At WM Plumbing, we understand the importance of finding a reliable and trustworthy plumber. That’s why we offer transparent and honest services, ensuring that our clients receive the best possible outcome. When it comes to backflow, we can help.
What is Backflow?
Backflow is a reversal of the normal direction of water flow in a water supply plumbing system.
It occurs when the water delivery main is at a lower pressure than the internal plumbing system (back siphonage). Back siphonage can occur when there is a burst or ruptured water main, or due to excessive demand during fire-fighting operations or other periods of high demand.
Backflow can also occur if a water pump, such as a bore pump, is cross connected to the internal water plumbing system, and is pumping bore water at a higher pressure than the water mains pressure (back pressure).
If a property’s drinking water supply is inadvertently connected with a source of pollution, either through a cross connection or simply a hose submerged in a container of liquid, then these pollutants could enter the water supply when there is an overpressure on the private property side or a sudden drop in water mains pressure.
How to Prevent Backflow
Air Gap: An air gap is a fundamental, non-mechanical way to maintain the pressure in your plumbing pipes. It’s simply a space between the water supply outlet and the flood level of a fixture. And, this separation keeps a positive force in the line.
Most kitchen sinks already have an air gap. Most importantly, it ensures dirty wastewater can’t find its way back into the faucet. Dishwashers, washing machines, and bathtubs also rely on this feature to prevent backflows. A plumber can easily install an air gap if one of these fixtures doesn’t already have one.
Backflow Prevention Device: Backflow prevention devices protect a water supply from dangerous contamination even in the case of a sudden pressure change. These devices are important because they protect the water supply and the safety of those drinking from it. That’s why it’s important to ensure that you have a proper system in place to protect your water supply from backflow. Contamination can be dangerous and even deadly. These devices rely on mechanical parts to monitor and maintain water pressure. There are multiple options available, including:
- Pressure vacuum breaker assembly
- Reduced pressure assembly
- Hose bib backflow preventer
- Double-check valve
- Barometric loop
Prevention devices have valves that open and close to stop potential backflows. Hence, they act as a one-way street. Water can only flow through the pipes in a single, uniform direction. Once the water flows out, the valves ensure it can’t get back inside. A plumber will help you choose which device is best for your home.
Backflow Testing and Certification
Monitoring valves for age-related wear and tear requires annual testing. However, testing is also required whenever there is a chance for debris or misalignment. New installs, repairs, and relocating prevention assemblies all require testing before the work is considered complete to ensure seals and valve seats align and are not blocked by debris.
Many areas require that testing be completed by certified professionals. It requires calibrated equipment and different testing protocols for different types of prevention assemblies.
Testers identify the type of valves in the assembly and its overall function and direction of water flow. Specific tests, procedures, and gauge types are required depending on the type of backflow mechanism and the orientation of the valve components. If test cocks are not part of the assembly, the tester will number and attach them where required.
Tester certification ensures the individual knows when to follow a certain procedure and how to interpret the results. They can make small repairs or identify valve assemblies that need more extensive work.
Backflow Service in Miami and Beyond
Our team is headquartered in Doral, and from there we’re proud to serve the greater Miami area, including Sweetwater, Coral Gables, Hialeah, Kendall, and more. Visit our full service area or call today to speak with a specialist.