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Thread: Backwater Valve and Floor Drain

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member butchboy's Avatar
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    Default Backwater Valve and Floor Drain

    I live in Chicago and am having a backwater valve replaced that hasn't been maintained for 20+ years. It is inside my basement and the flapper is locked in the open position. My area has major problems with sewer backup during heavy rains. I have two questions.

    1) Is there any appreciable difference between cast iron and pvc (abs) backwater valves? Does Chicago have a code regarding material?

    2) I currently don't have a floor drain in the basement, but since my floor is being broken anyways, I was thinking of having one installed behind the backwater valve. Am I asking for trouble? Assuming the backwater valve is properly maintained, will it reliably hold back the sewer back-flow or is there a possibility I will see a geyser erupt from the drain at some point.

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member Reach4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by butchboy View Post
    1) Is there any appreciable difference between cast iron and pvc (abs) backwater valves?
    The wrong kind are normally closed, and the outgoing effluent pushes the flapper open. This is probably the kind you have-- the kind that will fail.

    The better kind are normally open, and close with a float. They require a little drop typically from input to output. These are normally stainless steel or plastic.

    Does Chicago have codes on this? I would be surprised if they did not You might ask in http://www.terrylove.com/forums/foru...Code-Questions

    Your other alternative, which is more foolproof, is overhead sewers. Yes, it costs more. -- maybe $10000 to $14000 typically. A pit in the front yard can be good, and does not involve digging in your basement. Figure about $7000 to $8000. http://www.evereadyfloodcontrol.com/ (bad BBB) http://www.floodexperts.com/ (good BBB) Read the stuff on those sites as to how their valves worth. Those plastic valves from Canada look good too.

    Don't try to book the work after a flood. Do it before.
    Last edited by Reach4; 10-17-2013 at 02:00 PM.

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    NO backwater valve is 100% foolproof all the time. ANY material that gets caught on the seat will prevent it from sealing, although it will slow down the flooding, possibly allowing the backflood condition to clear before the basement floods. The metal ones "corrode", the plastic ones "distort, over time, and anything with a float mechanism will stick in the open position.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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