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Backflow Prevention

What is Backflow?

In a closed hydraulic system, fluids will move from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure. Municipal water towers provide a source of continuous high pressure in a water supply system, and the faucets in the home or business create a low-pressure release. Ordinarily, this establishes a one-way flow of water through the system. However, if anything causes this pressure to be interrupted, pressure imbalances can be created beyond the point of interruption, which may, under certain conditions, reverse the flow of the water. And if the faucet does not release the water into the air, but is instead connected directly to a source of contamination, that contamination can flow back into the water line. This reversal of direction is called backflow .

When Might Backflow Contamination Occur?

  • Back-siphonage can occur when there is a broken water main, when there is a fire nearby where a Fire Department is using large quantities of water, or even when a fire hydrant is opened for testing. Any buildings near such a break or unusual fire hydrant usage will experience lower water pressure.
  • Backpressure backflow is backflow caused by a downstream pressure that is greater than the supply pressure. Pumps can create increases in downstream pressure, as can temperature increases in boilers, etc. Reductions in supply pressure occur whenever the amount of water being used exceeds the amount of water being supplied, such as during water line flushing, fire fighting, or breaks in water mains.

Other Backflow Contamination Issues

  • Cross Contamination - any connection between a drinking water supply and any source of non-potable water or other substances:
  • Toilets can provide a backflow hazard as well. To prevent sewer gas and the germs associated with it from getting back into drinking water, it is essential that the ballcock be properly air-gapped from the water contained in the toilet tank.
  • Garden Hoses - A potentially hazardous cross-connection occurs every time someone uses a garden hose sprayer to apply insecticides or herbicides to their lawn. Any contaminant in contact with the end of a garden hose could end up in a home's water pipes if there is a drop in pressure in the water mains. Over half of the nation's cross-connections involve unprotected garden hoses.

You Need a Professional To Recognize and Prevent Backflow

The issues above would not be problems if everyone's plumbing systems were built and maintained according to the Calfornia plumbing codes, and if all plumbing systems were built and maintained by individuals trained in hydraulics. Nor would there be a danger if homeowners always followed the code when making repairs, and if they used only products designed to safeguard the system. Unfortunately, not everyone has had the proper training but at Plumbing Solution we do.

Backflow Prevention Systems

Mechanical Backflow Preventers - The principal types of mechanical backflow preventer are the reduced-pressure principle assembly, the pressure vacuum breaker assembly, and the double check valve assembly. A secondary type of mechanical backflow preventer is the residential dual check valve.

If you are looking for a Los Angeles plumbing company, please call us today at (877) 775-7477

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