Do you have a backflow preventer at home? If you don’t, we assume that you have at least heard about it before. A backflow preventer is a specially designed device that thwarts the onset of backflows not only in residential structures but also in commercial and industrial buildings. Just to give you a quick overview of backflows, these are instances where liquid goes the opposite direction of its intended course. For example, instead of wastewater flowing through the drain pipe and into your septic tank or community sewage facility, it changes course and contaminates your supply of potable drinking water. And you know what may come next. Anyone who’ll ingest the dirty water may get sick. Your daily routine will get disrupted.
So no, backflows aren’t a simple issue to just disregard. Water contamination is a big problem that any of us can face anytime. With that being said, it is wise to have a backflow prevention device installed in your property. Just remember though that this isn’t a plumbing job that homeowners like you can do on your own. You’ll need to hire licensed professional plumbers because they are the ones who have undergone proper training and received certification to install backflow preventers. Aside from these reasons, you should also know that there are health hazards and other risks entailed with the task.
Anyway, if you do have a backflow device or planning to have one installed, read these maintenance and installation tips.
1. Your device should be installed lower than five feet from the ground. This is enough space that will allow proper testing, maintenance and repair without compromising the safety of the professional tester.
2. If possible, make use of a safe platform installation to reduce, if not totally lessen, the risk of injuries for the installer or tester.
3. Check with the licensed plumber if a strainer is installed upstream the device. This strainer is important in preventing debris from getting into your system and damaging the device. Aside from this, the strainer will also make the device more efficient.
4. To avoid the reduction of pressure, the device must be properly installed. Pressure reduction in the device may lead to a leaking relief valve and water damage.
5. The drain pipe hooked to your backflow preventer should be of the right size. Along with this, an air break must also be installed accordingly. Don’t forget to ask your plumber if these are done correctly. You know, it never hurts to ask and learn from the expert.
6. Aside from setting an adequate distance from the ground, the backflow preventer should have enough clearance for inspection, maintenance and even for field testing. This should ensure that test cocks are accessible and that there’s sufficient space for the testers to use their hands and tools.
7. When a plumber is installing your device, feel free to ask if he’s going to put it up vertically or horizontally. You see, vertical installation may lead to the closure of the check valves during a backpressure or back siphonage. With this being said, it is more advantageous to have the preventer installed horizontally.
We hope that you enjoyed reading our blog on backflow preventer maintenance. If you are in need of an emergency plumber in Washington DC for this kind of job, just call us! Plumbers 911 Washington DC will refer you the most trusted plumbers that provide 24 hour plumbing service in Washington DC such as backflow testing in Washington DC, backflow certification in Washington DC, repiping in Washington DC and many more! Call us at (877) 932-5325 to schedule a service!
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