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Backflow and How to Avoid It

Few home emergencies are as scary as plumbing problems. And among the scariest problems is that of backflow. But with such an innocuous name, homeowners would be forgiven for thinking that backflow isn’t such a big deal. After all, what does it matter if water flows back? Essentially, this is what backflow is: when water flows in the opposite direction that it’s supposed to go. Unfortunately, backflow can cause major problems that can not only be costly to fix but can also endanger the health of those in the house. Read on to learn about backflow and how to prevent it with backflow testing. 

The Terror of Backflow

waterBackflow is a potential problem in any plumbing system. The most well-known cases of backflow issues involve dangers to public health. These are instances where sewage or wastewater flows backward and contaminates potable water, which is then sent to houses and businesses, where people drink or bathe in the water. Backflow prevention and testing are required by law to prevent these public health dangers. However, backflow can still happen on a smaller scale in a home’s plumbing system. 

Backflow in a home can contaminate the home’s potable water without the homeowner’s knowledge. This can cause serious health risks for those who ingest or bathe in the water. But the terrors of backflow don’t stop there. Backflow can also cause water overflow from fixtures, causing extensive water damage. It can also contribute to leaks within the plumbing system. Luckily, backflow is easy to prevent — a certified backflow tester does provide testing.  

The Backflow Testing Process

testingBackflow testing is a process that usually takes thirty minutes or so. During this time, the water will need to be turned off. A certified backflow tester will run a series of tests to ensure that any backflow prevention components are working properly. Usually, contamination from backflow happens because of a sudden pressure loss and the failure of a backflow prevention device. Having these devices tested regularly helps to ensure that they work as designed when most needed. 

The backflow testing process generally includes:

  • Ensuring the proper function of check valves
  • Verifying that airports open and close when appropriate
  • Checking that the inlet and relief valves function properly during pressure changes

Benefits of Backflow Testing

The benefits of backflow testing are clear: it ensures that backflow prevention devices work as designed. The failure of a backflow prevention device can cause contamination of the home’s water supply. And when a home’s water supply is contaminated, it can be difficult to ensure it’s clean and safe to drink again. 

Additionally, nearly all counties or municipalities require businesses and multi-family dwellings to perform regular backflow testing. So while it’s a good idea to have regular testing, it’s required by law to have commercial properties tested. Luckily, it’s a cost-effective way to prevent public health issues and ensure the safety of those in the home or business.  

About Daniels Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, LLC

Daniels Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, LLC has served Albuquerque, NM, since 2010. They offer 24/7 emergency service and upfront pricing for no-surprises service. They also provide expert workmanship and a peace-of-mind guarantee on every job. Contact them today for backflow testing in Albuquerque, NM.