Backflow protection devices prevent contaminated water from moving from a contaminated point back into your drinking water or even back into the public water supply. If you think you need to add backflow protection or are worried that your current system isn’t up to scratch, then you might need to call in a plumber.
Backflow devices are specialist plumbing systems. As such, they need a certain type of expertise. Typically, you’ll get this from an accredited backflow prevention plumber. What can a backflow plumber do that a regular plumber can’t?
1. Work out your hazard rating
Backflow prevention solutions aren’t all the same. Typically, you need to install a device or system that meets the risk level of your water supply. You need to understand how bad things might get if your water contaminated public water.
So, for example, if you are at low risk, then your water wouldn’t pose a significant threat if it mixed with the general water supply. Your water doesn’t contain anything too harmful.
However, if your water could carry over potentially harmful substances, like chemicals or agricultural waste, then you’ll have a higher hazard rating. If your water could endanger health, then you’re likely to get a medium rating. If it could potentially harm someone, then you’re a high hazard.
Your rating affects the type of prevention system you install and its testing regulations. To be on the safe side, you should ask a backflow plumber to assess your hazard level. They can then talk to you about your options.
Recommend an appropriate backflow solution
The type of backflow prevention device you need depends on your hazard rating and the location of the device. If you have a low hazard rating but know that you need a preventative device, then you might be able to install a basic product with a simple check valve.
However, if you are medium or high risk, then you’re likely to need a more complex solution. Your system should have built-in fail-safe procedures in case something goes wrong. So, for example, you might need a double-check valve or a pressure zone device.
A backflow plumber can talk you through suitable options. They can help you choose the right kind of device so that you can create a robust system that meets requirements.
3. Run essential installation, testing and maintenance tasks
If your water company or local council requires you to take backflow prevention measures, then you have to meet certain conditions. It is your responsibility to make sure that your water is kept separate from the public water supply.
You have to do more than simply install a suitable device. So, you might be required to register the device once you set it up. You might need to test it, apply a service tag to it, and then submit the results to your local council to a set schedule, say every year.
You can’t do these jobs yourself. You typically need an accredited backflow plumber to do them for you.
Even if you only need to install a non-testable device, you should have it put in and periodically inspected by someone with the necessary training and skills. You need to ensure that the system continues to work OK.
Backflow prevention devices play an important part in keeping public water clean and healthy. So, you also need to make sure that your device is regularly maintained. If you do have a problem, you’re usually responsible for fixing it.
If you don’t meet your responsibilities, then your water company or local council can take action. For example, they could reduce or cut off your water supply or bill you for works that they do because you won’t.
If you need backflow prevention advice or help, then contact Hornsby plumber Andrew Vanny Plumbing . As certified backflow plumbers, we can help you work out whether you need a preventative device, install the right one and then test and maintain it for you.