Does My Plumbing System Need a Backwater Valve? | 2-10 Blog

Does my plumbing system need a backwater valve?

When making sure our homes are waterproof and safe from foundation-harming moisture, we typically think about things like drainage away from the home via gutters, the quality of our roofs, and other commonly known solutions.

However, some homeowners will need to take extra measures to keep their homes dry. Backwater valves are one way to do that — keep reading to learn whether you need a backwater valve in your plumbing system.

What are backwater valves and what do they do?

During sudden, heavy rains, your city’s sewer lines can get overwhelmed. This can cause water and/or sewage to flow back to your home (and you certainly don’t want that). Backwater valves can help fix the problem.

Backwater valves are also known as backflows and/or sewer backup valves. You can have the valve installed on your sewer line, and once in place it allows sewage to flow one way, and one way only — out of your home.

Does my house need a backwater valve?

 The answer to this question all depends on where you live. Some cities require that homeowners have these valves installed and others simply make the recommendation. There’s a greater risk of a sewer backup if your home:

  • Has a basement.
  • Includes a ground floor is less than a foot above street level.

Newer homes with plumbing fixtures below street level are required to have backwater valves per the National Plumbing Code. Further, if you live in a region that often experiences sudden and heavy rains it’s worth looking into having one of these valves installed in your plumbing system.

How much does it cost to have a backwater valve installed in my home?

Installing a backwater valve into a newly built home is easy and affordable (generally no more than $250, though costs will depend on where you live), since the task can be completed along with the rest of the plumbing.

Retrofitting an existing plumbing system with a backwater valve increases the costs substantially, and you might pay $1,000 – $2,000 for this feature. If your older home is retrofitted with a valve the contractor will need to remove concrete to reach the main sewer line, which drives up the cost. However, some municipalities offer subsidies to homeowners who wish to install a backwater valve, and these are worth seeking out.

Having a backwater valve can even save you money on your homeowner’s insurance costs, so don’t forget to update your insurance provider if you install a backwater valve.

2-10 HBW offers the most comprehensive Home Warranty coverage for homeowners. Let us help you protect your home.


Protect more,
pay less with 2-10

Low-cost home service plans.

Learn More