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Preventing Plumbing Issues With Backflow Testing

backflow tools

Understanding the Facts on Backflow Testing

How disgusting would it be to find out that the water coming out of the sink has had traces of human waste, chemicals, or gases in it? It’s devastating to learn that the water once thought safe for drinking has been harming the health and well-being of everyone living in the home.

This is the essence of a plumbing backflow. Suddenly drinking water is not so clean anymore. Due to the dangerous health risks of drinking contaminated water, it’s critical to use backflow testing services.

In this article, homeowners can learn about the common health risks of backflow. They can also learn how to prevent this situation and what to do if a backflow happens in their home.

Health Risks of a Plumbing Backflow Situation

health risk

Before diving into the biggest health risks of a backflow, it’s important to understand what it is and when it can happen. Backflow occurs when fluid reverses its direction of flow. The issue with this is that plumbing systems have many cross-connections, so as contaminated water is coming back towards the house, it can enter and pollute clean water sources. This is one of many health risks of a backflow.

If the backflow starts from the city water supply, it becomes an even bigger issue since there are additional chemicals and waste that can contaminate the water.

When backflow testing is never done, it can lead to the exposure of many health risks including the following:

  • Water contaminated with waste and chemicals can enter drinking water.
  • Chemicals in the water can burn skin when washing hands or taking a shower.
  • Propane gas and other gases can enter the water mains, posing potential fire hazards.
  • Various germs and bacteria can transmit diseases through the water supply.

How to Prevent Backflow

Backflow is typically caused by a change in pressure. When the downstream pressure of non-potable water (not safe for drinking) outweighs the pressure of the main water source, a backflow occurs. In order to test for backflow, plumbers will look at the gate and relief valves in the plumbing system.

prevent backflow

​​​​​​They’ll close the water valves to check for any changes or irregularities in the water movement. If backflow has been detected, or if it has been an issue for others nearby, homeowners can have a backflow preventer installed. This device is placed on the home’s water pipes and forces the water to flow only in one direction.

What to Do If Backflow Occurs

water valve

The rooms in the house that are most at risk of backflow are the bathroom and the kitchen. Both of these rooms are packed with plumbing devices: faucets, showerheads, garbage disposals, dishwashers, etc.

Therefore, they have a lot of cross-connections for transporting water and are susceptible to backflow. If the home is experiencing backflow, homeowners should immediately shut off the water in their house, so that the contaminated water doesn’t reach those living in the house.

Having backflow is considered a major plumbing emergency. Therefore, a professional plumber should be contacted immediately to test the water and implement a solution.

About C & D Plumbing Inc.

C & D Plumbing Inc. is a family-owned and operated plumbing company that has been dedicated to serving the local community for the last decade. Their goal is to provide customers with industry-leading care and quality. No matter the plumbing need, with hydro jetting, repiping, and water heater services, among others, C & D Plumbing Inc.'s plumbing professionals will be able to solve it in a timely and expert fashion.