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Preventing the Horrors of Backflow With Backflow Testing This Halloween

2 min read • October 19th, 2022

Heil Plumbing

What Exactly is Backflow?

One of the most basic functions of any plumbing system is keeping water flowing in the right direction. Not only does this keep things working properly, but it also helps prevent issues like overflow and contamination. However, sometimes an unwanted direction change of water flow can occur and cause water contamination. This is called backflow, and it can be extremely dangerous to public health

Fortunately, backflow can be prevented with backflow prevention devices installed in the system. But when these devices malfunction, backflow can happen. This is why backflow testing is so essential. It checks that backflow preventers are still functioning. 

How Dangerous is Backflow?

The most dangerous effect of backflow is water contamination. There have been several well-documented incidents in which backflow did cause contamination of water supplies, which created a public health hazard. Whether it’s sewage, agricultural runoff, or simply water used for bathing, it can all pose a health risk to anyone exposed to the contaminated water. 

There are some laws that require businesses and multi-family dwellings to have regular backflow testing done to prevent future issues like this. But single-family homes are also at risk for backflow. And even if contamination doesn’t happen, it can still cause other problems like water damage, sewage backup, and leaks. This is why backflow testing is so important. 

What Backflow Testing Entails

Backflow prevention devices are relatively simple, but they can malfunction. And when they do, it can be disastrous for the household. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible for homeowners to tell when a backflow prevention device has failed until it’s too late and they start to notice the effects. Luckily, professional plumbing companies have certified backflow testers ready to check that these devices are functioning. It’s recommended backflow testing be performed annually.

The backflow testing process is simple and relatively quick when done by a certified backflow tester. It generally takes less than an hour, during which the home’s water will need to be turned off. The plumbing technician will verify that all components of the backflow prevention device are working properly. This means verifying that airports close and open when they should and checking proper valve function. 

Why Backflow Testing is Important

It’s easy to take clean water for granted. People bathe in water, drink it, wash clothes and dishes with it, and cook with it. And unless there’s a visible change to the water, or it starts to smell strange, it’s hard for homeowners to tell if their water is contaminated or not. This is why backflow testing is so important. 

Backflow testing can ensure that backflow prevention devices are functioning as they should. These devices are a home or business’s first line of defense against backflow. If they’re working properly, a sudden loss of pressure (the most common cause of backflow) won’t allow any water to flow back into the plumbing system. Not only does this help the home’s water stay safe, but it also prevents water damage and sewage backup. This testing, done routinely by an expert, is all homeowners need to avoid the horrors of backflow this Halloween.  

About Heil Plumbing

Heil Plumbing is a local, family-owned company serving its neighbors in Jessup, MD, and the surrounding areas since 1977. They provide straightforward pricing and top-of-the-line service. Call them today for backflow testing and repair services in Maryland.


Heil Plumbing Team

8177 Mission Rd Jessup, MD, 20794, United States

(410) 799-7727

Schedule Service


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