Backwater Valves

Backwater valves can prevent house floods, including flash floods.
Flooding in the GTA is currently a major problem and many homeowners are experiencing floods that can cost thousands of dollars just for repair. This frequency in flooding will only rise with the increase of global warming. One of the common causes of flooding is caused when water backs up into your home. But what causes water to back up? When the city’s sewer lines fill up with water (commonly after a rainstorm or snowstorm), the water has no choice but to go back to your home. But do not worry, as there is a solution to counter water backup. This solution is called a backwater valve.

What is a Backwater Valve?

A backwater valve is a device that prevents water from backing up into your home during heavy weather conditions based on rainfall or snowfall. Backwater valves can stop floods from occurring in your home. The device works by using a flap to direct water away from your sinks, toilets and other appliances out of your home. The flap closes when a back-flow of water occurs and this prevents the water from re-entering your home. The wastewater is transported away from your home as a result.The valve will also come with a transparent cover so that it can be easily checked on and adjusted when needed. The valve also uses flotation devices to allow it to open and close when your home is experiencing water backup. Once the main sewer line is no longer filled with wastewater, the valve opens up and encourages regular water flow.
The backwater valve is most commonly installed inside of the basement, beside the main sewer lateral’s exit point. It is rarely installed outside of a home and a sturdier pipe is required for this installation. The valve works with many home appliances including sinks and toilets to redirect water when it is experiencing backup.

Aqueduct Plumbing provides backwater valve installation services.

How are backwater valves installed?

Before installation, you will need a couple of things. You will likely need a city permit and a final inspection by a city appointed inspector. Our team at Aqueduct Plumbing will point out this out before we conduct any repairs, and we will be able to book city inspections at your satisfaction. Before conducting the installation, you will also need to:
  • Research if you need any other municipal permits for valve installation
  • Check if that your drain and downspouts connect to weeping tiles and the sanctuary sewer near your home, if they are then they will need to be disconnected
  • Avoid trying to install the backwater valve by yourself (if you are not a professional), as it could lead to property damages 
  • Disconnect and drain away any eavestroughs that may be connected to your sewer system
Once you fulfill all of these requirements, we will be able to provide backwater valve installation for your home. When installing the valve, we will connect it directly to your basement’s sewer line so that it can stop water from backing up once the main sewer line is full of wastewater. Our team will then dig into your main sewer line from your main floor drain, before cutting a piece of the sewer line off and inserting the valve into it.  The backwater valve will then be ready for use. It should also be noted that:
  • The installation process will take approx. one day
  • The valve can be installed either on the inside or outside of the foundation wall
By installing a backwater valve, it will act as a guard for your home. When a flash flood occurs, the backwater valve is one of the only devices that can completely protect your home from flooding.

Checking on your backwater valve:

Following a rainfall or snowfall, your backwater valve should be checked for debris. By checking on your valve after storms, it will allow you to maintain the condition and performance of your backwater valve. We recommend that you check-up on your backwater valve every 2-3 months. Here are the steps that you can take when checking up on your backwater valve:
  1. Remove the cleanout plug and take a close look at the valve.
  2. Check to see if there is any debris in the valve, using a flashlight.
  3. Clean out your valve by using a scrubber and other cleaning supplies.
  4. Replace your o-ring if it appears to have worn out.
  5. Check if your valve’s gate is functioning properly.
  6. Once you are done, you can reattach the cleanout plug.
By following these steps, your backwater valve will remain in stable working condition.

Toronto Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program

The City of Toronto has created a subsidy program that can provide you with funding for the installation of flooding protection devices. The subsidies that include the installation of backwater valves provide the following benefits:
  • Installation of Backwater Valves: provides up to $1250 in subsidies and 80% of invoiced costs
  • Installation of Backwater Valves and Sump Pump: provides up to $2800 in subsidies and 80% of invoiced costs

Want to install a backwater valve for your home?

If installed properly, the valve will be able to stop water before it gets to the drain of your building. To ensure that the valve is properly working, it should be checked on every 2-3 months. However, you can rely on Aqueduct Plumbing for backwater valve installation and check-up services. We provide 24/7 plumbing services and have provided over 10 years of plumbing services for our clients all around the GTA. That is why our team at Aqueduct Plumbing is happy to provide installation and check up services for your backwater valves.