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  1. #1
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    Default Check Valve/Back Water Valve Advice- Please help!

    Hello all, I really need some advice. I am a new home owner in NJ. I have decided to add a walkin shower and sink to my basement. My basement currently has a bathroom. My plumber suggested that I will need the following added to my new bathroom: Studor vent and Check Valve. My question is, where should I place the check valve? The sewer line appears to be pointing in the direction of my garage, which I am also intending to convert to a den. I am told that the check valve must be above ground for accessibility. Please check my picture below.

    If possible, can someone help me post a diagram?

    Thanks
    4 basement sewer line.jpg5 basement.jpg

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  2. #2
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    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
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    Default Re: Check Valve/Back Water Valve Advice- Please help!

    To me, a check valve is a one way valve. A check valve has a different function than a Studor vent. Where did the plumber think you needed a check valve and why? I think the plumber can better answer your question since he can see the entire picture.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Check Valve/Back Water Valve Advice- Please help!

    I shouldn't even reply to this thread but I can't help myself.
    First off, since you are on the internet asking these questions I have to seriously question whether your plumber is actually a Plumber.
    - As far as the check valve I'm going to assume he's thinking of putting that in the drain run for the shower. It isn't uncommon for poorly installed basement showers to have back up when upper fixtures are drained. If drainage is installed properly then its not an issue and you don't need a check valve. If you have backup already in your basement due to rain, bad sewer, etc thats another issue.
    - Studor vent as in POS AAV vent? First off you need to check if does are even allowed in your municipality. In the picture there's a stack so your guy should be able to install a proper re-vent set-up for the fixtures and tie into the stack at the appropriate level
    - Your toilet position looks like it may be beyond the critical distance from the stack for sufficient venting (we usually figure 5' max as critical distance)
    - as far as the drain line going to the garage, if it is a kitchen line it could be going to a catch basin which would not make it a good option for your new bathroom
    - we have areas here where the sewer runs in the alley, not a lot but some; you need to find out how your neighborhood is set up, you could have alley sewers
    My recommendation is you call a real Plumber. You set-up is fairly easy for an experienced Plumber. I don't see why you would realistically have these questions if your guy was legit.
    Good luck

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Check Valve/Back Water Valve Advice- Please help!

    The placement of the check valve is dependent upon its duty. Is it being installed to prevent sewage back up from outside the home, or is it being installed to prevent backup (or suds) from the shower drain? If your sewer line is going to the back of the home, I'll assume you are not tied into public sewers, and guess the latter.

    While I agree that the check valve should be accessible, I do not agree that it has to be installed above ground. How can it possibly be installed above ground, is the shower and toilet raised? l (or is pumped). You know the saying about sh*t goes downhill...

    Last edited by Steven Turetsky; 05-21-2013 at 08:31 AM.
    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
    homeinspectionsnewyork.com
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Check Valve/Back Water Valve Advice- Please help!

    Thank you all for your feedback. Ok so heres the full story, my plumber is fully licensed. I hired him to assist in drawing plans for the building department to officially convert my 1/2 bath into a full bathroom in my basement. Because of this, he prepared drawings, which I have submitted already to the buildings department. The purpose of the check/backwater valve is to prevent any potential water from returning into the system- purely for safety measures. The Studor vent was recommended to assure that there is proper venting throughout the pipes. As far as the check valve being above ground- the purpose is to ensure that it can be easily accessible for inspection/cleaning. The shower and toilet will not be raised. The Advice i'm looking for is suggestions on what type of check valve and placement will be more aesthetically pleasing. As I mentioned, I'm planning to fully furnish the basement with porcelain tiles. I dont want the above ground check valve to be too much of an eye sore. I have attached an overview floorplan. If possible, I dont want to place the check valve in the den area.


    Thanks
    7 basement layout.jpg


  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Check Valve/Back Water Valve Advice- Please help!

    I would rather run the new bathroom group to an ejector pump, properly vent the pump pit and bathroom fixtures, and all is good in life.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Check Valve/Back Water Valve Advice- Please help!

    Have you had a problem with backups in the basement? The backwater valve, for the most part, only helps out if the main out in the street backs up. If your sewer line plugs up, public or private, it will back up until it pours out somewhere, such as a floor drain. If you install a backwater valve that protects all the basement fixtures then the sewer could backup until it pours out on the next level, which will result in finding it's way back to the basement... or hope it builds enough pressure to push the blockage out of the way before that happens. But, that depends on how much each area is used. Bottom line, you will find it.

    If your lowest level drain is higher than the manhole cover in the street I would skip the valve. If you are lower, then the valve should be installed where the sewer leaves the building, after all drains.

    I think you mean the access cover to the valve, and not the actual valve being above ground. usually you will have an access cover, at floor level, that you remove and then reach down to unscrew another cover to get access to the actual valve for maintenace.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Check Valve/Back Water Valve Advice- Please help!

    Thanks for the advice. No history of backups at all. I think the check valve is merely a preventative measure. And yes, I do mean access cover, not the entire check valve. One other question, if I do install a check valve, is there a minimum distance that is required between the check valve and main vent/stack?
    Btw, thanks for all your advice and patience. Im not a professional. Just a new homeowner seeking advice from the experts.

    Thanks


  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Check Valve/Back Water Valve Advice- Please help!

    Hard question to answer without knowing what is all going on and what code applies. If this valve is protecting the bath group, and is properly vented, then everything can tie in 10 pipe diameters downstream of the stack. But, I do not know if your code allows bathroom group venting, and it might have a stricter downstream requirement for connections.

    If you have a 1/2 bath now, how is that vented? You are just adding another fixture, can't you tie into the existing vent and avoid using a Studor?


  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Fredericksburg, VA
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    Default Re: Check Valve/Back Water Valve Advice- Please help!

    I think, a dangerous proposition, that the plumber meant the check valve had to be accessible either though the basement slab or with an access extension pipe in the yard if it couldn't fit in the given space.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Check Valve/Back Water Valve Advice- Please help!

    This site is for Inspectors to exchange ideas and code related experiences. It is not a forum for free design services.


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