Backflow is when used water flows back into the water supply. This contamination can be harmful to your home and its plumbing, leaving it vulnerable to leaks and corrosion. Most importantly, however, a contaminated water supply could be dangerous to your health. That’s why it’s crucial to utilize backflow testing and prevention services.
Gotelli Plumbing offers backflow testing to identify if your plumbing systems are dealing with backflow problems. If we identify a problem, we can also provide expert backflow repair. Give us a call to get started.
What is Backflow?
Simply put, backflow occurs when the conditions of the water system cause water to flow in the wrong direction, back into the plumbing systems rather than out of it. There are two kinds of backflow: back-pressure and back-siphonage. Back-pressure occurs when water is forced to flow in the opposite direction due to pressure downstream increasing the system pressure.
Back-siphonage occurs when a sudden drop in pressure causes suction of used or contaminated water back into the water supply. For example, let’s say a homeowner uses pesticides in their lawn, then waters the yard and water pools around a sprinkler head. Then the fire hydrant down the street is used, causing a sudden drop in water pressure. The water around the sprinkler head can be sucked back into the potable (public) water supply, contaminating the community’s drinking water supply.
Backflow Preventer Installation in San Rafael
In order to stop used water from reentering your plumbing, a backflow preventer can be installed on your home’s pipes. It prevents water from being siphoned or forced back into the potable water supply. Backflow preventers are mechanical in nature and have many moving parts, which have a higher potential to malfunction than non-moving pieces — so you should have your backflow preventer tested annually to ensure that it’s functioning properly. If your backflow preventer is broken or experiencing issues, it should be repaired immediately.
3 Types of Backflow Preventers
There are several different types of backflow preventers, ranging in design, cost, reliability and more. Understanding each kind of backflow preventer is important if you’re looking to have one installed in your home. While your plumber will help you determine which of these options is best for you, the final decision is yours.
Pressure Vacuum Breaker Assemblies
The most commonly used assembly is the pressure vacuum breaker, which has the simplest design — making it easy to install, maintain and repair. This assembly prevents back-siphonage only, not back-pressure.
Reduced Pressure Zone Assemblies (RPZ)
RPZs are the most complex and expensive backflow preventers but, when functioning properly, are most reliable. This type of backflow preventer can be installed either above or below-ground, although above-ground is preferred, and protects against both back-siphonage and back-pressure.
Double-Check Valve Assemblies (DCA)
Double-check valve assemblies are the best option for underground or indoor installations. DCAs are the most commonly approved underground backflow preventer, although they can also be installed above ground depending on the installation code for your area.
Count on Gotelli Plumbing
Many homeowners aren’t sure if they need or already have a backflow preventer in their plumbing system — that’s okay, we can help! Whether you need a backflow preventer need backflow testing or aren’t sure about either, give Gotelli Plumbing a call. We’ve been operating in the North Bay area for over 30 years, so we know a thing or two about the backflow needs of our customers. One of our experienced, professional plumbers will perform backflow testing, inspect your plumbing and help you determine the best course of action.
Contact us today to speak to a service representative or to begin a service request.