fbpx 1.800.245.5469
Menu
What Is Backflow?
Book Now
Book Now
Blog 06/26/19

What Is Backflow?

While the name does not sound too terrible, backflow can be a serious hazard to your health. Backflow is a plumbing term that describes the unwanted flow of water in the opposite, unintended direction.  If backflow occurs, potable water can become contaminated with wastewater. Wastewater can contain fertilizer/pesticides, human waste, chlorine from pools, and dirty water from sinks, dishwashers, and showers. Backflow can cause several issues by promoting corrosion of your pipes, creating leaks and create potential risks to your health.  Bill Howe Plumbing, Heating & Air, and Restoration & Flood can provide installation and testing services to ensure you and your family are protected.  Backflow usually occurs when the city’s water system is disrupted and/or turned off. 

Backflow Prevention Devices

Backflow prevention devices can be installed in any number of places.  For commercial properties and newer residential properties, there is a larger backflow prevention device that prevents wastewater from the property from entering the city’s water supply.  These backflow prevention devices are required to be installed as close as possible to the water meter.  This aids in eliminating the chances of an illegal connection being made between your meter and backflow device.  The City of San Diego also requires that backflow devices be tested at the time of installation, whenever the connection is moved and on an annual basis.  A certified Bill Howe backflow tester can perform the annual testing as well as any maintenance that may need to occur.  The city cross connection department wants it within 3 feet of the city meter if possible.  If put in other locations, the location must be approved by city cross connection department. 

While these backflow prevention devices protect the municipal water supply from wastewater contaminants that may leave your property, there are plumbing codes and devices already within your property that are designed to help you with backflow protection.  Parts within toilets, faucets, sinks, and hoses have been created and regulated to keep you and your family safe from contamination.  If you have an older home or older plumbing fixtures, updating these fixtures is an affordable way to protect you and your family from contaminated wastewater.  

Backflow prevention for your home is built into existing plumbing codes. A few of the most common fixtures are:

Hand-held Sink or Shower Heads with Hoses

Hand-held sink or shower heads have the potential to drop into the water located in the tub or sink.  A dual check valve may need to be installed to prevent backflow. If your sink or shower head was built in the US however, these generally do not need additional backflow prevention devices.

Garden Hoses

If your garden hose is left on the ground, the hose could potentially transfer whatever it is left submerged in into your water supply.  To protect this from happening, adding a vacuum breaker to the hose bibb.  This is a relatively inexpensive (~ $10) and easy accessory to add to the valve/spigot to control the safety of your water.

In-ground Irrigation and Lawn Sprinkler Systems

With your in-ground sprinkler system, it naturally could be exposed to animal waste, fertilizers or pesticides.  By having a pressure vacuum breaker installed, this will prevent backflow from occurring. This option should be professionally installed and will need to be tested annually.  Both installation and testing in sprinkler systems can be handled by a certified Bill Howe plumber.

Backflow Services

The costs associated with the installation backflow systems vary with each project.  A certified Bill Howe plumber can help determine which type of device is best for preventing backflow in your water and what those costs might be.  Call 1-800-BILL-HOWE to schedule an inspection and learn more about how Bill Howe can help you solve your backflow problems. 

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

Blog

Best Furnace For a Small Space

Living in a small space is tough as it is. Your furniture doesn’t quite all fit, you feel cramped, and hosting guests is like playing musical chairs (there always seems to be one less...

2 weeks ago Share Icon
Read More
Blog

Hydro-jetting vs. Snaking

When it comes to pipes, clogged drains are part of the game. Keeping your plumbing clog-free is a vital skill when it comes to owning a home but even the most responsible homeowners will...

2 weeks ago Share Icon
Read More
Blog

Backflow Testing

Points at which a potable water system connects with a non-potable water system are called cross connections. Backflow is the reverse flow of non-potable water, gases or solid material into potable water supply. Common...

2 weeks ago Share Icon
Read More
Blog

How to Prevent Heat Loss in Homes

If you left the windows and doors open as a child you most likely were told the same statement by your parents: “I’m not paying to heat the entire outdoors.” Heating your home is...

2 weeks ago Share Icon
Read More
Blog

Types of Heating Systems

Types of Heating Systems Having to turn on your heating unit in San Diego? It’s surprising, but the reality is even in a city as warm as San Diego temperatures dip during the winter...

2 months ago Share Icon
Read More
Blog

How Effective is Hydro Jetting?

How Effective is Hydro Jetting? Hydro-jetting is a main staple of the modern-day plumber and allows you to watch your drain problems go down the drain. Hydro jetting uses a specialized, high pressure hose...

2 months ago Share Icon
Read More

What David says about us

Service for new garbage disposal. My ancient garbage disposal quit working, went online to get Bill Howe’s number, immediately received and accepted chat to describe my needs. Prompt call back to schedule an appointment, service tech Allen was out same morning, which was important to fit my work schedule. Job estimate was clear, work done fully to my expectations, area left clean, and price was very fair.
I was not surprised — I have used Bill Howe plumbers for several other tasks in the past. I have always found their staff to be helpful, attentive, and the plumbers very courteous and capable.

January 2020

Plumbing

What Michelle says about us

I have been using Bill Howe since the late 1980’s, their service has always been excellent, plumbing, heating and restoration. I am most impressed by the integrity of their employees, not only do they know their work/skill, they do not waste time, they are so efficient, they are so helpful and they are a true “service”!

February 2020

Plumbing

What Mira says about us

Bill Howe never fails us! We had a drain overflow, and Scott came (on a Saturday) to look at it and offer solution. He was punctual, professional, and extremely helpful. I should also praise the main office for always being helpful and always finding solutions. Very grateful to have you in San Diego!

February 2020

Restoration & Flood

What Ed Gohlich says about us

Cory was our technician on this job. We had a time sensitive repair issue and Bill Howe understood and assisted with getting the job done quickly.
Cory was on time to start the job and finished it quickly. Upon his leaving our home he’s was courteous, very knowledgeable, explaining what the problem was and how he fixed it. Very good communication and this is the way it’s has always been when we use Bill Howe plumbing.
Great company to work with.
Thanks Cory.
Ed

August 2019

Heating & Cooling

What Eric says about us

I had a shower that would not drain. The employee arrived on time and fixed the problem quickly and effectively at a very fair price. I was very happy with everything. Thank you and I highly recommend your plumbing service.

January 2019

Plumbing

What Bridgett says about us

I am extremely happy with the service we received from Bill Howe Plumbing. We were given an incorrect diagnosis of our main sewer line from another vendor, but Bill Howe’s servicemen came out for a second opinion, correctly diagnosed our problem and resolved our back up issues. We will continue to use Bill Howe for all our future plumbing needs!

Thank you Bill Howe Plumbing.

July 2019

Plumbing