Unlike most common plumbing problems, backflow is an annoyance to clean up. If you experience one, it is a plumbing problem that prompts a call to dependable plumbing services. If you haven’t experienced backflow before, then you are lucky! Backflow occurs when the sewage water leaving your home flows reverse, thereby making contaminated water enter your water supply. Because of this, backflow can result in serious health risks because of bacteria such as E-coli and Cryptosporidium entering your drinking water supply. Not being prepared for backflow does not just result in serious health risks, but it makes your plumbing system challenging to repair even with the appropriate plumbing tools and equipment available. To prevent backflow from happening in your home, we will be sharing the different backflow prevention devices available to protect your home from this problem.
How To Prevent Backflow In Your Plumbing System
Create an Air Gap
Though an air gap won’t stop the sewage water from reversing its flow, at least air gaps in cross-sections in your plumbing systems can prevent the backflow where backflow is likely to occur. These air gaps are called tundish. These are usually installed near the pressure release valve. These are available in different angles, sizes, and shapes to fit any plumbing system. A tundish is notable for preventing back pressure which is a cause of backflow.
Install a Pressure Vacuum Breaker
Another novel backflow preventer is installing pressure vacuum breakers. A change in water pressure within your pipes can also cause backflow, making a pressure vacuum breaker an effective backflow prevention device. The air pressure in a line sometimes exceeds the water pressure. The reduced water pressure will stop the sewage water from moving forward and slipping backward in the pipe. Once a backflow prevention device such as pressure vacuum breakers is in the plumbing system, you can prevent this phenomenon from occurring. Pressure vacuum breakers consist of a pressure gauge, a vented chamber, and an inlet valve. These backflow prevention devices will let water flow through under normal circumstances. However, should the water reverse its flow, the vented chamber will close the inlet valve to stabilize the pressure and prevent backflow.
Atmospheric Vacuum Breaker
An atmospheric vacuum breaker is a backflow prevention device preventing backflow from occurring in a pipeline system. The “poppet valve” acts as the control valve that is held up by the water pressure in the system. If the pressure on the upstream side is lower than the atmospheric pressure, the poppet valve drops, allowing the air to enter the breaker, thereby blocking the flow. These backflow prevention devices can’t be installed in an enclosure with air contaminants that may foul the pipes. These backflow prevention devices are also not recommended for use underground because of the risks of groundwater or the sewer line being drawn into the water system.
Controlled Pressure Zone Preventers
These backflow preventers are devices that help stop polluted water from flowing back into the clean water supply. This is especially important for more complex plumbing systems, like irrigation and food processing factories. The backflow prevention devices help to keep pressure changes from happening in the distribution system. These backflow prevention devices are installed between the internal user circuit in a domestic water distribution system and the primary water system. These backflow preventers create a separation zone that keeps the water supply in the two courses from coming together.
Takeaways: Choosing the Right Backflow Preventer For Your Plumbing Devices
Backflow prevention devices are required by law to prevent contaminated water from compromising the health of your household. Learning about the merits of each of these options can help you determine the best plumbing solutions that are specific for your home or for other applications such as an irrigation system. Depending on your application, there is a right backflow prevention device that can balance the water system pressure to prevent drain water from re-entering your system. AK plumbing has the knowledge and experience to deal with backflow issues that Duarte homes and businesses encounter. AK Plumbing is a family-owned business that has served Duarte, California and surrounding cities and towns for decades. For a free quote, call us at (626) 812-8365, or contact us.