Preventing Backflow This Spring

leaky pipe

Springtime can cause a wide range of plumbing problems, including backflow. This is when your water flow reverses from its intended direction. This often occurs because the public water system loses pressure. Water coming into your home should be in a singular direction, so when it reverses, backflow can happen. Fresh supply water can be tainted by contaminated water when normal water pressure in the system abruptly drops and the flow of supply water reverses, sucking unhealthy water from any source cross-connected to the fresh water system back into your drinking water supply. Here are different types of backflow that you may experience in your home:

Types of Backflow

  • Backpressure backflow happens when the downstream pressure is greater than that of the public water source. This can happen from either an increase in downstream pressure or a reduction in potable water pressure. Increases or decreases in pressure can be caused by several things, such as pumps from boilers or a main water break.
  • Back Siphonage is caused by a vacuum or partial vacuum created by negative pressure in the water line. This draws the water from a source that may be polluted or contaminated, into the public water system. Just like back pressure, back siphonage can also be caused by large-scale firefighting efforts, water main breaks or other construction accidents.

Backflow Prevention

Preventing backflow isn’t as complicated as you might think. Here are steps to help you determine the best way to prevent and protect from backflow contamination.

  1. Check all of the cross connections. It’s likely that you’re not familiar with them, so call a Riley Plumbing expert to check them out for you!
  2. Look for any areas that may be at risk. If you notice any areas that are damaged or have wear and tear, you should find the best way to reinforce them. Small plumbing changes may be an easy fix.
  3. Learn the types of backflow preventers and how they can help. For valves and plumbing, you may need vacuum breaker assemblies. If you need help in your bathroom or kitchen, you can check out plumbing fixtures such as faucets with air gaps or backflow prevention valves. A Riley professional will be able to help you choose the best one to meet your needs.
  4. Consider all possibilities. You may not consider a garden hose, but if you have chemical dispensers, it can be a major problem. Small problems like this can quickly escalate.  Chemical dispensers with built-in prevention work well.
  5. The most important part prevention is a professional inspection! Regular checkups and maintenance will help prevent problems in the future.

How Riley Plumbing Can Help

Our plumbing experts are ready to help you with both prevention and plumbing emergencies. Whether you need prevention, installation, or repair and replacements, we’re ready to help! We offer:

  • 24/7 emergency repair
  • Prevention detection
  • Always up to local and state codes
  • Prompt, professional, and respectful technicians
  • Objective advice on whether you need repair or replacement
  • Top quality, robust backflow prevention equipment by the best manufacturers
  • On-site water testing for contaminants
  • Itemized, transparent quotes up front with no obligation

We make backflow prevention easy – so what are you waiting for? Call Riley Plumbing today!