Your priority is to keep yourself and your family or business safe and healthy. This can be a difficult task if you don’t have the right preventive tools in place.
One device you should have installed on your water pipeline is a backflow preventer. This tool helps keep your water clean and safe for the ones you care about. It’s a vital part of turning off your sprinkler system for the winter season.
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What Is a Backflow Preventer?
A backflow preventer protects your family or customers from the dangers of water backflow. Backflow is the reversed motion of used water and occurs in one of two situations. If there is an imbalance in the upstream and downstream pipeline pressures, dirty water can flow backward into your home.
The second situation is called back-siphonage. This typically happens when the public has a high demand for water, such as when a fire hydrant is used. When using this water source, contaminated water is forced backward as more water goes to the hydrant. This water demand causes your pipelines to mix dirty and potentially dangerous waters with potable water, putting anyone’s health at risk if they consume it.
The backflow preventer is installed on your house’s or building’s water pipeline and prevents water from flowing backward. This ability keeps dirty water from reentering your home.
How Does a Backflow Preventer Work?
There are many different kinds of backflow preventers. A backflow preventer’s look and size will depend on whether you need one for your home or business.
Whatever your backflow preventer looks like, it has one main job — to keep potable water clean. The device does this by draining contaminated water before it goes too far backward. This is important because any substance put on the lawn has the potential to reenter the sprinkler system. This includes fertilizer, pesticides, and animal waste.
A backflow preventer is a pipe attachment. Depending on your building’s design, it will probably be attached to a pipe outside the building. This piece will have two ends and then a third section in the center. One end handles contaminated water while the other carries potable water. The center section is a chamber. Contaminated water that backflows goes through one end of the device and becomes trapped in the chamber.
From there, the water can drain out if your preventer has such a tool, or the device can receive maintenance as needed. Don’t forget about backflow covers which can help avoid costly repairs.
Do I Need a Backflow Preventer?
The answer is yes.
It’s always best to stay prepared for anything, and the backflow of contaminated water can happen without warning, especially if you have an irrigation or sprinkler system. When you have something like these systems installed, you have cross-connections. Cross-connections are any tangible connections between potable water and potentially contaminated water.
Your irrigation or sprinkler system requires water, so they are hooked up to a potable water source. Without a backflow preventer, the dirty water your system uses can cause backflow when water pressures change. This creates safety hazards for more than your family or customers. The right amount of force can send contaminated water back into the whole town’s water supply.
Your entire town would be at risk due to a water pressure fluctuation that sent your water rushing backward. To prevent such a problem from happening, you need a backflow preventer for you and your town’s safety.
How Do I Make Sure My Backflow Device Is Working?
When you get a backflow preventer, it will require some maintenance. How often you should inspect your device depends on the manufacturer, although every six months is the general rule.
When the time has come for you to check your backflow preventer, you want to ensure there is no current backflow. Once you have confirmed the device is not in use, you can unscrew the cover and clean out the device’s debris.
You’ll also want to inspect it for damage and ensure the seals are in good condition. You may want to put a silicone emulsion over the seals and check the movable seals’ mobility. If you’re not sure how to approach your device, Nature’s Helper provides inspection, repair and replacement services.
Nature’s Helper Has the Answers to Your Sprinkler and Irrigation Systems
A backflow preventer is an essential device that maintains the safety of potable water. For more information on backflow preventers and other water systems, contact Nature’s Helper. We can assist anyone with their backflow devices, whether it is an inspection, repair or replacement. We have over 20 years of experience and have been voted Omaha’s best sprinkler company for 12 years in a row.
Whatever you need, let us bring you the service you deserve. Contact us today to learn more about backflow preventers and how we serve you.