Backflow devices are a part of the plumbing system that most often goes relatively unnoticed. The reason for this is because backflow devices are not necessarily required for single family homes unless they have an irrigation system. These devices are typically found in commercial businesses and multi-family residences. However, when a backflow device is part of your plumbing system, you really do need to pay attention to all things backflow – repair, maintenance, and signs of any issues related to the device – to avoid water contamination.
One automatically assumes that the water coming out of the faucet is clean and safe for human consumption. If you are the average American, you don’t even consider the fact that the water may be contaminated and may not be aware of the signs that your backflow device is faulty and needs urgent maintenance or repair.
A backflow device, also known as the Reduced Pressure Zone Valve (RDZ Valve) is a mechanical device found in a water pipe, usually at the meter, that allows water to flow in one direction only and prevents water from flowing in the opposite direction. Its vital function is to prevent your drinking water and the city water supply from contamination. Not all backflow devices are the same, so you would need to get a backflow technician to advise you on the correct device for your business or home. They will assess the degree of hazard, which varies between commercial and residential properties, and install the correct device according to the county environmental health department regulations.
Unwanted water, contaminated with chemicals, pesticides or human and food waste, flowing in the reverse direction, will pose a serious health risk. There are two main reasons that the water would flow in the opposite direction and both relate to water pressure. There is either increased flow further down the water system or decreased flow somewhere in your home.
Home sprinkler systems, car washes, restaurants and salons are an example of areas where a backflow poses a serious health risk because of the chemicals and pesticides they use daily.
You expect that water coming out of your tap will have an uninterrupted flow, be clean, a clear color, have a pleasant taste and no odor. Water that is contaminated may appear as follows:
In 1990, the Florida Building Code stated that all residential property with irrigation systems now also have to have a backflow device fitted by a qualified backflow technician. All backflow devices have internal springs, seals, test cocks, shut off valves and moving parts that, with time, suffer from normal wear and tear. To protect your water and the city water supply, the device has to, by law, be checked and tested when installed, relocated or repaired and annually, even if no fault is suspected.
If your water ever shows signs of contamination, it must be treated as an emergency. You cannot delay! Contact us at Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric 1-800-475-1504 and we will immediately send a licensed, trained and experienced backflow technician to test and repair or replace your backflow device. If the water was contaminated with sewer water, then all pipes will need to be cleaned and sanitized, which is another service that we offer. After repairing the backflow device fault, or after the annual device test, we even go the extra mile and file all the forms necessary to keep you compliant with the city, state and federal requirements.
For Immediate Emergency Assistance Call 1-800-475-1504