One common and potentially dangerous plumbing problem that can be a real threat to your water system, property, and health is backflow. Backflow is simply when contaminated water reverses flow and mixes with clean water. Obviously this is something that we, as plumbers, want to prevent — but how do we do that? By making sure that the backflow prevention devices in San Diego are installed properly, repaired properly, and regularly tested.
The water pressure in the system is designed to prevent backflow and keep contaminated and clean water separate, but some things can reduce that pressure and cause problems. Common causes of backflow include:
When that pressure is reduced, contaminated water, gas, and solids can enter the water supply. While this problem is most common in commercial buildings, it does occasionally happen with residential buildings, which is why backflow prevention devices are so important.
A backflow prevention device prevents dirty water from your building from getting into the clean city water. It works by creating an air gap or using a valve to keep contaminated water and potable water separate.
Backflow preventers are installed in areas where potable and non-potable water systems connect. An example would be a dishwasher, washing machine, or other appliance that deals with both clean and dirty water. A fire sprinkler system in a commercial building is another common installation location because of the pressurized water found here.
Put simply: if your backflow preventer fails, your clean water supply won’t be so clean anymore. As you can imagine, backflow can be a serious health hazard and problem, which is why the city water district requires that all backflow preventers be tested yearly.
Here at Steele Plumbing, we have backflow certified and licensed staff who are listed on all of the San Diego County Municipal Water District’s required lists. We provide testing, repairs, and installations, so whether you need to have your backflow prevention device fixed and retested or you need to have a new one installed, we can help. We will test and repair any brand of backflow prevention device; however, we exclusively install the Wilkins brand because of its quality and reliability.
The city water district requires that backflow preventers be tested every year for health and safety reasons. If you don’t keep up with annual testing, the city water district will shut off your water supply.
So what should you do when you need to have your backflow tested?
The city will send you a form for backflow testing each year. To schedule backflow testing, you’ll need to email us the form at [email protected] once you receive it. This will provide us with the information we need in order to conduct the test. When emailing us, please include your name, phone number, and whether or not the backflow has cages and/or keys. We’ll fill the form out during the test and send the report to the city.
During a test, we’ll connect to the device and make sure everything is operating properly. If there’s a broken component, we’ll make the necessary repairs or install a new device, if need be. If your backflow device has failed or you need to have yours annually tested, you can rely on us.
You rely on your plumbing every day, but there are many things that have to work right to ensure your safety and health. Enjoy peace of mind by trusting your backflow testing, repair, and installation to the professionals here at Steele Plumbing. We care about each and every one of our customers and we work hard to keep San Diego’s water cleaner and safer. To schedule your backflow test, service, or installation, please email us your backflow form from the city and call us at 619-326-4201 or request an appointment right here on our website. We’re happy to help!
Note: Please keep in mind that scheduling for this service can be a few weeks out.