Nothing puts a damper on your day, like turning on your sink to find brown sludge pouring out. You quickly realize it’s backflow.
Luckily, there are tools to ensure your Florida water is safe to drink and never becomes contaminated with wastewater or sewage. One such tool is a backflow prevention device, a robust system that prevents potable water from mixing with contaminated water.
Because this device is such a critical system that keeps your home’s water safe and public drinking water safe, Palm Beach County cities and municipalities regularly have backflow tested. If your system fails, the local city inspector can turn it off.
If you can’t remember the last time you had your backflow prevention system tested, it’s time to call the Sansone + Red Rooter team. We’ll send one of our expert plumbers to inspect your backflow system and protect your home’s potable water.
In its most basic definition, backflow is a term that describes when water flows in the reverse direction than it’s supposed to. This means that dirty water can enter the clean water supply and re-enter your plumbing system.
As you might imagine, backflow poses deadly health risks, including salmonella, infectious hepatitis, a more rapid spread of Covid, and various other illnesses. Backflow can also contaminate the public water supply when there’s a cross-connection between the public water supply line and the private water system. This contamination of the public water supply can result in serious health risks and has been the source of several public health problems over the past hundred years. To make matters worse, backflow can also cause severe water damage to your property.
Backflow occurs for many reasons. A primary cause is when garden hoses are left inside pools or buckets of chemicals. When this happens, the pressure in the tank is lower than that of the water systems, and the outside water leaks into the clean water supply. Another common cause of backflow is back pressure, which occurs when there’s higher water pressure in a fire protection system.
Overall, there are many ways backflow can occur. Because of this, it’s paramount to keep your backflow prevention tools in working order.
Plumbing systems are designed to use specific mechanisms to prevent backflow from rearing its ugly head. Most of these mechanisms fail over time, so regularly testing them is vital.
In fact, many communities across the country require certification and testing of backflow systems by a professional plumbing team. At Sansone, our team is trained to perform these tests to ensure your backflow prevention device is in proper working order.
Backflow Prevention Devices
Per Florida regulations, businesses and large meter customers must comply with the installation, maintenance, annual testing, and certification of their backflow assemblies. This is in place to guarantee that the devices are accurately calibrated and function efficiently.
Two significant backflow prevention devices are reduced pressure zones and double-check devices. Our team at Sansone Air Conditioning & Plumbing is licensed to provide these services and backflow devices for all your backflow testing, repair, and installation needs.
Reduced Pressure Zone
A reduced pressure zone is the most common device for backflow prevention. These devices safeguard the potable water supply and are composed of two independent check valves—which keep the chamber pressure lower than the water supply pressure but not high enough that it causes the water to move downstream. Excess pressure is then discharged into the drain.
However, it’s essential to mount the reduced pressure zone device in an area where it can’t flood, as certain pressure levels will cause the valve to release water when it shouldn’t. Since Florida is known to sustain heavy levels of rain and flooding, reduced pressure zone devices may not be the right option for every Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach residence.
The double-check backflow prevention device is primarily used for fire sprinkler systems. These devices have a much higher flow rate than a reduced pressure zone device.
Double-check devices have two check valves that are organized in a series. While these are effective devices, they’re used for low-hazard applications—like sprinkler systems, lawn irrigation, and combi-boiler systems.
Once the hazard level becomes too high, these double-check devices simply aren’t as reliable. That’s why most communities mandate that residents must use reduced pressure zone devices instead.
According to Florida law, your backflow prevention device needs to be tested every two years for residential customers and every year for commercial customers. If you don’t, your water service could be shut off by the city. Don’t get tangled up in that legal headache. Have your backflow preventer tested as required.
Have you just moved into a new home and found that there is no backflow preventer? Maybe you’ve been living in your home for a while and recently discovered that your backflow prevention device is irreparably damaged and must be replaced.
Whatever your reason, when you need backflow installations, you need them fast. Before diving into the installation process, you must obtain a permit. When you work with a certified company like Sansone Plumbing by Red Rooter, we’ll help you take care of the permitting process quickly and easily.
Once the paperwork is ready to go, you can install the preventer. Many homeowners prefer to install the preventer above ground, as this helps the preventer work at maximum capacity. However, it also depends on your land, home, and what’s right for you.
Another thing to consider is whether you should install the preventer with enough space around it to make maintenance a breeze. You’ll spend a lot of time around the preventer with yearly checks, so do yourself—or the plumber you hire—a favor and ensure there’s adequate space around the preventer to allow for necessary work and edits down the road.
No matter how well you care for your preventer, it will sustain damages. Wind, rain, debris, and more can batter your preventer and either damage it or render it ineffective. When this happens, you need to schedule backflow preventer repairs.
Sansone dispatches fully certified and highly trained plumbers who specialize in backflow testing, certification, repairs, and replacement. Our backflow prevention repair technicians are carefully chosen to ensure the highest level of customer service and maintain your drinking water’s safety and quality.
Backflow Prevention & Testing by Sansone Plumbing by Red Rooter
Are backflow prevention devices getting you down? Instead of wrestling with your device, outsource your problems to a professional to ensure such an essential device is in working order.
Our passionate team at Sansone delivers exceptional plumbing services and empowers both Florida homeowners and business owners with the peace of mind that their backflow systems are working properly.
With efficient services and fair prices at your fingertips, contact Sansone today to schedule your backflow system testing and prevention services.
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