Is one backflow prevention device better than another? Make the wise choice and call Iron Mountain Plumbing!
Backflow is an unsanitary problem with nasty consequences for your health and property, not to mention the cleanup hassles involved. It could happen anytime, whether your plumbing system connects to the municipal water and sewage system or a septic tank. That’s why it pays to know which plumbing device prevents backflow best for your particular type of plumbing network.
What are the best backflow prevention methods available? Below, Iron Mountain Plumbing’s skilled plumbers in Cedar City, Utah, answer your backflow questions so that you can avoid this messy and inconvenient situation.
WHAT IS BACKFLOW?
Backflow refers to water flowing in the wrong direction or to where it doesn’t belong. A backflow issue often concerns wastewater infiltrating your property’s fresh drinking water pipes. However, anytime gray or black water breaches the same pipelines that carry your tap water, hazardous backflow problems and contamination issues arise.
Most municipal building and sewage codes require quality plumbing equipment to eliminate backflow risks. These codes aim to protect commercial and residential building occupants from unexpected sewage infiltration. However, it’s wise to take precautionary measures beyond just these basic regulations.
Another common backflow issue involves a leak from one of the pipes that direct dirty water away from your washing machine or sink. If this gray water leaks into your tap water line, you’ll notice the following:
- Bad smells
- Discolored water
- Sickness relating to consuming contaminated drinking water
Installing multiple backflow devices provides your family with extra protection. The devices counter the two most common causes of backflow: back pressure and back siphonage, both of which happen with sudden changes in water pressure.
Back pressure occurs when wastewater or sewage lines have a higher pressure than the tap water lines. Sewer line issues commonly cause a pressure buildup in this area of the plumbing, but the effect could also develop at the other end if freshwater lines suddenly experience a pressure drop.
If you have the plumbing fixtures below, back-pressure plumbing issues will be more likely to occur:
- Elevated tanks
- Water pumps
- Outdoor irrigation
The issue of back siphonage starts with suction as the tap water lines draw wastewater in the wrong direction. Damaged water mains or municipal line repairs often cause back siphonage because, while the tap water supply’s pressure remains constant, the wastewater lines that the repair team is working on lose pressure. At that point, your property’s tap water lines’ pressure will exceed that of the sewer lines, and they’ll start to siphon wastewater toward your freshwater supply.
How To Tell Whether You Have a Backflow Problem
One step before knowing which plumbing device prevents backflow is recognizing the backflow problem before it gets too far up your pipe network. So, how can you tell when a backflow intrusion has developed? You might detect the following symptoms of backflow beginning to happen:
- Slow drainage: Does your tub or sink take ages to drain? Ask a team like Iron Mountain Plumbing to test your water quality and check for backflow issues.
- Low water pressure: Sudden dips in water pressure are concerning, as they weaken your pipes. A plumber will need to urgently check your plumbing system for a backflow breach.
- Strange water taste: Water’s flavor depends on its mineral content. A higher mineral count tastes earthier, and this can change seasonally. However, foul or off-putting flavors require an immediate analysis in the interests of health and safety.
- Dirty-looking water: Water might acquire a pink, yellow, or brown tinge following backflow contamination. If you notice a freshly filled glass looks different, put it down and contact a plumber.
- Smells: Sewage contamination passes stinky gasses into the water supply, which build up in your pipes and release as you turn on a faucet. Trust your nose; it knows when to call a plumber.
- Sediment: Backflow introduces contaminants into your water supply. If you notice floating particles, don’t wait to request a water test from a qualified plumbing company.
Which Plumbing Device Prevents Backflow?
Since backflow develops in a complicated system of pipes and connecting parts, it’s helpful to install a plumbing device that offers complete cross-connection control. Consider the following prevention and anti-siphon devices to interrupt pressure changes and seal your freshwater:
Pressure Vacuum Breaker
Pressure vacuum breakers work best when installed near your main water source. The breaker detects pressure levels and shuts off access following a sudden change. Plumbers pair this device with hose bibbs and flush valves.
Check valves regulate water flow in one predetermined direction, making backflow difficult. The valve senses pressure on each side, so high outgoing and low incoming pressure will keep it open. When it senses low outgoing pressure, the trigger will seal the valve.
Many sewer technicians install check valves directly into water pipelines.
Air gaps are small pressure cushions that stop wastewater from contaminating tap water by creating a gap or bubble to separate incoming and outgoing flow. Homeowners might use these devices to prevent dirty water from infiltrating the sink faucets as it leaves the dishwasher.
Should You Invest in Backflow Prevention?
Which plumbing device prevents backflow the best? The answer depends on where the potential contamination might occur.
All buildings should have backflow devices near their water meters, especially with irrigation connections. However, you might also want to consider installing backflow prevention devices whenever you install a new water appliance.
Since dishwashers, washing machines, boilers, and pumps require pressure to move their contents, they require cross connections to supply and empty their water levels. Choosing the perfect backflow prevention device for the appliances is the best way to protect your freshwater supply.
Let Iron Mountain Plumbing Help You Protect Your Water!
Which plumbing device prevents backflow besides pressure vacuum breakers, air gaps, and check valves? Find out from Iron Mountain Plumbing! The team can tell you why your toilet is bubbling when the shower is running and anything else you need to know.
Don’t wait until backflow chaos erupts; call Iron Mountain Plumbing at (435) 334-5617 today for preventative solutions and more!