6 Common Signs That a Backwater Valve Is Needed

backwater valve installation

A flooded basement or leaks in a home often have a discernible reason. You can spot the problematic connection or valve, replace it, and be on your way.

When heavy rains fall, the water must flow somewhere. Even if you have excellent waterproofing for your basement, there is still a risk of having the local drainage systems become overwhelmed.

When that happens, you’ll need backwater valve services.

Do I Need a Backwater Valve?

What is a backwater valve? This device prevents sewer water from returning to your home. If it malfunctions, you’ll see these symptoms develop at some point.

Symptom #1: Constant Cycling

The backwater valve tends to cycle more often when it is on the verge of failing. Although this symptom can appear after heavy rains because it needs to work that often, it’s usually done because it is trying to stabilize your water pressure.

Symptom #2: More Water Pressure

If you notice the water pressure in your home is noticeably higher, it could be due to the backflow valve not working correctly. When it cannot release the buildup as expected, you’ll see it come out of your faucets or when flushing toilets.

This symptom suggests that an immediate backflow relief valve replacement is necessary.

Symptom #3: Odors

Sewer water provides unwanted smells. You might notice them at every faucet or only where the backwater valve is located. When contaminated fluids flow back to the clean water supply, the water might not run clear. It may look tinged with red, brown, or black.

If you see those changes when turning on a faucet, don’t use the water for any purpose. Allow it to drain, clean the area thoroughly, and contact a trusted professional to evaluate your home’s plumbing.

Symptom #4: Slow Drains

When your toilet or sink drains slowly, it typically means you’ve got a clog in the trap or somewhere in the system. If every drain fails to clear as expected, you could have a backflow problem to manage.

You might overlook this issue, especially if a drain clogs frequently. If you have problems at home more than once per week clearing the trap or pipes, you’ll want to consider taking a closer look at your backwater valve.

Symptom #5: Poor Water Taste

If you have a water filter at home, you can often remove many dangerous contaminants from your faucets during a backwater valve problem. You can still taste the difference in the fluid, which might seem strange or make you want to gag. If you’ve noticed a sudden change without any other symptoms, there could still be an issue with the valve to manage.

Symptom #6: Health Changes

People with regular exposure to sewer water often experience muscle pain, stomach cramping, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you or your family have been sicker lately with these symptoms, it might be time to inspect your backwater valve professionally.

A backwater valve installation can be an essential investment if your home has a sump pump, sits in a high-risk flood zone, or building codes require one. Don’t wait until you experience the unwanted symptoms above to protect your home!