Backflow Preventer and Check Valve Installation for House Sewer Line
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What Are Sewer Backflow Preventer and Check Valves?
A sewer backflow valve prevents the reverse flow from a municipal drainage system or city sewer from emerging into your home. A check valve is one type of preventer but it may not be the most effective type. It all depends on your situation and the unique application.
Backflow preventers are a crucial part of your home’s plumbing and sewer system. They help to maintain a sanitary environment by making sure your plumbing doesn’t contain contaminated water. With a properly functioning backflow valve, you will also avoid expensive repair from potential damages – some of which can occur due to problems in the sewer lines of your municipality or even a neighbor.
What Causes Sewer Backflow?
Wastewater flows in the direction of the slope of the pipe. Here’s how backflow can be caused:
In commercial or residential properties, blockages are often caused by grease, hair, physical obstructions, toilet paper, feminine products, napkins, etc. A blockage can also occur due to plumbing system deterioration, tree root penetration, or a collapsed line.
In your neighborhood, insufficient sewer line capacity due to any residential growth can contribute to backflow problems.
Heavy Rain or Snow Melt
When snow melt or heavy rain occurs, your sewage system may become backed up. One major cause of this is because the public sewer system becomes heavily taxed by the excessive flow and volume of water.
Why Do I Need a Backflow Preventer?
Since it originates from a public sewer, backflow contains wastewater from various unsanitary sources. It can damage your property and create severe (even life-threatening) health hazards. While you may have no control over the city sewer, you can safely prevent backflow from happening in your home by utilizing the proper sewer valve within your plumbing system.
Types of Backflow Valve Devices
Sewer Check Valve
A check valve is typically the least expensive option and also the most common. It does not offer 100% prevention of backwater, so it’s only ideal for short-term backups that last less than a day. When the backflow recedes, the valve will automatically allow the wastewater from your property to escape and run out to the public sewer.
Automatic Flood Gate Valve
This is the most sophisticated type of backflow preventer. An automatic flood gate valve and offers a 100% effectiveness in stopping wastewater and the damage associated with it. This type of valve operates by using an air pressure activation design.
Manual Sewer Gate Valve
This valve must be opened and closed manually. You must anticipate when a backwater condition will happen and then determine when it has receded. The chances of misuse with this device can cause damage, so it’s only intended to be used for very particular situations.
Air Gap Backflow Preventer
An air gap is a vertical space between the device that connects to a plumbing system. There are no moving parts in an air gap, except for flowing water. Plumbing codes may specify a minimum air gap distance for specific types of fixtures.
Specialized Backflow Preventer
Specialized backflow preventers are commonly installed close to a residential water meter and only when there is no sufficient vertical space to add an air-gap valve.
Backflow Preventer Valve Installation
A backflow preventer should only be installed by licensed plumbers. If they are improperly installed, they will fail to function the warranty will be void. Certain installations, such as an automatic flood gate valves require careful consideration and planning that should never be attempted by anyone who is not licensed and experienced.
Backflow Preventer Installation
These valves have several moving parts and need to be tested for efficiency so that the your home and the health of your family is not at risk. Certain valve models also require specialized tools that can only be obtained and used by a professional plumber.
Wastewater carries tons of risks. Once this filth enters your home it will require a professional cleaning and disinfection service to properly sanitize your water system, and the cost of a proper cleanup is much higher than the cost of a sewer valve installation.
Do you need a backflow preventer installation or repair? Not sure if your home has one or which one you should get? Call the experts at Alpine Plumbing and Rooter today and our professional plumbers will help advice you on a plan that fits your needs and budget.