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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.

    Understanding the Anatomy of a Residential Plumbing System

    Last updated 6 years ago

    Every day, we depend on our home’s plumbing to make modern life possible. However, do you ever stop and wonder just how water gets to your home? Take a closer look at how residential plumbing works and how you can do your part to care for it: 

    • Water Sources

    Water in Chicago-area homes and businesses begin in aquifers and Lake Michigan. Municipal plumbing infrastructure carries this water from their original sources to water treatment facilities that ensure the safety and cleanliness of our water supply. From there, it is transported throughout our homes and businesses through the public water-supply system. 

    • Water in Your Home

    Water travels through many miles of plumbing in order to reach your home in Northern Chicago. When it reaches your home, water is forced through your home’s water lines using water pressure. The pressure exerted onto water from the City of Chicago’s water system is strong enough to force water to every fixture through your home. Residential plumbing is designed this way by plumbers and should only be serviced by qualified professionals.

    • Water Billing

    As water flows into your home’s plumbing it passes through a water meter which tracks the amount of water your home uses. This is how your local water utility determines how much you owe. Near the meter is the water shutoff valve, which controls the flow of water through the home. 

    • Water Disposal

    After flowing through your home’s drains, water leaves your home through your sewer lines, which is a separate set of plumbing. Waste water flows out of your home and into Chicago sewer systems, where it is then taken to a plant and recycled for use in other applications. 

    To learn more about municipal and residential plumbing, contact the experts at Bishop Plumbing. We serve the entire Chicago area, including Northbrook, Arlington Heights, Glenview, and Schaumburg. Visit us online or call (847) 960-3698 today to learn more.

    What is Backflow? | Bishop Plumbing

    Last updated 6 years ago

    Often we take the water that comes out of the tap of our homes for granted. You expect it to be clean and safe, but is your water protected from backflow contamination? Backflow is the plumbing term for when contaminated water from various sources falls back into the potable water that comes out of your tap. Fortunately, this is a problem that you or your plumber can fix.

    Assess the Situation

    First, you need to find out if your home is already protected against backflow. Have your plumber inspect your home to see if it is safe. Professional plumbers will be aware of the issues of the neighborhood’s and city’s plumbing systems. They’ll know exactly what to look for in your home and may even be able to test the water for contaminants for you.

    Make a Change

    If your home’s plumbing is at risk of backflow, your plumber will be able to make a recommendation on what to do to fix it. Your plumber will probably recommend either establishing an air gap or installing an atmospheric vacuum breaker, also known as an AVB. These may be things an experienced handyman can do, but are often best left to a professional Chicago plumber.

    Test Regularly

    Once your backflow prevention device is installed, it must be tested every year to ensure that your home is protected from contaminated water. Your professional plumber will check test cocks and shut-off valves to see that the backflow prevention method is working properly.  

    To ensure your home is protected against backflow, call us at Bishop Plumbing. We serve the plumbing needs of Chicago, Glenview, Northbrook, Schaumburg, and Arlington Heights. Visit our website or call us at (847) 960-3698 for an appointment today.  

    Most Common Reasons Why Homeowners Call a Plumber | Bishop Plumbing

    Last updated 6 years ago

    Every homeowner needs the services of a professional plumber from time to time. Plumbers keep clean water coming in and waste water going out. Don’t wait to call a plumber when there’s an emergency. Instead, take a look at these common services of professional Chicago plumbers to see if you’re perhaps neglecting your home’s infrastructure.

    Clogged Drains

    A complete clog demands immediate attention, but slow draining sinks or weak flushing toilets often get neglected. Clogs can stink up a sink area and attract pests like cockroaches. There are many do-it-yourself products and methods for taking care of a slow or clogged drain, but the most efficient way to address the problem is to enlist the service of a local plumber.


    Be prepared for flooding from busted or leaky pipes. Know where the water shut off valve is for your house and have a trusted emergency plumber’s number handy who can help you any time of night. Flooding can quickly damage the rest of your home and even encourage mold growth, posing serious health risks.

    Appliance Maintenance

    Water heaters will run longer and more efficiently if cleaned and serviced annually by a professional plumber. Plumbers also often offer services for other home appliances. You could save a few bucks by bundling your services together with a trusted Chicago plumber.


    Maybe you would like to update the shower head in your bathroom or plan to remodel your kitchen entirely. The best way to be sure you do things right is to enlist the services of a professional Chicago plumber.


    If you need these or any other plumbing services, contact us at Bishop Plumbing. We serve the plumbing needs of Chicago, Glenview, Northbrook, Schaumburg, and Arlington Heights. Visit our website or call us at (847) 960-3698 for an appointment today.

    Water Heater Safety Rules to Keep in Mind | Bishop Plumbing

    Last updated 6 years ago

    Every home has a water heater, but many residents are unaware of the dangers water heaters pose. You don’t have to be an expert plumber, you just have to be aware of some basic water heater safety to keep your home safe. A plumber should check your water heater annually, even if you properly maintain your unit. Follow these helpful water heater safety tips to protect your home and family.


    Turn it Down

    Start by reducing the water heater temperature to about 130 degrees. Many plumbers may initially set your water heater to 140 degrees, but at this temperature the water from your could scald you or someone else in your home. Turning down the temperature will keep the water at a safe temperature and reduce energy costs.


    Check it Out

    Examine your water heater periodically. Check for water leaks of any kind. Sometimes drain valves malfunction, and the leaking water can cause a lot of damage to your home and is extremely wasteful. Check inside the combustion chamber. The flame should be burning mostly blue. The chamber should be relatively free of dust, and the chamber roof free of rust and black soot. Do this about once a month, and have your plumber examine the water heater professionally at least once a year.


    Clean it Up

    Keep the area around the water heater clean and clear. Dust can take years off a water heater’s life. Brooms, paint brushes and other items that commonly get stored in the utility closet can catch fire if placed too close to the combustion chamber or water heater. Your plumber will thank you for a pleasant area to work in, and you’ll reduce the risk of fire and malfunction.


    Schedule an annual check-up for your water heater with Bishop Plumbing. We serve the plumbing needs of Chicago, Glenview, Northbrook, Schaumburg, Des Plaines, and Arlington Heights. Visit our website or call us at (847) 960-3698 for an appointment today.  


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