Even though our municipal water supply is safe and clean for use, we should not dismiss the possibility of contamination. Improper piping, faulty connections and lack of backflow preventers can cause wastewater to infiltrate your fresh water supply.
This backflow of sewage entering your clean water supply can be blocked by using the best plumbing tools. It is important to know about the different types of backflow preventers available so that you can make an educated choice when purchasing one for your home.
Types of Backflow Prevention Devices
“Backflow” occurs when wastewater in your plumbing flows backward, into your home, and blends with the home’s clean water supply. This can present serious health risks to occupants who consume from the water supply.
The use of backflow prevention devices is a requirement by many building authorities for the prevention of backflow.
Hospital water supplies, municipal water systems, food processing factories, all utilize backflow preventers to secure the public from potentially dangerous water contamination.
What Are Air Gaps?
Contaminated water and clean water should never meet! Each should always flow through separate pipes. The best way to prevent this type of backflow with an air gap.
An air gap in plumbing is used to describe an open, upright space or gap between the water break and a fixture’s flood level.
Wastewater is sent over the gap of air, therefore, blocking contamination. Air gaps are a guarantee that your clean water supply is protected from wastewater contamination.
Pressure Vacuum Breakers in Irrigation
Another backflow prevention device, called pressure vacuum breakers, will shield against water backflow. They are instrumental in irrigation systems, used to prevent non-drinking water from inadvertently entering the clean water supply by way of an irrigation system.
The tank will shut off a control valve that reduces any backflow from leaking into the clean water supply when the water pressure is below the air pressure.
An atmospheric vacuum breaker, or AVB, is a dependable and cost-efficient backflow prevention device with a top lid that opens to let air into the system and fills it up if back-siphoning should occur. The top lid works with a poppet valve that is squeezed by the water system pressure.
Which Backflow Preventer Should You Get?
The backflow prevention device that you buy depends largely on your plumbing system and sewer line. Pressure vacuum breakers can be used in homes to restrict backflow as a result of a vacuum force in the pipeline. PVBs will send air into a pipe to stop the absorption.
You may add more modifications to the backflow from inside the plumbing system. Controlled pressure zone preventers and assembly preventers can quickly shut close if a backflow that clogs the pipeline system should occur.
Not only are backflow prevention devices highly effective, but they are also a requirement in many cities. Check with your city’s building authorities for their recommendations for plumbing backflow preventer preconditions and if permits are required.
Want to learn more about backflow prevention devices? The backflow prevention specialists at Honest Abe's Home Services in Osage Beach, MO are ready to help you find the right backflow preventer for your home’s plumbing supply and any other plumbing questions you may have.