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Serving the Olympia, WA area since 1994



What Is a Backflow Prevention Device?

Monday, October 12th, 2015 at 11:00 am

We live in Olympia, WA, which means that heavy rains and periodic flooding come with the territory. For homeowners, that presents a unique problem in the nature of backflow: non-potable water that travels the wrong way up your pipes and enters your home through the faucets or outlets. That can be a concern because water from the sewer can contain a wide variety of toxins – including human waste – that present a health risk to your family. The solution is a backflow prevention device properly installed by a trained technician. What is a backflow prevention device? Read on for the answers.

What Causes Backflow

Pipes, unfortunately, don’t have a set direction for water to pass through them. Just as your pipes allow waste water to pass out of your home and into the sewer, so too can sewer water flow back up into your home. This is often caused when pressure in the sewer is higher than the pressure in your system, which can happen during floods, when fire hydrants in your area are being used, and other circumstances. Air pockets, created by that bend in the pipe you see beneath your sink, can help prevent this, but for more serious protection, you need a backflow prevention device.

How it Works

Backflow prevention devices are designed specifically to halt the problem in its tracks. They’re placed at the apex to your home’s plumbing system, where it connects to the main sewer line leading out to the civic system. The valve itself is angled to allow waste water to pass out of your home safely. But when wastewater moves in the wrong direction back up your pipe, it snaps closed, keeping the tainted water out of your home, and your family safe and healthy.

The experts at Brooks Plumbing install and service backflow prevention devices, so call us today!

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