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Do I Need a Backflow Preventer?

September 27, 2021 | Blog

At Gotelli Plumbing, we understand that plumbing issues and problems such as leaky pipes, defective pumps and broken valves can be terrifying. Even more than that, we know that the terminology used to talk about plumbing systems, issues and maintenance can be overwhelming. 

We’re here to take care of our customers, which is why we wanted to provide you with more information about one plumbing term you may not know: backflow preventer. You might be asking yourself questions like “What is a backflow preventer?” and “How does a backflow preventer even work?” Below we’ve attempted to answer some of the following frequently asked questions about this key component of your plumbing system.

What Is a Backflow Preventer?

A backflow preventer is a device installed on the pipes leading to your main water supply that essentially keeps your water supply flowing in the same direction. Water should only ever flow inwards to your home from your main water supply, but changes in pressure within your pipes and other factors can cause water to flow in the opposite direction. If water does flow backward it can back up into municipal water supplies and lines and contaminate the water that will eventually be pumped into your home. 

Backflow preventers help protect your water supply from contaminants and pollutants by preventing and combating this backward flow of water. 

Do I Actually Need a Backflow Preventer?

Backflow preventers might be mandatory for some homeowners depending on the area you live in and the regulations set in place for your town or city. 

Homeowners whose main water supply is a well or whose water supply doesn’t run on an irrigation system may be able to make the decision to have a backflow preventer. While the device might not be required in these situations, most plumbing professionals would probably recommend installing one as they are essential to maintaining the safety and quality of the water coming into (and being used in) your home. Backflow preventers protect your health and help ensure that your bathing, cleaning, and drinking water are safe for your use. 

What are Some Contaminants That Might Enter My Water if I Don’t Have a Backflow Preventer?

Failing to have a backflow preventer, or having a backflow preventer that doesn’t work properly, could result in the following pollutants showing up in your water:

  • Human waste
  • Fertilizers
  • Pesticides
  • Chlorine
  • Soap 

While having a backflow preventer installed might cost you money and time, it’s probably better than risking having human waste in your drinking water.  

Should I Be Getting My Backflow Preventer Tested or Inspected?

Ideally, yes. Backflow tests and maintenance are extremely important as they allow you to ensure your water is safe for use and hasn’t been contaminated. Regular backflow testing can allow you to feel secure in knowing that your water is good to use and help prevent disease and health complications. 

Gotelli Plumbing’s experienced professionals offer quality backflow testing and replacement services at a fair price. 

What are the Different Types of Backflow Preventers?

There are essentially two types of backflow preventers: backflow prevention assemblies and backflow prevention devices. The main difference between the two types of preventers is that backflow prevention devices aren’t able to be tested once they’re installed as they lack the different valves and valve components necessary for testing. 

One type of backflow prevention device is an Atmospheric Vacuum Breaker such as a frostproof wall hydrant faucet or a household hose bib vacuum breaker. 

A few types of backflow prevention assemblies are:

  • Spill-resistant Vacuum Breakers
  • Pressure Vacuum Breakers
  • Reduced Pressure Principle Backflow Assembly
  • Double Check Valves

Get Ready to Protect Your Pipes

Contact us at Gotelli Plumbing if you have any questions about what kind of backflow preventer is best for you and your home and want to work with a team that will prioritize your satisfaction and safety. We can help with your backflow installation, replacement and testing needs and can also offer a range of other plumbing services and expertise. Visit our website or call us today to request services and get connected with our team of expert plumbers. We’ll take care of you – no matter what. 

Why Choose Gotelli Plumbing?

5-star customer service
Customer Focused
Our goal is to give every customer the best plumbing service available. Our technicians are professional and well-trained to make sure we achieve that goal.
family owned business
Family-Owned and Operated
We're a family-run business living and working in Marin County, so treating our neighbors like family is the center of our values.
sewer services
Reliable Service
Our technicians are background checked and trained in the latest plumbing advancements to ensure you get the service your home or business deserves.

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