Express Plumbing Heating & Air Blog

What is Backflow?

Many people are not aware of backflow prevention devices in their homes. They may be out of sight, out of mind, but they are vital to your home plumbing system. Backflow is the reverse flow of water in any pipeline, causing nonpotable water to flow into the public water supply. This usually happens when the water pressure in a plumbing system changes, creating negative pressure. Negative pressure creates a vacuum-like effect. For example, if a hydrant is opened outside of your home, this will create a “back-siphonage”. This sucks the affected water into the regular supply.

What Can I do About Backflow?

Backflow prevention devices prevent cross-contamination. These devices are often mandated at the commercial level because they are so important. They also prevent contamination from lawn chemicals like fertilizers or pest spray. The breach of one single commercial system could cause harmful materials to enter the city’s water supply.

The point of overflow prevention is not to mandate that homes have a backflow prevention device. However, these devices are what protect your community’s water supply. If you are on a public water system, just one home could affect the water supply for an entire community. It is also the responsibility of homeowners to have their devices tested for proper function. This not only helps to protect you and your family but your neighbors and friends as well.

How Will a Backflow Prevention Device Affect Me?

Backflow prevention devices ensure our potable water supply remains safe for use by the general public. Without these barriers, water that is no longer safe to use may travel into the city’s water supply. This includes water from pools, irrigation systems, restaurants, and medical facilities. That is why these devices are required for plumbing systems that may contain chemicals or industrial fluids, irrigation systems, fertilizers, or auxiliary water sources.

To ensure the effectiveness of your backflow device, it is vital that you have the device checked annually. Certified plumbers are qualified to perform these inspections. The licensed plumbers at Express Plumbing Heating & Air are here to make sure that your back-flow prevention devices are up to code. They are doing their job to help protect you and your community.

Brad Jordan

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