Q: We maintain apartment buildings by the river. When heavy rains come in the spring and fall, the river rises, causing basement floor drains to back up. Is there a device that can prevent a major mess?
A: Yes, you have two options. There are a number of water sensors on the market that will detect water on the floor and sound an alarm. But by the time you know you have a problem, it’s too late. The water is already on the floor.
A better alternative is a device call a Flood-Guard. It operates like a check valve to seal off water back-up caused by overloaded sewers. Water flows normally through the drain until the sewer begins to back up. Then a float rises to seal off the drain opening until the water recedes.
A screwdriver and a couple of minutes are all you need to install a Flood-Guard. Once in place, it can prevent property damage and a very messy clean-up job. It’s available for 2”, 3” and 4” drains.
For extreme, extended pressure, a standpipe model is recommended. The 4″ Standpipe model is threaded to receive 1-1/2″ IPS pipe. On the 3″ model, the pipe is slipped through the rubber gasket before the screws are fully tightened.
The Flood-Guard works well for floor drains, but it cannot be used to prevent a toilet from backing up and overflowing. And of course, if the water is coming in under the front door, it’s too late for the Flood-Guard.
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