How Critical Is Backflow Testing?
When someone drinks a glass of water or goes to brush their teeth at night, they don’t usually think about how clean the water is. They just assume it’s safe to drink. But how can anyone really tell it’s safe if they don’t test for backflow? Backflow can bring a wide range of contaminants into the home’s water system including human waste, chemicals, and gases.
Drinking this water poses a ton of health risks, which is why it’s so critical to use backflow testing services. This article will explain the health risks of backflow to homeowners. Homeowners can also learn about responding to backflow, and how to prevent it in the future in order to keep their home’s filtered water safe.
Biggest Health Risks of Plumbing Backflow
Experiencing backflow can be quite scary as a homeowner because there are so many health risks involved. For backflow to occur, fluid needs to reverse its direction of flow. Now, if there was just one pipe running through the house, it would be easier to block off the contaminated water.
But plumbing systems have many cross-connections. Therefore, when contaminated water is coming back towards the house, it can travel through those cross-connections into other pipes and pollute clean water sources.
- Human waste and chemicals can enter drinking water.
- Chemicals in the water can burn skin when exposed to water.
- Gases, such as propane gas, can enter the water mains, posing fire hazards.
- Bacteria can transmit diseases through the water supply.
Testing for backflow catches this contamination before it can harm anyone.
Preventing Backflow From Reaching the Home
So what causes the fluid in the pipes to change direction and ultimately leads to backflow? This change in direction is typically caused by a change in pressure. Backflow occurs when the downstream pressure of non-potable water (not drinking water) outweighs the pressure of the main water source.
When testing for backflow, plumbers check the gate and relief valves in the plumbing system to note any irregularities in water movement. In the unfortunate event that backflow is detected, homeowners can install a backflow preventer. This device is placed on the home’s water pipes and used as a safety net and forces water to flow in only one direction.
What to Do When Backflow Happens
When backflow is detected, homeowners should immediately shut off the water in their house to ensure that the contaminated water does reach those living in the home.
Once this first task is complete, call a professional plumber for this emergency situation. They’ll be able to determine the severity of the contamination and help implement a solution.
About American Eagle Plumbing
At American Eagle Plumbing, their focus is on honest, quality work. Their Round Rock, TX neighbors have been going to them for plumbing and water heater services since 2009. When looking for a company with respect for you, your time, and your home… look no other way!