Backflow refers to the situation in which water goes in the reverse direction in your plumbing system and it’s a serious problem when it happens. Here are 5 backflow prevention tips to avoid it.
1. Test Your Pressure Vacuum Breaker Once A Year
Having a pressure vacuum breaker is typically required under most building codes. It assists in backflow prevention by keeping non-potable water from entering via the irrigation system outlets.
In order for it to do its job, it has to be maintained. The best way to do this is to check it at least once a year.
Depending on your local codes, you may be able to do this yourself or you may need to bring in a professional.
2. Maintain Your Garden Hoses
It’s very important that you hold your garden hoses to the same standards that you hold your plumbing up to in terms of water flow. Here are a few ways to do that:
- Do not submerge them, especially when filling swimming pools.
- Don’t connect your garden hose to hand-held fertilizers.
- Always put them away after use instead of leaving them laying around to collect foreign contaminants.
- Use vacuum breakers, frost-free hose bibbs, and put them away during cold months.
- Always connect your hoses to an outdoor valve. Attaching hoses to indoor valves can create air bubbles, increasing the chance of backflow issues down the road.
3. Don’t Connect Your System To Well Water
Your internal plumbing should always be kept separate from your well system. Combining the two introduces contaminants that cannot be regularly monitored to ensure safety.
If you’re on a well-only system, it’s important that you use a capped system or get a backflow assembly system installed.
Your well system should be inspected by a professional regularly.
4. Regularly Drain Filtration Devices
If you have point-of-use or have a water filtration system throughout your house, it’s important to maintain it. Many people don’t think to.
These systems can grow bacteria over time that can be released into your water stream. Water softeners should also be given special care as their filter membranes can break down.
If you don’t maintain these systems, the very material you are filtering out can end up in your drinking water. Backflow issues can also happen as a result over time.
5. Ask Your Plumber About Backflow Prevention
Have an open discussion with your plumber about what types of water system you have in place in your home. They will be able to give professional advice about how you can prevent backflow.
Calling in a licensed plumber to check if your water systems are working properly and catching potential issues down the road is worth the investment. It’s much less expensive to contact one to take a look at everything than to wait until there’s an issue.
They will be able to give you tips on backflow prevention that may not have occurred to you. Replacing a simple valve here and there may be all that’s needed for backflow prevention to avoid costly emergencies that can end up happening when you least expect them.
Contact a licensed plumber today to learn more.