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‚ÄčThe drainage system inside your house channels wastewater from your sinks, laundry, shower and toilet through pipes that connect to a main sanitary sewer pipe under your basement floor. This pipe leads to the property line where it connects with the EPCOR main line.

A backwater valve is placed on the main sanitary sewer pipe in your home to prevent sewage from flowing back into your home and flooding your basement in a severe storm event. It does this by automatically closing its flap.

A backwater valve is an important tool for protecting your home, but it does require maintenance to ensure it remains effective.

For successful backwater valve maintenance you must first complete a visual inspection of the entire valve area to determine if there is any debris.

To do this you will need to remove the cleanout plug from the top of the valve.

  • Using a flashlight, inspect the area above and under the valve gate carefully. Most of the time, the malfunctioning of the valve is the result of things stuck around the gate hindering its free movement.
  • Wear a pair of rubber gloves and clean the area thoroughly; in some cases, a fast jet of water can help you in cleaning the gate area of the valve.
  • Once the gate is thoroughly cleaned, move the gate back and forth to see if it is moving without a problem; oil it a little if you observe any rust etc. around the screws.
  • You should also check the O-ring of the backwater valve. If the O-ring is not in a good condition, replace it.