Home > Mom's Life > Managing Your Home > Home Improvements > Preventing Sewer Problems
|

Preventing Sewer Problems

Backup-Flow Valves

Backup-flow valves come in various configurations. Most common are flap, or check, valves, which open automatically to allow flow out of the house and close when the flow reverses. Mechanical, or gate, valves do basically the same thing, but must be operated by hand. Of the two, gate valves provide a stronger seal. Some valves incorporate the advantages of both types.

Backup-flow valves can be installed on a lateral line. This approach typically requires a plumbing permit and digging up your basement floor. They can also be installed on each plumbing fixture. This approach is easier and cheaper; however, these valves typically don't work as well.

Local codes and/or building requirements generally specify the type of backup-flow device you can install. Check with local officials before installing them.

Depending on where you live, your city might pay a portion of the cost for installing a backup-flow valve on a lateral line.

Overhead Sewers

Overhead sewers, which run along basement ceilings, are the most effective way to prevent sewer backups as they eliminate the connection between the main sewer system and the basement. With these systems, all above-ground sewage flows by gravity into the lateral line. Below-grade sewage is collected in an ejection pit. From here, it's pumped up to the house sewer line.

These systems are costly to install, but they're a good choice for homes with finished basements. However, they need electricity to operate. If there's a power outage, and there's no alternative power source to operate the pump, basement plumbing fixtures can't be used.

Keep Extra Water Out

As mentioned, illegal connections to sanitary sewers, such as footing tiles, down-spouts, and sump pumps, can overload sewer systems. In addition, defective lateral lines can collect ground water.

If your house has a sump pump to handle ground water buildup, it should discharge through a pipe in your foundation wall to the outside of your home. Downspouts and footing tiles should discharge to a ditch or storm sewer. If you can't tell where they're discharging, contact your public works department and see if they'll do an inspection. If necessary, they'll run a dye test to track drain discharge.



|

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Common Household Disasters © 2005 by Paul Hayman and Sonia Weiss. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

get ready for school!

We’ve got your
shopping list,
lunch menu,
and more.

GO

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

7 Fun Driveway and Sidewalk Games for Kids
Looking for classic outdoor games kids can play in the driveway or on the sidewalk, just like the good ol' days? From hopscotch to bubble-blowing contests, there's something for all ages!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Best Sun Safety Practices for Babies
Follow these sun safety practices for babies to ensure your little one stays safe on the beach and on sunny days all year long.