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Frequently Asked Questions About Backflow

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Frequently Asked Questions About Backflow

August 28, 2023

Backflow 101: Everything Homeowners Should Know

There’s no getting around it; Backflow threatens public health. Thankfully, homeowners don’t have to deal with unexpected backflow. They can install prevention devices that keep waste and contamination where it should be: out of sight and out of mind. It’s reasonable to have many questions about backflow and the benefits of installing a preventative device. This blog will answer questions about backflow, prevention, and backflow testing. 

What Is Backflow? 

Backflow is when the flow of water reverses into the potable water supply, causing water contamination. Water is supposed to flow in one direction throughout the home’s plumbing system and the water grid. However, backflow is when the flow of water gets disrupted and flows in the opposite direction. This can contaminate the clean water supply and make it unsafe to use and consume. 

Some reasons for backflow include: 

  • A change in the home’s water pressure: This could result from a clog, leak, or frozen pipe. 
  • A faulty cross-connection: A plumbing system comprises cross-connections that separate usable water from contaminated water. If something happens to one of these connectors, backflow can occur. 
  • A lack of backflow prevention devices: Many homes have backflow prevention devices installed to ensure water is safe. If a home doesn’t have them or they malfunction, homeowners could experience backflow. 

How Can Homeowners Prevent Backflow? 

Homeowners can help prevent the water contamination and headaches that come with backflow by: 

  • Refraining from DIY repairs: What may first seem like an easy-to-fix plumbing problem could be more complicated than what meets the eye. An unskilled homeowner could cause backflow while attempting to fix another problem. 
  • Installing backflow prevention devices: One should never assume anything about their home’s plumbing system. Even if homeowners think they have backflow prevention devices, they should have a professional check to ensure they do and that they are where they should be and working correctly. There are many backflow preventers and methods, such as pressure vacuum breakers and air gaps. 
backflow system

When Should Homeowners Have Their Backflow Prevention Devices Tested? 

Homeowners should have their backflow prevention devices and methods inspected and tested annually to ensure they are working correctly and don’t need to be repaired or replaced. Annual backflow testing is required to help prevent contaminated drinking water and protect public health. 

Certified backflow testers can help homeowners determine if their backflow preventers are in good condition and ready to protect water for another year. If they encounter problems with the devices when testing, they can fix or replace them immediately to prevent backflow and its consequences. 

About Sewer Squad Plumbing & Drain Services 

Sewer Squad Plumbing & Drain Services is a family-owned and operated company serving Oshawa and the surrounding areas. They offer upfront pricing, fast response, and industry-leading warranties. Call them today for backflow prevention and backwater valve services in Oshawa, ON.