A backwater valve is designed to prevent the reverse flow of water or other liquids in a plumbing system. Backflow or backwater valves are typically used in situations where the pressure in the main water supply is lower than the pressure in the plumbing system. This can happen, for example, when there is a break in the main water supply or when a pump fails.
The backwater valve is installed in the plumbing system and will only allow water to flow in one direction. This is to prevent contaminated water from flowing back into the main water supply and potentially causing health hazards. Backwater valves are commonly used in irrigation systems, fire protection systems, and commercial and industrial plumbing systems.
Whether or not you need a backwater valve depends on the type of plumbing system you have and the potential hazards that may be present. Backflow valves are typically required in situations where there is a risk of contamination, such as in irrigation systems, fire protection systems, and commercial and industrial plumbing systems.
If you have a residential plumbing system and you're connected to a public water supply, it's unlikely that you'll need a backwater valve. However, if you have a private well or a cistern, or if your home is on a septic system, you may be required to have a backwater valve to prevent contamination of the potable water supply.
It's always best to check with your local building code officials or plumber to determine if a backwater valve is required in your area, or if you have doubts about the safety of your water supply.
Backwater valves are designed to prevent contamination of potable water supplies by preventing water from flowing in the wrong direction. However, there are several problems that can occur with backwater valves:
- Clogging: backwater valves can become clogged with debris, which can prevent them from functioning properly. This can occur if the valve is located in an area with high sediment content or if the valve is not cleaned and maintained on a regular basis.
- Freezing: backwater valves can freeze in cold temperatures, which can cause the valve to malfunction or become damaged. This can be a problem in areas with harsh winters.
- Leakage: backwater valves can develop leaks, which can allow water to flow in the wrong direction. This can occur if the valve is not properly installed or if the valve is damaged.
- Mechanical failure: backwater valves can fail due to mechanical issues such as worn-out parts or corrosion. This can cause the valve to malfunction and fail to prevent backwater.
- Inadequate pressure: backwater valves require a certain amount of pressure to operate properly, if the pressure is inadequate, the valve may not function properly.
Regular inspection and maintenance can help to prevent these problems. It's recommended to have your backwater valve tested annually by a licensed professional, to ensure that it's functioning properly and to make any necessary repairs or adjustments.
The City of Toronto Backwater Valve Rebate
Installing a backwater valve is a smart investment in the City of Toronto for new single, semi-detached, row houses, and townhomes to prevent basement flooding. Some insurance companies may require proof of a backwater valve for coverage.
The City of Toronto offers a rebate program to assist with the cost of installing protective plumbing devices such as backwater valves, sump pumps, and storm prevention tools.
The rebate program covers the cost of installation, replacement of existing valves, and installation of alarm systems, with a maximum rebate of 80% of the invoiced cost, up to $1,250.
Installation of backwater valves is a complex task that requires a professional, licensed plumber from Hoerner to do a sewer inspection with a camera, acquire necessary permits, and install the valve according to city codes.
Contacting a professional, licensed plumber such as Hoerner Heating & Plumbing is necessary to ensure proper installation and maintenance of the backwater valve.