If you live in an area where flooding is more common, you may experience a situation where sewage in the sewer lines backs up through drain pipes and into your home because of flooding.
Needless to say, this can result in major damage, as well as causing a health hazard.
One way to protect your home from this kind of backup is with a backflow valve. These valves are constructed so that they prevent sewage from backing up into the home. There are different types of valves, some more complicated than others.
For example, one type with a more complex design is called a gate valve. It works well to seal off the sewage from backing up, but you need to operate it manually. So, how well the valve works will depend on how much warning you have of an impending flood so that you can rush to operate it.
More simple types of valves are called flap or check valves. They open to allow sewage to flow out, but then close to prevent the sewage from flowing in the reverse direction. They operate automatically, but they do not work quite as well as the gate valve to prevent the sewage backflow.
And, there are even valves that are a combination of the gate and flap valves.
As mentioned, these valves can prevent a good deal of damage to your home, as well as the prospect of cleaning up the sewage, which can be a hazardous and costly undertaking, as well as presenting a big health hazard.
However, if you are considering installing a check valve, there are several things you should know.
- A licensed, professional plumber should install these valves so that the installation is done properly and meets applicable codes.
- As mentioned above, there are different types of check valves, so you need to consult with your plumber as to which would work best in your particular situation. The plumber can spell out the advantages and disadvantages for each type of valve.
- The valve must be installed on the main waste drain pipes that exit your home as well as those that are connected to any appliances located below the possible flood level. This means, for example, they may need to be installed to laundry sinks, your washing machine drain line, sump pumps, etc. These connections need to be made in addition to sewer connections.
The cost to install a combination gate/flap valve will be around $1,400, while the cost to install a flap valve will run about $600. This includes the costs for excavation and backfilling.