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Off topic: sewer backwater valves

STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,965
One off the areas that I service has significant sewer backups into the homes every time there is a major rainfall. Most of the homes have a flap type of check valve on the main sewer/drain line. I have found that even with regular cleaning they still tend to get stuck in the open position. I did some searching around online and I found that there are different types of full flow backwater valves. If any one has any experience with these or any advice in general I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.


  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    BW Valve

    I have god luck with the JR Smith Flood-Gate. It's full port with no flapper or debris to get hung up on. I have installed about a dozen in Old Town Alexandria, Va. It also has an optional alarm. It ain't cheap, but it does the job.


    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,965
    sticker shock

    Just got a price from my supplier for the jr smith. Dont think customer will want to pay that much. I did find something online called the mainline backwater valve. ( backwater-valve.com). Also full port. very different design and a lot cheaper. Does anyone have any experience with these? Thank you.
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    BW Valves

    Like I said, they ain't cheap (but what is a basement flooded with sewage worth). The J.R Smith unit uses a stainless steel knife and a bellows (no flapper). I would show the customer the specs on both units and let them decide. In the famous words of Heatboy "you don't get what you don't pay for".
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,965

    I know it and you know it but try explaining that to a customer. The only thing the customer sees is the money they are paying up front. Whatever.....
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 6,900
    Yes, but..............................

    as my old friend Mark Hunt would say: "its cheaper than a funeral (in this case a bad sewage backup). " You need to make it 100% clear that no backwater valve is perfect, but The Jay R Smith is as good as it gets.  Mad Dog
  • Bob Vennerbeck
    Bob Vennerbeck Member Posts: 105
    the good old days

    The Auditorium building I work in at RISD has a gate valve on the sewer line, with long shaft running up inside janitor's closet above and a big handwheel hidden behind cases of toilet paper.

    Of course, there hasn't been a 24 hour building attendant since about 1959, and we only rediscovered this setup after pumping out the sub-basement (again) post-Irene and finally discarding the hundreds of 'water'logged cases of Civil Defense emergency rations that had been stacked in front of the valve itself since the hottest part of the Cold War.

    Then again, now that our sewer bills are higher than our water bills, I wouldn't be surprised to find the Narragansett Bay Commission mandating valves so they can shut off our sewers for non-payment....

    Totally frozen gate valve was replaced with PVC flapper and prayers.

This discussion has been closed.