What Is A Backflow Preventer And How Does It Work?

A backflow preventer is a device that’s installed on your home’s water pipes that allows water to flow in one direction but never in the opposite direction. Its sole job is to prevent drinking water from being contaminated due to backflow.

But what is “backflow” and how does it happen? Is it something you need to be worried about as a Sarasota homeowner?

Don’t worry, we’ll answer all these questions and more. To start, let’s look at exactly how contamination can happen.

How does “backflow” happen in the first place?

When water enters your home from the main water supply line, it should only ever flow in one direction: into your home.

But sometimes, due to pressure changes in the pipes, that water can actually flow backwards and seep back into the main water supply line.

For example, backflow can happen when there’s a break in the main water line or when a fire hydrant is opened for use. Because pressure is lost during these events, water is no longer being pushed forward into your home and will flow backwards into the city water lines.

And when this happens, backflow can contaminate the public drinking supply with:

  • Fertilizers/pesticides
  • Human waste
  • Chlorine from pools/spas
  • Soap from sinks/dishwashers/showers

And that’s where a backflow prevention system comes in handy. Let’s take a closer look at how a backflow prevention system works.

 

A backflow prevention system… prevents backflow

Backflow prevention systems are devices installed onto a pipe that only allow water to flow in one direction.

Think of it as a one-way gate that allows water from the city’s public water supply to flow into your home’s piping but stops water if and when it ever tries to flow backwards into the main water supply.

For a better idea of how backflow preventers work, take a look at this diagram.

How do I know if I need a backflow prevention system installed at my house?

First off, any resident who has an irrigation system or a well is required to install a backflow preventer at the water meter (because both systems are at risk of contamination due to backflow).

Live elsewhere? Or are you a Los Angeles resident without an irrigation system or well? If so, you’re probably wondering if you need a backflow prevention device installed at your home.

Well, we still recommend you have a backflow preventer installed anywhere incoming water and wastewater might be cross-connected.

Newer homes may have built-in backflow preventers on certain water lines but in order to know for sure whether your home has proper backflow preventers set up, we suggest having a plumber inspect your home’s water system. They’ll install backflow preventers where it’s needed.

Need help from A+ Plumbing & Rootering?

Just contact us. We’ll send out a plumber to inspect your system and provide the solutions needed to keep your drinking water safe from contamination.

All plumbing systems develop clogs over time, there’s really just no way around it. One of the most common plumbing problems we get calls on is when there is a slow-moving or clogged drain in the bathroom sink. Fortunately, a bathroom sink clog is usually a simple fix and all you need to get the sink draining properly again is a little time and the right tools.

Plumbing leaks can be expensive, not to mention an inconvenience. Turning your water supply off at the stopcock is the best way to prevent a leak from seriously damaging your home. It’s also good to have emergency home cover so you can limit repair costs and get expert help right away.

Yes, they do. After years of use, the mechanical parts of a toilet will wear out. For example, rubber flappers will dry out, crack, and leak. The harder your water is, the worse it is on metal components like pull chains. Mineral deposits will also reduce the flow of water through the rim holes under the lip of the toilet bowl. Regular cleaning and routine care will go a long way to improve your toilet’s function.

As a homeowner, you want to be aware of any problem that arises with your home to take care of it immediately. If not, it may turn into an even more significant issue. So when you are using your kitchen or bathroom sink and hear a gurgling sound coming from the drain, should you panic? Should you ignore it? Is there something wrong with the plumbing? Do you need to hire a plumber? If the drain is gurgling, there could be several factors at play, some requiring the assistance of a professional plumber.

 

Yet, with the help of A+ Plumbing & Rootering & Drain Experts, you won’t have to worry when asking yourself, “Why does my drain gurgle?” Here we will discuss the leading causes of a gurgling drain and what can be done to correct the situation:

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