Home Inspections in Niagara, Hamilton, Halton, GTA – mold, Asbestos and radon inspections across Ontario

Sewer Backflow preventer

Regular Inspection Required

Did you know that almost all home insurance policies have a rider that will deny any claims for sewer backup even if you have a sewer backup preventer?

Sewer backup - not just your homes effluent!
When a sewer backs up, it’s not just your effluent that comes back into the house!

This is because most people don’t realise that that little rectangular access panel in the floor of the basement is meant to be opened regularly and the sewer backflow preventer inside inspected and maintained. If you can’t show the insurance company you’ve done that, then any insurance claim for water entry to your basement may be denied.

Here’s how you prevent that from happening…

This is usually hidden from view by the installer

At Future Proof Property Inspections, we are trained to inspect and clean your homes Sewer Backflow preventer, and to identify any issues that might cause it to fail.

We provide you with a certificate each time we inspect it, which gives you a record of maintenance.

We let you know if we find a problem, and where to go to get it fixed.  (We don’t repair them ourselves as we see this as a conflict of interest)

We will remind you of your next maintenance period and even reward previous clients with a discount for repeat inspections.

It’s a dirty job…..

Inside the backflow preventer is a small flapper valve that is normally open allowing water and sewage (effluent) to exit your home. It also allows any sewer gases to be vented. There is a small float on each side of the flapper valve. If effluent flows back toward the house, these floats lift the flapper valve up to restrict the backflow, or close it completely to stop the backflow. This prevent the effluent from the sewer from entering your home.

When the effluent stops coming back towards the house, gravity will allow the flap to fall into the open position again, allowing effluent to resume flowing out of the house.

Th problem is, effluent backflow is more regular than people think and while it may now be enough to cause a problem the valve, in most homes, will lift and drop many times a year. Each time it lifts, some sewage gets deposited under the flapper valve. Without regular cleaning, this can eventually cause the flapper valve to stick in the open position rendering the backflow preventer inoperative. Any insurance claim for sewage backflow damage may be denied if this happens.

The seals and floats are made of rubber which can erode over time and may need replacement. Without regular inspection the first time you know of the need for the replacement is when the backflow preventer fails. Again, any insurance claim for sewage backflow damage may be denied if this happens.

Prevention better than the alternative

Even if your insurance company allows a claim for sewage backflow if your sewer backflow preventer fails, the costs of cleanup can run into the thousands or tens of thousands of dollars and may not cover tertiary costs. In addition, biological and mould clean-up may make you homeless for a number of days or even weeks.

All this can be prevented by ensuring your sewer backflow preventer is correctly installed, regularly inspected and correctly maintained.

We look at the regular inspection and maintenance of the sewer backflow preventer much like a brake inspection and check-up on your vehicle. Wouldn’t you rather know in advance that your brakes needed repair or replacement BEFORE you had a brake failure? The alternative is just too awful to think about.

Call now to book your Sewer Backflow Preventer inspection. You’ll sleep better at night knowing your home is safe from everyone else’s sewage!