Most homeowners have heard about clogged drains and leaky faucets, but there are other more serious plumbing issues that could put your home and health at risk. In the worst case scenario, your drinking water is contaminated and your plumbing is damaged.
In the best case scenario, you lose access to your water before you get a chance to use it. What makes backflow a challenging plumbing issue is that it can happen at a localized level - as in only your home - or at the city level, which is why you should always do your best to prevent backflow completely.
How do You Prevent Back-Flow?
Backflow is the unexpected reversal of flow of water into your home. So instead of wastewater and sewage leaving through your sewer lines, it instead flows back into your home, leaving you with a dangerous and in some instances disgusting issue.
This reversal can happen for a few different reasons including:
- Burst pipes.
- Flood waters.
- Construction damage.
- Old plumbing.
- Improperly installed plumbing.
- Open fire hydrants.
In some instances, you may lose water pressure before it begins to flow back into your home. If you notice this be sure to contact a plumber immediately before it’s too late.
What is an Air Gap And How Does it Help?
An air gap is an air pocket that's built into your plumbing. Under normal plumbing operation, the pressure in your system is high enough to push water through and into your fixtures.
When there is a drop in pressure, your water is unable to push through the air gap, falling short of contaminating your water supply. Think of it as the curved section behind your toilet.
That trape creates an air bubble that pushes sewage out. But because of that same curve, waste can’t flow back in - this is why you need a plunger to create pressure.
Installing a Pressure Vacuum Breaker
If an air gap is not advanced enough for your peace of mind you can always opt for a pressure vacuum breaker. These check valves are installed directly on your water main as the first line of defense.
When the pressure is flowing normally, the check valve is spring loaded and left open. As soon as the pressure drops, that spring opens, corking your plumbing and preventing anything from flowing through.
You’ll lose access to water, but with the help of a plumber, you can get things flowing again in no time. Once the backflow issue is resolved, the valve is opened once again, and you’re left with clean water.
The major benefit of a pressure vacuum breaker is that it can be tested as often as needed. This pressure tests not only ensure the device is in working order but also it may be needed by the city.
Your Backflow Solution
At the end of the day, the most important thing any homeowner can do is find the right backflow device for their home. Pipe materials are different, city ordinances are different, and your plumber can be different.
For homeowners in and around the New Port Richey area, Roman Plumbing is here to help. Not only do we offer backflow testing and certification, but we can also set standards and goals for your plumbing quality.
Whether it’s a sewer line inspection or a drain cleaning, we can keep your plumbing free and clear or impurities for your peace of mind.