OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE INFORMATION FOR: THE CANPLAS BACKWATER VALVE THE CHEMTROL BALL SHUT OFF VALVE SUMP PUMPS AND WASTEWATER EJECTOR PUMPS

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1 OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE INFORMATION FOR: THE CANPLAS BACKWATER VALVE THE CHEMTROL BALL SHUT OFF VALVE SUMP PUMPS AND WASTEWATER EJECTOR PUMPS THE LOUISVILLE AND JEFFERSON COUNTY METROPOLITAN SEWER DISTRICT Louisville and Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District

2 Introduction Based on the existing plumbing in your house, your plumbing contractor has installed a backwater valve and shut off valve set, a sump pump or a wastewater ejector pump in your basement floor. These have been installed to prevent sewer back ups through your basement plumbing fixtures such as floor drains, toilets, sinks, etc. Only the basement plumbing should run through these devices therefore allowing use of upstairs plumbing during flooding conditions. This manual describes the methods for maintaining the valves, sump pumps or wastewater ejector pumps in order to keep them operating properly. NOTE: During the process of maintaining the valves or pumps installed in your home, you may become exposed to wastewater. Before you begin, please take precautions to protect yourself by wearing protective clothing, rubber gloves, eye protection, etc. Upon completion wash well using warm water and soap. BACKWATER VALVE AND SHUT OFF VALVE SETS A. Backwater Valves The flapper allows normal flow. A sewer backup will close the flapper. The backwater valve installed in your basement is manufactured by CanPlas Industries, LTD., (http://www.canplasplumbing.com). It is either a 4-inch (Model 3285) or 3-inch (Model 3287) valve. Inside the backwater valve is a flapper which permits wastewater to flow out of your house but prevents sewer backflow from entering. It is important to remember that during a heavy rain event, the sewers may become overloaded and backup into your sewer service line. When this happens your backwater valve will remain closed and basement plumbing fixtures should not be used. Using your basement plumbing at this time could cause wastewater to backup through the lowest basement opening (probably a floor or shower drain) since it has no place to exit. The point at which you should stop using your basement plumbing is specific to each location and is therefore difficult to judge. Street flooding is a good indication that the sewers may be full and the backwater valve has probably closed. Another determination may be made from your personal experience and knowledge of previous storms which have caused basement flooding. A sure indicator is the point at which your own wastewater begins to backup through the lowest basement opening following the use of some plumbing fixture. Louisville and Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District Page 1

3 B. Emergency Shut Off Valve Either a 3-inch or 4-inch ball shut off valve manufactured by Chemtrol Ball Valves (http://www.nibco.com/cms.do?id=2&pid=1) has been installed in your basement for emergency situations. Additional information on the Chemtrol Ball Valve may be obtained by calling 1(888) (toll free) in Louisville, Kentucky. Although the backwater valve is fully capable of preventing basement flooding due to sewer backflow, you may need to close the shut off valve in the rare situation when the backwater valve has failed. It is possible for debris or grease to enter your sewer line through a basement plumbing fixture and it may become lodged in the flapper. If the flapper is stuck in this open position, it cannot prevent a sewer backup from entering the basement. Emergency Shut Off Valve with T-Wrench in the open position. The shut off valve needs to always remain open unless an emergency requires you to close it. The contractor has provided you with a orange colored T-wrench for opening the access lid and for operating the shut off valve. To open the shut off valve, you must begin by removing the 3-inch diameter access lid. Do this by inserting the T-wrench into the lid's slot and unscrewing the lid. The T-wrench may then be inserted into the slot on top of the valve at the bottom of the access hole. Only a quarter turn clockwise of the T-wrench is needed to fully close the valve and stop any further sewer backup. While the shut off valve is closed it is of the very important that you remember not to use any of your basement plumbing until you have re-opened the valve. After the rain event has stopped and the sewers have returned to normal flow, you may re-open the shut off valve by turning the T-wrench a quarter turn counter clockwise. (You may then open and inspect the backwater valve) When the valve is open, the handle of the T-wrench will be aligned with the direction of flow of the sewer line below the basement floor. You should then replace the lid and tighten the lid only finger tight. Louisville and Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District Page 2

4 The T-wrench which has been provided should be stored near your valve installation for emergency access. Also, it should be kept where it will not be damaged. The wrench is not a widely distributed item. It was manufactured specifically for this project. To purchase a replacement wrench in the future you should contact your plumbing contractor. If they are no longer available, it may be best to ask a metal fabricator to construct one to the exact dimensions of the one provided to you. C. Cleaning the Backwater Valve It is recommended that you flush and clean the backwater valve three to four times per year. If your basement plumbing fixtures are used quite frequently, it may require cleaning more often. It may require more frequent cleaning if the basement plumbing is regularly used. During the first six months it is recommended that you clean the valve once per month to determine the frequency of cleaning necessary to keep your valve operating properly based on your specific conditions. There are some basic steps to take when cleaning the flapper. If your valve is installed with an extension sleeve, you must remove this surface lid to expose the cleanout lid of the backwater valve. This cleanout lid can then be removed by unscrewing counter clockwise. (A 2 x 4 board turned on end can be placed between the fins on top of the lid to help turn if it s over tightened). Check the O-ring on the cleanout lid to assure it is in tact and unbroken. Once the sleeve lid or cleanout lid is removed, you will be able to see if the flapper is clogged with debris. If obstructed, you may flush the line by pouring hot tap water into a basement plumbing receptacle such as a floor drain. This water will run through the valves and flush the line. You may also pour water directly into the valve if necessary. (Put on rubber gloves to perform the next phase of maintenance.) Reaching down through the opening and lifting the flapper by hand to clear the valve of debris is a dirty but practical means of cleaning the flapper. If still clogged you may need to pull the flapper out from its slotted position, rinse it off in warm water using a mild dish washing detergent and remove any debris. You will need to inspect the flapper periodically for defects such as holes, cracks or deformities and to make sure the o-ring gasket located on the outer ring of the flapper is unbroken, well seated, flat and in place. The flapper must be completely solid and flat, or it will not function correctly. If defective, replacement flappers may be purchased from a plumbing supply store which sells CanPlas products (they may need to specially order one). If this is a problem you may contact the manufacturer in Barrie, Ontario, Canada, 1 (705) or check the website. After placing the flapper back in its position, be sure to check that it lays flush against the lip and can swing open without restriction. Hand tighten the clean out lid back on. Do not over tighten Over tightening may result in stripping threads, splitting the valve or causing the inability to remove the lid for future maintenance. Louisville and Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District Page 3

5 For best results do not expose the flapper to abrasive cleaning materials, petroleum solvents or drain cleaners for removing drain clogs. If you must use such liquids in plumbing fixtures which flow through the valves, you should pull the flapper out of its position beforehand. Washing Machine Stand Pipe Valves If you have a washing machine stand pipe which attaches to your vertical plumbing stack and your stack does not flow through your valves, then a separate backwater valve and a manual shut off valve have been installed in the stand pipe. When closed, the manual shut off valve will prevent any backflow up the stand pipe. SUMP PUMPS A. Sump Pumps The plumbing contractor who installed your sump pump should have given you a packet of information from the manufacturer on the operation and maintenance of your sump pump. This should also include information regarding the manufacturer's warranty. The property owner should always leave the pump discharge unobstructed. The following information is in addition to that provided by your plumbing contractor. If you encounter problems with your sump pump installation, you should contact the plumbing contractor who performed the work. After expiration of the manufacturer's warranty and/or any warranties extended by the plumbing contractor, the property owner will be responsible for all maintenance, repair, or replacement expenses associated with the sump pump and related accessories. B. Exterior Drains If your house has an exterior drain at the basement floor elevation (for instance in an outside stairwell leading to the basement), your plumbing contractor will have disconnected this drain and connected it into the sump pump basin if installed as a part of the sewer protection. Any water that does drain down the stairwell will drain into the sump pump basin and be pumped to the outside. Louisville and Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District Page 4

6 WASTEWATER EJECTOR PUMPS The purpose of a wastewater ejector pump system is to collect wastewater from lower level facilities such as toilets, showers, etc. and pump them up to a gravity sewer system. The environment under which these systems must work is much harsher than a standard sump pump installation, thus they will involve more maintenance The plumbing contractor who installed your wastewater ejector pump system should have given you a packet of information from the manufacturer on the operation and maintenance of system. This should also include information regarding the manufacturer's warranty. In addition, the basin lid should be removed monthly and the basin should be hosed out, (preferably with warm to hot water) to remove settled materials and any greases that may form on the basin, pump, floats, etc. Louisville and Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District Page 5

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