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What is The Best Plumbing Device to Prevent Backflow?


What is The Best Plumbing Device to Prevent Backflow?

If you've ever had a problem with backflow in your home, you know the importance of not only installing backflow prevention devices but also having them routinely tested and certified. If you've never had an issue with backflow, count your lucky stars...and install backflow prevention devices anyway.

Backflow poses a severe threat to your family's health, so it is not to be taken lightly. Read on to learn more about the best plumbing kinds of backflow prevention devices, and how to choose one for your home.

What is Backflow, And Why is it Dangerous?

“whatis”Backflow is the term used to describe the reversed flow of water in your plumbing system that can cause contamination to your drinking water.

Backflow occurs in the cross connections of your piping system, when contaminants that are washed down your drains, including bacteria such as salmonella and E Coli, mix with your drinking water.

It can even occur in the public irrigation systems as well. Contaminated drinking water can lead to ingestion of hazardous bacteria that can lead to serious illness like E Coli. To protect yourself and your loved ones from contamination, have a backflow prevention device installed.

How Can an Air Gap Prevent Backflow?

“airgap”One common backflow prevention device is a vertical air gap. Simply put, if there is air space separating a water supply outlet and any potentially contaminated source, the contaminated water can’t enter the water supply outlet.

Air gaps can be small, like the ones a tundish (a small device that serves as both an overflow spout and a catch funnel), or they can be large, like the ones created by a kitchen sink faucet that is above the maximum water level of the sink under it.

In order to be an acceptable air gap, the faucet would need to be high enough that even if the sink should overflow, the water couldn’t reach the outlet. Air gaps are often preferred because they can also protect against backpressure.

What Are Pressure Vacuum Breakers?

“vacuumbreakers”Pressure vacuum breakers are another excellent choice for backflow protection because they are an affordable option for residential water systems.

A pressure vacuum breaker consists of a check valve and an air inlet and should be installed close to the water source in the water flow before it goes into the appropriate fixture.

Here's how it works: if everything is operating under normal conditions, the check valve will allow water through while keeping the air inlet closed.

If, however, the air pressure becomes greater than the water pressure, the vented chamber will open and close the check valve, thus preventing backflow of water. Pressure vacuum breakers are commonly used because they satisfy the backflow prevention device requirement in most city codes.

Which Device is The Best Choice For Your Home?

“rightforhome”Choosing the best backflow preventer for your home depends greatly on your specific plumbing system, and the unique concerns it presents.

Generally speaking, in Woodland, CA, where our winters are relatively mild, a pressure vacuum breaker is usually an ideal choice.

Keep your home clean and free of impurities from backflow! Call Hall’s plumbing for the best plumbing services, including backflow prevention device installation and backflow testing and certification.