Backflow prevention is a must for every home. However, many homeowners are not even aware of what backflow devices do. Households use water for a multitude of reasons – cleaning, cooking and drinking. If something goes wrong with the water, there is much more to worry about than just bad tasting water. Tainted water may potentially cause serious illness.
What is Plumbing Backflow?
Plumbing systems require devices to prevent backflow of water back into the water supply. When backflow occurs, the potential for water contamination by dirt or foreign-borne substances increases. City water authorities typically put safety regulations into place to ensure that residential and commercial water supplies are not contaminated.
Protecting Your Home’s Water
To comply with city laws, water companies often install a one-way valve to keep water from backing up into supply lines. This valve keeps water moving in one direction to prevent contamination. However, if a water main suddenly loses pressure, the water may potentially flow in the opposite direction and lead to contaminants entering the water supply.
Types of Backflow Prevention Methods
The potential for backflow requires that solutions be in place before a home’s water supply becomes affected.
- An inexpensive method, and probably the easiest, is the air gap. Air gaps are open spaces between a fixture and main plumbing systems, preferably a spot where water collects such as the space between the sink rim and faucet. This prevention method keeps sink water from flowing back and contaminating the main water supply.
- Another option that plumbers often recommend is a backflow preventer instead of an air gap. This device is installed next to a building’s main shutoff valve so that contaminants do not flow back into the city’s water supply. Building regulations for many cities and counties now require the installation of backflow devices.
Systems that prevent backflow of water usually require annual testing. If you have an older home, then you may not have a backflow device installed, or if one is installed, it might have worn down over years of use.
At Pride Plumbing of Rochester, our master plumbers will inspect your home’s system and help you determine the best methods to control backflow. Protect your family from health issues due to impure water by installing backflow prevention devices or updating your existing system to make it safer for your home and loved ones. Call your neighborhood plumber, at 585-272-7272 or click here to schedule an appointment online.