Checking and keeping your weeping tiles flapper operational helps reduce the risk of groundwater flooding your basement.

How a weeping tile system works

Houses in Strathcona County built before 1984 had the choice to install weeping tile around the home’s basement. The weeping tile system collects and diverts groundwater that accumulates around the foundation of your home’s basement.

The weeping tile system diverts the collected groundwater to the home’s sewer line (known as the sanitary service lateral). The collected groundwater flows past the flapper, through the weeping tile service connection and into the sanitary service lateral. The flapper is designed to remain closed so it will prevent sewage from flowing into the weeping tile system if a sanitary sewer backup occurs.

As years pass by, the flapper can become inoperable due to mineral buildup on its hinge. If this condition happens, the groundwater that accumulates around the home’s basement can then flow through cracks in the floor or walls.

By finding and exercising this flapper every year, you will ensure that the flapper will operate as intended.

Diagram of weeping tile connection to sanitary service (sewer) line.


How to maintain your weeping tile flapper

  1. To find the weeping tile flapper access start by checking your basement floor along the wall that faces the street, usually beneath the front steps. The access will be covered by either a wooden or metal plate.
  2. Remove the lid to access the flapper and find the flapper. The flapper is on an angle and will be opposite of the connection to the sewer.
  3. Check if the flapper can be opened. If not, the hinge and hinge slot will need to have the minerals or debris built up removed. Be careful not to break the flapper or its hinge. If the flapper is broken or needs to be replaced contact a plumbing supply business.
  4. Remove the flapper, clean the hinge and hinge slot.
  5. Clean any debris that has accumulated on the bottom of the weeping tile under the flapper.
  6. Lubricate the hinge and re-install it.
  7. Check if the gasket or o-ring is on the lid to prevent leakage before re-installing.
Diagram of how the weeping tile flapper works.

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Last updated: Wednesday, August 25, 2021
Page ID: 39893