Sewage Cleanup >> Types Of Backup Preventions

Presented below are possible solutions that could be implemented by homeowners to protect their property from backups. This section assumes that sanitary sewage is backing up through plumbing fixtures located in a basement or lower level and the property owner has identified and Types Of Backup Preventions eliminated all sources of inflow from private sources into the sanitary sewer. 

This section also assumes that the sewer service pipe and joints under the floor slab are strong and tight. If the service sewer pipe is weak Types Of Backup Preventions and/or contains leaky joints, implementation of the solutions below could cause water to accumulate under the floor slab and its pressure could cause the floor slab to fail.

The City recommends that homeowners in addition to considering one of the solutions listed below also consider the purchase of insurance to cover damages caused by sump pump failures Types Of Backup Preventions and sewage backups.1. Plugs. Since the lower level floor drains are usually the lowest connection in your house,it is the first place of entry for sewage backups. 

The drain can be closed with a rubber or wooden plug during heavy rains. Plugs can be purchased at most hardware stores. The plug can be installed permanently Types Of Backup Preventions or it can be installed by the homeowner before or during rainstorms. This is the simplest and least expensive way to stop sewage backup and will work until the sanitary sewer water level becomes high enough to fill and overflow other plumbing fixtures located in the basement or lower level. 

WARNING! If there is any uncertainty about the condition of sewer pipes below the basement floor, Types Of Backup Preventions this method could result in serious damage to the floor. Advantages: a. Many types can be installed by the home owner without special tools.b. Plugs can be flush with the top of the basement floor to avoid tripping.

c. Low cost, no changes are required in the house sewer system. d. No permit is required since the house sewer system is not altered. Disadvantages: a. Water backup from exceptional rain storms may cause a build-up of water pressure within the house sewer system great enough to rupture pipe joints and Types Of Backup Preventions basement floors.

b. If basement floor and sewer pipe joints are sound, Types Of Backup Preventions water will overflow from the next lowest open fixtures.c. Plugs must be removed to restore drainage if water seeping through the walls or floor accumulates in the basement.2. Standpipes. A standpipe inserted into the floor drain serves the same purpose as a plug,except the standpipe is open at the surface. 

When water rises to the top, Types Of Backup Preventions it will overflow onto the floor. An open standpipe doesn't relieve pressure in the sewer lines or reduce pressure which may build up under the floor slab due to leaky joints. WARNING! If there is any uncertainty about the condition of sewer pipes below the basement floor, this method could result in serious damage to the floor.

Advantages: a. Many types can be installed by the home owner without special tools.b. Pressure due to trapped water in sewer pipes Types Of Backup Preventions or under floors may not rise to dangerous levels since overflow keeps pressure buildup from becoming too high. c. No permit is required since the house sewer system is not altered.

Disadvantages: a. May cause rupturing of sewer pipe joints under the basement and subsequent cracking concrete if standpipe it too high, Types Of Backup Preventions or if standpipe is capped. b. Basement floor drains cannot be used until standpipes have been removed. c. Pipes projecting above the floor are hazardous in heavy traffic areas.

3. Valves. Since sanitary sewer backup comes through the sewer service line running from the public sewer, Types Of Backup Preventions another possible means of preventing sewer backup is to install some type of valve which can be closed when the sewer surcharges. A variety of valves are available. Some valves close automatically when the water flows through the service line reverses (check valves) while others require manual means to close (gate valves).

The valves may be installed on the service sewer line either inside or outside the basement or lower level. However, due to potential damage to basement floors as discussed in 1 and 2 above,it is far safer to install a valve outside the basement with access by means of a manhole.Because of debris flowing through the sanitary sewer service line, Types Of Backup Preventions valves (check or gate) sometimes jam and fail to close completely. 

Additionally, unless the valve operates automatically like the check valve, the valve is ineffective unless somebody is on hand to close it. All valves require periodic maintenance; therefore access to the valve is essential. During the time the valve is tightly closed, Types Of Backup Preventions sanitary sewage backup into the house is cut off. 

However, Types Of Backup Preventions normal sanitary sewage flow from the hose to the sanitary sewer is also cut off. This means that household plumbing fixtures cannot be used unless a pump bypass is provided. Advantages:a. No dangerous pressure builds in the sewer drain system under the basement floor. b. Nothing to remove to restore drainage of the basement floor.

c. No pipes projecting from floor drains where they could be hazardous. Disadvantages: a. Property owner must be home to close the hand-operated valve at the proper time Types Of Backup Preventions and will not be able to use fixture while the valve is closed.

b. The valve should be checked frequently and maintained to make sure it works properly Types Of Backup Preventions and is not held open by debris. c. Gate valve must be reopened to resume full use of plumbing facilities.d. Valve could not be closed tightly which would still all sewage to back up

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