How a Backflow Can Cause Water Damage, and More, to Your Home


A backflow can occur for a few reasons. It's the kind of problem many homeowners fear. Understanding a little about how backflows work can help you mitigate the possibility of one occurring in your home.

A Backflow Is Not a Backup

The first thing you need to understand is that a backflow is wholly different from a common drain or sewer backup. A backup comes from a clog. You can usually tell if you have a backup if water drains slowly or not at all. A backflow is the opposite of that.

A backflow is when wastewater flows backward and out of a drain. It's a dangerous situation for a number of reasons. A backflow causes water damage and is a toxic hazard.

If you're lucky, a backflow that just consists of water will rise somewhere where it's contained, such as in a tub. If you're unlucky, wastewater can rise out of a sink or a toilet and create a terrible mess.

If the backflow takes other routes before it gets out of a drain, it can contaminate your drinkable water. A severe backflow problem can even contaminate your neighbor's sewer system as well.

How Does a Backflow Develop?

Homes typically have some safeguards against backflow. Most municipalities make a backflow preventer mandatory.  Even so, a backflow can still develop for a few reasons.

Pipe pressure – Plumbing systems work with different pressurizations to move water around. An imbalance of that pressure can cause a backflow.

Backflow preventer problems – Backflow preventers keep wastewater from getting into potable water. These devices can break, spring leaks, and malfunction in other ways.

Using high pressure anything – If you use a high-pressure hose, or some other high-pressure water device, you can create a backflow. That high pressure takes away from the pressure of your pipes. When high pressure is no longer present, your pipes try to reassert their pressure. This creates a suction normally called a backsiphonage (video).

What You Can Do to Prevent Backflow

The main protection against backflow is a backflow prevention device. They can do the most for keeping the harsh wastewater smells out of your home. More importantly, they will keep your drinkable water safe. You can stack backflow prevention devices as well. If you have one, you can add another at a different location.

In addition, you should have a routine inspection of your plumbing system from a professional plumbing contractor. Professionals like Allen Plumbing can tell you more about backflow and what else you can do to prevent it.

In cases where you're experiencing a backflow issue, you should call a plumber immediately. If you're dealing with the aftermath of a backflow, you should immediately call a professional water damage restoration service. How you clean up a backflow is important if you want to mitigate water damage and other issues that can come from a backflow.


6 December 2016

Home Remedies for Plumbing Problems

Hi and thanks for visiting my website. My name is Bob. I am 32 years old and single. And like many of you, I am barely making ends meet on my own. That's why I decided to create this website. I've run into a few plumbing problems in my home, and in order to save money, I found some remedies that I could do myself, rather than calling a plumber. I decided to share these secrets with you, as well as tell you when a plumber is absolutely needed. I hope my website helps all of you do-it-yourselfers when it comes to fixing your plumbing.