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How You Can Prevent Backflow With These Plumbing Tools


Backflow can potentially be a devastating plumbing experience in your home. Backflow not only poses a contamination threat to you and your family, but it also threatens the sanitation of the water in public water supplies. That's why backflow prevention is an integral part of your home's plumbing systems.

Backflow prevention devices should be inspected and certified by the plumbing experts at Valley Plumbing. For more about backflow prevention devices that are currently available to you.

More About Backflow

whatisBackflow is what happens when wastewater that is flowing away from your home begins to flow in the wrong direction, mixing with and contaminating the clean water that is flowing into your home.

This exposes you to contaminants like dirt, human waste, bacteria and other chemicals that can lead to illnesses and sometimes, even hospitalization.

Backsiphonage, or backflow, can happen as a result of a broken water line. A broken line can instantly change the air pressure inside your other pipes. If the pressure decreases in the pipe, the water will no longer flow away from your home, and will instead slip backward, into your potable water supply.

Creating an Air-Gap

airgapOne reasonably effective way to prevent backflow is to create an air gap so that wastewater and clean water can't mix. This can be achieved by installing a tundish in your system, just next to the pressure release valve.

Tundishes are popular for backflow prevention because they come in a wide variety of sizes and angles, so finding one to fits your own plumbing system should be reasonably simple.

Tundishes are also helpful in protecting against backpressure, which causes backflow. An example of how air gaps prevent backflow can be found in your kitchen sink or bathtub.

Notice that there is a significant amount of airspace between where the water comes out of the faucet and the rim of the tub or sink. This is done on purpose so that even at its highest possible water level, the potentially contaminated water in the sink or tub still can’t back up into the faucet and contaminate the clean water.

Installing a Pressure Vacuum Breaker

vacuumbreakersAnother good option for backflow prevention is a pressure vacuum breaker. Since backflow can be caused by a sudden change in pressure, pressure vacuum breakers aim to relieve potentially high-pressure situations in your pipes.

The device has a check valve that, as long as the pressure in the pipe is normal, will allow water to pass through the chamber without opening the air inlet valve.

If the air pressure, for whatever reason, becomes higher than the water pressure, then the vented chamber will begin to open and close the air inlet valve, preventing backflow.

Which Device is Best For Your Home?

rightforhomeHow to choose which backflow prevention device is best for your home? One thing to always keep in mind is that pressure vacuum breakers tend to break more easily in cold temperatures.

For that reason, they are not recommended in places with harsher winters. Resolve to keep your home clean and safe for your family. Call Valley Plumbing today for backflow testing and certification services in Salt Lake City, UT!