What is Backflow?

To fully understand why backflow device inspection is so important you need to first understand the purpose of a backflow prevention device.  A backflow prevention device, also known as an RPZ or Reduced Pressure Zone is designed to prevent potentially contaminated water from moving backwards through your piping and entering your home or businesses where people could be exposed to drinking or using contaminated water. It also is designed to prevent any contaminants that have entered your system from entering the water system of your neighborhood where it could then reach the water systems of a neighbor’s home.

When there is a loss of pressure on the supply side of the water system it is called back siphonage.  When the pressure of the wastewater system is greater than that of the fresh water system it is known as backpressure.

Some Examples of Dangerous Backflow

  1. Sprinkler & Irrigation Systems

If a home has a sprinkler or irrigation system, it’s likely that pesticides used on the lawn will pool near the systems sprinkler heads.  This is not normally anything to worry about, but if the water pressure in your piping system should drop, it’s possible these pesticide contaminants can be drawn back through the pipes and enter the public water supply.

  1. Fire Hydrant Use

Another situation that could cause this would be the use of a nearby fire hydrant.  The heavy use of water by the hydrant could cause a resulting drop in pressure which would suck contaminated water back in to the main water system.

  1. Main Water Main Breakage

Another common cause is a loss of pressure due to a water main breaking.  The resulting loss of pressure will have the effect of siphoning potentially contaminated water back in to the main system.

How a Properly Functioning Backflow Device Prevents This

When there is a drop in your home of businesses water pressure, the backflow device or RPZ valve will open allowing the water to be dumped rather than to flow back in to the main water supply.  This device called a check valve insures that wastewater can only move in one direction and cannot be forced or drawn back up a pipe.  As there are many common occurrences such as a water leak in a home or business, a break in your home’s water service, a municipal break or a water main break in your neighborhood, fire hydrant use or hydrant flushing that can create this condition, the importance of regular inspection is obvious.

Why Choose The Clean Plumbers?

Backflow inspection should be conducted at least once a year and most towns and municipalities require it for the common safety of the community.  The team at The Clean Plumbers handles all types of residential and commercial plumbing jobs, from installation and repair to emergency service and maintenance. We are certified backflow inspectors and can affordably complete the inspection and file all necessary paperwork for you.