Preventing Contamination in Your Plumbing Systems
There are two sides to the plumbing in any building. On one half is the freshwater system that brings in potable water from the municipal supply. The other half is the wastewater system that carries away liquid and solid waste into the sewer. These two sides cannot mix since that will result in harmful contamination in the freshwater. Unfortunately, there’s a danger that this can occur there’s a drop in pressure on the freshwater side or an increase in pressure on the wastewater side.
Your home plumbing is equipped with a backflow prevention device to stop this from happening. But since backflow preventers aren’t infallible, you may at some point need to have a new one installed. You must also have the device checked on a regular basis by a licensed professional. Quick Action Plumbers offers quality backflow prevention services in Atlanta and the surrounding areas. Place your trust in us and we will help keep your household safe.
If you require backflow prevention installation, tests, repairs, or replacement in Atlanta or the surrounding areas, call on Quick Action Plumbers at (770) 854-0755.
What Does a Backflow Prevention Device Do?
A backflow prevention device is designed to stop a backflow of sewage from entering the freshwater half of the plumbing in a building because of an accidental reversal of water flow. If backflow is allowed to occur unchecked, it can result in numerous dangerous pollutants entering the potable water that goes to faucets and appliances.
In operation, a backflow preventer is actually quite simple: it consists of a valve that only allows water to travel in one direction. If there is a shift in pressure on either the sewer side or the freshwater side of the plumbing, the valve closes to prevent backflow from reaching the freshwater pipes.
Why Backflow Might Happen
One of the main causes of backflow is something called backpressure, which is what occurs when the pressure on the sewer side rises above that of the freshwater side and pushes sewage into the freshwater pipes. Another cause is back siphonage, which is the negative pressure that happens because of a drop in the pressure on the freshwater side that creates a vacuum. Back siphonage often happens because of a huge water loss from a burst pipe or the fire department place a huge drain on the water supply. Backflow is almost impossible to predict, which is why a properly working prevention device is so crucial.
5 Common Causes of Backflow in Residential Plumbing
Backflow in residential plumbing occurs when the normal flow of water is reversed, potentially causing contaminated water to enter the clean water supply. Several common causes can lead to backflow in residential plumbing systems:
1. Back Siphonage: This occurs when there is a sudden drop in water pressure in the municipal water supply. It can happen during events such as firefighting or water main breaks. Common causes of back siphonage include:
- Firefighting activities
- Water main breaks or repairs
- High water demand in the neighborhood
2. Back Pressure: Back pressure occurs when the pressure in your home's plumbing system exceeds the pressure in the municipal water supply. This can force contaminated water to flow back into your pipes. Common causes of back pressure include:
- Use of pumps or elevated storage tanks in your plumbing system
- Thermal expansion of water in the water heater
3. Cross-Connection: A cross-connection is a physical link between your plumbing system and a potential source of contamination. Common examples of cross-connections include:
- Garden hoses submerged in pools, buckets, or other containers
- Improperly installed or maintained sprinkler or irrigation systems
- Faulty backflow prevention valves
4. Faulty Check Valves or Backflow Prevention Devices: Sometimes, backflow can occur due to malfunctioning or poorly maintained check valves or backflow prevention devices. These devices are designed to prevent the reverse flow of water and protect against backflow.
5. Cross-Contamination within the Home: In some cases, cross-contamination can occur within the home itself, such as when a hose is connected to a faucet with a submerged end, creating a potential backflow path.
It's important to be aware of these common causes of backflow to take preventive measures and ensure the safety and quality of your residential water supply. Regular inspection, maintenance, and the installation of appropriate backflow prevention devices can help mitigate the risks associated with backflow incidents.
Backflow preventers can break, the same as any mechanical device. Exposure to the cold sometimes leads to cracked castings, and the O-rings can wear down and springs break. However, it’s unlikely that you will notice the failure of the backflow prevention device in your home until pollution enters the drinking water. Most municipalities require that backflow prevention devices receive at an annual test to see that they’re working correctly. Our plumbers are certified to perform this job using a test kit. If your device is shown to be defective, you can schedule repairs or a replacement with us. (Do not disassemble a backflow preventer yourself and make an attempt to fix it; you don’t want to take risks with your health.)
No matter what service you need to keep harmful backflow out of your home’s fresh water, you can count on Quick Action Plumbers to take care of the job. We are your one-stop plumbing repair shop, serving Atlanta and the surrounding areas. For your convenience, emergency services are available.
Need backflow prevention services in Atlanta or nearby? Call us today at (770) 854-0755 to schedule your service!
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