The backflow prevention device is a vital safeguard in keeping your drinking water clean and safe. This device ensures the dirty water leaving your home or business can’t reverse and contaminate the public water supply, which could make you and many others sick. Unfortunately, like any plumbing fixture, the backflow device can break down from damage or wear and tear and stop working properly. That’s why it’s a good idea to call a certified backflow company periodically to test the device. Here are some indications that you should have testing done.
It’s best to have a certified backflow installation company test the device every year. If you have this inspection done yearly, it’s unlikely you’ll ever see any of the other signs of a malfunctioning preventer, which is important for safety. The inspectors can identify the beginning of problems so that they can be repaired before any water safety concerns occur. Additionally, one of the most important non-visual indications that the system isn’t working properly is the amount of pressure in the device. This can only be tested and resolved by a qualified backflow prevention professional.
One of the visual signs you can check for in between yearly inspections is any leaking or discharge from the backflow assembly. There shouldn’t be any leaking from the prevention device, and if you notice dirty-looking discharge it almost certainly means that the device has failed and there’s dirt in the plumbing system from backflow. Discharge or a leak could be caused by a few different problems, including debris, thermal expansion, a problem with the pressure in the system, or water hammer. Don’t ignore any type of leak no matter how minor or sporadic it appears.
Another serious sign that you need to call a certified backflow repair company is if the drinking water in your building appears cloudy or discolored. This is true of any faucet in your home and even the outdoor hose if it’s connected to culinary water. If you notice any changes to the drinking water whatsoever, avoid drinking the water until it can be tested and a backflow repair company inspects the assembly to determine whether or not the system actually has malfunctioned. Backflow into the potable water system can cause serious illness, so it’s important to have the system regularly maintained to prevent this from happening.