What to Know About Backflow
Plumbing backflow is a serious problem that can contaminate drinking water and cause severe health risks, so it's crucial homeowners have some basic knowledge about it and how it’s prevented. This post will answer some questions homeowners may have about backflow, how it’s prevented, and backflow testing.
What Exactly Is Backflow?
Backflow occurs when there is an unwanted flow of water going in the reverse direction. In this case, contaminants may enter a home’s clean water supply. It can occur when water flows back into a home's plumbing system from an outside source, such as a sewer line or a neighbor's plumbing.
Backflow can happen for various reasons, including faulty plumbing and power outages. Backflow usually occurs because of back pressure or greater pressure in the system versus its supply, forcing water back in the opposite direction. Another possible cause is back siphonage, where pressure is decreased in the supply causing the system to have higher pressure.
Backflow is a serious problem that can result in serious health issues and flooding. Among them are pollution of the environment, corrosion of pipes and a home’s plumbing system, compromised quality of drinking water, and diseases carried by a contaminated water supply. These risks are a real threat to human health, so it is important to prevent backflow at all costs.
What Are Some Options for Preventing Backflow?
Preventing backflow can be done by installing backflow prevention devices that are designed to keep water flowing in one direction. There are two common methods of backflow prevention plumbers may use: the air gap method and the backflow preventer valve method.
The air gap method is a backflow prevention method that involves putting a physical space or a gap between a water outlet and the flood level of a fixture. This gap helps maintain pressure in the system to keep wastewater flowing in one direction. The other method uses a backflow device called a backflow preventer valve. This valve can be installed in the system to keep water moving in one direction to prevent backflow and its effects.
How Often Should Backflow Preventers Be Tested?
While backflow prevention methods are essential for homes to help prevent water contamination, backflow testing must be done to ensure these devices are working correctly. Most states require homes to have this backflow test done by licensed plumbers who act as backflow testers at least once yearly.
Regular backflow testing gives homeowners - and the public - peace of mind that backflow devices are working properly and that their water at home is completely safe for consumption and free from contamination. If homeowners have more questions about backflow prevention and testing, they can reach out for answers.
About PAC Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning
PAC Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning has over 45 years of experience serving Staten Island and the surrounding areas. They offer accurate solutions, options to fit your budget, and fast turnarounds. Call them today for backflow prevention, testing, and certification services in Staten Island, NY.