Have you ever been washing your hands, or taking a shower, and suddenly found a large amount of gross water bubbling up out of the drain? If so, you have a backflow problem. Backflow is a serious issue that affects millions of homes across the country. It’s such a problem that the majority of cities have made it mandatory for all homes to be equipped with a backflow prevention device. Even if you aren’t legally required to have a backflow prevention device installed in your home, you should do so anyway. Read on to find out why.
What Is Backflow?
Normally, your home’s plumbing and sewer systems work in one direction. Water flows through your home’s plumbing system, then down the drains into the sewer line and out to either a septic tank or the city sewer main. A balance of pressure between the two systems keeps the water flowing in one direction. Backflow occurs when there is a sudden disruption in that pressure balance, either from a sudden increase in the sewer line or a decrease in the plumbing system. This forces sewer water back up through the plumbing system and into your home, contaminating pipes that are designed to only handle fresh water. The pipes will pose a bio-hazard until they can be completely flushed out, which costs a lot of time and money.
There are a variety of different backflow prevention devices available on the market. The most common of these is a one-way valve that sits in the sewer line. When backflow occurs, the valve snaps shut to prevent the water from contaminating the rest of the home’s pipes. A backflow prevention device can help keep you healthy, as well as save you money.