What Causes Backflows

Water systems control the flow in one direction. But sometimes, the condition inside the pipe changes, along with the water flow. This incident poses serious threats to the health of occupants of a building or anyone with access to the water line. This is why backflow testing in San Antonio and other parts of the world is important.

backflow testing

There are two common situations that cause a backflow:

Back siphonage

A sudden drop in water pressure from the main water system can trigger the backflow. This event, called a back siphonage, usually happens during cases of extremely high demands in water use such as firefighting or the breakdown of a water line. As a result, the pressure creates a suction effect, which runs the risk of sucking in dirty water into the main system.

Back pressure

Back pressure happens where there is greater pressure in the private water system than what’s in the main public line. Thermal expansion adds pressure, with one of the main causes being the presence of unvented heating systems inside a home or building. The force that this creates allows the entry of unclean water into the public water system.

The pressure in a water line dictates the flow of the water supply. When this changes, backflows can happen. This is why it is best that owners check their water systems regularly to avoid this kind of trouble and health risk.