What Causes Plumbing Backflow And How A Plumber Fixes The Problem

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It isn't always easy to identify what kinds of problems exist in your home, especially if you are new to home ownership. However, a few months back, I realized that we had some serious plumbing problems that needed to be addressed. Our sinks were always clogging and we were constantly having issues with sewer smells in our place, so I started focusing more seriously on working with a team of plumbers. When the experts came out, they had ideas about how to proceed right away, and they worked hard to help us. Now, our home is gorgeous and completely functional, and we owe it all to them. Read this website to find out more.


What Causes Plumbing Backflow And How A Plumber Fixes The Problem

17 September 2019
 Categories: , Blog

A plumbing problem you may not think about is backflow. However, if your water suddenly turns dark and smelly, you may have this problem. This situation can develop when there's a shift in water pressure or when a backflow preventer wears out. When backflow occurs, contaminated water can mix with your drinking water and create an unhealthy situation in your home. You shouldn't use your water until a plumber can fix the problem. Here are some things to know about backflow.

Why Backflow Occurs

If there's a sudden drop in water pressure in your drinking water line as might happen when a city main ruptures, then it's possible for contaminated water to flow backwards through your system. Backflow can come from the sewer, reclaimed water lines, a swimming pool, a lawn irrigation system, an outdoor spigot, or a boiler. The water could have any number of contaminants in it including pathogens, dirt, and chemicals. Backflow can also occur when equipment that's supposed to prevent backflow wears out or malfunctions.

When to Suspect Your Home Has a Backflow Problem

If your water suddenly has a foul odor, is discolored, or has particulates in it, you should call a plumber to check the water to find out what's going on. The cause isn't always backflow since water heater problems can cause smelly water or water with rust particles in it. Since backflow can create an unsanitary situation, you don't want to risk drinking water that might be contaminated. If there has recently been a water main break or some other problem that caused a drop in the city's water pressure, and you notice a change in your water quality afterward, that could be a sign of backflow. Sometimes, you may not even realize you have a problem until a plumber does a routine backflow test.

How Backflow Is Corrected

Backflow can be prevented and corrected with a backflow preventer. There are different types plumbers can install, and the type the plumber uses depends on the cause and location of the problem. Replacing a bad preventer can fix the problem, or if your plumbing is missing a preventer, then the plumber may install one.

Backflow preventers are required by local codes for certain situations such as on irrigation systems. It's a good idea to check the preventer periodically for clogs that might interfere with its ability to shut off water when needed. If your drinking water pipes are contaminated with wastewater, then the pipes have to be sanitized by the plumber once the backflow problem has been corrected.