What Is Backflow Testing and Why Is It Important?
From time to time, the water pressure within the system tends to malfunction, which creates a backflow. We are talking about a flow of contaminated waste that will enter your central system and end up in your tap lines.
As soon as you click here, you will learn about different ways your water system can get contaminated.
If you live in an area where backflow testing is mandatory, you probably know everything about its importance. Even if you do not live in these areas, you should conduct it at least once a year to prevent contaminating your household.
That is the main reason why backflow testing is essential because you will be able to check out whether it happens and how to fix it. Of course, the main goal is to prevent it, but everything tends to run its course.
Why Does It Happen?
We can differentiate two reasons why backflows tend to happen, including:
- Back Siphonage – This particular problem happens when contaminated liquids and water get inside the potable water system. In case you open the supply valve, the pressure will change, and water will start going in the opposite direction. The main issue with back-siphonage is the inability to prevent it because the problem happened because the device malfunctioned. It is in-direct contamination, but that does not reduce its health risks.
- Back Pressure – The backpressure tends to happen when contaminated liquids get inside the potable system because the water pressure increased significantly. This tends to happen due to mechanical reasons, which means that one system has higher water pressure, and it is connected to another similarly as a booster pump or elevated piping. On the other hand, it can happen due to thermal expansion that happens due to water heater malfunction. Remember that this is considered as direct contamination.
If you decide to replace valves, that could take more money out of your pockets than you wanted in the first place. However, some home warranties will allow you to spend less money on replacement or repairs.
The Function of Backflow Testing
The first step that you should take is installing a backflow device, which will prevent the problems from happening. Remember that as soon as contaminated water re-enters restaurants, public pools, storm drains, or your household, it causes both safety and health risks.
The idea is to prevent it from happening by finding a proper device that will hold it off, which is why you need to be cautious.
Numerous cities have annual testing requirements and procedures with an idea to protect the residents from potential issues that can happen. You have to complete the test by finding a certified plumbing company.
You should visit this website: https://www.awwa.org/ to check out the latest regulations for waterworks.
How to Prevent It from Happening?
We can differentiate six devices that you can use to prevent this particular problem. Some of them are mechanicals, while others are non-mechanicals, which are important considerations depending on the type of your main valve.
Generally, non-mechanical devices like barometric loops or air gaps, as well as pressure vacuum breakers, can double-check your valves and reduce pressure before the backflow starts. This is the best way to prevent it from happening.
Everything depends on the type of water system that you have in your household, which is why you should talk with professionals to get the best solution possible.
Please have in mind that these devices are here to protect you against backflow, but they are not 100% effective, which means that you are still risking a lot.
Instead of relying on unreliable devices, you should conduct annual inspections and testing so that professionals could spot any issue with your backflow prevention system.
During the testing process, plumbers can reveal a wide array of potential issues. Therefore, it is highly relevant to conduct it comprehensively, because if you neglect something that could affect your lifestyle and cause a future emergency.
Professionals tend to get faulty readings while checking valves, especially if they are malfunctioning or damaged. Remember that this can lead to a change in pressure, which will cause the backflow in the future.
If your relief valve is opening too low or too high, this could create severe pressure changes to crucial components within the system. If the valve is too low, it means that something is affecting its movement, which could happen due to scale or corrosion, among other things.
Remember that these devices can tear and wear as time goes by, which is why the inspection will determine whether you should replace or repair it depending on its age.
You probably know that replacing valves is expensive, but some issues that could happen if you do not do it can cause even higher expenses.
In some particular situations, water conditioners, and softeners that go directly to the water supply, toilets, lawn irrigation systems can become part of the backflow issue. If you do not have a proper prevention device, the chemicals will enter your overall water supply.
Importance of Professional Help
In case you have this particular situation happening in your household, you will not be able to do it yourself. The main reason is that you do not have the proper equipment and experiences that will help you do it properly.
Instead of causing even more significant damage, you should talk with people you know about the companies that operate in your area.
Recommendations always work for home improvements, but you should also take advantage of the internet and the ability to check every single referred professional.
When you find professionals after searching for back flow testing near me, during the initial interview, you should check whether they come with a proper certification that will allow them to conduct this particular project.
The certification and education are necessary, which is why you should check out their credentials. You need to ensure that the company you are hiring comes with integrity, and you can do it by researching around and asking for proof.
That way, you will reduce the hassle that will come with a lousy testing process that will not give you the solution you wanted.