Maintaining your weeping tile backwater valve
Checking and cleaning the weeping tile backwater valve is a good way to help reduce the risk of basement flooding.
How the system works:
The weeping tile system collects and diverts groundwater and sub-surface water from around the foundation of your home.
In houses in Sherwood Park built before 1984, the weeping tile diverts water to a connection to the sanitary sewer system main through a service line.
Water gathered by the weeping tile flows up through a backwater valve at the base of the connection and into the sewer line. This backwater valve or flapper is designed to remain closed if there is a sewer backup to prevent sewage from flowing out and under the foundation.
Over the years, the flapper can become corroded and lodged closed. Groundwater may build up under the foundation and come up through cracks in the floor. By locating and exercising this flapper every year, you will maintain the valve in a working condition.
How to maintain the backwater valve:
- Find the weeping tile connection by checking the basement floor along the front wall of the house. The connection is covered by a metal plate or cap.
- Remove the cover and locate the valve, which can be found at the base opposite the connection to the sewer line.
- Flush, clean and exercise the valve to ensure it moves easily.
If the flapper is lodged, a rap with a broom handle should dislodge it. A coat of Vaseline or a similar product should be applied to the flapper, the bolts holding the cover in place and the rubber gasket.