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Backflow Prevention in Commercial Buildings: How Commercial Plumbers Can Help

30 July 2020

Commercial building owners prioritise the proper installation of their respective plumbing system because of various reasons. For one, this specific system serves as the main passageway for water. Without this system, the health and hygiene of the people inside the commercial building can be compromised. Additionally, the plumbing system is important as it can significantly reduce water consumption. Comfort and safety are also maximised with the presence of the plumbing system.

Almost all building plans consider the installation of an efficient plumbing system. What these plans do not consider, though, is the maintenance of this system. After all, all necessary means for the repairs and maintenance of the system lie to the jurisdiction of the building owners. If these owners do not exert any effort in maintaining their plumbing system, then they most likely will encounter backflow occurrences.

What are the possible causes of backflow?

The common scenario with a fully functional plumbing system is that the clean water goes through the pipe and comes out of the taps, showers, and toilet bowls, while the dirty water is sent to certain pipes, septic tanks, or wastewater treatment plants.

But when backflow occurs, the normal flow of the water will unexpectedly reverse in direction. This plumbing system issue can be a serious health risk since dirty water, which is typically contaminated with faeces, pesticides, chemicals, fertiliser, and other hazardous materials, might get through the lines of clean and potable water. The once clear and odourless water will inevitably become dirty muddy water.

One possible cause of backflow is backpressure, which is the sudden increase of pressure of wastewater system pressure compared to the pressure of the clean water system. The decrease of pressure from the water supply, most known as back siphonage, can also cause backflow. This pressure decrease is typically triggered by sudden water supply interruptions.

How backflow can be prevented?

To prevent any backflow occurrences, a plumbing system must have backflow prevention devices. The installation of these devices to the plumbing system can easily avert dirty water from flowing into the pipelines of the clean water supply. One example of this device is vertical air gaps. Vertical air gaps provide open space between any device that is connected to the plumbing system and any place where the dirty water is collected.

Another example of a backflow prevention device is the backflow preventer valve. This type of valve can be installed at key locations in the plumbing system where the risk of dirty water entering the clean water lines is significant and serious. Backflow preventer valves are utilised whenever the vertical clearance or physical space for air gap installation is not enough.

Why ask for commercial plumbers’ help?

When it comes to diagnosing, solving, and preventing backflow issues, commercial plumbers are the only people you need to hire and call. These professionals are experienced in determining the presence of backflow in the plumbing system. They can also install backflow prevention devices safely since they know how to deal with different pipelines and plumbing systems. They are also equipped with all the tools and equipment necessary for the additional repairs and servicing of your system. So, aside from getting the needed backflow prevention devices, commercial plumbers can also help diagnose problems and maintain your whole plumbing system without causing any further damages.

If you want to prevent or solve backflow problems, feel free to give us a call at L&C Harding Plumbing. We specialise in backflow testing and general plumbing services and sheet metal fabrication.