If the toilet backs up due to Y2k problems at the Sewer Plant

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If the sewer backs up into your house due to Y2k problems processing sewage due to computer or lack of power, and your insurance policy says they don't cover problems stemming from Y2k issues, will you have any insurance paid out for damage to your home, even if you have sewage backup coverage?

-- Laurane (familyties@rttinc.com), June 26, 1999


I have been wondering this very same thing. Write a very specific letter to your insurance company and see how they answer. I bet they don't cover.

And the municipality will be protected from your lawsuit.

Get those sewage backflow valves installed now. Call a plumber.

-- Mommacares (harringtondesignX@earthlink.net), June 26, 1999.

If the electricity goes out and the treatment plant can't process the tide of effluvient flushing down, they will SHUT OFF THE WATER to slow the pipe floods.

Have some water & bleach stored for unexpected clean-ups. Also LOTS of rubber gloves and antibacterial lotion soap.

Insurance will shy away from any "unusual" claims. Better luck with an airplane torpedoing your house. Then you can get damages from the airline.

xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxx

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), June 26, 1999.

Somewhere in this forum there's some discussion about a plumbers' tool which will block your sewage line, preventing backup into your house. I would rather rely on this than insurance companies. They won't be able to help you after you die of cholera.

-- Shimrod (shimrod@lycosmail.com), June 26, 1999.

I forget the correct name for them, but plumbers use an inflatable black rubber bladder on a chain to block the outlet of the drain on a house so they can fill the whole system with water to check for leaks. All you have to do is poke it in the main sewer pipe at the clean-out,(between the house and the street) and inflate to seal your system off from the city. What a horrible thought, if it gets that bad, the man-hole covers will float off their holes and the cities will be awash in sh*t. I think I'll get my septic tank pumped this week and stay out of cities for a month or two after roll-over

-- Roger (pecosrog@earthlink.net), June 26, 1999.

If you have backup of sewer & drain coverage added to your homeowners or renters policy by endorsement and the sewer backs up into your home you will have coverage. There is no clause in the policy saying if it's caused by y2k it won't pay. The language in these policies has not been changed re:y2k. It's the same as it was before y2k came on the scene. The proximate cause of damage to your home is the sewage spill and what caused the spill is not the issue. Check with your agent in your state for details as policies differ slightly from state to state.

mb in NC

-- mb (mdbutler@coastalnet.com), June 26, 1999.

I believe what is being discussed here is a plumbers "baloney" used for leak testing. This is only a temporary means for blocking the sewer line and would have to be checked periodically to be sure that it is maintaining its inflation.

Plumbing supply stores sell what is known as a "pvc flapper valve" or a backflow prevention valve. They cost between $35 and $55 depending on the size of your discharge line. You have to like digging


-- Ray (ray@totacc.com), June 26, 1999.

Ray wrote: "Plumbing supply stores sell what is known as a "pvc flapper valve" or a backflow prevention valve. They cost between $35 and $55 depending on the size of your discharge line. You have to like digging"

What? I've been following this issue for a long time, and the prices that people quote are always in the hundreds of bucks, e.g. $400 (for backflow prevention device plus installation). How is this different? What kind of "digging" is necessary? (You are referring to self-installation, yes?) Please give more details, Ray. Thanks.

-- alan (foo@bar.com), June 26, 1999.

Alan, I just bought a 4" PVC Backwater Valve at our local Plumbing Supply store ($35). I was fortunate that my sewer discharge line from the house to the street was only 2 1/2' in the ground. I also bought a 4" Easy Fix repair coupling (telescopes) for $30. Once you have located your cleanouts the discharge sewer line should be right below them. Start digging!!


-- Ray (ray@totacc.com), June 26, 1999.

Alan, almost forgot, after you cut the pipe and before you install the valve DON'T FLUSH the TOILET or run anything that will discharge water through the line.


-- Ray (ray@totacc.com), June 26, 1999.

The ball plug on chain is mfg by Cherne Industries ...Call.. 1 800 843-7584 and they will put you in touch with a supply house nearby.

I will use mine and send the "stuff" on over to my neighbor's house (the one who continues to be DGI).

-- rb (phxbanks@webtv.net), June 26, 1999.

It's a 'sticky' problem, eh? Ain't 'Public' Utilities GREAT? Ahhh, what DID they do before all of the technilogical advances? BTW...we live in the 'Wheat Capitol of the World'. We've had WAY too much rain down here and the wheat crops are nearly rotting in the fields as nobody can harvest. Some are humping it today, but, the forcast is calling for rain. The government will financially penalize these individuals for not getting the next crop in ON TIME (pot..kettle...black?) Too bad we needed more parking lots and high dollar 'burbs', eh? Too bad we've raped, stripped and financially abused this country's bread basket, in order to stand in more McDonalds lines (and drive-ups). Oh well, that's progress in action, right? Good luck with those 'Public sewers'.

-- Will continue (farming@home.com), June 26, 1999.

People this has been addressed before. If you are downhill from the treatment plant or pumping station it would be a good idea to get one of those inflatable plugs. Otherwise, if the treatment plant is without power it won't take long of all the water towers to empty out either. With no electric running the pumps that re-fill the water towers there won't be any water available at anyones house. What are you going to flush down the toilet? These two factors are interrelated. Don't worry about it unless the second sentence applies to you. Then just get that plug.

-- rick (I'mset@home.house), June 28, 1999.

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