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7 Signs You Need Backflow Repair

Don’t know when to repair a busted backflow device? We bring you seven common signs that indicate when to get a backflow repair done to prevent water contamination.

Homeowners must be vigilant about properly maintaining their residential plumbing system to avoid a water supply rife with contaminants like food waste, human waste, chemicals, pesticides, etc. However, it might be easier said than done.

A backflow device is a mechanical device designed to provide a clean water supply and keep water flowing in one direction and prevent water from flowing in the reverse direction into a plumbing system or what is known as back pressure. The backflow devices of a plumbing system are ignored mainly because they are not very common in small residential properties. Backflow devices are not necessarily required for single-family homes without an irrigation system. They are primarily installed in large residences or commercial properties and must be carefully maintained, or it will affect their irrigation systems and more.

Signs Backflow Repair

A busted backflow device leads to contaminated water that can cause severe health hazards to the building occupants. But, detecting a faulty backflow device early is possible if you know how to look for the right signs. That’s why we’re here to discuss the seven most common signs that prove your backflow preventer is broken and needs immediate repair.

What Is A Backflow Preventer?

Before identifying the signs of backflow repair, you must clearly understand backflow preventers. You can usually find this mechanical device in the water metre as it maintains the unidirectional flow of water to prevent contamination.

It ensures that dirty water doesn’t flow backwards inside the water pipes and contaminates the clean water in your plumbing system. Hence, keeping your residence’s drinking water clean and safe for use is crucial.

There are different backflow devices, and it’s best to contact a professional technician if you need a backflow repair. Before installing a suitable device to fulfil your plumbing requirements, they can assess the hazard, which can vary significantly between a residential and commercial property.

How Does The Water Become Contaminated?

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Dirty water containing chemicals, pesticides, food or human waste can pose severe health risks if mixed with clean drinking water. Usually, two reasons can cause the dirty water to flow in the opposite direction, and they are as follows:

  • Increase in water pressure flowing down your plumbing system
  • Decrease flow or water pressure somewhere inside the house

The risks of water contamination are higher in restaurants, salons, lawn sprinklers, or car washes.

What Are The Signs You Need A Backflow Repair?

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1. Water Leakage

The most common sign of a busted backflow device may either be your drains are draining slowly, or you have frequent water leaks. It’s time to repair the backflow device if water keeps leaking around the commercial or residential property, no matter how many times you change the pipes.

Even though these leaks indicate minor plumbing problems, like a burst or broken pipe, hire a professional plumber immediately and don’t ignore the signs. They can assess and fix the problem to prevent water contamination and avert long-term plumbing damage.

2. Dip In Water Pressure

If your backflow device starts malfunctioning, you’ll experience increased water levels or a visible drop in the water pressure in your water system around the house, including kitchen faucets, showerheads, and bathroom sinks. A vacuum-like effect occurs within the plumbing system due to backflow, preventing the water from flowing at an average rate and causing a sudden decrease in water pressure.

As the pressure builds up inside your plumbing system, the water pipes are at a higher risk of bursting, which adds to the backflow issue. So, carefully check the water pressure around your house to determine when to repair your backflow device.

3. Weird Taste

If the water tastes weird, the bad taste indicates that your backflow device isn’t working correctly and needs immediate repair. The water’s sulphur content increases as it becomes contaminated with dirty water, and high sulphur content can cause severe illness.

If you continue drinking this contaminated water, you can also suffer from diseases like diarrhoea or cholera.

4. Water Discolouration

Water discolouration is another common sign that shows you need a new backflow device. Clean water has a transparent colour. Contaminated water looks dirty and has odd colours, like pink, yellow, or muddy brown.

Avoid drinking if the water from your faucet or sink shows apparent discolouration. Under such circumstances, the safest option for your discoloured water is to call emergency plumbing services and fix the backflow device immediately.

5. Specific Smell

Not only taste and colour but the smell of your water will also be affected if the backflow device starts malfunctioning. You might notice that the water gives off a foul stench whenever you open the faucet.

This foul smell builds up inside the water pipes and gets released with the water when you turn on the faucet. You can also identify the smell of rotten eggs due to the high sulphur content of the contaminated water.

6. Visible Particles

The rust particles and sediments in the water indicate a backflow issue. Dirty water carries sediments and rust particles mixed with your clean water, which leads to contamination. If you notice such deposits and rust particles floating in the water, avoid using it for drinking or cleaning purposes and conduct a backflow repair as soon as possible.

7. Slow Drainage

Slow water drainage is a common sign of backflow and signifies it’s time to replace your backflow device. You can notice poor drainage in your kitchen sinks, showers, dishwashers, and other drain pipes around the house. If your drain pipes are close to overflowing, you might need an emergency backflow repair.

Check, Maintain and Repair Your Backflow; hire An Expert

Several backflow devices are on the market - single check, reduced pressure zone, and dual check. Most Australian homes use testable devices, and you’ll have to hire a professional plumber for annual maintenance, following which the report is sent to the concerned government authorities.

A poor plumbing system with a faulty backflow device poses serious risks to your health and hygiene. So, proper maintenance of the backflow device is not something to be ignored and taken lightly.

You can check the above signs to determine whether your backflow device works correctly. If you encounter these seven signs, contact a fully qualified and licensed plumbing expert to deal with the problem and take the necessary precautions. Reach out to us!

If you’ve got plumbing issues related to backflow prevention, from backflow device installation to repair and maintenance, our team of experienced plumbers have the skills and knowledge to provide you with the best quality plumbing services. Get in touch with our experts today!

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