As a homeowner, you are responsible for the maintenance of the plumbing, including backflow testing and detection. While this can sound like quite a daunting task, it does not have to be. Here are five commonly asked questions about backflow answered.
1. What is backflow?
Backflow occurs when water in your home flows backward into your clean water supply. This event often happens when there is a drop in water pressure in the main water line. Backflow can also happen when there is a sudden increase in water pressure, such as when a water pump is switched on or a new construction project is underway. Backflow can contaminate your home's water supply, which can be dangerous.
2. What are some signs that there may be backflow in your home?
If you notice any sudden changes in your water quality, like an unusual taste, odour or colour, this may be a sign that backflow has occurred. It would help if you also were on the lookout for any changes in your home's water pressure. Sudden drops in water pressure may also indicate that backflow has occurred or is about to happen.
3. What should you do if backflow occurs?
If backflow occurs, it is important to take immediate action to prevent the contaminated water from entering the home. The first action you should take is to switch off the water supply at the main shut-off valve. Next, remove any hoses or other attachments from the faucets and flush all toilets to empty the pipes. Finally, contact a professional plumber to repair the problem and restore the water pressure to normal. By taking these actions, you can prevent backflow and keep your property safe from contamination.
4. How will a plumber test for backflow?
One way that a plumber can test for backflow is by using a water pressure gauge. This device is attached to a hose that is placed in the suspected area of backflow. The plumber then turns on the water and watches the meter to see if the needle moves. If the needle moves, this indicates that there is backflow. Another way to test for backflow is by placing a dye tablet in an external water source. The dye is then forced into the taps or your toilet bowl if there is backflow.
Maintaining your plumbing, including having your backflow preventer tested annually, is essential for the safety of your home's water supply. If you have any issues with your plumbing, be sure to contact a professional plumber right away.