What is Backflow, and How is it Prevented?

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Everything You Need to Know About Backflow

Information is more available now than ever before. But, along with easy access to information, most things in life are more complicated also. Take the home, for example. Before electricity, HVAC, and plumbing, homes were easily built and maintained. Now, except for small renovation projects, most owners don’t feel comfortable working on their homes, especially the utilities. 

The advancements in home design have led to many blindspots that owners aren’t even aware they have. One of these blindspots is backflow. Backflow is a dangerous situation in a home or business’s plumbing system. Preventing backflow is necessary to keep the water in a home safe, but most owners don’t know how this happens. This article briefly introduces backflow and how water supplies are protected from this occurrence. 

What Happens During Backflow? 

As plumbing systems and codes were being developed, it took time to recognize that backflow was a problem. At first glance, backflow can seem unpredictable, but once it was recognized, the plumber immediately came up with solutions. 

Backflow is a process that occurs from normal physics acting unexpectedly on water in piping. Within pipes, water is intended to flow in one direction only. When water flows in the other direction, backflow occurs. Backflow is dangerous because as water flows backward, it forms a siphon that can pull fluid backward into a line. Anytime a hose or point-of-use in plumbing is underwater, backflow can allow that fluid to end up in drinking water supplies. 

Preventing Backflow

backflowOver time, backflow situations have caused poisonings, illnesses, and massive costs to remediate. Once water is contaminated, the only way to remove the toxins is to flush water through the system. In one such instance, potent chemicals were pulled into municipal water supplies requiring the flushing of millions of gallons of treated water through piping. 

Because backflow is so dangerous and expensive, backflow prevention is necessary at several points in the home and on the water grid. The most common device to prevent backflow is the appropriately named “backflow preventer.” Backflow preventers are check valves that stop water from being siphoned back through the system. In homes, they are usually located on the irrigation system and at the service entrance where water enters the home. 

Testing Backflow Prevention Devices 

backflowBackflow devices contain moving parts that have to be ready to react when backflow occurs. That’s why backflow testing is required every year. Without diligent inspection and testing of backflow devices, one single home or business could contaminate thousands of gallons of water. 

To locate devices and have them tested yearly, owners should partner with a reliable plumbing contractor. A qualified backflow tester will advertise that they are certified for backflow testing. Without this certificate, it is illegal for a plumber to perform these tests. Backflow prevention testing is quick, usually taking less than an hour. Plumbers can make quick repairs if problems are found so that water supplies remain protected.  

About All Pro Plumbing

All Pro Plumbing is the only contractor owners need for backflow testing and plumbing and septic needs. They offer emergency service 24/7. Call today for quick backflow testing services in Lakeland, FL. 

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