Going Against the Flow: What Backflow and Backflow Prevention Entails
When homeowners imagine plumbing problems, they usually think of common issues such as leaks and clogs. But an issue they may not be as aware of is backflow. What is this––and is it preventable? Here in this post, homeowners can learn about backflow, the importance of preventing backflow, and backflow testing.
What Is Backflow?
Water in the plumbing system moves in one direction. Clean water comes in, and wastewater goes out. However, the water flow can sometimes reverse, sending dirty and contaminated water through the home’s clean water lines and to faucets, sinks, and showers.
Backflow may happen when there’s a dip in water pressure, or a pocket of air gets trapped in a pipe. Sometimes, cross-connections can occur between the home’s clean and dirty water. So, imagine a hose connected to the house and mostly submerged in a swimming pool. The water from the pool can get inside the hose and cause backflow because of the change in pressure and cross-connection.
That is why a household must have a backflow preventer installed or must otherwise prevent cross-connections from taking place to keep the local drinking water safe and prevent the spread of waterborne diseases.
Backflow Prevention Devices
As the name suggests, backflow prevention devices prevent backflow. Air gaps and other methods may also be used to prevent backflow from occurring. Here’s an example of how these devices work:
- Imagine a home with perfect water flow. Homeowners trust that their appliances work and that each sip of water they taste is clean.
- While everyone’s sleeping, there may be a change in water pressure, threatening a reversal in the water flow.
- But wait! Since the home has a backflow preventer, this can’t occur. Before the water can move in the opposite direction, the backflow preventer detects a dip in water pressure and closes a valve.
- The household wakes up, and it’s business as usual! With a backflow prevention device or other backflow prevention methods in place, they never would’ve guessed that they narrowly avoided a severe plumbing problem.
How Often Is Backflow Testing Needed?
Backflow prevention devices and methods must be inspected and tested at least once a year. This way, the plumber can ensure that everything is working as expected and the backflow prevention method used doesn’t run the risk of failure in the future. By consulting a backflow tester for annual backflow testing, homeowners can:
- Prevent contaminated water and keep their water safe for drinking
- Avoid getting sick from consuming contaminated water
- Protect public health
About RiverView Mechanical
RiverView Mechanical is a locally owned heating, cooling, and plumbing company serving Hallam and the surrounding areas. They offer honest pricing, on-time services, and the latest technology. Call them today for backflow testing, repair, and prevention services in Hallam, PA.