You can’t see it and you may never even know that it exists, but there’s something in your home’s plumbing system called a “back flow preventer” and it’s working every day to keep your home safe.
Back flow preventers are used to ensure that your water flows one direction: away from your home. Without a back flow preventer or a system that combats back flow, your home’s potable water supply is liable to become contaminated with any number of unsanitary particles—many of which can pose a serious health risk.
So, if you can’t see a back flow preventer, how can you be sure that it’s doing its job with diligence? In simplest terms, it’s hard for homeowners to make that distinction—it takes an experienced plumbing contractor in Grand Rapids, MN to pinpoint any issues with your back flow valve.
Stemming the flow
It’s easy to take your home’s plumbing for granted—when you wash your hands or use the bathroom, the water is simply carried down the drain and replaced with clean, fresh water from your tap or toilet tank. But, this process is far from simple and when any part of it breaks down or becomes ineffective—namely your back flow valve—you’re going to experience repercussions that could have a profound impact on your health and wellness.
You see, when wastewater flows away from your home, it does so in a manner that prevents it from ever coming in contact with you again. When a back flow preventer breaks down, however, the pressure used to funnel water away from your home is lost, allowing that wastewater to be pushed back up into your home if there’s inverse pressure within the system. The result, is raw sewage in your home: a prospect that’s dangerous and highly unsanitary.
Working to eliminate back flow
Back flow preventers are simple in design, yet highly effective at what they do. In most cases, back flow is prevented by using what’s called an “air gap.” Air gaps are basically what they sound like: a special section of vertical plumbing that presents a gap between your home and any back flow that may be impeding upon your plumbing system.
Other prevention systems include mechanical back flow valves, vacuum breakers and barometric loops, all of which function on the same principle: let wastewater move away, but don’t let it push back up.
Inspections and repairs
Back to the main issue at hand: issues with a back flow preventer. While issues are far and few between for these crucial sections of plumbing, they can still occur. It’s important that you have your preventer inspected yearly and that you make certain to look out for any strange water activities in your home, which include a reverse flow of water coming back up through your drains or strange lingering smells coming from your faucets.
At the sign of any of these issues, it’s best to contact a plumbing contractor in Grand Rapids, MN to inspect your back flow valve or at the very least, your plumbing system’s drainage. Getting to the root of the problem quickly is key, as back flow is extremely dangerous and should be addressed immediately before you use your facilities again.