Experiencing a sewage backflow is nobody’s idea of a fun time. It can result in foul odors emanating throughout your household as well as actual sewage water backing up through the drains in your home. When a sewer backflow occurs, the sewage water that’s supposed to be flowing away from your property reverses course and heads back into your home. This can cause all sorts of issues. Fortunately, sewage backflow can be prevented if you install a sewer backflow preventer.
The Dangers of a Sewer Backup
Sewer backflow can result in much more than foul odors and a mess that needs to be cleaned up. For example, if you’re away from home and there’s a sewer backflow, you won’t be able to do anything until it’s too late — and your home may end up becoming flooded with sewage. As you can imagine, this can result in serious damage to your belongings as well as to your home in general, requiring costly repairs and replacement.
Not to mention the health hazard involved as a result of exposure to sewage. Your household will be exposed to all kinds of pollutants, such as germs, bacteria, chemicals, and waste, that can affect your health — especially if those pollutants contaminate your drinking water.
What Causes Sewer Backflow?
There are several issues that can lead to sewer backflow. The following are two of the most common causes:
- Clogged sewer lines – A clog in your property’s sewer lines will prevent sewage from being dispersed into the municipal sewer line. Your sewage will build up in your pipes until there’s nowhere to go but backward. Clogs can be caused by a number of different things, including tree roots that are growing in your sewer pipes, pipes that have cracked or collapsed, and clogs that result from putting certain materials down your drains (for example, flushing diapers or pouring coffee grounds down your kitchen sink).
- Insufficient capacity – Sewer backflows can also occur even if there’s no issue with your property’s sewer lines. If the municipal sewer becomes surcharged, it can result in backflow. This means that the municipal sewer lines are at capacity and that the entrance and exit are submerged. This can happen as a result of flooding or if your area has experienced significant rain or snowfall.
What is a Sewer Backflow Preventer?
A sewer backflow preventer is a valve that’s installed on your sewer line. The purpose of the backflow preventer is just that — to prevent backflows from occurring should a clog form in your sewer lines or should there be a surcharge of the municipal sewer lines. If a backflow occurs for whatever reason, your sewer backflow preventer will prevent sewage from flowing back into your home. Although less expensive when installed during initial construction, they can be retrofitted onto existing sewer lines.
Considering how much you stand to save from preventing sewage from flooding your home, the cost of a sewer backflow preventer is well worth it. Not to mention that there are some municipalities that do offer subsidies to help cover some of the costs of installation.
Work With a Licensed Louisville Plumbing Service
First of all, a licensed plumber can inspect your home’s sewage system to determine if you have a sewer backflow preventer or not. If you don’t have one, you’ll want to make sure that the plumber has the experience and expertise to be able to install one correctly. Sewer backflow preventers do often consist of numerous moving parts. Additionally, accessing the main sewer line to install the backflow preventer can sometimes be tricky.
The plumber will not only need to install the backflow preventer, but they will also need to test it to make sure it’s working effectively. It’s worth noting that you’ll want to have it tested and cleaned periodically to ensure that it works efficiently. Finally, the plumber may need specialized tools to install the sewer backflow preventer properly. These tools may include pipe extractors, pipe cutters, adapter sets, test clock cleaning tools, and a line pressure gauge setup.
To schedule a sewer backflow preventer installation, be sure to contact us at Maeser today. With over 40 years of experience under our belt, you won’t find a more reputable or reliable plumbing service in the Louisville area.