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A Basic Guide to Backflow Testing and Prevention

Last updated 6 years ago

While any type of plumbing malfunction in your Chicago area home may be frustrating, nothing is worse than dealing with backflow. Backflow is the flow of contaminated waste water from your sewer lines back into your home’s water supply. As you can imagine, backflow can be a dirty, smelly, and unsafe plumbing problem to have. Here’s some information on how backflow happens and how your plumber can help you prevent it. 

  • What Is Backflow?

Backflow is a phenomenon attributed to changes in water pressure. There are two types of backflow: backpressure backflow and backsiphonage. Backpressure backflow occurs when pressure in the septic system is greater than the pressure in your potable water supply. Wastewater is essentially pushed in reverse back into your home. Backsiphonage occurs when there is negative pressure in your home, causing water to get sucked back into your potable water supply. 

  • Testing for Backflow

Preventing backflow is totally possible but requires adequate testing by a qualified plumber. Backflow testing involves testing the pressure within your home’s plumbing system to see which direction the pressure is going and how strong the pressure is. The higher the water pressure leaving your home, the less likely backflow will be. 

  • Prevention Devices

Your qualified plumber can also install a backflow prevention device that will keep wastewater from entering your home’s water supply. Backflow prevention devices have valves that are activated by water pressure moving back towards your home. As backflow begins, the device closes the water line and prevents waste water from flowing in. When the water pressure corrects itself, the valve automatically opens and allows water to flow freely. 

To learn more about backflow prevention, contact the expert plumbers at Bishop Plumbing. We serve the entire Chicago area, including Northbrook, Glenview, Arlington Heights, and Schaumburg. Visit us online or call (847) 960-3698 for backflow testing and device installation.


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