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Backflow Prevention

Your Licensed Illinois Plumber Can Help You with Backflow Prevention

Plumbers 911 Techs are Ready 24/7 for Backflow Preventer Installation

We have all been there; you flush a toilet and it is not going down. Panic ensues as you picture sewage all over the floor. As bad as this scenario is, can you imagine the horror of having sewage backing up through all the drains in your home; the kitchen sink, the bathtub or even the washing machine. A horrible sight that no one ever wants to see. Plumbers 911 wants you to know how to stop this repulsion from happening to you.

The Causes of A Backflow From Your Bathroom

backflow prevention | illinois plumbing serviceBackflow is a serious problem that can contaminate all the water in your home. Backflow occurs when water leaving your home via your septic system reverses flow. This reversal of your septic system occurs for one of two reasons. The first cause may be an increase of pressure in your system. If the pressure in your system is higher than the supply the result is back pressure. The other cause of backflow is a decrease in pressure. This can be caused by leakage or an interruption of the system and back siphonage is caused.

Most drainage systems on your home have backflow prevention devices. These valves are called check valves. These valves must be automatic valves and not manually operated ones. There are regulations in place to determine the design of the valve for the use intended.

Vertical air gaps are used to prevent back siphoning. Use of this type of prevention is visible with the idea of having your faucet above the water supply pipe. Or having your hand held shower positioned above the water supply pipe. The hoses of the water supply must not be lower than that water level.

Cross connection of pipes can cause a backflow. This occurs when a potable water supply is cross connected with a non-potable water supply. This situation causes contamination of potable water, causing illness and other health issues. Public water supplies are regulated to prevent cross connection.

Your septic and water system operates on a gravity based concept. When water doesn’t drain or backs up, the cause needs to be found and repaired. When a clog is suspected, there are things that many of us attempt to rectify the situation.

  • Plungers– Many people first attempt to clear a clogged brain with a plunger. The plunger uses pressure to dislodge the clog without chemicals.
  • Chemicals- There are a variety of products on the market to dissolve clogs. Chemicals are poured down the drain, followed by water. After a period of time, the chemicals do their work and the clog is cleared.
  • Snake – a plumbing snake is a long cable that is inserted into the drain so it pushed through the clog, releasing it. Most snakes that a homeowner can use should be long enough to reach from the drain to an exterior wall.

All of these above methods can clear a blockage in your pipes if the blockage is relatively close to your drain opening. But if the blockage is further down your system, you will need to call a professional plumber to take care of that clog.

When The Experts at Plumbers 911 of Chicago Should Be Called In to Help, And What We Can Do to Help

So what can you as a homeowner do to make sure your pipes are kept clear and functioning properly? There are several maintenance tips you can do annually, and quarterly that will make a huge difference.

  • Pressure test your system. Having a reputable plumber, like the professionals and Plumbers 911, come to your home to do a gas pressure test. You will know if the water pressure has decreased.  Is it taking longer to fill the bathtub or a pot of water? And if it has increased you run the risk of blowing out any flexible lines like those in a washing machine. You can monitor the pressure in your pipes once they have been checked over by the plumber by installing a pressure gauge to your system.
  • Check your home for evidence of leaks. Look under counters for damp areas. Look at the walls and ceilings for watermarks. Toilets that aren’t stable on the floor and tend to rock. Dripping faucets and refrigerators are sure signs of impending trouble.
  • Have your plumber check that backflow prevention device while he’s checking out the other valves on your system.
  • Make sure you know how to turn the water off to your house. This is extremely important in the event of a burst pipe or hose.

Backflow Prevention | Illinois Service TechsSo far we have discussed private home backflow with individual septic systems. Backflow is also a possibility if you have a public sewer system. There are circumstances that may cause a drop in pressure in your area resulting in backflow. Let’s say there is a fire on your block. The fire department will utilize the hydrant system to extinguish the fire. Using the public water supply for a fire drastically diminished the pressure. This massive use of water interrupts the pressure, allowing that already “used” water to back up and enter your home.

You can also have an interruption of pressure in a public system if there is a water main break in the area. Again, there is a massive amount of water leaving the water supply, allowing that “used” water to come back in. These scenarios to public water systems are really out of your hands. Any time there is a huge spike in water usage, there is a risk of backflow. This is the reason people are asked to alternate their consumption and use of water when there is a danger of a huge spike in use.

Having a backflow problem may never happen to you. But if you have one, you will never forget the mess left to clean up, not to mention the possibility of contamination of your potable water. Call Plumbers 911 and schedule a servicing of your water system with a reliable Illinois plumber to ensure you have no preventable pressure issues.