Have you ever heard the phrase, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?” It’s especially true when it comes to preventing non-potable water from backing up into a building’s drinkable water supply. Obviously, any contamination from human waste, animal feces, fertilizers, or other toxins can pose serious health risks.
What causes backflow?
There are two types of backflow. Both involve the flow of water being reversed but they happen for different reasons. Backpressure backflow occurs when the downstream water pressure increases further, which pushes water backward. The other type, backflow siphonage happens when the water supply pressure drops before it reaches the building, such as a water main break, multiple fire hydrants being used simultaneously, or a pipe freezing and bursting.
Ways to prevent backflow
The good news is there are safety devices that can prevent backflow from affecting your business’s water supply.
- Double check valve – A check valve has a special lid or flap that opens when water is flowing in the correct direction, then closes to prevent the flow from going in the wrong direction. A double check valve assembly can effectively prevent backflow.
- Reduced pressure principle device – The device features a hydraulic, spring-loaded pressure differential relief valve between two check valves. The relief valve opens when there is more pressure in one pipe than the other.
Why a backflow preventer inspection is important
As with any plumbing fixture, it’s important to routinely check to make sure a backflow preventer is working properly. During an inspection, a plumber will turn off the downstream water supply and then test the pressure. If the pressure readings are off, then adjustments will need to be made to prevent backflow.
Commercial plumbers in Schererville, IN
The idea of backflow can be scary to think about, but when you have a qualified plumber inspect the backflow preventer, the risk of water contamination is minimal.