What is a Drain Back Water Valve or Back Up Prevention Valve – and why do you need one?


There is nothing worse than seeing water in your basement.

Why is water coming up your floor drains? Where is it coming from? How can you make it stop?

When you take a shower, flush the toilet, or run your dishwasher, all that wastewater goes down your drain pipe and into the sewer system. It then flows into treatment plants where it is cleaned before being released into Lake Ontario.

That’s what is supposed to happen – but sometimes a heavy rainstorm, or melting snow, can cause the local sewer lines to overflow. That means the wastewater from your house has nowhere to go but back where it came from – up your drain pipe and into your house.

Fortunately you can stop sewer water from going back into your home by installing an attachment called a Back Water Valve. This valve, which is also called a Back Up Prevention Valve, Back Flow Preventer, Drain Back Up Valve, and Sewer Back Up Preventer, blocks water from coming back up the sewer line and into your house.

How a Back Water Valve works

There is a small plastic flap inside the Back Water Valve. It is normally open, which allows water to exit from your home. There are also small inflatable attachments on each side of this flap. If sewer water starts to flow back into your house, these inflatables cause the flap to raise and seal shut, preventing any water from coming in.

When the sewer water stops trying to come back into your house, the flap falls back to its normal open position, allowing wastewater to flow out of your house again.

The Back Water Valve is so important for protecting your house that most new homes have the valve installed during construction. Unfortunately homes built in Toronto before 2013 did not automatically have one installed. The good news is you can have one added to your drain system by a drain expert like Master Drain.

Installing a Back Water Valve

The first step is accessing the drain pipe at the correct location. This could be at the front of your house under your lawn or garden, or in your basement.

A section of pipe is removed to insert the Back Water Valve, and then securely sealed to your drain pipe. Master Drain then refills the area, and if a small portion of your floor had to be removed, it will be replaced. Whether it was inside or outside your house, the affected area will look the same as it did before, with the addition of a small round access port found flush to the ground or floor.

This port is used to clean the Back Water Valve and ensure it is working properly. For continued effectiveness, the manufacturer recommends that you have your Back Water Valve inspected and cleaned every year.

City of Toronto rebate

Installing a Back Water Valve takes from one to three days depending on the condition of the ground or concrete, how deep down the drain pipe is, and the availability of the city inspector. Master Drain will give you a price estimate and also arrange for any necessary permits from the city. You do not have to do any paperwork.

The City of Toronto currently offers a rebate of $1,250.00 through the Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program for homeowners who install a Back Water Valve. Master Drain will complete the necessary form, so all you need to do is sign and mail it in and you will receive the rebate in about eight weeks or less.

With extreme weather becoming more common in the Toronto area, a Back Water Valve is good way to protect your home. In fact, many insurance companies require you to have drain back up protection when insuring your home. It will also bring your insurance premium down.

Go to Master Drain to request an online quote today!

225 Responses to "What is a Drain Back Water Valve or Back Up Prevention Valve – and why do you need one?"
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