What is backflow?

It is the opposite flow of water that is not required into the piping of a water system and this can contaminate the clean water that is used for drinking.

What is a backflow device?

It’s a device that plumbers install on your water pipe to prevent contamination. The water should flow one way, and that is in the house. This device stops water from flowing in the opposite direction back into the main water supply, and we also provide these services to you. So that you can drink water clean and untouched. As residents of New York, we’re fortunate to have these systems for keeping your families safe from any potential contaminants in the water. For instance, backflow can occur when there is a break in the main water line or when a fire hydrant is opened for use. Because pressure is lost during these events, water is not being pushed forward into your house and will flow backward into the city water lines. When this occurs, backflow can contaminate the public drinking supply with:

  • Fertilizers and pesticides
  • Human waste
  • Chlorine from pools and spas
  • Soap from sinks, dishwashers, and showers

And that is where a backflow device comes in handy. Many kinds of backflow devices exist, and each is intended for certain applications. Some common assemblies include:

Double Check Valves (DCV)

Double Check Valves are made for stopping the backflow in systems like fire sprinkler systems. The typical fire protection Double Check Valves (DCVs) feature an inlet (upstream) shutoff valve, 2 independently operating spring-loaded check valves (inside a single valve body), an outlet (downstream) shutoff valve, and 4 test cocks.

Reduced Pressure Zones (RPZ)

Touted as complicated and reliable backflow preventers, RPZ assemblies are intended for an internal system of the building like plumbing and fire protection. In fire protection systems, they will be used when harmful chemicals such as antifreeze are used. However, some municipalities need RPZs on all types of fire protection applications. Reduced consist of an inlet shutoff valve, 2 spring-loaded inspect valves separated by a pressure differential relief valve, 4 test cocks, and an outlet shutoff valve.

Pressure Vacuum Breakers (PVB)

PVB assembles are used for lawn irrigation, and these are the inexpensive system backflow device. They’re relatively easy in design and simple for installing, maintaining, and repairing.

How a backflow device works?

When the pressure on the backflow device’s inlet side will exceed 2psi, water will flow via the sensing line, and then it will fill the upper chamber of the system’s diaphragm. This pressure will depress the spring that will close the release valve. And when the pressure will increase more than 5psi, the 1st check valve will open, and the main zone will fill with water. Once filled, the 2nd zone will open, letting water pass through. When the inlet shut-off valve is closed, the first check valve closes, followed by the 2nd check valve. No backflow will be permitted through the system as it’s discarded through the relief valve.

Testing of backflow devices

Backflow device testing assesses a plumbing system to see if backflow is happening. Fortunately, the procedure is relatively quick and simple. In backflow device testing, a plumber evaluates how well backflow devices are working. Backflow devices are present within the plumbing system that keep the flow of water moving in the appropriate direction. They act as barriers for preventing harmful contaminants from entering a water supply. Backflow devices are frequently situated in the cross-connections that link clean water to the applications in which it’s used. For instance, backflow devices are present in different tools like sprinkler irrigation systems for preventing chemical fertilizer and contaminating the drinking water. They’re required on plumbing systems that can have harmful chemicals, industrial fluids, and more sources of water. But they’re important for home protection as well. During backflow testing, a certified plumber will open/close the valves of the backflow device or assembly to ensure it’s functioning as it needs to. The plumber will evaluate the valves for leakage, gauge movement, and other telltale indicators of a malfunction. If the valves are working correctly, you will be all set if not, the plumber may probably do some fast repairs to keep your water safe and clean.

What’s a cross-connection?

It is a temporary or permanent connection between a customer potable water system or a public water system and any source and system having non-potable water and other substances. You can take one example as the piping between a public water system and an auxiliary water system.

What’s the Importance of Backflow Device Testing?

Backflow device testing is important to reduce the harmful effects of backflow. Few backflow testing advantages include the following:

Disease prevention

Several issues associated with backflow happen due to sewer backups. This backflow spreads fecal matter and coliform bacteria into the clean water supply and dramatically raises the likelihood of contracting a severe infection. Outbreaks of diseases like salmonella, dysentery, typhoid have happened because of the fecal contamination associated with backflow. Other harmful bacteria are found in sewage as well and can cause flu-like symptoms like muscle aches, fevers, nausea, and vomiting. Giardia, Campylobacter, Shigella, E. coli, and even norovirus may be waterborne and cause gastrointestinal illness.

Protecting against heavy metals

Contamination due to Heavy metal that happens from backflow can have bad impacts. Though this problem can happen in public spaces, where carbonated water dissolves the copper in soda dispensers and can cause copper poisoning. Heavy metals like arsenic, chromium can leach into the water, backflow, and then it can cause illness in businesses or in the house.

Preventing chemical contamination

Chemical waste products like insecticides, herbicides, and compounds like sodium hydroxide can infiltrate plumbing systems through backflow. Once they will enter the plumbing system, these chemicals can cause bad impacts.

There are 3 common reasons your backflow prevention device can malfunction. These reasons involve debris getting launched and stuck in the system, changes in the pressure of the city’s water system, and water main breaks. If your backflow prevention device malfunction and breakdown, you will need the professional assistance of somebody who understands the several complicated parts of your system. Our plumbers can assess your problem and provide the parts and repair service you will require. We offer you with:

  • Backflow Prevention Device Installations
  • Backflow Prevention Device Annual Inspections and Testing
  • Backflow Prevention Surveys and Consultations

If you want to get more information about backflow device services, then call us right now.