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What Is Backflow Prevention?

Home/What Is Backflow Prevention?
What Is Backflow Prevention? 2017-12-22T06:50:50+00:00

What Is Backflow Prevention?

To understand what backflow prevention is you must first understand what the term backflow means. As with any word that either comes before or follows the term prevention, you can assume you want to avoid that situation. Think about “drunk driving prevention” the goal is to prevent drunk driving. So, now let’s take a look at what backflow means so that we can better understand the term backflow prevention.

Backflow, as defined by a quick internet search, means “a term in plumbing for an unwanted flow of water in the reverse direction.” This can cause a plethora of health problems because of the contamination of the water, and in some cases, you won’t be able to tell that you have a problem right away. Backflow is caused by the cross connections which have the ability to allow contaminants into your drinking water system. Backflow can be caused by a few different things, but the most common cause of backflow is back pressure. When the pressure suddenly drops due to main water bursts, frozen pipes or an unexpectedly high demand on the water system the drop in pressure can cause backflow.

Prevention is key when it comes to backflow which is why we now want to discuss what backflow prevention is and why you should have it. Another quick internet search leads you to the definition of backflow preventions, which is “a device that is used to protect potable water supplies from contamination or pollution due to backflow. The reduced pressure in the pipe may allow the contaminated water from the soil, from storage, or from other sources to be drawn up into the system.”

You would obviously want to have a backflow prevention system in place in your Melbourne home to help reduce the risk of contamination to your potable water system. So, how do you know which backflow prevention system is right for you? Well, besides talking with your local plumbing expert you can dig into a little research on your own.

One of the simplest ways to provide backflow prevention is simply by using an air gap. This has also been said to be one of the most reliable methods to use. You have an open space vertically between any device that is connected to your plumbing system and any place with contaminated water can collect. The air gap has no moving parts besides the flowing water, so you don’t have to worry about parts going bad over time, and this means less maintenance for you.

You could also choose to go with the specialized backflow preventer valves. These valves are strategically placed at locations along the plumbing system where there is a higher risk of contaminated fluids getting through to the water supply pipes. This method takes a bit more planning because you have actual valves which need to be installed. Since this method consists of moving parts, you will be required to have the valves inspects, tested and replaced periodically.