In the modern world, we take for granted that when we turn on the tap, we’ll be rewarded with clean, safe water. One way to ensure that our water never becomes polluted is to protect our water supply from the backflow of waste water, to ensure that clean and dirty water do not mix within the plumbing system. This is where backflow prevention devices come into play.
What is backflow? Backflow occurs when water flows in the opposite direction, and this can lead to clean water mixing with contaminated water. Because this co-mingling can result in serious health hazards, backflow prevention devices are often required by city officials, to prevent this from happening. Especially in places like food processing plants, pharmaceutical water supplies, and local water systems, backflow prevention devices are necessary to protect public safety.
It’s also important to have one of these plumbing devices protecting your home, to keep your water supply from becoming tainted because of improper tubing and pipe connections. There are different types of backflow prevention devices available, including:
- Air Gaps: This is a connection, consisting of an open, upright space, that provides backflow prevention by creating a vacuous space between the water break and the flood level of a connection. This ensures that drain water will not flow backward from the sewer into the water supply, and carrying wastewater across a gap of air prevents contamination.
- Pressure Vacuum Breaker (PVB): Similar to an atmospheric vacuum breaker, a PVB is part of your irrigation system, and it prevents water from the irrigation system from backflowing into your drinking water. It has a check valve that opens and closes close to the water source, and an air inlet that is vented to the atmosphere. When the air pressure is greater than the water pressure, the valve closes, preventing backflow.
When you are choosing between these plumbing devices, you’ll need to consider your plumbing system and your sewer line, as well as your location and its climate. In a mild climate, for instance, a pressure vacuum breaker may be the right option. There are also other methods of preventing backflow, like adding barriers from inside the plumbing line. The best way to make a decision is to speak with an expert plumber, who can help you make the right choice.
No matter what plumbing problem you’re facing, you can count on Mike Counsil Plumbing and Rooter to provide stellar plumbing services with a smile. Since 1994, we’ve served San Jose, California, and the South Bay Area, building a reputation on excellent service and a 100 percent satisfaction rate. Our family-owned and -operated company is committed to exceeding our clients’ expectations, and our staff is kept up to date on all the latest advances in the industry. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, we’re available to take care of plumbing issues that can’t wait. Call 408.705.4820 or contact us through our website to learn more.