Have you ever experienced going to the kitchen sink to find foul smelling, brown water bubbling out of the drain? This is because the system could have been compromised by a backflow.

A backflow is an undesirable change in the normal direction of water flow within the piping of a plumbing system. This change in direction is normally a reversal of flow and can occur in one of two ways, either because of back-pressure or backsiphonage.

Back-pressure occurs when the water pressure exceeds the suppliers/ water corporations systems. A high pressure downstream pushes back on the upstream water source, which has a lower pressure. Pumps and changes in temperature can cause this water pressure imbalance.

Backsiphonage is caused by a partial vacuum in the water system. It can be a health hazard as contaminated water can be drawn into drinking water supplies. Backsiphonage usually occurs when there is a burst or ruptured water main or during periods of high demand on water supplies. During this time, the pressure of the water corporations system is lower than the pressure of your house, which causes a drawing or sucking effect.

Backflows can have far reaching consequences as there can be many cross-connections in a water system. This means contaminates from a sanitary water sewer can end up in water softeners or conditioning units!

Besides the smell, the appliance or water outlet, which has been compromised, becomes unusable until the backflow problem is fixed. In a business situation, this problem can mean downtime for your staff and could put you behind deadline or out of pocket. A backflow problem in the home becomes a health risk for the whole family.

Don’t let backflow give you the run-around, call Inspector Jet!

Avoid the mess caused by a backflow by calling our highly trained plumbers. We are capable of solving your business or home’s backflow problems due to the knowledge we have acquired through many years of experience.

Some of the methods used to solve and prevent backflows in the future include a hose bib backflow preventer, which protects a single water outlet from backflow, and is perfect for residential purposes, such as the kitchen sink. A barometric loop is a simple method of prevention that consists of pipes shaped like an inverted ‘U’. The pipes are placed upstream from a cross connecting pipe. However, this method will not work if there is back pressure. Another method involves creating an air gap below the water outlet and above the maximum water level in an appliance. The gap prevents contaminated water from being sucked into the appliance.

There are many risks involved when dealing with a backflow. Each backflow issue falls into a risk category ranging from zero risk to a slight hazard from substances of low toxicity, and to serious health hazards where human waste can be involved.

High and medium risk issues require testable backflow devices to be installed, which need to be tested every year due to their high risk nature. Testing the valves ensures the devices are working and drinking water supplies are safe. Backflow problems can also cause damage to your property’s plumbing. This is why testable backflow devices are also a requirement by law for high to medium risk properties.

When you identify that your home or business may have a backflow problem, call Inspector Jet to assess the risk of the backflow as we can see what you can’t and will clear what you won’t.

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