Barry Jolly is an entrepreneur in Northern Kentucky, and the owner of Jolly Plumbing in Wilder, Kentucky. He has more than 31 years of experience in the plumbing industry and has won numerous awards in his area. Here, Jolly explains what backflow prevention systems are and why they are important.
Backflow prevention systems are important for people to have, and in recent years, they have become a hot topic that is frequently discussed within the plumbing community. Before people can understand why backflow prevention systems are important, though, they have to first realize what backflow is and why it is dangerous.
Definition of Backflow
When water comes from the city lines inside your house, it comes in through your pipes. So it is normal that the water enters into your piping system. But a problem can sometimes come up because it is possible for the water that has come inside your home to siphon back and go into the water main of the city. Something like that could definitely contaminate the main, which is called backflow.
To use an example, let’s say you had a garden hose hooked up to a laundry tub inside your garage or in your laundry room. Maybe you left that hose rolled up and sitting inside your laundry tub, and then filled the laundry tub with sudsy water without thinking about the hose. During that time, if the city main suddenly shut off the water for some reason, the sudsy water would get siphoned out of the laundry tub, and go through the garden hose and back into the main. So the city main would have contaminated and dirty water in it, which could be a serious problem.
Although these types of problems are most common and troublesome in factories and commercial buildings, they can also happen in people’s homes, which would be a major problem. The only difference is that in a factory situation, major chemicals or hazardous water could be getting siphoned back into the system.
Backflow prevention systems are supposed to stop these problems from happening, and they are the best way to stop contaminated water from flowing into city’s main water lines. A backflow preventer itself is a device that is placed next to the main shutoff valve in a building or home. It can prevent the siphoning from happening inside a building, which therefore stops any water from going back into the city main.
Backflow preventers are so important in trying to prevent backflow problems that many states now require that backflow prevention systems be tested by a licensed tester once a year. Although few homeowners today have these systems hooked up in their homes, water companies are becoming more and more invested in making sure that enough prevention systems are in place. In addition, many water companies are building preventers into their water meters these days, which relieves a lot of stress for the homeowner.
For the most part, those who own commercial buildings and factories need to worry about calling plumbers and having backflow prevention systems installed, because currently, this is still mostly a commercial type of issue.
At Jolly Plumbing, we are dedicated to protecting your water supply through comprehensive testing of backflow and RPZ (reduced pressure zone) assemblies. With a staff of highly trained and experienced assembly evaluators and state-of-the-art testing equipment, we have the tools to provide you with complete protection against water system contamination. So whether your backflow testing needs are residential, commercial or industrial, we can help. For more information or to receive a free estimate, please contact us today.