What is a Backflow Preventer?

Most everyone has seen a backflow preventer before but the majority of us have no idea what it does or why we have it. This short article will briefly describe why backflow preventers are important to those of us living in SW Florida.

What is Backflow?

Backflow is when a flow of water reverses from its intended direction. It occurs as a result of “cross connection” within the water system and can result in our drinking water being mixed with non potable water which…isn’t a good thing.

To illustrate how this works, imagine you placed a garden hose in a bucket of pesticides. Suddenly, a loss of water occurs to the main line serving your home (possibly due to fire hydrant use or a water main break). The pressure drop causes the flow of water to reverse. When no backflow preventer is installed, the pesticides can be sucked into your homes drinking water and potentially, the main water line serving your community.

What is a Backflow Preventer?

A backflow preventer does exactly what the name insinuates – It prevents what was described above from happening. It uses multiple check valves to prevent water from backing up into the supply line and it protects our water from getting contaminated.

If you have any questions about backflow preventers, feel free to give Aztec Plumbing a call at (239) 232-2012.