Of all the potential problems that you may encounter with your plumbing, backflow is one of the most serious, and many home and business owners are not even aware when backflow is occurring. When wastewater mixes with fresh water that filters into your home, you are at risk to develop significant health issues. Diseases, illnesses, and even death can all be caused by backflow into your home. The potential risks are just too great to allow this issue to continue unnoticed.
Many people opt to have a backflow preventer installed in their home to give them some added security. This device is designed to prevent backflow from happening, but that does not mean that it is failsafe. Experts recommend having your backflow testing conducted at least once each year to prevent this major catastrophe from happening in your home. Should you consider these modes of prevention?
Let’s take a closer look at why your building should have a backflow preventer installed and why annual testing is imperative.
Do I Need a Backflow Preventer?
Not every home and business requires a backflow preventer, but many of them do. Backflow is caused by a pressure difference that allows contaminants from private plumbing lines to enter into the public water systems. This typically happens with private plumbing lines stemming from an irrigation system, boiler, or any other type of plumbing that enters into the home. It occurs at cross-connections where public water lines meet with private plumbing systems.
When there is a pressure difference between private and public, it can cause backflow. A sudden drop in water pressure from the public water system can cause backflow just as easily as a sudden drop in water pressure from the home or business, and the pressure difference can be measured from either end. Experts refer to these situations differently, and there are decidedly two major types of backflow that can occur:
Back Siphonage: The water pressure on the supply side drops and creates a vacuum in your pipes, pulling the unwanted wastewater back in until the two combine. A main water break is often responsible for this major type of backflow.
Back Pressure: The water pressure in your commercial plumbing becomes greater than the public water supply, pushing wastewater into the public water.
Both issues can mean serious risk to your personal health and the health of your entire community. It is best to safeguard through some protective measures to prevent contaminating the water in your building and the water that flows to others. Installing a backflow preventer should be considered necessary if you have any zones that could be cross-connections. These can include:
- Garbage disposals
- Hand valves on spray nozzles at the kitchen sink
- Hose bibbs or threaded faucets
Why Does My Backflow Preventer Need Tested?
Many homeowners mistakenly believe that they do not need to do anything further once they have installed their backflow preventer. They feel that this one simple action gives them a pass on further maintenance and prevention of this very serious condition. Unfortunately, they may miss out on major problems with their system unless they are committed to performing annual maintenance with an experienced technician.
Much like any other device, a backflow preventer has many moving parts that make it successful. It contains several seals, springs, and other parts that can wear out over time. When these parts are no longer functioning at their highest level, you may experience some backflow into your clean drinking water even with a this preventer installed.
An annual test can help you to ensure that everything is up to code with your backflow preventer. It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to maintaining the quality of your drinking water. After all, your health should be one of your top priorities.
Backflow Preventer Installation
Understanding the importance of a backflow preventer is the first step toward maintaining healthy and safe drinking water. We are all concerned with the purity and condition of our water, and taking this one simple action, paired with routine testing and maintenance, could help you to secure your family safe and reliable water for years to come.
Clean Line can help you install this important piece of equipment in your home and maintain it over the years. Make an investment in your health today with our backflow preventer installation and annual testing! For plumbing in Winnipeg choose Clean Line.