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How to Prevent Backflow in Your Plumbing System

How to Prevent Backflow in Your Plumbing System

Backflow can be an ugly problem. Imagine turning on your sink for a glass of clear, refreshing water - and out comes sewage. Fortunately, the problem of how to prevent backflow is one that can be resolved fairly easily - from a technology standpoint, anyway. Sometimes municipal regulations may limit your options of backflow prevention devices.

What Is Backflow?

Backflow is essentially what it sounds like: a reversal in the flow of used water. When gray water, sewage or gasses flow back into your home’s plumbing system, it renders your residential water undrinkable. The phenomenon is usually the result of a cross-connection between the plumbing in your home and the outward source to which the used water is flowing. In determining how to prevent backflow, a plumbing professional will need to check out all the cross-connections that occur in your plumbing.

How Do You Prevent Backflow?

Often, the cross-connections that can lead to backflow are necessary to the proper functioning of your household plumbing: toilet to sewer, for example. Many simple-seeming devices are available to control cross-connections, but many cities in the Atlanta area, including Marietta, as Marietta Power & Water notes, have ordinances that regulate how and what backflow prevention devices may be used. A plumber familiar with approved devices in your area will best know how to prevent backflow issues you are experiencing.

In spite of the large number of devices on the market, the two most common make up the vast majority of the devices used to prevent backflow. A pressure vacuum breaker, or PVB, is the least expensive and is often installed above-ground. Although installing, repairing and maintaining a PVB are all relatively simple, it may release water on occasion. Depending the device’s location, such water release could be a considerable disadvantage. For in-line installations or underground use, double check valves, or DCVs, are the most common backflow prevention devices. This is because DCVs are more flexible than PVBs when it comes to how they can be installed. But they are often more expensive than PVBs.

Regardless of the source of backflow, it is a serious issue that can be detrimental to both your health and your wallet. Call the professionals at Casteel. Our plumbers are well-versed in local regulations in the Atlanta area and have the experience to address your backflow problems.