The Importance of Preventing Backflow

Many property owners are not aware of a common issue that can affect their plumbing system, backflow. This occurs when water flows opposite the direction it should. This can occur in any plumbing situation, but the one most want to avoid is dirty water flowing INTO their toilet tank.

The Importance of Preventing Backflow

Having clean, fresh, drinkable water is something we have come to expect. Backflow is one of the main causes of contamination for our water. Once this occurs, the water is no longer usable and can not be consumed by humans or pets. To help avoid the possibility of contamination, almost every building has a method in place to prevent any backflow, protecting one of our most valuable resources, clean drinking water. 

Common Causes of Backflow

Like most plumbing problems, there is usually more than one cause of an issue. However, with backflow, there are usually only a few, which are:

  1. Backpressure- This occurs when pressure pushes water back up where is it not suppose to be. This can happen if there are issues with ventilation issues or drainage is not correct.
  2. Back-siphonage- When the supply side of the line has too low of pressure, the contaminated water can actually get pulled back up into the system.

How To Prevent Backflow

Backflow prevention needs only to be installed where there is a risk for possible contamination. It doesn’t make sense to protect areas where your plumbing has no risk of backflow occurring. Therefore, the first step is to inspect your system for potential areas where this can happen and see if there is already a system in place, if not, then one should be added to keep your water safe. 

The most common prevention is an air gap. It is often surprising to many to find out that air is commonly used throughout plumbing systems for several reasons, including preventing backflow.

Another common prevention method is the check valve. Although air gaps are required during construction of homes and businesses, they have been found to not be effective on their own in preventing backflow. Incorporating a check valve will help ensure your system is protected and your water will remain clean and safe for use. 

If you would like your Baltimore MD plumbing system checked for backflow prevention to protect your home or business from contaminated water, give us a call today at (410) 265-8833. We will inspect your existing setup and advise if any further preventive measures are necessary.

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