The term “backflow” in plumbing not only sounds nasty but is also a hazardous phenomenon.
Typically, most water distribution systems are required to maintain a specific pressure that enables water to flow through fixtures into taps, showers and sinks. The optimal pressure maintained ensures that clean, freshwater flows through the taps in one direction only.
However, a pressure difference can cause the opposite phenomenon – backflow of water from the taps back into the water distribution system. Several state laws dictate that a backflow prevention device must be installed on culinary water systems.
As you may imagine, cross-contamination in these water systems can be hazardous for anyone using the water. This is true even in the case of pond and pool equipment, boiler systems and irrigation systems. Backflow Prevention can be configured. In certain conditions, water can travel from premises back into a water main when there is a pressure indifference in a water supply.
This can result in contaminated, or unclean water being drawn back into the domestic water supply, causing people to become ill from drinking the contaminated water.
The water that is supplied to our premises has been through a cleansing process, which is what makes it safe to consume, however, there are certain scenarios where this supply becomes contaminated.
Backflow prevention is vital for most potable water supplies, without which people run the risk of contamination.
A device known as a backflow preventer is installed on the water pipes of your home. This device ensures that pressure in the water pipes remains stable, thus, preventing water from flowing backwards.
The two primary reasons for backflow are back-siphonage and backpressure. Fortunately, both can be prevented with the help of a backflow preventer device. Some of the common causes are:
Typically, you need to hire a professional plumber to perform backflow prevention tests. This is done with the help of a backflow testing device that is used on the valves of your water system. These valves are commonly known as relief valves and gate valves.
The professional plumber does this by first closing the valves and then checking if there is any change in the gauge readings. They also keep an eye on water leaks and seepage.
During the backflow prevention testing process, the plumber ensures that the check valves are functioning optimally to prevent the backflow of water. Moreover, they also need to observe whether the air ports are open in the appropriate places.
Another vital factor to check is the relief valves. It is essential that the relief valves open before the pressure at the inlet valves drop below 2 PSL.
Backflow, or water running backwards from the tap to the water source, can be dangerous.
The best way to check whether your backflow prevention device is working optimally is to hire a professional to test it. We recommend conducting this test annually to ensure that the device is working as it should.
Furthermore, if you doubt that your water supply is contaminated, contact a professional immediately for help. This can save you and your family from water-related diseases and other hazards