What is Backflow Testing

What is Backflow?

Backflow in a home

Backflow means that the direction that the water is supposed to flow (into or out of your home) gets reversed. When the direction of water flow is unintentionally reversed, the water supply can be contaminated by gases, liquids, or solids entering the water supply. Basically, it means that dirty water mixes with clean water.

The water that comes into your home from the local municipal water supply is being pumped into the home at a certain level of pressure. This pressure is what makes it possible for water to flow from your faucets. In certain circumstances, that level of pressure can be reduced. This happen when pipes freeze or a water main breaks. When that pressure is reduced, contaminated water from other sources can enter your home water supply.

Backflow testing is a process that is used to test your plumbing system to make sure that drinking water is not being contaminated by dirty water infiltrating the water supply.

The water in your home is usually kept at a standard pressure in order to allow the movement of water through your home from one area to another — for example, from shower, to toilet, to sink. If the pipes are subjected to an unexpected drop in pressure due to freezing, bursting, or an unusually high demand on the water supply, contaminated water from the ground or storage can enter the system.

Backflow Prevention

Backflow can be prevented through the use of an air gap. Using an air gap means leaving an empty space between any place where water might collect and the implements that connect to your plumbing system, like valves and faucets.

Another way to prevent backflow is to use a backflow prevention device, such as a backflow preventer valve. If there is the possibility that the water supply could be contaminated at specific locations in the home, a backflow preventer valve can be installed at each of those locations.

What Causes Backflow Prevention Devices to Fail?

Like any mechanical device, a backflow prevention device won’t last forever. The length of time that a backflow prevention device lasts depends on several factors. These factors include the quality of your water, the pressure of your water, how often the device is used, and the environment where the device is installed. About 5% of the devices that are tested fail. Typically, the failure is caused by a simple problem, like an O-ring that needs to be replaced or a broken spring.

Why You Need Backflow Testing

Backflow prevention devices are a big help, but they can fail. This is why it is important to have your backflow tested yearly. Backflow testing is an important part of your home’s maintenance routine, because it makes sure that the water that you and your family are drinking is safe and clean. Additionally, a backflow preventer valve can break, so regular backflow testing is performed to ensure that all backflow preventer valves are working properly.

Backflow prevention devices have built-in ports so that the device can be tested easily. The device is tested by a plumber using a test kit. In order to perform the test, all water downstream of the device must be turned off. When you need backflow testing, contact Scott English Plumbing. They will come out to your home and perform an inspection and backflow testing to make sure that all the water in your home is running in the right direction. They want your drinking water to be safe and sanitary.

Scott English Plumbing is available for many other plumbing services that you might need, as well. Their services include the following:

  • Leak detection: If you have a water leak in your home and you can’t find the source, Scott English Plumbing will locate the problem and fix it for you.
  • Slab leak repair: If your home’s slab is leaking, they will find and fix it before the problem spreads.
  • Sewer and drain cleaning: If you have a clogged drain or your sewer is backing up, Scott English Plumbing trucks will come to your home with their specialized equipment and get your drains flowing again.
  • Plumbing inspections: Before you purchase a home or commercial property, call for a professional plumbing inspection.
  • Video inspection: Our video inspection service can show you exactly where the problem in your plumbing system is coming from.
  • Water heaters: We can remove your old water heater and replace it with a new one, even a tankless water heater.
  • Kitchen and bathroom remodeling: Scott English Plumbing can install your toilets, faucets, tubs, and showers.
  • Garbage disposals: Clogged garbage disposals will be returned to working order.
  • Water softeners and filters: We can install your water softener or filter so that your water smells, tastes, and feels great.

Best of all, Scott English Plumbing provides round the clock emergency service. If your pipe bursts in the middle of the night, call Scott English Plumbing and they will be out to your home right away to repair it. They have been in business for more than 19 years, and they are proud to offer high quality service for reasonable prices. Whatever your plumbing issue may be, Scott English Plumbing will be glad to resolve the issue for you.