There are many parts that make up your home’s plumbing system, but today we are going to focus on backwater valves, which are designed to automatically shut to prevent sewer backflow. Let’s take a look at some backwater valve maintenance tips from emergency plumbers in Toronto.
Know the items that can cause plumbing problems
Don’t put the following common household items down your sinks or toilets! If you do, you run the risk of sewer backups and backwater valve malfunction:
- Paper towels: A paper towel flushed down the toilet can open up like a parachute at any point as it attempts to pass through the pipes.
- Feminine hygiene products: It doesn’t matter if you are on a sewer or septic system, feminine hygiene products—like tampons, pads and liners—should never be flushed. They are highly absorbent, which means they could expand inside a drainpipe.
- Diapers: Diapers are not flushable, and are way too bulky for any plumbing system. Always throw diapers away in the trashcan.
- Grease and food scraps: All plate scraps, grease and oil should go in the trash, not down the sink. Chunks of food can damage the garbage disposal and oil can re-solidify to clog the drain, and then cause a backup in the system.
- Chemical solutions: Chemicals like bleach, motor oil, paint and paint thinner can corrode plumbing pipes. Even though the backwater valve may be in pristine shape, it likely won’t help against a corroded pipe leak.
These are just some of the things that should never get put down drains. Use common sense and consider getting your drains cleaned annually as preventative maintenance.
Steps for regular valve maintenance
Since you want to be sure your backwater valves are functioning properly, it’s important that you check them every two to three months. It’s also suggested that you check valves early when heavy rainfall is in the forecast. Debris buildup is the most common issue that prevents a backwater valve from doing its job. Here are a few steps to follow:
- Put on protective eyewear and gloves.
- Locate your backwater valve(s), and then open the cap to check for debris.
- The best way to remove debris is to brush it off or rinse it off with water. A garden water hose or container of water works well. Stubborn debris, grease or oil may require scrubbing.
- When you’re done checking and cleaning the valve, secure the cap back on as tight as possible.
Schedule an inspection
Tremendous plumbing skill and knowledge are not necessary to perform the most basic maintenance, but you might not want to mess around with repairs. Doing so could lead to more costly repairs or a need for replacement parts, or even damage to other parts of your home’s plumbing system. Here at Rooter Group Inc., our experienced plumbers recommend that you plan on calling for professional backwater valve maintenance at least once a year, preferably in the spring. You can also schedule an appointment anytime to address concerns.
Whether you need regular plumbing maintenance or emergency plumbers in Toronto, you can count on the skilled team at Rooter Group Inc. to get everything working right again. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!