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Common Causes and Solutions for Backflow in Commercial Plumbing Systems

When working on plumbing projects, the project size does not matter. You don’t want to see if the project is commercial or residential to decide the service quality you will be providing. It is because the quality must stay to-notch for every project since dropping the work quality brings problems like backflow, which can be a crucial problem for commercial buildings.

In this article, we will discuss the top common causes and solutions for backflow you need to know for commercial plumbing projects.

What is Plumbing Backflow, and how does it happen?

If you look at the plumbing system installed at any home, there will be 3 main parts of it containing clean drinking water, tap water, and dirty used water. The plumbing system must be designed using design and gravity so that the water moves only one way in each part.

When plumbers do not stay careful about such basic qualities and checks, the problem of plumbing backflow can occur. In this problem, wherever there is a connection between 2 parts of your plumbing system, the water may flow in 2 directions instead of one, ruining the usage.

The main causes of plumbing backflow

To know more about the main causes of plumbing backflow and the technicalities behind them, here we have listed some main causes or plumbing issues that can cause backflow.

Back pressure

Backflow due to back pressure is usually due to the pressure of the downstream water source. That source is installed in your system in a non-portable manner in your plumbing system, and when its pressure surpasses the pressure of a clean source, you will find this problem common. Some causes for back pressure backflow include:

  • Water boilers
  • Power washing tools
  • Breaks in the mainline
  • Sprinkler system
  • The reduced water level in the locality, etc.

Back siphonage

Back siphonage happens when there is negative pressure in your water line. When it happens, there becomes a partial or total vacuum that can draw water back in the opposite direction. That water can be dirty, and due to the vacuum, it may enter the clean water supply. There are different causes for this problem to happen, but the most common ones include:

  • Damage in the main water lines
  • Heavy water usage
  • Reduced water in the locality

How to solve backflow problems in commercial plumbing systems?

Backflow is surely a frustrating problem that you want to get rid of immediately. However, it is not like some other plumbing jobs you can try to fix as a DIY project. Experts are needed for quick and accurate inspection and diagnosis of the problem. With their experience, they may suggest solutions that will save you time and money and save you from lasting frustration.

So, when you call the professionals at work, they will give you one of the two following prevention measures and solutions to this issue.

Air gap

The air gap is an effective technique that can help prevent backflow problems. An air gap in the plumbing body can maintain pressure when the plumbing system needs it. Hence, this gap will prevent backflow in that area. However, depending on the size of your plumbing body, your building may need more air gaps.

There are some situations where an air gap is not effective, and the plumber will recommend a preventer valve installation for those situations.

Backflow preventing valve

For plumbing bodies where an air gap is not the solution for backflows, your plumber may suggest you install preventer valves. These valves fit at multiple locations throughout the plumbing body. So, these valves prevent backflow at any part of the plumbing system where they are installed. That’s why installing these all over the plumbing body is essential.

Remember that these contain moving parts, and they are likely to fail, so you must maintain an annual inspection for these valves.

Why do you need to resolve backflow problems in commercial buildings?

Sometimes plumbing systems are not very serious and can be treated as a DIY project. These include easy things like tap replacement, etc. However, at the same time, there are some situations where the plumbing job must only be left to the professionals.

The prime example of such scenarios is backflow happening. It is because it is caused due to slight imbalance, and if not treated immediately, it can put your whole home’s water supply and plumbing at risk. The following are the top 2 reasons to immediately resolve the backflow issue in commercial plumbing systems.

Water contamination problems

The first issue you will face is water contamination. When your plumbing body starts pulling dirty water in the wrong direction, it may get pulled inside the clean drinking water body. As a result, all the plumbing pipes for drinking water will be contaminated with wastewater. Additionally, the waste gases may start flowing inside the clean water pipes.

This mixture of clean and dirty water pipes will create contamination on a huge scale. On top of that, there will be a bad user experience, risk of health issues, etc., due to water contamination.

Chances of property damage

If the backflow problem keeps on happening and you never treat it, then you may welcome chances of severe property damage. The water may back up through drainpipes and cause flooding inside bathrooms, kitchens, and any other areas where the plumbing body serves.

The longer you leave this situation untreated, the more dangerous it will become for your property. That’s why consulting with professional plumbers and resolving the solution is essential.

Final Words:

Even if you install a solution in your plumbing system to prevent backflows, regular maintenance and inspection from professionals are key to keeping things working long-term. It is the only thing that can protect you from heavy repair expenditures. With the points deciding the importance of quickly resolving backflow issues, you must understand the role of professionals in making your plumbing system much more reliable.

So, always go for professional plumbers whenever you face such critical issues since experience and expertise are key factors when working on such problems.

Fun Fact

What year did Rick Hudson begin his plumbing career? Find the answer on our About Us | Plumbing Tulsa | Acts of Service Plumbing! When it comes to finding plumbing professionals with years of experience, you’ll find we are seasoned plumbers!

One of the many companies we’ve had the pleasure of serving faithfully over the years is Paul Davis Corporate – Restoration and Emergency Service Provider. Learn more about them today!