Ensuring your home’s plumbing system is in proper working order is vital to maintaining a healthy and safe environment. Part of plumbing maintenance means being aware of the different protective devices available for your system, such as a backflow preventer. This device is a valuable addition to your system, but you may wonder if it’s necessary to install.
Vern’s Plumbing is here to answer all your questions! We care about the health and needs of our customers, so we want to help shed some light on backflow preventers and what they offer. Read on to learn more about the importance of these devices and the risks of not having one.
What Is A Backflow Preventer?
Essentially, a backflow prevention system does exactly what it sounds like — it stops water from flowing backward inside your pipes. Why is this function important? By preventing water backflow, this device protects your drinking water from the risk of pollution.
To better understand the need for a prevention device, you must first have an understanding of what backflow is and its consequences. Backflow is the unwanted reversal of water flow into your drinking supply. This allows harmful materials to enter through cross-contamination.
In your plumbing system, there are points where drinkable water supplies connect with non-drinkable water supplies. Therefore, plumbing systems must be carefully designed to protect against backflow. There’s always a possibility for malfunction, which is where backflow preventers come in.
How Does A Backflow Preventer Work?
A backflow prevention device is installed onto a pipe. This device uses a series of valves to keep water flowing in one direction in the event of pressure changes. When a significant rise or drop in pressure occurs in your plumbing system, two kinds of backflow can emerge — back-pressure and back-siphonage. Some prevention devices only protect against one type of backflow, so it’s important to consult a professional to help determine which kind is best for your home needs.
The most common types of backflow prevention systems include:
- Air Gap Backflow Preventers
- Pressure Vacuum Breaker Assemblies
- Double-Check Valve Assemblies
- Reduced Pressure Zone Assemblies
Why Do I Need A Backflow Preventer?
If you haven’t experienced issues with your water supply before, you may think your plumbing system is fine without a backflow preventer. Unfortunately, many homeowners wait until there’s a problem to call a local plumber. This can lead to expensive damage and repairs. Even if your water seems adequate for the moment, neglecting to install a backflow preventer can lead to severe issues like:
The most dangerous consequence of water backflow is the contamination of toxic substances in your drinking water. If your family is exposed to these harmful bacteria and viruses, they can cause skin irritations, illness and even death in extreme cases.
Backflow corrodes your pipes. This can lead to breakage and expensive repairs or replacements down the road. If water backs up into your home, it can also cause damage inside your home. In serious cases, mold growth may form, which can lead to structural damage.
Compromised Wastewater Treatment
Protecting your drinking water means also protecting your community’s water supply. If polluted water backflows into your home, it can compromise your local wastewater treatment plant. This results in contaminating the drinking water of those in your area as well.
Contact Vern’s Plumbing Today!
Investing in a backflow prevention system is necessary to ensure the safety of your plumbing system and water supply. For more information about backflow preventer installations and testing, give our local expert team at Vern’s Plumbing a call!