Imagine that you’re outside washing your car with a hose that is submerged in a bucket of soapy water. Now imagine that your plumbing system has suddenly become compromised. Perhaps the main water line has burst and there is a sudden drop in your water pressure. You water supply is kept pressurized, but a sudden drop in pressure could cause the flow to reverse, siphoning up any nearby source of water through the pipes. This reverse flow may suck up the soapy water inside of the bucket and bring it into your home, causing it to flow through your plumbing system and into your home’s drinking water.
This is called backflow and, while the given scenario is unlikely, many areas of your plumbing system run the risk of cross-connecting in the event of a sudden change in pressure. Backflow occurs when the flow of water reverses and any contaminant—liquid, gas, or solid—runs the risk of entering your water supply. However, this risk is prevented with a backflow prevention device.
A backflow preventer is a device that provides an air gap so that back siphonage cannot occur. Many plumbing systems already have a backflow device installed, and state and local codes mandate the use of backflow preventers in many cases. This is because a backflow prevention device is a safety measure, keeping harmful contaminants from reaching the potable drinking supply and causing unsafe conditions in your home from the addition of sewage, wastewater, or untreated groundwater in your home.
If you already own a backflow prevention device for your plumbing system, you may believe that you are protected. However, many municipalities require that your backflow device is inspected and tested on a regular basis by a trained technician. A plumber can make sure that your backflow prevention device continues to work as it should. Your backflow preventer contains test cocks and shut-off valves designed specifically for the purpose of maintenance.
Keep your home and family safe by calling a plumber to test your backflow preventer every year, perhaps alongside your annual plumbing maintenance visit. Call Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI) to schedule backflow prevention maintenance in Longwood today!