Go Back

What To Do About Backflow

Important Information on Backflow

Backflow is a problem that happens to most homeowners at least once in their lifetime. It can happen regardless of a working garbage disposal and does not discriminate by land. When foul water pours out of the tap, household members should not try to treat this problem themselves. A professional is needed for safety reasons.

What Is “Foul Water” In Florida?

preventedFoul water means contaminated water. This can take the form of sewage or liquid from the dishwasher. Depending on which plumbing connection is crossed, contaminated water may come from the homeowner’s house or another water supply system. A backflow test can tell for certain if the water is foul. 

There are two types of backflow: back-siphonage and back-pressure. Back-siphonage happens due to a loss of pressure in the supply system. Circumstances outside of the home can cause this. If a fire hydrant is opened, the neighborhood has a risk of backflow.

Back pressure occurs when an individual’s water supply is connected to a pressure device. This usually happens with water heaters and boilers. As the water heats, the pressure expands. Typically this problem can be solved with a backflow preventer device that will help the water change direction.

The plumbing system is supposed to move water in one direction only. This is part of the reason multiple pipes are used. When backflow occurs, the delivery system is reversed. This means dirty water that is directed out of the home may end up coming back inside. Backflow can come from multiple water fixtures, including kitchen faucets and bathroom toilets. 

There are other signs of backflow besides sewage in the sink. Slow drainage and water pressure changes are also key indicators. Since backflow does not necessarily come out of every sink, paying attention to elevated water levels in the toilet is important. A faulty backflow device usually causes this.

Small particles in the tap water are not normal. Sediment that flows from the tap is considered pollution and may cause health issues. Drinking contaminated water can be dangerous for both children and adults. The symptoms are similar to food poisoning and include vomiting, stomachaches, and chills.  

Can You Prevent Backflow?

preventionThere are two ways backflow is prevented, but neither one is foolproof. A backflow preventer or check valves must be installed.

Check valves are often used in older plumbing systems. They provide basic protection against backflow. Check valves do not need human assistance to work and can still function in the event of a power outage. They work by relying on the weight of the water flow to open or close the valves. This will help keep water flowing in the right direction, but it is less effective than a backflow preventer.

A backflow preventer uses check valves, which are only one part of the system. Other components include reduced pressure zones. Because of a hydraulic relief valve, the device can keep water flowing in the right direction regardless of volume. 

Although backflow preventers are extremely efficient, they do need to be maintained. A backflow tester can inspect the valves before backflow becomes a problem. Backflow testing can be completed in under an hour for homeowners who suspect they already have contaminated water. 

About Capital Plumbing Contractors

Capital Plumbing Contractors handles both residential and commercial plumbing systems. They offer honest advice and top-rated service and are available when you need them most – handling tough plumbing repairs like backflow. To learn about their $25 off coupon for first-time customers, call Capital Plumbing Contractors in Tallahassee, FL. 

Distribution Links +