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Old 12-31-2012, 02:43 PM
Basheron Basheron is offline
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Default Sewage cut-off



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Do any of you have a sewer system cut-off? If we loose basic utilities for an extended period, the sewer systems are going to back up, and the last place you want human waste is in your basement. So have any of you installed cut-off valves on your sewer line? Would installing one usually be against code?
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:27 PM
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its called a backwater valve,mostly used on combination sewers to stop rain water from backing into your sewer in times of a downpour.
its nothing more than a inline flapper style of check valve,there may be other types out there
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:52 PM
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If I was building a house, I would definitely want one installed. If it were illegal, I would just wait until the inspector came through and then have a plumber that liked a $100.00 tip on top of cost of parts and labor install it. I wouldn't want anything cheap. I would want a wheel to close that shut because there could be some really high pressures involved with county/city sewer systems.

I don't see why they would be illegal to install except for government being unhappy if they are not involved in every facet of our lives.
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:49 PM
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Some places they are required, I talked to a neighbor after hurricane Irene and he told me when he went into his basement during the flooding, the sewer was shooting out of were his washer pumped out.

http://backwater-valves.com/
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Old 12-31-2012, 05:15 PM
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I wonder if a mechanical plumbers test plug (the kind with the wing nut on it) would be sufficient to stop a sewage backup.
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Old 12-31-2012, 05:23 PM
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That's a good idea, for SHTF, but Flapper/backflow valves should be installed on everybody's sewer line. "S" happens and there are many reasons sewer can back up into your house.

You need easy access to the flapper valves. Just inside the crawl space/basement or in a box, where the line is at it shallowest depth. 2 flappers are better than 1. Make sure the plumber knows you have one and where it is. The flapper valve needs to be pulled out before sewer lines get cleaned out.

I got one on my septic system. It keeps sewer gasses from coming back in the house, out the stack, and back in through the HVAC.
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Old 12-31-2012, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outside the box View Post
I wonder if a mechanical plumbers test plug (the kind with the wing nut on it) would be sufficient to stop a sewage backup.
you need a straight shot to use that type of test plug.
you could use a inflatable ball tester inserted into the cleanout as the sewer leaves the house,but they are prone to deflate
Old 12-31-2012, 05:48 PM
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I don't at this house. But I did at my last one. I was on city sewage there, but also had the old septic system still. So I had a cutoff installed on the city line, as well as a transfer valve so that I could use the septic system. I was down in a valley there and we all know what rolls downhill, so I wanted a way to keep it at a distance.
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:04 PM
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A few houses in my area had a little back-flow

My lower vent was under water for about 8 hours --- we used a bucket
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:56 PM
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Most sewer systems are gravity fed. Your risk of backup is going to depend a lot on the elevation of your property in relation to the surrounding homes and terrain. If you live near a lift station, or you are at the lowest point in your neighborhood, you probably have a backup risk in a long-term SHTF.

Me personally, I built my home on high ground. We're the highest point on the street, maybe the neighborhood. If the sewer main backed up, the blackwater would never make it up the pipe and into my house, because there are 90+ toilets at a lower elevation where it would exit first. I also have a clean out port about 20' from the road, that is 15-20' lower than my foundation. I just uncap it, and the blackwater will vent there, down the yard, and into the storm sewer at the road. Not ideal, but better than the alternative.
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by last1standing View Post
its called a backwater valve,mostly used on combination sewers to stop rain water from backing into your sewer in times of a downpour.
its nothing more than a inline flapper style of check valve,there may be other types out there
Not true
In this case he is acually talking about a gate or ball valve to seal it off.

Yes I have one and no it is not against the codes here.

Ours is a gate valve.
Old 12-31-2012, 08:12 PM
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Our church had to put one on last month because of new code requirements. Should be nothing illegal at all
Old 01-01-2013, 10:21 AM
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I don't have a flapper/back flow valve but I do have a double Y clean out in the front and have a wiener that I can push down and into the sewer line and inflate with a bicycle pump. I'm in underground construction and we use them pretty regularly to plug off sewer lines and for testing, I have never had one un inflate unintentional when they were used properly and in good condition.

The only problem going this route is someone has to be there and plug the line. Having a dedicated flapper/back flow valve is really the way to go, they would work if no one was around when a sewer backup happened.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iiioxx View Post
Most sewer systems are gravity fed. Your risk of backup is going to depend a lot on the elevation of your property in relation to the surrounding homes and terrain. If you live near a lift station, or you are at the lowest point in your neighborhood, you probably have a backup risk in a long-term SHTF.

Me personally, I built my home on high ground. We're the highest point on the street, maybe the neighborhood. If the sewer main backed up, the blackwater would never make it up the pipe and into my house, because there are 90+ toilets at a lower elevation where it would exit first. I also have a clean out port about 20' from the road, that is 15-20' lower than my foundation. I just uncap it, and the blackwater will vent there, down the yard, and into the storm sewer at the road. Not ideal, but better than the alternative.
This person's first paragraph is absolutely true. Nice job.
Old 01-03-2013, 09:04 PM
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It's called back flow prevention. Basically a check valve to only allow sewage to flow in 1 direction. Like the boy band 1 direction.
Old 01-03-2013, 09:12 PM
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The one I have seen has a vertical pipe going above grade. The valve can be serviced or replaced without digging up the yard.
I was told that all new homes in our area are having them installed.
I don't remember the cost of the valve, but it wasn't expensive.
Old 01-04-2013, 11:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iiioxx View Post
Most sewer systems are gravity fed. Your risk of backup is going to depend a lot on the elevation of your property in relation to the surrounding homes and terrain. If you live near a lift station, or you are at the lowest point in your neighborhood, you probably have a backup risk in a long-term SHTF.
Same here ten houses from the end if the line, no lift stations between me and the plant and the plant is way down in a valley.

If I was you a would evaluate the need for one before I invested in one. If you are setting like
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and me you probably will not need one. My plain is to flush using a bucket and fill up all of the houses in the rich neighborhood, poo on them I say.
Old 01-05-2013, 01:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outside the box View Post
I wonder if a mechanical plumbers test plug (the kind with the wing nut on it) would be sufficient to stop a sewage backup.
their good for about 20-45 psi, then they fly!
I would go with the ball valve if you can, Hoping its all ABS pipe and you could glue it in. Septic, sewer lines can be made out of about anything still. I dont know at what pressure ABS pipe flies apart, probably wont see that anyways unless theres a city on a hill next to you.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:10 PM
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Funny I was just thinking about this the other night. When building new you could easily, if space is available, install a valve on the city sewer and transfer your house waste to a septic tank and drain field. Sure your septic system would not be permitted, but no need to tell anyone it is even there.
Old 01-05-2013, 11:48 PM
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It'll be the closest to the treatment plant that will be affected first and the last on the furthest sewer line affected last in a perfect world. But our world being not perfect, the manholes closest to the treatment plant will overflow before anyone gets a sewer back up. I live in Texas and we aren't allowed to have combination sewers (sanitary sewer plus storm sewer in the same system).

I've been in sewer the last 12 years and have never seen a 'back flow' into a house from a backed up sewer main. Never. Out of a couple hundred miles of sewer and 2500 manholes, a backed up sewer main will blow off a 80 pound manhole lid easier and quicker before flowing into a house. I've seen 5 manholes in line overflow and not one house got back flowed.

No house that I know of is connected to a forced main either. If so, you would have a back flow device already installed. And I would never ever buy a house on a forced main.

If the treatment plant is not able to run or keep up, the least of your worries is back flow. What I would be worrying about is hundreds of thousands of gallons of raw sewage overflowing manholes in the streets, sidewalks, parking lots and remote areas. You would be surprised to see how many miles of sewer main goes through the "boonies". And where I live, that's 40,000 gallons per day.
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