Prevention of cross contamination of non-potable water to potable water systems and tidal backups from a larger drain system are an important concern that need to be addressed in any plumbing system.

Backflow Valves

Backflow valves for domestic water protection are double isolation valves that need to be tested and certified annually. They are required to be installed and undergo continual testing for potable water protection/separation from fire sprinklers, hot water, and steam systems. Cross contamination of a potable water system can cause serious health risk to you and others. It is important to close an exposed system and provide the required testing. When a system is closed and there is a heating device on the closed side there must be a thermal expansion tank installed to compensate for the thermal pressure fluctuation.

O’Grady Plumbing offers annual backflow inspections. We store all files digitally to create access easy for you.

Backwater Valves

A backwater valve is installed to protect your home or business from a massive backup of the larger sewer system, which your house sewer dumps into. A backwater valve is a mechanical device that can get stuck in the open position. This usually happens from an obstruction that does not belong in the line. The backwater valve has a door that swings one way and can freeze over time due to non-lubrication. Sewage backwater valves can only be installed when the drain it serves is lower than the lowest gravity-draining orifice respective to the gravity system it is tying into. We recommend strict adherence to what cannot go down the line when a backwater valve exists because they are prone to get clogged easily. It is also a good idea to have a visual inspection done once a year to ensure performance when needed.

Sump pumps and sewage ejectors have similar devices called check valves that work on a vertical pump discharge line. There are check valves used on domestic water systems to stop thermal cross over, and to maintain directional flow on a line with multiple pressure sources.

Another thing to consider when addressing backflow prevention is to make sure you have vacuum breakers on all handheld devices and hose faucets.