The plumbing system of our homes and how they function can be a lot to take in. One of the most common mistakes that people usually make is thinking that backwater valve and backflow preventer are the same or have the same function. They are often mistaken for each other. However, they are nowhere near the same. Below are the differences between a backwater valve and a backflow preventer and why it’s important to have them installed in your home.
A backwater valve, to put it simply, is a self-operating device installed in your plumbing to prevent any sewer backup. It is a simple device that is designed to prevent flooding in the basement. It is responsible for monitoring the direction flow of your sewage line, and if it senses that the flow is going in reverse, the valve will immediately close to prevent any sewage backup. A backwater valve may sometimes also be referred to by different names (backup valve, sewer backflow valve, drain backflow valve, and many more).
A backwater valve is a requirement for most homes. A backwater valve is used to stop sewage from getting into your own line should the main sewage line overload. The backwater valve works like a door to your sewage line. Inside the valve, you can see a small door-like feature or flap that is open to allow the water to exit your home. Once a backflow is detected, the flap or door of the valve will close itself.
Without a backwater valve, you may be violating a few plumbing codes in your area. If you don’t have one, make sure that you install a backwater valve in your home as soon as possible. If you already have one installed, make sure that you know how to properly care for your backwater valve.
Backflow preventers are the same as backwater valves in terms of its simplicity; however, it functions differently from the latter. While a backwater valve is used to prevent sewage water from getting into your house, the backflow preventer is used to protect your water supply.
A backflow preventer works to keep your water supply untainted and sanitary. It helps prevent materials from flowing backwards through the pipes. It’s a special valve that allows the water to flow one way and closes when it feels pressure coming back. This way, when you are using water through the tap or hose, any unsanitary water doesn’t flow back to your water supply.