Clean drinking water is something that we in this nation have become so accustomed to that it’s easy to forget how precious it is. When something happens to our water supply, it can upend your life in a tremendous way. Plumbers will need to take numerous steps to prevent contamination of your water and to ensure that your water remains clean and safe to use. One of these options is a backflow prevention device, and understanding more about it is a good idea for those who need to use them.
What Is A Backflow Prevention Device? A backflow prevention device is a type of device placed on your water lines that protects drinkable water supplies from contamination that can occur due to backflow. Backflow is a problem when water flows in the opposite direction from where it should be going – in particular when it isn’t wanted to flow in that direction. The term can also refer to gasses, suspended solids, and any other contaminant that finds its way into the water.
Any water system that is installed in a home needs to be designed so that non-potable water systems aren’t capable of backflowing and contaminating the drinking water. For instance, a clothes washer could backflow into the main water supply of the home, putting detergent or dirt from laundry into the drinking water source.
Another big issue is a drop in water pressure. Whether it’s caused by a water leak, a city water main line break, or some other issue, drops in water pressure can cause stored water to back up and find its way into your drinking water. No matter the cause, backflow can create significant health hazards, cloudy and bad-tasting or foul-smelling water, and more.
A backflow prevention device stops backflow and ensures that contamination doesn’t occur. This keeps your drinking water safe, promotes better overall health and wellness, and helps you enjoy your clean water with confidence. In fact, they’re so important that in many locations, a backflow prevention device is actually required by building codes.
How Does It Work? The most reliable and easiest way to prevent backflow is the use of a vertical space in the plumbing system that will create an air gap. This open space is placed to help avoid pooling contaminated water. These air gaps could include cisterns or taps located above washbasins that help limit pressure and protect against backflow altogether.
But it’s not always enough, and the uses of a backflow prevention device is a much better option – especially in areas when air gaps aren’t applicable.
Backflow prevention devices are placed at strategic locations in the plumbing system – in particular, in locations that have a risk of contaminated fluids backflowing into the supply lines. These valves prevent the issue and ensure that you don’t have to worry about toxic or dangerous chemicals finding their way into your water.
Do You Need A Backflow Prevention Device? In general, every home should have a backflow prevention device installed in order to keep their drinking water safe. There are several clear signs that mean that you need to contact our team and let us test your water and install a device including:
- Water that is cloudy or has visible debris or contamination in it
- Water that smells ‘off’
- Water that tastes bad
Additionally, if your home has never had a backflow prevention device installed or you aren’t sure if you have one, letting professional plumbers test your water and review your plumbing installation is a good idea. Even if you don’t have a backflow problem right now, you could end up with one in the future. A simple device could be all it takes to keep your water crystal clear and totally safe to drink.
Installation and Maintenance It’s important to remember that the moving parts and the overall design of the backflow prevention device mean that it should always be installed and maintained by professionals. The initial installation process can be completed quickly by our experienced team, and once it has been installed it’s important to allow us to return periodically for an inspection of your system and to ensure that it’s still working properly and giving you clean drinking water.
Your plumbing system will have a huge impact on your life, and making sure your water is clean and safe is a must. A backflow prevention device is one of the most important components to have installed, and will not only give you clean water, but peace of mind.