Everything to Know About Backflow

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 

backflowAs 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?

backflowBackflow 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.  

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Prevent Backflow Scares This Halloween With Professional Backflow Testing

What is Backflow? 

At first glance, backflow is one of the most disgusting things that a plumbing system can endure. It causes foul odors, unclean drinking water, and various health concerns. Backflow is a public health hazard that occurs when water unintentionally flows in the direction opposite to what is intended. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notes that water contamination from backflow can cause abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, and even heart complications. 

The Dangers of Backflow 

water The contaminants in backflow can range from fecal matter to pesticide runoff. These are substances homeowners do not want to consume or come into contact with. As noted, exposure can quickly lead to various health complications, some of which could be fatal. 

Other complications that backflow causes include: 

  • Pipe corrosion: Backflow can contain chemicals that literally “eat away” at a pipe’s inside. This can lead to burst pipes, leaks, and other issues. 
  • Dirty dishes and clothing: One can’t effectively wash dishes and clothes with water contaminated by backflow. The water isn’t clean enough to remove stains and other matter. If anything, it will make items worse. 
  • Unusable appliances: Water heaters, dishwashers, and other appliances need clean water to operate effectively. The water contamination in backflow prevents that. 

What is Backflow Testing? 

Every plumbing system relies on valves, gaskets, air chambers, and backflow preventers to prevent backflow. When a certified backflow tester performs backflow testing, they will check these fixtures to ensure they work properly. Some may require tightening, and others may require total replacement. 

Sometimes, backflow isn’t obvious to homeowners, so plumbers may also test the water’s composition during backflow testing, looking for substances that could threaten residents’ health. Finally, a plumber may also check for underlying problems that could cause backflow in the first place. 

The Importance of Backflow Testing 

testing Backflow testing has many benefits, which include the following: 

  • Protects public health: As noted, backflow is a serious health hazard. It can affect entire communities, so annual testing to ensure backflow preventers work helps prevent backflow. 
  • Prevents contamination: Backflow testing helps avoid the contamination of safe treated water with dangerous substances. Preventative maintenance is the best maintenance, stopping problems before they even begin. 
  • Saves homeowners money: Backflow is more than hazardous; it can also be expensive to repair all the damages caused by it. Keeping up with routine backflow testing helps prevent the need to spend money on repairs down the line. 

About RiverView Mechanical

RiverView Mechanical is a locally owned and operated business serving its neighbors in Hallam, PA, and the surrounding areas. They offer honest pricing, financing, and the latest technology. Call them today for backflow testing and repair in Hellam, PA