Backflow Devices Plumbers Recommend
While some homeowners have never heard of backflow, it’s one of the more serious plumbing issues you’d rather not hear about, to begin with. Backflow is the reversal of the flow of water in your plumbing system.
Instead of water flowing away from your home, it flows back in, bringing contaminants and waste into your water supply and putting your family at risk.
Unlike other plumbing issues that are sometimes inevitable, backflow issues can easily be prevented by installing a prevention device in your home. There are plenty of options and we’ll discuss some of the best plumbing solutions to backflow.
What Causes a Back-Flow Issue?
Backflow is essentially the large-scale reversal in the flow of water in your home. In order for this to happen, it generally stems from a large scale issue. Some of the main reasons include:
- Burst or Damaged Pipes: Whether it’s caused by some kind of construction damage or frozen pipes, when a pipe loose that amount of pressure that quickly, it could create back siphonage.
- Flood Water: Backflow often happens after a storm because of the amount of excess water flowing around. If water reaches the flood line and goes over, it’ll create a reversal in pressure.
- Improper Installation: There’s a reason DIY fixes may not always be the best. If something is installed poorly or incorrectly, cross-contamination can easily occur in your home.
Because you can’t determine whether there’s a backflow issue until it happens, the best plumbing practice is to have a backflow prevention device in place instead.
How do Air Gaps Work to Help?
An air gap is either a built-in air pocket that is standard in your plumbing fixtures or an additional device that can be installed on your plumbing.
During normal operation, your plumbing system has enough water pressure to move water through the gap and into your fixtures. When that pressure is lower than normal, the flow is unable to pass, preventing back siphonage into your plumbing.
These devices help water keep going in the right direction and are always found in fixtures like kitchen sinks and faucets. The only restriction as a backflow device is that it’s limited to that specific fixture as opposed to the plumbing system as a whole.
Opt For a Pressure Vacuum Breaker Instead
On the higher end of backflow prevention devices are pressure vacuum breakers. These devices work like a check valve and are installed on your water mains – giving you a whole-home backflow solution.
These pressurized and mechanical devices work as a spring-operated check valve for your plumbing. With normal water pressure, the spring is held open allowing water to flow freely.
When the pressure drops, the spring expands, becoming a plug for your home’s plumbing. This restricts the flow completely, giving a plumber the chance to resolve the plumbing emergency before it affects your water supply.
The Best Device is The One That’s Right For You
There are always going to be options when it comes to dealing with a backflow emergency.
Air gaps, PVB’s, reduced pressure zones, and other check valves. The only constant is the need for a trained plumber.
For homeowners in the Winchester area, Powell’s Plumbing is your go-to plumbing solution.
It’s important to work with a plumber that understands your system and how to set viable home-cleaning goals. Whether that’s drain cleaning or installing a backflow preventer and testing it regularly.