What Is Water Backflow and What Causes It?

Have you ever experienced backflows in your plumbing system? You haven’t?! Well, good to know! Backflows are among the worst plumbing emergencies you’ll ever have to experience because they don’t not only provide a great deal of inconvenience to property owners but also risk their health. Read on to learn more about backflows, their causes, and their prevention.

What Is A Backflow?

A backflow refers to the detrimental water flow, in reverse of its intended direction inside the plumbing lines. For instance, soiled water or sewage is supposed to flow right to your home’s septic tank or the public sewer where your property is connected to. Instead of going that way, dirty water gets into the clean water lines, therefore contaminating your supply of potable drinking water. This usually happens in cross-connections or parts of your plumbing system where the drainage lines and clean water lines are joined.

Now the problem with backflows is that clean water gets contaminated by bacteria and other waste particles that are present in the sewage. When that happens, your health (as well as that of your loved ones’) will be at risk. Remember, there are a lot of waterborne diseases that you may acquire from dirty water. These include protozoal, bacterial and parasitic infections such as amoebiasis, cholera, and dysentery among many others.

What Causes Water Backflow?

Backflows are caused by backsiphonage or by backpressure. Backsiphonage involves the abrupt water pressure reduction in the clean water lines. This happens when firefighters use the water to stop an ongoing fire or when a main water line breaks. During these situations, the flow of water in the systems may be reversed which will then result to a suction effect. This suction force will then lure wastewater into the clean water lines.

Another scenario that results to backflows is when the water pressure in a non-potable water line (such as systems containing antifreeze, acid or soap) exceeds the water pressure in clean water lines. This then lures the contaminated water into the drinking water system.

How To Prevent Backflow?

Backflows are prevented with the installation of prevention devices. These are what we refer to as backflow preventers.

What Are Backflow Preventers?

Backflow preventers are plumbing devices that are specially designed to impede the onset of water contamination not only in residential properties but also in commercial establishments, too. In the state of Florida, these devices are required to be installed in certain establishments such as car washes, restaurants, medical centers, beauty salons, automobile repair shops, barber shops and dry cleaners. You also have to take note that properties that have more than three stories are also mandated by the law to install backflow prevention devices.

Who Can Install Backflow Prevention Devices For You?

Unfortunately, the installation of backflow preventers is not for the DIY plumbers. These devices can only be installed by licensed plumbing technicians who have passed backflow prevention examinations and acquired the necessary certification.

We hope that you learned a lot about water backflow from our blog today. If you have a problem with backflows in your property, just call your trusted Miami plumber for backflow prevention devices. Douglas Orr Plumbing provides reliable plumbing services in Miami FLincluding backflow prevention, leak detection, sewer camera locator, sewer cleaning, sewer jetter and many more! Call us at (305) 240-6731to schedule a service!

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