At some point in time, many of us may have had the (rather unfortunate) opportunity to get a whiff of sewage odor and we all know IT’S HORRIBLE! Now that’s a smell you definitely don’t want looking around or in your house or business. That’s where a backwater valve becomes so important. It’s a plumbing device which serves to stop sewage from backing up into a home or business building, although many other things naturally prevent sewage backups, including their design or location.


A backwater valve can offer great advantages to homes with plumbing system limitations or with plumbing systems which are locate deep down beneath streets. With a backwater valve, sewage waste from the public sewage system will not enter the home via plumbing fixtures and drains. Most backwater valves are optional though, but some building codes make backwater valve installation mandatory for new construction.


Usually, the valve lets sewage and waste leave the home undisturbed, but when sewage begins to flow back into the home, the valve is alerted and it activates, stopping sewage from flowing back into the home. This would then stop the use of plumbing fixtures inside the building (sinks, toilets, etc.), because the valve is closed. When the blockage is cleared, then the plumbing fixtures will be able to be used as normal.


There are 3 basic designs you can choose from – check valve, gate valves and combination backwater valves. Check valves are the least expensive of the three devices. They have a flap or a simple ball which closes and blocks out sewage material automatically when it tries to re-enter the building. Unfortunately, they seem to fail and require maintenance a lot more than the others. Gate valves on the other hand are more expensive than check valves, but they are more dependable. They need manual interaction, in which someone can close and open sewer lines after a blockage. Finally, combination backwater valves, which are the most costly of the three, are also the most reliable. They have an air-filled chamber and a gate. When the gate senses a backup, it shuts off the sewer line automatically. Once the blockage is cleared, the valve opens again and throughout all this, it sends off an alarm to let the persons in the building know if the valve is open or not.


Yes, it’s pretty helpful. If you don’t have one installed, you should get it done today. A backed up sewer isn’t a plumbing problem to play around with. It can cause health problems, property damage, it can cost you lots of money and it can be very inconvenient for your daily activities. Contact the professionals if you have plumbing problems like these and more. We’ve got experienced and affordable plumbers in Ottawa. With just one call, we can help you solve your plumbing needs and offer you emergency plumbing services!