When is a backwater valve required?
A backwater valve is required by IPC and UPC plumbing codes, as well as many state and local plumbing codes, when the cover of the nearest upstream manhole is above the flood rim of the lowest fixture in the building.  The presence of a backwater valve can also be very important when a combination storm and sewer system is present as well as when sealed manhole covers are present in flood areas.

Backwater valves may also be necessary when lift stations are employed or when a high water table exists.  Note that backwater valves are used on both public water systems and with septic tanks.  Local codes may also apply.

When is a manhole required for installation of a backwater valve?
Access for servicing a backwater valve is always necessary.  Both IPC and UPC codes, as well as many local codes, require the use of a concrete manhole or vault when the backwater valve is buried deeper than arms length (2’).  This requirement fulfills the need for access to service the flapper although it can be very dangerous and require federally mandated equipment and procedures for entry into the manhole.
Neither an expensive, dangerous and unsightly manhole nor vault is required when using the Clean Check Extendable back water valve.  There is no need to go down to the flapper.  Instead, the flapper comes up to your for servicing.  It can be cleaned, inspected and/or replaced at ground level.  And, the Clean Check Extendable backwater valve is fully listed as complying with the latest UPC and IPC code standards.

How often does a backwater valve need to be serviced?
Please refer to our suggested maintenance instructions located on this web site.

How deep can the Clean Check Extendable backwater valve be installed?
To comply with ICC Acceptance Criteria for Backwater Valves AC-247, the maximum approved bury depth for extendable backwater valves is 12’.
However, neither the UPC nor CSA standards dictate a maximum bury
depth for compliance with their standards.

Can the Clean Check Extendable backwater valve be used as a cleanout?
No!  Anytime a sewer snake passes through a backwater valve damage can occur to the valve flapper or the finished seating surface against which the flapper seals.

Why does a sewer lateral need to have a minimum grade?
Without an adequate grade, it is possible for the screening of solids by the flapper when a backwater valve is used.

Can the Clean Check Extendable backwater valve be used in both a horizontal and vertical installation?
No!  The Clean Check valve is designed for horizontal installation only.

Where is the Clean Check Extendable backwater valve approved for use?
The Clean Check Extendable backwater valve is fully listed as complying with both the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) and the International Plumbing Code (IPC).  With full listing to these two major code standards, most states, counties, cities, towns and authorities nationwide approve the Clean Check Extendable backwater valve.  However, it is always wise to check first with your local municipality prior to product installation.

Where can I purchase a Clean Check Extendable backwater valve?
Clean Check Extendable backwater valves are sold through wholesale distribution, nationwide.Contractors should contact their local wholesale plumbing supplier or water and sewer wholesale supplier to purchase the valve.  If your local wholesaler does not currently stock our valve, they need only contact the Clean Check office (866-288-2583) to be established as a distributor. Homeowners should contact a local plumbing contractor in their area about purchase and installation of the Clean Check Extendable backwater valve.

Why is it preferable to place the backwater valve outside the building?
There are multiple reasons why we recommend our backwater valve be placed outside the building.

  • Installation is simpler since no forms or preplanning is required prior to pouring concrete in the basement.
  • There will be neither sewer gas nor the possibility of bacterial contamination inside the house when servicing the valve.
  • No searching for a valve that has been covered over with carpeting and/or furniture.
  • Provides total freedom when finishing a basement.  There is no worry aboutnputting walls where you want them.  Blocking access to the backwater valve need not be a consideration.
  • No more searching in crawl spaces and under stairways to service the valve.