Did you know that a backflow prevention device is one of the most important pieces of plumbing in your home? If not, don’t worry — you’re not alone.
Plumbing is more complex than most homeowners realize and even a small leak could result in serious problems.
The Importance of a Backflow Prevention Device
A backflow preventer does just that — prevent the backflow of water. After it’s installed in your home’s pipes, it allows water to flow in one direction and never the opposite. This one device is responsible for your clean, uncontaminated drinking water.
How does a backflow prevention device work?
Your main water line is responsible for bringing all of the water that you use into your house. However, pressure changes within the pipes can cause water to occasionally flow backward.
Say, for example, that firefighters tap into a local fire hydrant — the water pressure your home normally experiences would be significantly impacted. If water flows backward into the city lines, the public drinking supply could be contaminated with chemicals (pool and cleaning chemicals, fertilizer, etc.), human waste, and soap.
How to tell if your device is malfunctioning.
If you have a problem with your backflow device, you’ll probably notice it pretty quickly, since it will affect how your water looks, smells, and tastes.
Signs that your device is broken include:
- Water that’s discolored (usually brown, yellow, and even pink).
- Water that smells like sulfur.
- Poor water pressure
- Water that contains rust particles.
- Water that tastes bad.