What is a Backwater Valve? And Do I Need One?

A backflow preventer, or backwater valve, is a plumbing term that most homeowners should know. You might not believe you need a backwater valve, but here's what it does for your home, and why it's important to keep it working properly. 

What, exactly, does the backwater valve do?

A backwater valve is a small device that a plumber puts on the water pipe coming into your home. The goal of this device is to prevent contamination of the water. When water comes into your home, it's meant to go one way only so that your family's water isn't contaminated. 

When does backflow happen?

If there is a break in the main line coming into your home, or if a fire hydrant is being used in the neighbourhood, then backflow might become an issue. What happens is these kinds of issues cause a change in pressure in the water coming into your home, so there isn't the constant push, and that is when the water may try to go backward in the pipeline. 

When backflow happens in your Oakville home, the water flows back into the city water lines, and it can become contaminated with fertilizers, pesticides, human waste, chlorine, water discarded from dishes and showers. You don't want that water coming into your home and mixing with the water your family is going to consume.

Where does the backwater valve go?

The good news is that you only need one of these devices, and it goes on the main water line coming into your home from the city water line. This device allows for water to flow in, but it won't swing backwards, so even if the water backs up, the device closes off, so the water in your Oakville home is still safe for drinking

Do I need a backwater valve?

The short answer is yes. It's not even really a question of if you absolutely need one, but why wouldn't you want one? This device keeps the drinking water in your home clean, so it just makes sense to make sure your home has a functioning backflow preventer. 

What if the backflow preventer stops working?

If you are experiencing issues with the water pressure in your home or the water coming out of your taps is dirty, then you might have an issue with the backwater valve. If you aren't sure, calling in a professional plumber is a great start to see if you need to do any maintenance or update any parts. 

If you believe that you may be having issues with the backwater valve in your home, it is important to take action as soon as possible to ensure that the drinking water in your home is safe and clean for your family. 

Contact McKenna Plumbing today, and a member of our team will come out to inspect your backflow preventer and perform any maintenance or repairs that may be needed.