SPS Mechanical Inc. Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Backflow Preventer’

What is Backflow Testing and Why Do I Need It?

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

One of the greatest attributes of our society is our access to clean drinking water. Turn on a faucet in your home or business, and you expect to see clear clean water which has gone through an extensive treatment process. Before it reaches your plumbing system, water is filtered and treated at your municipality’s water treatment plant. However, there are still ways in which contaminants can reach your home, and backflow testing is one of the best ways to prevent this.

If a cross connection exists anywhere in your pipes, there is a possibility of backflow. Backflow occurs when there is a sudden drop in your water pressure and the pipes draw in liquids from a cross connection. This can include lawn irrigation systems, in which water pools around sprinklers and may contain animal droppings or fertilizers. Or it can happen at a boiler tank, which is problematic if your boiler feedwater is treated with chemicals.

Unfortunately, many plumbing systems contain cross connections that are not regulated by a backflow prevention device. A backflow prevention device contains valves which only allow water to flow in one direction. If the pressure drop causes liquid to get sucked into the pipes, then it is blocked. But it is possible that problems can occur, so backflow testing helps to ensure that your water system remains protected.

In some cases, regular backflow prevention testing is mandated by law, so check with local codes to find out if you need to get on a regular backflow testing schedule. For residential use, you may only call a plumber for inspections by choice, but it’s one of the best things you can do for your home. Experts will go over every portion of your backflow prevention device to ensure it is in proper working order. They may make a few minor adjustments as well. Afterwards, you’ll get certification that everything is functioning correctly, or our technicians will go over your options for repair.

Contact the experts at SPS Mechanical Inc. to schedule services for the backflow preventer for your home or commercial property in Sewell. Give us a call today!

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Client Request: What Does a Backflow Preventer Do?

Monday, February 16th, 2015

In many ways, we take our modern plumbing system for granted. Clean water and proper drainage are luxuries that we’ve come to expect, in part because our plumbing systems are designed to prevent impurities from entering the water system. Most municipalities put their water through a rigorous water treatment process before it reaches the residential areas. However, this doesn’t mean that contaminants cannot possibly reach your water supply. Unfortunately, undesirable cross-connections may occur and, if so, this will allow groundwater, pesticides, or wastewater to enter your drinking water. This is why most residential and commercial plumbing systems are outfitted with a backflow preventer.

The water supply is kept under very high pressure so that water can easily flow from a tap in your home. But let’s say that there was a sudden drop in this pressure. Perhaps the water line burst all of a sudden, or maybe a nearby fire hydrant discharged large volumes of water, drawing from your water supply. This abrupt drop in pressure could force a reverse-flow in the water line, sucking in any nearby source of liquid. This means that pesticides in the ground or even sewage could potentially move into the water pipes.

Backflow preventers are required components of most plumbing systems in order to keep this sort of contamination from occurring. Many have a series of check valves and air gaps that help to stop backflow, while other more advanced backflow preventers are more complex. These models, called reduced pressure zone devices, work even if check valves malfunction due to a pressure-monitored chamber.

A backflow preventer is a necessary component in any plumbing layout, but it requires regular maintenance if you want to keep your water supply protected. You should have a plumber check your backflow preventer every once in a while, or you can ask your plumber to test your backflow preventer during an annual plumbing maintenance visit.

At SPS Mechanical Inc., we maintain and repair backflow preventers in Sicklerville, and we also provide backflow prevention device certification and testing. Even if your plumbing system appears to be fine, you should consider testing it to make sure your home or business continues to be protected. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.

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Why Do I Need a Backflow Preventer?

Friday, January 30th, 2015

Backflow is what happens when a sudden pressure drop sucks undesirable liquids into the home’s water supply, such as a sewer line. Anywhere that has plumbing connections to multiple different liquid sources can have a backflow problem under the right circumstances. This can obviously pose quite a health risk, depending on the other source of liquid. In the interest of solving this problem, many public water supplies are equipped with backflow prevention devices. Read on to discover how backflow can happen, why it’s such a health risk, and how a backflow preventer can keep you safe.

What Causes Backflow?

Backflow is caused by a sudden change in pressure in your water line, whether due to frozen or ruptured pipes, temperature increases, or any one of a dozen other factors. There are actually two different kinds of backflow. Back pressure is when the pressure in your water system increases for some reason, exceeding the level of pressure in the supply. Back siphonage is when the pressure in the water supply is lowered below the pressure in your water system. Either way, the result is the same: the system stops drawing water from the supply and instead begins to suck fluid in from another source. Connections between two different liquid supplies and a water system are called “cross-connections,” and all such connections are at risk for backflow.

Why is it a Problem?

Backflow is an issue because a lot of the liquid supplies the water system might accidentally intake are not safe for human exposure, and certainly not human consumption. Taking a shower and suddenly being drenched with sewer water is not at all healthy, but having sewer water coming out of your taps is even worse. Backflow can contain pesticides, poisonous minerals, human waste, and all sorts of other things that pose an extreme health risk to people. For this reason, backflow preventers are necessary.

What is a Backflow Preventer?

A backflow preventer is a device that is designed to do just that: prevent backflow. This is often done by simply providing an air pocket between your water system and the supply. This pocket prevents backflow by providing an impassible gap between the water system and the contaminated supply. It is highly recommended that you install a backflow preventer if you have any cross-connections in your water supply.

If you’d like to know more, call SPS Mechanical Inc. We provide professional backflow preventer services throughout Sewell.

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