When it comes to backflow prevention on your home, homeowners often do not realize they need it. When people think of backflow preventers they think of the large commercial and industrial buildings. The purpose of a backflow preventer is, they stop the wastewater from the business from flowing the wrong direction through the plumbing. This could lead to bacterial contamination entering the public fresh water supply.
With residential homes, backflow prevention is a little different. There are fewer places in a residential house where there are direct crossconnections between the wastewater and freshwater sides of the plumbing. A good example is the air gap in a sink or shower between the drain and the faucet. The wastewater in the drain will not go up and go the wrong way down the faucet, but there are places in your plumbing where you will need backflow prevention, and our certified plumbers at H20 Plumbing & Water Heaters can help you with ensuring that your freshwater supply is protected from old stale water getting into it.
What does Backflow Cause ?
The first thing we need to do is explain exactly what backflow actually is. If there is a change in pressure in the plumbing system, with either an increase in pressure on the wastewater side or a decrease in pressure on the freshwater side, it will cause water to move the wrong direction through the plumbing. In a residential home, this means water from the common residential system “non drinkable water” spreading into the fresh drinking water. There are numerous reasons for this change of pressure. The water main may be broken, fire and rescue workers may have placed a heavy demand on the local freshwater supply, a power outage has occurred, or there is a new water using appliance that alters the pressure in the system.
Residential Backflow Issues
Wastewater backflow can happen in any place in the plumbing system where water can move backward and go into a freshwater pipe. An example is, a hose showerhead can be lower than the water level in the bathtub. The appliances of the highest concern are boilers, radiators, and especially irrigation systems like sprinklers. To stop the backflow at these locations, plumbers place special backflow valves. These valves will close in the event of water moving in the wrong direction, shutting off the movement of water.
If you are unsure if your home needs backflow preventers or has them already in place, call on licensed and certified plumbers. Working with backflow prevention requires special certification, so not all professional plumbers can perform the work. In order to be a certified Backflow Tester in Tennessee the professional plumber needs to complete a series of test and they have to be rectified every three years to keep their licence.
We offer service and installation here at H20 Plumbing & Water Heaters for the middle Tennessee area, and have certified Backflow Testers on staff. We can install prevention devices in places where you need them and take care of the occasional checks and replacements that will continue to protect your water supply. If you have any questions just give us a call at 615-864-9459.