If you live in an area where flooding is more common, you may experience a situation where sewage in the sewer lines backs up through drain pipes and into your home because of flooding.
Needless to say, this can result in major damage, as well as causing a health hazard.
One way to protect your home from this kind of backup is with a backflow valve. These valves are constructed so that they prevent sewage from backing up into the home. There are different types of valves, some more complicated than others.
For example, one type with a more complex design is called a gate valve. It works well to seal off the sewage from backing up, but you need to operate it manually. So, how well the valve works will depend on how much warning you have of an impending flood so that you can rush to operate it.
More simple types of valves are called flap or check valves. They open to allow sewage to flow out, but then close to prevent the sewage from flowing in the reverse direction. They operate automatically, but they do not work quite as well as the gate valve to prevent the sewage backflow.
And, there are even valves that are a combination of the gate and flap valves.
As mentioned, these valves can prevent a good deal of damage to your home, as well as the prospect of cleaning up the sewage, which can be a hazardous and costly undertaking, as well as presenting a big health hazard.
However, if you are considering installing a check valve, there are several things you should know.
A licensed, professional plumber should install these valves so that the installation is done properly and meets applicable codes.
As mentioned above, there are different types of check valves, so you need to consult with your plumber as to which would work best in your particular situation. The plumber companies like http://www.oak.plumbing/ can spell out the advantages and disadvantages for each type of valve.
The valve must be installed on the main waste drain pipes that exit your home as well as those that are connected to any appliances located below the possible flood level. This means, for example, they may need to be installed to laundry sinks, your washing machine drain line, sump pumps, etc. These connections need to be made in addition to sewer connections.
The cost to install a combination gate/flap valve will be around $1,400, while the cost to install a flap valve will run about $600. This includes the costs for excavation and backfilling.
Here are a few ideas for upgrades to your system:
A circulation pump water heater
Conventional water heaters can be costly. The problem is that with these heaters, water sits in the pipes when you aren’t using the hot water, and so it cools. That is why you have to wait a while for hot water after you turn on the faucet – a big waste of water and money.
Instead, get a water heater with a circulation pump, and you won’t have to worry about waiting for hot water when you turn on the faucet. These types of water heaters also save energy and money.
Low-flow shower heads
If you are looking to save money and also save water, low-flow is the way to go. You can save anywhere from 25 to 60 percent on your water usage with these types of shower heads.
There are basically two types of low-flow showerheads. The aerating showerhead combines water with air. It delivers a spray. The other type is called laminar, and it delivers streams of water. The one advantage of the laminar flow head is that you don’t get as much steam in the shower.
Pipes are not usually insulated, and because of this they lose heat a lot faster. This causes your water heater to work harder to get the temperature of the water up. Again, you end up wasting water and money. So, get your pipes insulated and save.
If you have an older home – 40 years or more – you may also want to think about replacing your pipes. Pipes in these older homes are commonly made from galvanized steel, which corrodes and can lead to clogs in the pipes. Copper pipes are much more efficient.
Water recycling systems
Another way to save time and money – and help the environment – is to get a greywater recycling system. This system uses water from the shower and faucets and other fixtures – everywhere except the toilet – to perform tasks such as watering the lawn or garden or pumping the water into an outside container. The water is not contaminated because none of it comes from the toilet.
If you have a plumbing problem or are doing some renovations, you want the job to go as quickly and smoothly as possible. To make sure that happens, there are some things you can do in terms of working with your Benicia plumbing professional.