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How Can I Tell if My Home’s Backflow Preventer Isn’t Working?

Clogged kitchen sink.

As a homeowner, you’ve probably had to deal with your fair share of plumbing problems over the years. One plumbing issue that you may have had to contend with, or may face in the coming years, is backflow. Backflow happens when the water in your plumbing system reverses its flow and goes back to the main supply line. This can create a health hazard, which is why Virginia requires you to have a backflow preventer installed in your home.

Unfortunately, like many other types of plumbing devices, your backflow preventer may malfunction from time to time. If your backflow preventer stops working, your health will be at risk until you get it repaired. However, before you can begin the process of having your backflow preventer fixed, you need to be able to recognize the signs that it’s failing or has failed.

Tips for Determining if Your Home’s Backflow Preventer Isn’t Working Properly

Ignoring a faulty backflow preventer can expose your household to significant health risks. That’s why as a homeowner it's critical to be vigilant and quickly spot any signs of backflow preventer failure. The following are a few tips that can help homeowners determine if their home’s backflow preventer isn’t working properly:

  • Consult a Licensed Plumber – The best and safest way to tell if your home's backflow preventer isn't functioning correctly is to consult a licensed and experienced plumber. A licensed plumber can perform a thorough inspection, detect the issue, and make the necessary repairs. Additionally, plumbers can recommend preventive measures that can help you ensure your backflow preventer continues to work properly after the repairs have been completed.
  • Visible Pipe Misalignment – Backflow preventers typically have visible pipes or connections. A misaligned pipe is one of the common signs that your backflow preventer isn't functioning correctly.
  • Decreased Water Pressure – Another indication that your backflow preventer isn't working properly is if there is a sudden decrease in water pressure. Reduced water pressure could be a sign of a blocked backflow preventer or a damaged valve that requires immediate repair or replacement.
  • Unpleasant Odors – If a backflow preventer fails, it leads to backflow. When backflow occurs, wastewater re-enters your home's plumbing system, leading to contaminated water and an unappealing smell. If you notice a sewage-like smell in your home, this could be an indication of a backflow preventer malfunction. Call a licensed plumber immediately to inspect and fix the issue.
  • Contaminated Water – Contaminated water can be a sign that your backflow preventer is not working correctly. That is because contaminated water is an indicator of backflow. If you’ve noticed that your tap water’s color, taste, or smell has changed, it may be contaminated. If you suspect your water is contaminated, it would be best to avoid using it, especially for cooking or drinking. In addition, you should have your water tested immediately.

Having Trouble with Your Backflow Preventer? Reach Out to Our Plumbers in Richmond Now!

Blazer Heating, Air, and Plumbing has been a trusted expert for plumbing services in Richmond and nearby areas for over 30 years. Whether you're a homeowner or business owner, our team of licensed and insured plumbers is here to assist you. If your backflow preventer is causing you trouble, don't worry, we've got you covered. Reach out to us for prompt and reliable assistance.

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For expert backflow preventer repair in Richmond, reach out to our knowledgeable specialists at (804) 277-2458 or connect with us online. When you contact us, don't forget to inquire about our specials and financing options.

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