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Carolina Climate Control Blog

Are Backflow Prevention Services Necessary for Your Home?


We offer backflow prevention services in Mt. Pleasant, SC to test, repair, and replace backflow prevention devices in homes. If you’re wondering, “What’s a backflow prevention device? Do I have one?” you’re not alone. Many people are unaware of the importance of backflow prevention and how it stops contamination of the freshwater supply. 

The reason you may not know anything about backflow prevention is that your home might not actually require a special backflow prevention device. We’ll look into the issue to help you understand whether it’s a service you need or not.

Backflow in Plumbing

Backflow refers to a situation where wastewater enters the freshwater pipes because it moves in the wrong direction. In any location where there’s a cross-connection between freshwater and wastewater pipes, it’s possible for a change in pressure on either side to lead to the wastewater contaminating the freshwater side.

This is serious because it can lead to harmful bacteria and other contaminants from the wastewater getting into the general water supply—so this is not just a concern for an individual home.

Backflow often occurs because of a sudden large drain on the water supply causes the water pressure to drop. When the freshwater pressure plunges like this, it will pull wastewater after it through the cross-connection, which is known as back siphonage.

An example of this occurring is when the fire department uses water from a fire hydrant, making immense demands on the water supply. Trouble with the municipal water supply can also cause this change in pressure.

Backflow Prevention

For backflow to occur, there has to be a way for wastewater to enter freshwater pipes. Now think about your home, and you’ll start to understand that in almost all cases, this isn’t possible.

Wastewater from your sink drains can’t leap up and somehow reach the sink faucet. Air gaps in this case serve to prevent backflow. If you have a dishwashing machine, it has a special air gap built into it that opens up near the sink. If backflow occurs from your dishwasher, the dirty water will just spill out of this opening and into the sink.

However, there are some cases where a home will have a cross-connection. If your house has an indoor sprinkler system to prevent fires, there will be a cross-connection point, usually located near your water meter. A special backflow prevention device will shut in case the water in the cross-connection moves in the wrong direction, stopping wastewater from getting into the water supply.

Do You Need Backflow Prevention?

A backflow prevention device must receive regular testing from a licensed professional to ensure it’s doing its job of protecting the water supply. The city will send you a notification of when you need to have the device tested. You can then call us to do the testing and any necessary repairs or replacements.

If you’ve never received any such notice and don’t have a sprinkler system or an irrigation system, then you don’t have to worry—your home doesn’t have any special backflow preventer in place and doesn’t need one. If you do receive a notice of testing, you don’t have to worry either, because we’re here to help you!

Call Carolina Climate Control if you need backflow prevention services such as testing and replacement. The Moose Is Loose in Your Neighborhood! 

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