewater enter your home if your sewers are backing up. So it is important to discuss your plans with professional plumbers for installing a backwater valve.

  • 6. How long does installation take?

    It depends on each case. It probably takes more than one visit since inspection of your pipes are needed before installing a valve.

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