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What is Backflow?

One of the worst things that can happen to your plumbing system is a backflow, which is when the water flow in your home reverses. It is worse when the waste water starts to come up through the sink, toilet, or other drains in the house. This can create an undesirable emergency situation which you cannot resolve on your own.

To manage the situation, you will need to hire the services of a professional plumber. This will not only cost you in terms of repair and maintenance, but can contaminate the water flowing into your home. This, in turn, will negatively affect the quality of drinking or bathing water. The backflow nightmare can cost you more in terms of the health of your family. But on a positive note, this condition cannot only be resolved but can also be easily prevented. Find out information about the causes of backflow, and the possible ways to prevent this problem. This will help you decide whether your home needs backflow prevention or not.

What Causes Backflow?

Having information about some of the causes of backflow can help you avoid the situation. This, in turn, will minimize the damage to your plumbing system. Some of the potential causes of backflow include:

Back Pressure

The sewerage removal system installed in many homes relies on gravity and ventilation. Together, both these things carry the waste water from homes to the local central drains. On the other hand, the freshwater which enters the home is pressurized. When the balance between these two changes, pressure starts to build up in the water system.

When the pressure of waste water is more than that of freshwater, this is known as back pressure. This pushes water or gas in the other direction. So instead of going down to the central sewerage line, the waste water is pushed up into the lines which supply fresh water.

Back Siphonage

A condition which is a result of change in the pressure of water supply is known as back siphonage. This occurs when there is a break in the water line, or a large volume of water has been used up recently, for example, by firefighters in an emergency situation. This loss of water can create pressure which, in turn, will pull up the waste water and mix it with drinking water.

Damage to Sewerage Lines

The sewerage lines which carry waste water to the local water system can become damaged over time. Rust, internal and external pressure, and age can all affect the life of the pipes. Damaged sewerage lines are one of the possible causes of backflow. But before the waste water flows into your house, damaged sewerage lines will show some indications. If you notice foul smell and leaks from your drains, this is a possible sign of sewerage line damage. Immediately seek professional assistance. If left untreated, it can lead to backflow.

Backflow Prevention

Backflow is a serious plumbing issue but one a positive note, it is a preventable one. Some of the effective ways of preventing backflow include

Hose Bib Backflow Preventer

In most homes, hose bibs are installed in the yard. This allows the homeowners to water the garden. A hose bib is connected to a potable water supply. With the help of a spring, a hose bib backflow preventer allows the water pressure face a single direction.

When the water pressure significantly drops, the spring closes as the valve opens. You can dispose the water from backflow through the valve. This helps in preventing the mixing of contaminated water with fresh water supply in the house.

Vacuum Breakers

This is the latest and most effective device for preventing backflow. The vacuum breakers installed in the pipes can prevent backflow resulting from back siphonage. The vacuum breakers can sense the level of pressure in the system. When there is a significant drop in the water pressure, a check valve will close automatically. Thus preventing backflow.

Air Gaps

Unlike the other two methods of preventing backflow, this one is a non-mechanical method of preventing backflow. Thus it is considered to one of the least effective methods. In reality, it is very effective in preventing backflow caused by back pressure or back siphonage.

You can observe air gaps in the bathroom and kitchen sinks. They are not installed for aesthetic appeal but serve an essential purpose. Use of an air gap in your pipes will ensure that there is a vertical separation between two pipes with varying pressure. As a result, the contaminated water will not flow back into the fresh water supply even if there is a difference in pressure.

Does Your Home Need Backflow Prevention?

It is also a good idea to consult a professional plumber before you experience backflow in your home. Only a technical expert can suggest whether your plumbing system is suffering from backflow or not. Also they can guide you about the most effective method of preventing backflow in your home.

Be Proactive

Various plumbing companies in Arizona provide services to prevent backflow. But if you want to take action before waste water breaks into your home, contact Mesa Plumbing Company. We are available 24/7 to protect your home and family from damage and inconvenience. Our dedicated and trained staff will not only diagnose and resolve the problem at hand but will also inspect for any potential plumbing problems in your home. So whether you need to prevent the problem of backflow or are experiencing some other plumbing problem, you can surely help at the most affordable rates. We are proud to be a plumbing company which offers full plumbing services. To know more our work, visit our website or call now at 480-832-1660.

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