Understanding the Threat of Backflow in Plumbing


Everything Homeowners Need to Know About Backflow and Prevention

As a society, people place a lot of trust in engineering. Even with all the advances in the plumbing infrastructure that have made safe water cheap and accessible, there are still continuing threats to the safety and cleanliness of the water homeowners use daily. 

Backflow is a plumbing problem that can cause water contamination and threaten public health. The good news is backflow prevention devices and practices are in place in every home and business. However, property owners may not understand the massive consequences when they fail and the importance of testing them. This article is a quick guide to inform people about backflow, backflow prevention, and their responsibility to help keep the water grid clean with backflow testing

Understanding Backflow 

Backflow occurs any time water flows through a pipe in a direction not originally intended. Most often, it is caused by water line breaks or industrial demand that quickly causes the flow to change direction due to siphoning. When this occurs, a vacuum can form at points of use in the plumbing system, wherein pollutants can be sucked into freshwater piping. 

From the treatment facility to the tap in a home, the water pipes are sealed to protect treated water. Anytime a foreign contaminant is allowed inside, it can contaminate the entire water supply. In order to prevent this, backflow preventers are installed at vulnerable points in the water grid and plumbing system, ensuring regulations and codes are followed. 

Preventing Backflow 

back flowWhen backflow occurs in piping, it causes people to be exposed to harmful chemicals, contaminated groundwater, and human waste. Preventing backflow is every property owner's responsibility, including installing and maintaining backflow prevention devices and methods. 

Backflow preventers are special devices fitted to pipes and methods like air gaps that act as a check valve, only allowing water to flow in one direction. In homes and businesses, they are usually installed on the service entrance for the water line and on irrigation systems. If homeowners are unaware of backflow preventers on their property, they should call a plumber to locate it and look for problems. 

Testing Backflow Preventers 

back flowSince backflow preventers are essential for keeping the water clean and free from contamination, they must be tested regularly to ensure they are operating correctly. When backflow preventers are present on a property, it is required for them to be tested annually by a licensed plumber. 

A plumber who is a certified backflow tester has special training and experience, allowing them to perform backflow testing and certification services. They will repair or replace any backflow prevention devices they find an issue with to give homeowners peace of mind their drinking water is safe. 

About Falcon Plumbing

Falcon Plumbing has over 30 years of experience serving Miami and the surrounding areas. They offer same-day or next-day service, upfront pricing, and quality workmanship. Call them today for backflow testing and certification in Miami, FL.

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How Does Backflow Testing Keep Water Safe?


Answering Tough Backflow Prevention Questions

Clean drinking water is so available and abundant that it can be easy to overlook the complicated systems that are engineered to deliver to every home and business. Most people don’t realize that there is a municipal plumbing system before the water reaches a home that makes ready access to water possible. One of the main components of plumbing infrastructure is a device called a backflow preventer. Backflow preventers have special jobs that protect freshwater resources in piping and stringent rules that govern their inspection. 

To learn about backflow preventer testing and certification, local plumbers are here to share some knowledge. With this quick article, everyone can better understand their plumbing infrastructure and how it is cared for. 

What Happens When Backflow Occurs?

After water is treated, it is very important that it remains uncontaminated. Water treatment facilities work hard to remove biological and chemical threats from water to make it safe, and if things go correctly, the water will remain safe as it travels through piping all the way to the home. 

However, occasionally a phenomenon called “backflow” can occur. Backflow occurs when water is pulled in the wrong direction through piping and potentially pulls contaminated water into clean water piping. Water that is pulled into the piping can contain dangerous chemicals or pathogens that are not normally present in the water. Backflow prevention devices are essentially check-valves that make sure the flow of water stays in one direction. 

Homes are protected by having air gaps at each point of use in a plumbing system. In some cases, irrigation systems will have special backflow preventers that stop groundwater from backflowing into freshwater piping. On a larger scale, businesses and municipalities have special backflow preventers that must be inspected annually to ensure that they will function correctly in a backflow condition. 

What Makes Certification Necessary?backflow

Backflow preventers are reliable pieces of equipment that stay in service for years. In that time, hundreds of thousands of gallons of water can flow through a backflow preventer. With all of the work that backflow preventers do, they need to be tested to make sure they are reliable. 

Backflow certification is the process where professional backflow testing and certification specialists make sure that the backflow preventers will reliably prevent contamination of water from backflow. By running a quick set of tests with specialized equipment, backflow testing specialists can check on the condition of backflow preventers and legally document their inspection according to local guidelines. 

What Qualifications Do Backflow Testing Specialists Need?plumber

All backflow testing and certification contractors are plumbers, but not all plumbers are certified to test backflow preventers. To become certified to work on backflow preventers, a plumber must take extra courses and pass an exam. 

The exam consists of a written portion where the applicant demonstrates their skills, as well as a hands-on portion where the applicants actually test real-world backflow prevention devices. Plumbers that decide to pursue the backflow testing and certification process must renew their license every two years to ensure that everyone who performs backflow testing maintains aptitude in this important skill. 

About Falcon Plumbing

Falcon Plumbing has been doing backflow testing and certification for 30 years. Their qualified technicians are also ready to help with emergency plumbing services where a real person always answers the phone. Call today to schedule unparalleled backflow service in the Miami, FL area.

Things You Need to Know About Backflow Testing


What to Know About Backflow Testing

Backflow is a condition in which the flow of any water in your home reverses directions. Why is this a problem? Consider an irrigation system that is watering your lawn from the same plumbing as your drinking water, as most domestic sprinklers systems are designed.

If a backflow condition occurs, groundwater, debris, and lawn chemicals could all be pulled back into the freshwater side of your plumbing where your drinking water is stored.

If backflow does occur in your house, it means that all the water in your pipes will become polluted water. In this article, you will learn the risks associated with backflow and how to prevent it. You will also learn what to do in case you find yourself experiencing this issue.

Health Risks of Not Having Backflow Protection

health risksClean water is a mainstay in modern society. It is very easy to take for granted your access to potable water. When a backflow condition occurs, foreign matter, chemical contaminants, and biological contaminants can infect your water supply and leave you vulnerable.

Backflow often results in sewage or surface water being pulled back into your home’s plumbing where dangerous bacteria and viruses can live in your drinking water and infect or harm you. Backflow can be an issue on a municipal scale from businesses and water distribution systems.

When flooding occurs, if backflow prevention devices aren’t in place, contaminated surface water can be pulled into freshwater piping. Additionally, pipes serving industrial customers have been known to siphon products back into residential freshwater piping.

Prevent Backflow Conditions

Fortunately, devices and methods exist to prevent backflow conditions from occurring. Chances are, your home is equipped with a backflow prevention device. Municipal water supplies also have industrial-scale backflow preventers in place strategically to prevent contamination as well.

Preventing backflow is one of the most important steps to take to protect the safety of your water supply. Backflow preventers should be inspected and tested at least yearly to ensure that they are protecting your water supply. Municipalities and large industrial customers are required to have theirs tested annually as well.

prevent backflow

If you suspect that your backflow preventer has become compromised and might be contaminating your water supply, it may be wise to have it certified. In the certification process, an authorized backflow prevention certifier will sample your freshwater system and look for potential contaminants. Once the technician tests for chemical and biological contamination, they will certify that your backflow preventer is working and that your water supply is safe.

What to Do If You Have a Backflow Problem

water valveIf you find that backflow is happening in your system, it is important to know what to do. First, find your water valve in order to turn off the supply to your house. This will isolate your water system and help you figure out where the backflow is happening.

Next, locate the source of the backflow. Common culprits are pools, irrigation systems, booster pumps, and even dishwashers. Finally, have the problem repaired, restore water service, and flush the lines by turning on all faucets and spigots.

Letting lots of water flow through your plumbing will remove all of the potential contaminants. Having your water certified by a backflow preventer certified inspector will ensure that your water is safe and the job is complete.

About Falcon Plumbing

Falcon Plumbing has been committed to customer satisfaction in the Miami, FL area since 1986. Their plumbers are certified for backflow testing and certification for residential and commercial customers. Offering a full line of plumbing services, they can help with anything from garbage disposal installation to hot water tank replacement.