What is a backflow?
Backflow is one of the most dangerous plumbing problems out there. It’s because this occurrence causes waste water coming out from your household to return to the plumbing system. The wastewater that goes back to your plumbing can contaminate the water in your house. In fact, it can even pollute drinking water of the inflow from the main supply line.
Why cross connection and backflow are related
Those who have a cross connection plumbing system are prone to backflows. A cross connection is the interlinking of a pipe lining that carries drinking water and another plumbing connection that may become the source of contamination. Fortunately, there are some methods that can protect the pipe linings that have the drinking water source with the use of air gaps and backflow preventers. Plumbing systems that don’t have a cross connection can also be affected by backflow, check out how it happens due to back siphon and back pressure.
One of the reasons why backflow occurs is because of back siphon. This event happens when the water pressure of the main water supply is lower than the plumbing system. The wastewater overpowers the outflow and then mixes with the water inflow, contaminating the water supply.
Back pressure on the other hand occurs when the wastewater flows onto the opposite path. The main cause of this is because the expansion and increase of water temperature, reversing the direction of the water flow.
How to stop it from happening
Aside from the usual maintenance tip of having a plumber inspect the plumbing system, you also need to install a safety feature called the backflow preventer. This equipment stops the water flowing outside the plumbing system from returning to your household. Of course, it needs to be set-up by a professional plumber. Apart from installing the backflow preventer, it also must be maintained and checked occasionally to ensure that it’s functioning well. This is installed at the main supply line of the building or house.
Installing the backflow preventer
Even if there are some guides that you can find online about installing the backflow preventer on your own, you mustn’t use a DIY approach when it comes to this plumbing work. This is a complex project and a few errors that are committed will result in poor installation and a deficient plumbing system. Besides, you won’t have the necessary equipment needed to do the installation. You need to hire a licensed plumber for this kind of job. There are different types of backflow preventers like reduced pressure zone device, double check valves, and dual check valves. You shouldn’t worry too much about these devices since the plumbers will recommend the best backflow preventer base on their examination. Installing this device mean that the threat of backflow is over; there are still maintenance and testings to be done to ensure that your plumbing system is in top condition and doesn’t have deficiencies.