Maintenance of Backflow Check Valves
The check valves installed in your basement that protect against sewage backups
need to be inspected and tested regularly to ensure that they are operating
properly. It is recommended that the homeowner follow all manufacturer
recommendations for inspections, inspection intervals, testing, and replacement of
parts for all components in the system. Like all mechanical devices, components
of the system may wear out and this periodic attention gives the opportunity to
identify any problems and have them repaired before they cause problems.
To help ensure check valve system is in top operating condition before the spring
thaw and rainy season take place, the following steps should be followed.
As noted above, these recommendations are not intended to replace your
manufacturer recommendations. Please refer to your owner’s manual for specific
information regarding your installed components. If you are not comfortable
completing any of the following steps described, you may wish to contact a
contractor to perform these steps.
CHECK VALVE Maintenance Steps:
At least every six months, if heavy rains are expected, and/or before leaving home
for extended periods (vacations, etc.), it is recommended that you visually inspect
and clean the check valve assemblies. See appendix A for a pictorial explanation.
a) Check for excessive dirt and debris that may affect the quality of seal.
Wash parts if necessary and reassemble. Wear plastic gloves to avoid
exposure to unsanitary debris in the valve assembly.
b) Check for broken components and replace if necessary.
c) If the valve is dirty remove the flapper valve and rinse it off with clean
water. Scrub if necessary. Replace the flapper valve into its original
position. Verify that the valve will open to allow flow out of the drain or
fixture by running water through it. The flapper valve should close if
pushed towards the drain.
NOTE: A quick option to this step if time does not permit the process
described above is to flush each of the check valve assemblies with clean
water. For example, a typical laundry sink may be allowed to run for a few
minutes, a floor drain may be flushed with a couple buckets of water, and
flushing the basement toilet several times in succession will work.