A BROKER AT PRIME SERVICE INSURANCE

How To Prevent Sewer Backups

Sewer backups are a common occurrence across the province of Ontario. In fact, according to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, they happen every month in Ontario. 

Sewer backups are a common occurrence across the province of Ontario. In fact, according to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, they happen every month in Ontario. 

While sewer pipes are buried underground and often hidden from view, the effects of a backup can be devastating – especially if it leads to a flood. 

The last thing you want to deal with is a basement flooded with sewage. The good news is that there are steps you can take to minimize this happening   

Causes Of Sewer Backups

Sewer line connections that have been damaged through improper installation, or have been wrongly connected with incorrect parts from another part can be a convenient cause for a backed-up line

How backwater valves prevent sewer backup

A backwater valve is a watertight or pressure-rated gate inside a sewer line, which closes to prevent sewage from backing up into the homeowner’s residence should a neighboring sewer system collapse. These systems are also known as "backflow preventers" and can be installed at house's main sewer line downstream of other drainage fixtures such as water heaters, dishwashers or washing machines.  

Installing and maintaining backwater valve

A backwater valve should be installed between the municipal sewer and under-floor drainage pipes. This will make it easier for you to do maintenance on the valve. If the valve is in a wall or hidden under the floor, make sure there is access for maintenance. A professional plumber can install this for you.

It is important to check and clean the valve once a year. You can do this by looking at the rocker door. If there is any dirt, make sure you clean it. Then look at the rubber seal and make sure it is not broken.

If you are not sure, ask an expert.  

What to do incase of Sewer backup

A sewer backup can cause a lot of damage to your property. It can also carry bacteria and cause mold.

When sewer problems happen, it is best to hire a company that specializes in sewer cleanup and restoration. You can also try to do it yourself, but only if the water has gone down and you have turned off the power to the basement. Wear a mask, gloves, safety goggles and rubber boots when doing this. Do not use your plumbing until you fix the problem. If it is a blocked pipe, do not use it until the backed up blocks are taken off.

Contact your insurance company for advice on how to proceed with your claim and remember to document your losses (with photos, etc.) as soon as it’s totally safe to do so.  

Sewer backup and home insurance

Don't forget to tell your insurance company when you put a backwater valve in. To find out how much sewer backup coverage you have, or any other home insurance advice, or just to get a quote.

*Certain conditions, restrictions and exclusions apply. This website provides general information only. Your insurance policy contract takes precedence at all times.