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Learn More About Backflow Prevention and Its Importance

Keep Water Safe with a Backflow Preventer

When it comes to backflow prevention, it is important to find a professional plumber to handle installation and any repairs to your fixtures. Backflow happens when water flows the opposite way, causing possible contamination to the water supply. It isn’t always obvious when backflow happens, but we’ll get more into the signs and causes of backflow.

When it comes to protecting your potable water supply, there are some steps you can take. It’s important to keep in mind the signs of backflow and how to prevent it from happening. Being vigilant is the best defense against water contamination.

No home is ever fully protected from backflow, but you can definitely take the steps to lessen the chance of it happening. This month, we’re going to explain what backflow is, how to spot it, its causes, and how to keep your potable water safe from contamination.


What is Backflow?

You may be wondering, “what is backflow? Should it really be something I have to worry about?” Our answer is yes. While you could easily go through your life not dealing with backflow, it is something that can happen fairly easily. Backflow can occur with both well water and those who use city water and sewer lines.

The CDC defines backflow as “the flow of water or other liquids, mixtures, or substances into the distributing pipes of a potable water supply from any source or sources other than the intended source.” As you may be able to tell, this is not what you want to happen to your current plumbing system. Waste water, gas, pesticides, other contaminants, and bacteria can intrude on your drinking water, causing you or pets to get sick.


Signs that You Need a Backflow Preventer

While residential customers may think that backflow is a commercial problem, this isn’t always true. Anyone who uses sewer and water can fall victim to backflow or other contamination. There are some signs that you have a problem with backflow or that you could be a prime candidate for a backflow preventer. Some signs that you may have a backflow issue include:

  • Reduced water pressure
  • Sewer or water line leaks
  • Discolored water
  • Foul smell from water
  • Poor taste
  • Dirt coming from the spigot


Have you noticed any of these signs in your home or business? If so, do not wait. These signs are all indications that your potable water supply could be contaminated.


Causes of Backflow and How to Spot Them

Knowing the causes of backflow will help you to catch the problem before it becomes a health hazard. Backflow occurs in a few different situations. One is when the pressure drops in the pipes, allowing waste water and potable water to flow together. Pressure issues in the sewer line can also push waste water into the potable water supply, causing the mixture and allowing contamination to occur. Any changes in pressure can allow for this to happen, even without you knowing.

If your sewer system has a leak or you notice low water pressure, stay alert. Keep an eye out for the signs we mentioned, like cloudy or dirty water, smells, or dirt. If you’re unsure how to tell if there is a problem with water, call a plumber for a backflow test and inspection.


What Does a Backflow Preventer Do?

All homes can benefit from backflow preventers, no matter where you get your water from. A preventer will attach to your pipes and will direct the water in one direction. It will also stop waste water from entering the potable water. While there is always a chance that backflow can occur, the preventer will greatly lessen the risk. Adding an air gap can also aid to backflow prevention, but it is better to include a preventer to add additional protection.


Dangers of Backflow in the Potable Water Supply

Everyone knows the dangers of ingesting bacteria, but keep in mind that backflow can affect more than just drinking water. Your complete potable water supply can fall victim to contamination. Clothing, dishes, and other water uses are all in danger of this bacteria and contamination. You wouldn’t eat off of a noticeably dirty dish or wash your clothes in dirty water, but you may not notice cloudy water or leaks. Keep your home safe with a backflow preventer.

Some contaminants can even cause damage to your appliances and plumbing fixtures. Pressure issues, smells, and even just the contaminants themselves can break down appliances and make them unpleasant to use. Be sure to have an experienced plumber check over your water lines to make sure there are no leaks or backflow issues.


Call Robinson & Son Plumbing & Mechanical for Backflow Prevention

If you are struggling with backflow problems or want to install a backflow preventer in Scott Depot, WV, or the surrounding areas, reach out to Robinson & Son Plumbing & Mechanical. We work with customers throughout West Virginia to keep their water safe from contamination. Ask about our backflow preventer installation and inspections for your home. Our team offers various plumbing services, as well.


Give Robinson & Son Plumbing & Mechanical a call at (304) 757-8063 to schedule service or for an estimate. Follow us on Facebook for updates! We will be happy to give you more information on backflow prevention.