As a homeowner, you want your family to feel safe and secure at all times. When it comes to your plumbing system, however, it’s easy to forget that some issues can lead to harmful water contamination — such as backflow.

Fortunately, backflow prevention devices allow us to avoid the dangers of backflow and protect our water supplies. If you’re unfamiliar with devices, it can be helpful to know what they do and how you can benefit from one. Let’s discuss everything you should know about backflow preventers without wasting another moment.

What Is Backflow?

When everything is functioning properly, the water supply coming into your home should only be moving in one direction. However, the water can start flowing in the opposite direction when backflow occurs. This can spell trouble for your drinking water supply since there’s a high chance that the potable water (also known as the water you drink) will become tainted with non-potable water (the raw, untreated water you shouldn’t drink). The combination of clean drinking and non-potable water is also referred to as a “cross-connection.”

Certain parts of a water distribution system are more susceptible to backflow than others. Fortunately, homeowners and property owners alike can schedule a backflow prevention device installation to ensure that this problem doesn’t happen.

What Is a Backflow Preventer?

As the name plainly suggests, a backflow preventer is a device that helps prevent backflow from occurring. When you invest in one of these systems, you can rest assured that your Syracuse plumbing system is safe and protected against the possibility of cross-connections and contaminated water due to backflow.

There are a few different backflow prevention devices to choose from; these include reduced pressure zones, double-check valves, and vacuum breakers. Each system is designed to address different plumbing needs.

Reduced Pressure Zone

Reduced pressure zone assemblies (which are also known as reduced pressure principle assemblies or RPZ valves) are common devices used to combat backflow. An RPZ valve includes a relief valve that will open and remove any back-flowing water.

These backflow preventers are typically recommended for plumbing systems that need high hazard level protection. They can be used almost everywhere, from commercial buildings to homes.

Double Check Valve

If you want the water to flow in one direction, you might want to consider a double-check valve. These backflow prevention devices are installed inside a water supply line, and the valves will close when they detect water flowing in the wrong direction.

These devices usually work well for systems that need low hazard level protection. Think commercial pools and irrigation systems.

Vacuum Breakers

As another type of backflow preventer, vacuum breakers are installed on faucets. As you can imagine, these devices help prevent water from flowing back down into the faucet. If you’re unsure if you should install vacuum breakers inside your home, it’s always a good idea to check your building codes.

Are Backflow Preventers Actually Necessary?

Backflow preventers aren’t always necessary. Of course, there are some instances where you’ll certainly want to install one to ensure that your drinking water supply doesn’t come contaminated with non-potable water. There may also be regulations in place where you are required to install one of these devices.

If you’re in a situation where the possibility of a cross-connection exists, you’ll want to invest in one of these systems for your household’s safety. For example, it’s recommended to have a backflow preventer for an irrigation system since the water that backflows from those systems can become contaminated with various chemicals. When you’re unsure whether or not you should invest in one of these devices, don’t hesitate to reach out to an expert for their opinion.

Contact Our Experts for All of Your Plumbing Needs

Backflow prevention devices can have many benefits when it comes to ensuring your home’s water supply is clean, safe, and free of any harmful contaminants. At AP Plumbing, our team of experts knows how important it is to feel safe and secure inside your home.

Whether your plumbing system needs an inspection, repair, or replacement service, you can count on us to provide you with a reliable solution. We always perform our services with a focus on achieving 100% customer satisfaction.
Our professionals specialize in everything from drain cleanings to plumbing emergencies in Syracuse and the surrounding areas. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help you!

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