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Backflow Preventers

We perform Backflow repairs, new installs and annual inspections.

What is a backflow preventer?
A backflow preventer is a device that is attached to the irrigation line before any heads or valves. The purpose of a backflow device is to allow water to only flow in one direction, ensuring that non-potable or contaminated water (backflow) does not seep into your potable or drinkable water supply.

How does a backflow work and why are they important?
Inside of a backflow are springs, rubber gaskets and usually two tow check valves. Potable or clean drinking water flows through pipes in one direction, which normally comes from a water plant. Once in the piping, water will then make its way to different homes and businesses. First, water flows through meters, then to the backflow preventers, next it flows into the pipes of homes or businesses and finally out of faucets or showers. When contaminated water that is flowing in the opposite direction enters the backflow preventer, it will cause the first valve or check to drop down and stop the contaminated water from mixing with the potable drinking water. If the first check fails, the second check is in place to perform the same function and in return will stop the contaminated water (backflow) from passing through.

Why is it important to have your backflow inspected annually?
Often times, backflow preventers can get clogged from debris, springs can rust and rubber gaskets can swell and loosen over time causing the backflow preventer to malfunction. It is important to have your backflow preventer checked annually to ensure that it is clean of debris, gaskets are on tight and valves are working properly so when backflow enters the backflow preventer, it is stopped immediately. Having contaminated water mix with potable drinking water can be a major hazard to your health and in some cases can lead to death.

How does water get contaminated or become non-potable?
It’s actually very easy for water to become contaminated. All water in the yard is considered contaminated, non-potable drinking water, meaning it is not fit for drinking. Water can be contaminated by pesticides in the lawn and from animal bacteria in the yard. Hose immersion is also a risk which can happen by leaving a hose in a pool, using it to flush out a car’s cooling system or even using it to dilute chemicals in a bucket. Any sudden drop of pressure in your pipe system will cause the contaminated water (backflow) to be sucked into the pipes, into your home, and out through your faucets. Signs that your backflow preventer may not be working properly are that you may notice some leaking from the unit itself. You may also notice that your tap water may be a light brown color meaning some debris may have gotten into it. Often times there are no signs of contaminated water mixing with your drinking water which is why it is important to have your backflow preventer checked every year.

Where is my backflow located?
The backflow is located on the homeowner’s side of the city meter. However, it can be located anywhere in the yard. It can normally be found close to the house or close to the water meter.

What does Heron provide in regards to backflow preventers?
If you are having any issues with your backflow or think that you may need your backflow to be replaced, our Certified Backflow Technician will inspect and repair your backflow or install a new backflow if your old one is too damaged for repair.

Remember, it is crucial to have your backflow inspected at least once a year by a professional. The potential health hazard is not worth the risk.

Call today to schedule your annual inspection by one of our Certified Backflow Technicians.

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