You might be wondering what backflow is. That is a good question, and one we are going to be covering thoroughly today. We will discuss what backflow is, why it is bad, how we prevent it, and what to do if backflow does indeed start occurring in your plumbing system.
Specifics of Backflow
Pipes and plumbing systems are designed so that water flows in one continuous direction. For drains, this means water is flowing away from your home towards the sewage system. For pipes attached to fixtures like sinks or faucets, this means water is flowing from the municipal water system, to your home. Backflow is the term for a phenomena in which the direction of flow inside a pipe or plumbing system is reversed. This has a number of negative side effects. Most often, it can cause clean water to become mixed with dirty water. Backflow can even cause water to return up your pipes after you thought it had drained away!
Backflow Prevention and Problems
It is standard for a plumbing system to have a number of backflow preventers installed. As their name implies, these prevent liquids from reversing their direction of flow within a pipe. Occasionally backflow prevents can wear down and develop leaks. Because these devices are installed deep within a plumbing system, it is almost always best to call a professional plumber to come out and fix them. This could end up being a large task. The plumber may need to turn off all water to the home while he is working.
Some home gardening drip systems utilize backflow preventers. If these malfunction, this may be a better time for a DIY plumbing enthusiast to attempt a fix as the consequences of making a mistake will be less dire. If you damage your home plumbing system, you could face thousands of dollars of damage. Harming your gardening drip system will be less painful financially, and you may even get a chance to learn something!
At Parker & Sons, we always recommend calling a professional plumber if you have any questions or concerns.