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Backup Prevention Devices

Multiple devices are available to help prevent building backups.

Device What it does Advantages Disadvantages
Backwater/Check Valves Installed on your private lateral line, these valves use a gate-like device to allow sewage to leave your home, but not back in. 
  • No pressure build-up under the basement floor or your lateral line.
  • No dangerous pipes sticking out of basement floor.
  • Provides basic flood relief.
Needs to be checked periodically.
Standpipes Open pipes that are screwed into your basement floor drains to hold sewer overflow until it recedes.
  • Inexpensive and easy to install.
  • Help relieve pressure caused by back-ups.
  • A capped standpipe or one over 12" tall may rupture sewer joints under the basement floor.
  • Limits floor drain use.
  • May be a trip hazard.
Plugs Plastic or metal devices placed in floor drains to prevent backups.
  • Inexpensive and easy to install.
  • Helpful if you only get 3-4" of water during a flood.
After the rain has stopped, plug must be removed in order to use floor drain.
Overhead Sewers/Strapped Plumbing Sewer lines installed along the basement ceiling to divert sewage from plumbing fixtures on the first floor and above. The original sewer is sealed and the new line is connected to the original as it leaves a home. Any drainage from the basement is pumped into the new overhead sewer. Eliminates direct connection of basement to sewer
  • Very costly to implement, since all drains must be rerouted and reconnected to the original sewer system.
  • Power outages will cause the pump to fail, but upstairs plumbing fixtures can still be used.