Automatic Backwater Valve: A Solution To Stop Sewer Backups

Sewer Service
January 21, 2013

by David Balkan

sewer backwater valve

Balkan Sewer And Water Main Service is proud to introduce an automatic backwater valve as a new and exciting product. This item is far superior to a sewer check valve, a manual gate valve, or other backwater valves. A flood gate automatic backwater valve seems to provide a final and permanent solution.

Property owners suffering from sewer flooding due to public sewer backups can finally have relief. At the same time, check valves do not completely stop backwater, only greatly reducing it. All manual knife edge gate valves must be manually opened and closed before and after a backup. An automatic backwater valve has none of these drawbacks, but many advantages.

An automatic backwater valve has unique features

An automatic backwater valve stops sewer water 100%. It does not work using electricity, and as it’s name implies is completely automatic.

  • A stainless steel knife edge that will cut through any normal sediment or raw sewage.
  • Under 45′ of foot head pressure stops 99.9% of sewer backwater.
  • A full port opening inside the valve allows all wastewater to flow unobstructed.
  • Fully mechanical operation – no electrical connections are required. There will be no valve failure during a power outage.
  • No activation of any sort is required. The valve is fully automatic in both closing and re-opening.
  • Made for use in any type of building or sanitary house sewer.

How does this valve work automatically?

When sewer water backs up to a level of 9″ above the level of the house drain, this automatic backwater valve closes fully and completely stops backwater. The force of the sewer water backflow causes air in the chamber of the valve to compress. The pressure in the chamber then forces the gate of the valve to close fully.

Once the backup subsides the air in the chamber decompresses. That then allows the valve gate to re-open and be in the proper position for the next surge of backwater. The only maintenance required is that the gate be ‘exercised’ every so often using a tool included.

automatic valve
Automatic flood gate valve

A stainless steel gate that fully retracts assures years of trouble-free service without any chance of the valve corroding or wearing out. An important requirement for the valve to work properly is for the lowest drain in the building to be a minimum of 9″ above the house drain located under the basement floor.

Choose Balkan for your Sewer Valve Installation

Balkan has been at the forefront of sewer backflow prevention for residential homes in the NYC area for quite some time. Each location is carefully pre-inspected at no charge or obligation to ensure it is a suitable candidate for such a device.

Each installation is performed under strict supervision and typically includes a new double vent house trap inside a water-tight composite sewer access pit with a fitted and locking cover.

After carefully researching available products to protect against backwater, Balkan determined that this automatic backwater valve is truly superior to past available remedies. It is easily installed by the skilled Balkan Team and will provide years of protection from potentially devastating damage from sewer backflow.

Damage and flooding from Sewer Backwater

When Hurricane Sandy struck New York City much was reported, and rightfully so, about the devastation caused by the tidal waters and wind damage. Hurricane Sandy became what we all hope will be a once-in-a-lifetime event. However, what was under-reported was the devastation and serious health issues created by raw sewage flooding many buildings with contaminated sewer water.

Not only was the public sewer system overburdened during the hurricane, much of it was completely shut down for long periods of time. Some areas witnessed the level of the sewer water rising near and even above ground level. Hundreds of homes had many feet of contaminated water in their basements for days.

sewer valve
Flood gate valve – finished installation

Wastewater poses issues that far exceed those of flooding from regular rainwater. In addition, occupants are left to deal with foul urine and sewer smells until treatment is completed. Sometimes the building cannot be occupied. Professionals must be called in immediately to clean, dry, and disinfect all contaminated areas.

Testing must be performed to ensure no health danger still exists after the treatment has been completed. Treatments like those mentioned above coupled with mold remediation costing thousands of dollars, not to mention the loss of housing or business. Treatment after the fact typically exceeds the cost of installing an automatic sewer gate valve.

Installing a backwater device on a house sewer is started and completed in a day or two and rarely disturbs the occupants. For those folks that suffered through Hurricane Sandy, or through public sewer backups, deciding whether to install an automatic backwater valve should be an easy choice to make. Contact Balkan Sewer And Water Main Service for a free site visit, and an assessment of your plumbing system.

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David Balkan

David Balkan is the CEO of Balkan Sewer And Water Main, the largest and most trusted service in New York City. David is extremely active in various NYC plumber organizations being the Chairman of the Subsurface Committee in the Master Plumbers Council, and Vice President of the Subsurface Plumbers Association. In addition David’s expertise is respected by officials of New York City agencies such as the NYC DEP, NYC DOB, and the NYC DOT. He frequently provides valuable input on a variety of industry related matters.

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