Most homeowners take for granted the fact that there is always reliable clean drinking water available in the home. You probably assume that clean water will flow from the faucet every time you turn it on, as your water supply goes through a very thorough municipal water supply treatment process before it reaches your home. But a plumbing system is so complex that the potential for backflow is unfortunately often present.
Protect your water supply by installing a backflow preventer at any potential cross connections, which we’ll go over in today’s guide, and keeping it maintained and tested by professionals. Call the experts at Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI) for quality service from a certified plumber.
What Is Backflow Prevention?
Backflow prevention devices keep backflow from contaminating your water supply. Backflow occurs when there is a pressure imbalance somewhere in your plumbing system, which allows for the possibility of backsiphonage or back pressure. In either case, a source of cross contamination is introduced into the plumbing system, and there is a possibility that chemicals or wastewater may enter your plumbing system if the pressure in the water supply were to change.
A sudden drop in water pressure can occur for many reasons. Perhaps there was a break in the water main, or firefighters had to access a hydrant that drew from the supply. Other liquids may become drawn into the pipes, especially if a cross connection exists. And sometimes this backflow is hazardous.
Let’s say you put a hose into a bucket of soapy water. If the pressure in the water supply dropped, the soapy water could become sucked back into the water supply. This becomes far more dangerous when the cross contamination is a chemical or if dirty wastewater enters the potable supply. One example is if you have a boiler in the home. Boiler feedwater may contain chemicals unsafe for human consumption, which is why connections between boilers and the water supply are usually fitted with a backflow prevention device.
A backflow prevention device contains a one way valve in which water can only flow in one direction. Federal, state, and local codes require that you have a backflow prevention device installed at any potential source of a cross connection. While your municipality mandates the use of backflow preventers in many cases, it’s up to you to make sure it’s in good shape.
Call the technicians at Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI) for regular testing and maintenance of your backflow prevention device in Longwood to help keep your family safe from contamination.