What Is Backflow?
Backflow is every homeowner’s worst nightmare. It can cause contaminated water to back up into the home’s sinks, toilets, and bathtubs. This does more than cause unpleasant odors and inconvenience; it can point to a deeper problem within the home’s plumbing system.
Homeowners should consider the importance of backflow testing before these issues arise. These tests take under an hour to complete and, in the long run, can save homeowners time, money, health, and frustration.
The Dangers of Plumbing System Backflow
Backflow is when contaminated water enters the home’s clean water supply. The contaminated water can contain pesticides, industrial runoff, human waste, and other pollutants. Exposure to these substances can cause a host of health conditions. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that consuming backflow can lead to vomiting, nausea, and other acute complications. In the long run, an exposed homeowner could develop cancer and other lifelong complications.
The dangers of backflow extend beyond harm to homeowners and their families. If left unaddressed, backflow can eventually destroy the plumbing system’s pipes and literally “eat away” at the system. This can cause:
- Burst pipes
- Chronic leaks
- Broken valves
- Higher-than-average water bills
- Mold and mildew growth (because of water damage)
Backflow is considered a public health issue that demands immediate attention. If one suspects backflow in a home (even if it’s just a “small” amount), they should immediately contact a professional.
What is Backflow Testing?
The plumbing system has devices that prevent backflow from contaminating potable water. However, these devices don’t last forever and need to be tested annually to see if they are still working. When a certified backflow tester evaluates a plumbing system, they will also:
- Make sure the plumbing system’s components comply with county regulations
- Check nuts, bolts, and valves for tightness
- Evaluate any signs of pre-existing damage to the system’s pipes
- Pinpoint the exact location of any malfunctioning components
A backflow specialist may also test the water itself, measuring the number of contaminants. This could lend further insight into if the home is experiencing backflow or if the backflow preventers are working. Then, the specialist may install, repair, or replace various safety devices that prevent backflow from happening. These devices may reverse the flow of water or otherwise stabilize the system.
The Importance of Backflow Testing
Ideally, homeowners should schedule backflow testing appointments with certified plumbers at least once a year. This way, they can avoid dealing with backflow and its aftermath. Backflow testing ultimately:
- Prevents serious health conditions: Backflow can lead to serious health conditions, not just for homeowners but anyone who comes in contact with the contaminated water. This is why backflow is considered a public health hazard.
- Promotes a home’s habitability: Every home needs running water. When backflow happens, many of the home’s operations cease. Showering, doing laundry, and washing dishes could suddenly be out of reach.
- Saves money: Fixing backflow and its effects are more expensive than testing the system, so testing and preventative measures could be critical to a homeowner’s financial stability.
- Prevents burst pipes, floods, and other issues: Backflow complications put immense strain on a plumbing system. Testing could prevent secondary problems that cause water damage from happening.
About Rooter MD Plumbing LLC
Rooter MD Plumbing LLC has over 40 years of experience serving Livonia, MI residents, and the surrounding areas. They offer personalized solutions, no mess, and maintenance plans with many perks. Call them today for backflow testing and certification in Livonia, MI.