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Old 05-17-2010, 05:57 PM   #1
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Backflow preventer options


Does anyone have any recommendations about the best house sewer backflow preventer to use. The local plumbing supply house sells just the flapper type. I have found anecdotal stories on the web of installations of flapper valve that have failed, and they all refer to the Mainline Fullport Backwater Valve as a better alternative. They cost $196 as compared to $35 for a flapper, but that is peanuts if there is a sewer main backup.

Any recommendations?

Thanks

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Old 05-17-2010, 09:03 PM   #2
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Backflow preventer options


I'm not sure what you mean by a 'flapper type'


What exactly is the issue that you're trying to prevent?

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Old 05-17-2010, 09:38 PM   #3
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Alan,

I meant to say "backwater" not backflow. Sorry I was unclear.

See http://www.plasticoddities.com/bwv.htm for an example of the flapper type.

Also see http://www.backwater-valves.com/Backwater-Valves.asp for the other option I mentioned.
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Old 05-18-2010, 09:15 AM   #4
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We've put in backwater valves before plenty of times. All they are is a swing check with a removeable lid to access the guts. Thats all you need.

I guess i'm confused on what exactly you want, or think is wrong with a swing check.
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Old 05-18-2010, 09:33 AM   #5
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Over time you get sediment buildup on the seat of the flapper, so when the backup happens, sometimes the flapper doesn't "seat" correctly against the gasket because of the sediment and you'll get some water past the valve depending on how severe the backup is in the main. As long as you clean the backwater valve periodically of sediment, it will be able to seat against the gasket during backflow and you'll be okay. That why these have to be accessible for maintenance.
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Old 05-18-2010, 11:30 AM   #6
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I was just trying to determine what the best option are out there. Codes often specify minimums, and our basement is a living area, so we want to do everything possible to prevent a possible sewage backup disaster. We saw an episode of Ask This Old House where they were replacing a PVC backwater valve that had blown its lid from backflow pressure in a storm. They replaced it with a really heavy duty cast iron model with two valves and a sump pump -- I don't remember where the sump drains to. Like the featured house, we have a combined sewer and storm water system, so, while I don't feel I need to go as extreme as them, I do want to make sure I'm using the best product/system available.
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Old 05-18-2010, 12:12 PM   #7
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I do not recommend the cheapo $35 flapper valve. If you want something more heavy duty, go with the $196 valve you linked to above. Me personally, would take it one step higher. I like using the Flood-Gate automatic backwater valve from JR Smith for my design projects. Its acts more like a gate valve than a swing check valve and it is solid, and it even has a monitoring alarm option so you know the backwater valve activated so you know you shouldn't be using any plumbing fixtures during the time the valve is closed. I'm not sure on the price, or if you can even buy it without going through a vendor or contractor. But here is the link to the main backwater valve page, look down the page that has several links about the Flood-Gate Automatic backwater valve, how it works, installation, etc....

http://www.jrsmith.com/products/back...water_main.htm
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:31 PM   #8
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Thanks for the product recommendation and advice.

I checked out J R Smith's website and the Flood-Gate appears to the best product I've seen. I saw a testimonial on a local municipality’s website that stated that in two years of use they have had no failures of this valve. Not sure about pricing judging by their other products, but I'll contact Ferguson plumbing supply to see if they can get it here in Portland, Oregon. You have any idea what it sells for?

I would prefer to install it inside because the access well would be quite deep on exterior -- 6' or so. It would go in a closet inside and we’ll have to have the well protrude above floor level -- I can see building a concrete curb around it in the closet corner.

One thing I wonder about is how much pressure it takes to activate. We will have only 19" from the top of the pipe to the basement floor drain, but we’ll have a backwater valve on that drain too.

Do have any recommendations for a backwater preventer on a floor drain?
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:48 PM   #9
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What's the floor drain serving?

http://www.plumbingsupply.com/floodguard.html
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Old 05-18-2010, 11:50 PM   #10
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The drain is located in the utility room, where we were hoping to have a temporary laundry room, with washer and laundry sink, while we lived in the basement as we renovated up the upper two floors.

Unfortunately, we cannot afford the water line upgrade at this time (recession = little income) that will allow for these two additional fixtures. With 3-1/2 baths and two additional kitchen sinks (one temporary), etc., the City requires us to upgrade the existing 3/4" house main to a 1” water supply line from the street (they allowed us only one hose bib!). We did upgrade to a 1” line from the house to the meter, but it would cost another $7,000+ to go the 7' from meter to the water main. About $4K of that is in development and permit fees, and we have already paid over $6,000 in fees just to upgrade the existing house and replace the foundation of this decrepit but charming 1908 house. The floor drain is the only way we can legally get the drain to this location without paying the $7K, so we will leave an access hole in the slab to the pipe for a future add-on. (Besides, this is our utility room with the water heater and ground source heat pump, so it is a good place to have some back up floor drainage.) Long winded answer, but that is why we will have a floor drain.
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:09 PM   #11
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Thank you to The Engineer for the info on the Flood-gate. We have been flooded twice in 9 years with sewage from the Village during flash floods as the sewer and storm water are running into the same system here in Brookfield, IL. I can tolerate a little sepage in my cellar (it's a 105 year old house) but sewage is dangerous and frankly our town's leadership does not care.

Anything special we should look for when we find a competent person to install it for us?
Do you happen to know any good plumbers in Chicago-land????
Forever grateful,
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:45 PM   #12
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Just install your backwater valve so it only works on the basement stuff.
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Old 04-25-2013, 07:06 PM   #13
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http://cleancheck.rectorseal.com/about.htm

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