The plumbing stack is, essentially, a really big drain that takes in waste from all the other drains in your home be it sinks, toilets, showers, tubs and dishwashers. The vent stack is above the top most drain of the home and it allows air to enter into the whole plumbing stack. The drain stack starts where the top most fixture starts draining into the plumbing stack and ends where the lowest fixture drains into the plumbing stack. The soil stack is everything below the lowest fixture and is connected to the sewer.
You can understand the vent stack by thinking back to something that you probably did as a kid. Put a straw in your drink, cover the top of the straw with your finger, then pull it out, still covered. You’ll notice that the liquid doesn’t quickly pour out. Instead, it stays trapped in the straw. The basic idea is that by covering the straw, you’re getting rid of air pressure that would push the liquid down. The same goes for your plumbing stack; without the vent stack, there would be no pressure to push the liquid down and allow it to drain.
Whenever there’s a sudden downpour, there’s a risk that your basement could experience a water backup problem. It’s bad enough if clean rainwater backs up in your basement, but try to imagine nasty sewage filling your basement, ruining everything it touches. Fortunately, you can help prevent this by installing a backwater valve.
A backwater valve (sometimes called a backflow or sewer backup valve) is a valve you can install on your sewer line and is designed to allow water or sewage to flow only one way, that is, out of your house. Anytime there is a sudden heavy rainfall, the city sewer lines can become overwhelmed, causing water or sewage to flow back towards your home. If there is a sewer system backup, and you have a backwater valve in place, sewage will not be able to flow back into your house.
Intact sewer lines are essential to a clean and comfortable home. A sewer line backup or leak can be frustrating to deal with as a homeowner. Along with the unpleasant smell and messy cleanup of a compromised sewer pipe, it can be difficult to pinpoint the root cause of your sewage problem. Although pipes made of steel and cast iron are galvanized to prevent rusting, these pipes are at a high risk of corroding due to calcium and magnesium build-up from regular wear and tear. If corrosion is left untreated, it can leave the pipe susceptible to leaks and cracks.
A sump pump is a pump used to remove water that has accumulated in a water-collecting sump basin, commonly found in the basements of homes. The water may enter via the perimeter drains of a basement waterproofing system, funneling into the basin or because of rain or natural ground water, if the basement is below the water table level. Sump pumps are used where basement flooding happens regularly and to solve dampness where the water table is above the foundation of a home. Sump pumps send water away from a house to any place where it is no longer problematic, such as a municipal storm drain or a dry well. Pumps may discharge to the sanitary sewer in older installations. Once considered acceptable, this practice may now violate the plumbing code or municipal bylaws, because it can overwhelm the municipal sewage treatment system. Municipalities urge homeowners to disconnect and reroute sump pump discharge away from sanitary sewers.