Plumbing Backflow Preventers work just as their name implies; they prevent backflow.
When water flows from a source, it typically has chemicals added so that the water is clean and free from bacteria and hazardous material.
However, when water leaves a purified source, and flows back in it’s original direction, it will become polluted and contaminated.
The plumbing backflow preventer is an assembly device that will prevent water from flowing back to its main source.
There are two main causes of water backflow – back pressure and back siphonage.
Back pressure is a result of pressure building up due to an increase of substances in the system. This hinders the water’s ability to circulate properly and causes the water to flow backwards.
Back siphonage is caused when water pressure suddenly drops, causing the water to flow the other way. The result is a siphoning, or suctioning that draws contaminants into the water. This may happen if there has been an increased demand on the water supply.
Only licensed professionals plumbers should install backflow preventers, as installation has both federal and state regulations.
Although plumbers are certified in back flow prevention, it’s the property owner’s responsibility to check and test the preventers to be sure they are working correctly. A testing kit is available for this purpose.
There are plumbing backflow preventers for large-scale operations as well as residential needs.