Everything You Need to Know About Plumbing Backflow and Backflow Testing


What is Backflow in Plumbing?

Backflow is a term used to describe a plumbing issue where an unwanted flow of water goes in the reverse direction, mixing with contaminated water or wastewater and polluting the clean water supply.

Water distribution systems are designed for water to flow in one direction, from the system to the consumer. However, certain conditions in unprotected or dysfunctional systems cause the water to flow backward, contaminating the clean water supply and potentially creating a hazard.

Certified plumbing experts can install backflow preventers that allow water to flow in the correct direction and stop it from flowing in the opposite direction. To ensure the best water supply for your business or residence, these systems must be tested and evaluated yearly.

Proper backflow prevention, cross connection control and annual backflow testing are vital for protecting your water supply. Miller and Sons Plumbing in Ocala, Florida is certified to install and test backflow preventers to protect your internal water supply.

What Causes Plumbing Backflow?

Backflow is caused by cross-connections, where water supply could possibly link to contaminated water (sewage, chemicals, gas, etc.), potentially allowing contaminants into the drinking water system. 

Types of Backflow

Understanding the type of backflow you encounter can help ensure proper treatment. There are two types of backflow, back siphonage and back pressure.

Back siphonage can occur when the pressure in a tank or water trough is lower than the water system’s pressure. This could allow the influx, or pulling, of contaminated water into the system. 

Back pressure occurs when there is higher water pressure in a non-potable (water that isn’t drinking quality) water source than in the clean water supply.  Back pressure backflow is often caused by boilers, sprinkler systems or power washing tools, among other things.

What is Backflow Testing?

Backflow testing is when a certified backflow plumbing professional assesses how well the backflow preventers are working. It is important to make sure these are functioning properly because they act as barriers to prevent harmful contaminants from entering the water stream.

While some residences can use backflow testing, it is more prominent and important to test the water supply of businesses. Making sure your commercial building has clean, unpolluted water is a must for happy, healthy, and safe customers and employees. If your business could use a test or an installation, Miller and Sons has the commercial backflow services you need. 

Who needs Backflow testing?

In Ocala and surrounding Central Florida areas most businesses are required to install the appropriate backflow prevention device and have it tested annually. There are set businesses that have to install and test their backflow preventer, but many more can qualify if they are a potential backflow hazard.

Types of businesses that are required to install a backflow preventer include:

  • Restaurants
  • Dry cleaners
  • Medical offices
  • Funeral homes
  • Beauty and nail salons
  • Car washes
  • Multi-tenant retail space
  • Any commercial building three stories or taller
  • Any commercial space with a dedicated fire service line/sprinkler system
  • Churches with baptismal pools

Whether you are in need of backflow installation or annual maintenance, have trouble with your backflow preventers, or aren’t sure if your business needs a backflow setup, we’re here to help quickly and efficiently. When you need a certified backflow specialist, or a skilled plumber to take care of issues big or small, call a name you can trust. Contact Miller and Sons Plumbing today!

More to explore