Mainline Backflow Products Inc. is celebrating 25 years in business. Although well known for their proprietary and innovative backwater valves, and leading the way for helping to make important changes to valve regulation across North America, the agile company has expanded over the years in both scope and products. Gabe and Jordan Coscarella are happy to share the story of where Mainline has been, and where it is going.
One day Gabe, a plumber by trade, sat at his dinner table and drew a sketch of a backwater valve concept. Gabe and his friend, Vitto Chiodo, then went to work in the garage making the first prototype.
“The model was crude, made of Tupperware and plexiglass,” says Gabe. “It was installed and tested in my own house. To this day that model sits in our trophy case – fully sanitized of course! This is how the Mainline Fullport Backwater valve was born.”
The “normally-open” valve revolutionized and changed the National Plumbing Code, opening the doors for mainline protection in Canada. The mainline valve continues to be the flagship of the company, protecting over a million homes across North America and is a part of nearly every install in Canada.
Jordan says with pride, “The Mainline valve is trusted by insurance companies, plumbers and engineers as a key part in many cities’ flood prevention programs across North America.”
With this early success and the birth of the company, the founders were ready for the next steps… but, those next steps were not quite ready for them.
Gabe explains, “Thinking we hit a gold mine, we launched the product at a tradeshow in Vegas. We quickly learned that the valve wouldn’t work for their slab-on-grade markets.”
Undeterred, Gabe went back to the drawing board and designed the “Adapt-a-Valve” for deep burials and slab-on-grade markets.
“This valve was truly a game changer in this market, and is now the leader in the slab-on-grade markets in the USA and is widely used in Canada for outside burials and commercial and industrial applications,” says Gabe. “We have since further expanded the valve line and added several other valves for the industry.”
“What most don’t know,” says Jordan, “Is that we are far from only being ‘valve people.’ We also bring innovation to the building envelope area.”
Seeing how leakage is an area of concern for the builders, and how difficult it is to get building penetrations right using caulking, sealing tapes and peel & stick, Mainline went to work innovating better solutions.
Jordan says, “We are heavily invested in improving products in the area of HVAC, plumbing and electrical penetrations. We developed Greenskin and Pro-Flash seals, which eliminate leakage.”
They didn’t stop there.
“Tapes, liquid membrane and peel & stick are common practices for sealing windows and doors. However, while effective, these products are pricey and require a high skill set to apply. Weather conditions can make installations difficult.”
Builders needed a better user-friendly solution. Mainline’s answer is Flex-Sill, a cost-effective system that is simply rolled out and placed over the sill.
“Our patent pending Flex-Sill comes on a grooved roll (which is customizable to include back-dams) that quickly and easily caps the entire sill,” says Gabe. “We can really see this product revolutionizing the industry because it is fast and simple to use. Anyone can install it and do so in all weather conditions. It is simple and inexpensive.”
Gabe and Jordan feel that Mainline’s success is, “driven by hearing our customers’ needs and delivering on them. Setting a new standard has been our motto since inception and this motto is portrayed in every product we bring to market. Our daily approach is changing the way things are done for the better. When we see a better way of doing things in our industry, we pursue and perfect it. Modestly, we think of our innovations as ‘good common sense.’”
Jordan adds, “Our made-in-Canada products stand for themselves. Innovation, reliability and quality have led to a trust bond between us and our customers. What we love about the business community are the relationships, trust and support we have from our partner plumbers, contractors and wholesalers.”
The “new standard” approach of business has empowered steady growth. Mainline employs several full-time employees along with subcontractors and a network of independent sales agents across North America.
Gabe and Jordan are happy to share their products and knowledge at the many trade shows they frequent annually. They cite meeting people, walking the show, talking to industry professionals and learning about emerging products as trade show highlights – and a place where many of their new ideas are born.
Mainline’s innovations have earned the company recognition over the years including the Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating’s Ivan R. Leger award for the most innovative plumbing product in Canada. This was followed with a Manning Innovation award.
“The Manning Innovation award was extra special as it was a Canada-wide competition in all sectors (medicine, industrial, commercial, etc.),” says Gabe. “I was so honoured to meet and share the stage with doctors, students and other entrepreneurs from across Canada.”
Mainline has also been recognized and awarded by the International Builders Show (2020) and the Pacific Coast Builders Conference (2022) for their innovative building penetration seals and window/door sill flashings.
Both conclude, “We want to thank our customers for their support. We couldn’t be the company we are today without you. We look forward to showing you our always-expanding product line, including our new building penetration products, as we continue to evolve from valves. Please expect the same great customer service and innovative products as we enter new markets.”
This “small” company is a giant when it comes to leading the valve industry in North America and looks to have same success in building penetration seals. They look forward to continuing to set new standards now, and for years to come.