West End Well

A Backflow Test

Clogs Lead to Backflows

I’m all too familiar with my kids’ bathroom sink getting clogged by what seems to be an unbelievable amount of hair. If I didn’t know better I would swear somebody is shearing sheep in my bathroom when I’m not around (luckily we have a plumber in the family). Be mindful of what’s going down the drain – a one dollar strainer can prevent a lot of expense and inconvenience down the road. Fats and oils – particularly those that are solid at room temperature should be thrown in the garbage not rinsed down the drain. Clogged sinks aren’t a big deal to fix but they are an inconvenience. 

Seasonal Changes

Summer is just around the corner, and with it will come the usual high temperatures and sweaty afternoons. It’s this time of year that you find yourself using a bit more water than normal, whether to wash off or rehydrate. And few things are more enjoyable than coming inside on a stifling summer afternoon to drink a cool glass of water before heading to the shower to freshen up. That said, few things are more discouraging than filling up your glass of water to see not a crystal clear liquid float up to the brim but instead what looks like a discolored puddle pouring into your cup, maybe with bits of unidentifiable particles haphazardly swimming about. This image is neither appealing to your parched tongue nor your in-need-of-a-shower body. It’s pretty evident that something is wrong with your water supply, and that it’s been contaminated somehow or another. But what happened? If you hire a professional plumber to come investigate the matter, there is a good chance he or she will conduct backflow testing to see if there has been a reversal in your flow of water.

Gather the Needed Tools

While this might not sound like much of a problem to you, it can get to be a very serious one. It essentially means that there is no valve to control the flow of water from the city’s public water supply and your own, allowing for contamination of both systems. There are two specific types of this undesirable problem-backpressure and backsiphonage. Backpressure problems are caused when the downstream pressure is greater than the upstream or supply pressure from the public water system; this scenario occurs from either an increase in downstream pressure, a decrease in water supply pressure, or a combination of the two. Backsiphonage is, as you have probably figured out, just the opposite of backpressure-that is, it arises from negative pressure in the public water system. Backsiphonage typically occurs when there is a notable stoppage of water supply to other systems due to a fire hydrant being in use or a break in the water main. Without getting too technical, the long and short of this is that neither of these are good news for the sanitation of your water supply.

Backflow testing by a professional plumber can determine if indeed this is why your water appears contaminated and can help propel the necessary steps toward sanitation. No one wants dirty water filtering into their home or workplace, nor does anyone want their dirty water getting into the public water system and affecting the community at large. By performing professional backflow testing, you can be confident that the water that is coming into your home or workplace is clean, and that the dirty water you use is being handled appropriately.

The folks at Pioneer Plumbing & Heating are experts in backflow plumbing work. Contact them today to discuss your needs.