backflow in plumbing

How to Fix a Backflow in Plumbing – The Top 5 Methods

May 18 2017

Have your water outlets been producing odd looking or strange tasting water lately? This is likely due to a backflow in plumbing. This happens when water pressure in the piping is altered.

It may result in an increased flow of water further down the system or a decreased flow somewhere within the home.

Backflow must be prevented and halted ASAP, because dirty water in the main water supply poses serious health risks.

What Causes Backflow In Plumbing?

There are two main causes of backflow in plumbing – back pressure and back siphonage.

Back pressure is when water is forced to flow in the opposite direction.

Back siphonage occurs when the pressure in the water supply becomes smaller than the pressure in the plumbing system.

How To Fix A Backflow in Plumbing

There are many different methods of backflow prevention. Here’s how to fix a backflow in plumbing with 5 different methods:

  1. Hose bib backflow preventer for residential plumbing – this device protects a single water outlet such as a kitchen sink faucet. Within the compact assembly of this device is a spring that ensures the water pressure goes in one direction only.
  2. Pressure type vacuum breaker for residential plumbing – this device is installed in the pipe that supplies water to a home’s sprinkler system. It constantly monitors water pressure in the system. In addition, a valve will close when necessary to prevent backflow in the water supply.
  3. Barometric loop: a simple method of prevention, this loop is made up of pipes that are shaped like an inverted U, which goes upstream from a cross connecting pipe. This method works great as long as there’s no back pressure.
  4. How to fix a backflow in plumbing using an air gap – a very simple method of prevention is to create an air gap below the water outlet and right above the top potential water level in the appliance. This method is commonly used with sinks. The air gap ensures that contaminated water can’t be drawn back into the water supply.
  5. Reduced pressure principle backflow preventer (RPBP) – one of the more complex type of backflow prevention devices, it has a central chamber with 2 valves, one on each side. Each valve closes after the pressure stops. This prevents the water from backing up.

What are your favorite methods for fixing backflow in plumbing? Be sure to share this article so others can learn about what is a backflow in plumbing and the solutions to fixing it.

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