Does a Home Really Need Backflow Testing?

Back To the Backflow Basics

Living in the United States, people tend to take clean water for granted. It is a luxury that a great portion of the world cannot afford. Part of the reason for this security is the system of backflow prevention. It keeps drinking water drinkable and prevents contamination from other water sources. There is no overstating that backflow prevention is a major way that the current plumbing infrastructure keeps citizens healthy. 

Backflow Defined

Backflow happens when water goes the wrong direction in a pipe. Typically water goes from a municipal reservoir of some sort flowing through the pipes to individual homes. Backflow happens when water flows in the opposite direction, bringing contaminated water back into the freshwater pipes from the wastewater system. 

It can also happen when a crack in the pipes allows microbes and pollutants to leach in. When this happens, it is usually due to a drop in pressure from the city's source. Contaminants can be colorless, tasteless, and odorless, so one may not detect the backflow until people get sick.

What Is Certification, and Why Is It Necessary?backflow

If a home has a backflow prevention system, laws typically govern how often they need to be tested. Certification from a trained professional will satisfy these laws. Certification is a guarantee that a home's system is working properly and will prevent contamination of the city's water supply, keeping the whole community safe and healthy.

Here is a list of reasons for backflow prevention certification:

  • Complies with municipal codes
  • Prevents contamination of city water lines
  • Keeps home and family safe
  • Keeps the community safe from contaminants

It is easy to see that this is not a case of red tape bureaucracy but is instead an important public health issue.

Who Can Test and Certify Backflow Prevention Systems?plumber

Because of the importance of the backflow prevention system and the perhaps complex system itself, a certified backflow tester must be employed for backflow prevention system certification. This is not a DIY project. Plumbing professionals in the area should be well informed of the codes and procedures in their local area of service. 

Because a malfunctioning backflow prevention system is a public health threat, homeowners should find a trustworthy business to perform their backflow testing and certification. Talk to them and ask questions; they should be more than willing to help a customer understand the process behind what they are doing and how it applies to the certification that every homeowner has to have by law. 

Benefits of backflow testing:

  • Legal Compliance: Since it is required by law to maintain a backflow prevention system, homeowners can be secure in their compliance with the rules
  • Security: Customers know that they are keeping their family and neighbors safe
  • Quick and Easy: A typical backflow testing visit will take around 30 minutes

About A&A Plumbing 

Since 2007, A&A Plumbing has been providing the San Antonio area with fast and comprehensive service. They provide personalized solutions to fit each customer's needs. Call them today for all types of plumbing services in San Antonio, TX.

Everything Homeowners Need To Know About Backflow Testing

The Importance of Backflow Prevention

Every home has the potential to experience backflow issues. This occurs when pressure changes in the pipes, there’s a break in the main water line, or if a fire hydrant is opened for use. Because water is no longer pushed forward into the home, it will flow backward into the main water line. 

Though homeowners have little control of when this might occur, it’s important to know that this occurrence can and should be prevented.

Backflow Explained

confused woman

Backflow is a dangerous condition when normal water flow is reversed. Rather than flowing in the intended direction, water flows the opposite way through the pipeline or plumbing. While this may not sound too bad, it’s actually extremely dangerous. Backflow can cause cross-contamination between drinking water and sewage and other hazardous compounds like cleaning fluids. A backflow prevention system is necessary to keep this from happening.

Backflow Prevention Tips

woman holding a house

A backflow prevention system does what it says - it prevents backflow. This system is installed on the home’s water pipes and forces water to flow in one direction without returning. It prevents drinking water from contamination due to backflow. 

Preventers are units that function similarly to a gate. They allow city water to flow into the home for use but stop it from flowing backward into the city’s water supply if the pressure drops. When pressure drops and water begins flowing backward, the gate remains shut and the water stays in the pipes instead of flowing back into the city’s water supply. 

Is Backflow Testing Needed?

leaning on why

There are several reasons why a homeowner might need backflow testing. First, if they have an irrigation system for the garden, front yard, or trees, they could be at risk for backflow. Second, if they have a well, they’re also at risk and should be tested. However, even if they don’t have one of these two situations, getting tested is always smart. Why? Because they can be absolutely certain where they stand.

In some places, having a backflow preventer is mandated by law. When purchasing a house that doesn’t have one, it’s a good idea to get tested. If homeowners have had their house for a number of years, testing is beneficial to check and see how the plumbing system is holding up. They’ll only know for certain if they need a backflow preventer installed if it gets tested and a determination is made whether the plumbing requires one.

If one purchases a newer home, it may already have a built-in backflow preventer. In order to be certain that it is working properly, it’s essential to have a certified plumber come to inspect the setup. They’ll install backflow preventers where they are needed and ensure their current preventers are working as they should and are up to date. A preventer that isn’t working is the same as having no preventer at all.

Trusted, Experienced Plumbers

A&A Plumbing has proudly served San Antonio, TX, homeowners, and residents alike for their plumbing needs since 2007. Each call receives personalized service, a no-mess left behind guarantee, and comprehensive service. They provide a full range of services including clogged toilet repair, gas line repair, repiping, and more in San Antonio and the surrounding areas.