Backflow Prevention: All You Should Know

Home Plumbing Troubleshooting

Backflow Prevention: All You Should Know

Backflow prevention is something that’s part of residential and commercial plumbing systems. The main job of a backflow preventer is to keep wastewater contaminants from getting into the fresh water supply.  Homes and businesses that have a backflow preventer device have an additional barrier between raw sewage and clean water. This device provides peace of mind when there’s a change in wastewater pressure or freshwater pressure that can result in water moving in the wrong direction and causing cross-contamination.

Are Backflow Preventer Devices Required?

For residential properties, backflow prevention isn’t required in most homes. However, if your home has an irrigation system, your local municipality could require that you have the device installed. As far as commercial plumbing systems are concerned, most municipalities across the nation require backflow preventer devices as well as annual testing.

Can Households Prevent Backflow?

Often backflow happens as the result of influences that you can’t control. For example, fire hydrant testing often causes changes in pressure that reverse the flow of water in residential plumbing systems. Because you can’t control pressure problems having a backflow preventer device installed is essential. It lets you go about your day without worrying about cross-contamination.

What Is Annual Testing?

Municipalities require commercial buildings to have annual backflow preventer testing. In areas where residential preventer devices are required, annual testing is also required. The testing must be done by a certified plumber with experience working with preventer devices. The plumber tests the preventer to make sure it’s working correctly. Most plumbing companies that offer this service also submit the paperwork to the city to keep your home or business in compliance.

What Happens If the Preventer Fails the Test?

It’s not unusual for one of these devices not to work, especially if it’s an older device. During testing, if the device fails, the plumber makes the necessary repairs. In some cases, repairs won’t do the trick and replacement is required.

Where Is the Device Located?

Backflow preventers are placed on the main water line where the wastewater and freshwater connections meet. The device is a valve that automatically closes anytime a change in pressure occurs. Once the valve closes, sewer water can’t continue to travel in the wrong direction. It’s redirected, and cross-contamination is prevented.

Who’s Responsible for Installing the Device?

PlumberEven though the device is required by many cities throughout the country, it’s the homeowner’s or business owner’s responsibility to install the device. This means you assume all the installation costs and the maintenance costs.

Do All Plumbers Test Backflow Devices?

Not all plumbers offer this service because it requires special certification. That’s why you should never rely on maintenance personnel or hire a handyman to install the device. Always hire a licensed plumber who is approved by the city to install and test backflow prevention devices.

Backflow prevention is very important for homes and businesses. It keeps families, employees, and customers in good health and gives peace of mind. To learn more about backflow prevention, contact The Pink Plumber.