What is Backflow and What Causes It?

If your water has started looking or tasting weird, it is possible you have a backflow problem. Backflow is when the incoming water starts moving the wrong way at some point. This can cause the water to mix with toxic or dirty water in the process and the water is tainted by the time it comes out of your faucet or shower head.

What Causes Backflow?

There are two possible reasons backflow may be occurring:

  1. Back Pressure: Pressure from somewhere further down the lines may be forcing  water back into the line.
  2. Back Siphonage: This happens when the pressure from the water supply becomes less than the pressure in the plumbing system.

 

There are multiple ways to fix a backflow problem. Here are the fixes along with a short description:

  1. Horsebib Backflow Preventer – This device can be installed at a single outlet. There is a spring in the device that assures the water flows only one direction.
  2. Pressure Type Vacuum Breaker – The device can be installed in the home’s main inline and will close a valve when a senor tells it the water is flowing the wrong way.
  3. Barometric Loop – This device is shaped like the letter “U” and can help prevent backflow by being installed upstream from a cross connecting pipe. This type can only be used for the back siphonage problem.

If you need help with a suspected backflow problem, it may be the wisest move to call a professional and have it tested first and if there is a problem, have it fixed quickly and correctly.

We are certified backflow testers. We can test to see if you have backflow and recommend the best way to fix it.

Water Conservation

lake meadThere are some people that may think the idea of water conservation is a ploy or political trick to sway people to think or vote a certain way. But, there are indisputable facts when it comes to Earth’s fresh water.

  1. There is a finite supply. Only 1% of Earth’s water is fresh water, ie., water than can be ingested by animals. The rest is salt water or frozen in glaciers. The amount of energy it takes to work on the Earth’s glaciers or to run desalinization plants is enormous.
  2. Places like Nevada and California are running out of water. Some people call it a twenty year drought. But in reality the population size on this region and its consumption of a finite resource is emblematic of what will happen to the rest of the world as time moves forward. The pipes that drain water from Lake Mead are being drilled lower and lower as the lake is being drained dry.
  3. There is already enormous water consumption by the average American family. They use an average of 1136 liters per day. This is used for everything from drinking it, flushing it and bathing in it.

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Plumbing Tips for Hurricane Season

hurricane plumbing tipsHurricane season is not over, unfortunately. Sometimes we make it into September and October and think that we escaped another hurricane season then trouble starts brewing in the Atlantic. The season doesn’t officially end until the end of November.

We have put together this short list of plumbing tips for hurricane season to help prepare for such an event.  Continue reading

Signs There is a Problem with Main Sewer Line

mains ewer line problemsThe main sewer line connects your home system to the main sewer. It is usually run under your from yard toward the street in front of your house and may run under the driveway. Problems do occur with this connection and this article will discuss some of the signs and symptoms that there may be a problem with your main sewer line.

Slow drainage: Although this doesn’t mean you definitely have a problem with your main line it is one of the symptoms. It is best to try to see if there is a clog in your drains first.  Continue reading

Interesting History of Modern Plumbing

plumbing toilet historyUsually we include helpful tips and tricks to help our readers repair plumbing problems. Or we will warn about the pitfalls of certain behaviors that can cause problem plumbing. Today, we are changing it up a little. We will be writing a brief article about the history of modern plumbing. We hope that you find it interesting.

#1 – The Origins of the Word Plumber

The word can be traced back to our friends the Romans. They took it from the Latin “plumbum”, which meant lead. Piping was made with lead back then and Romans who worked with lead were called “Plumbarius”. Continue reading

Plumbing Problems as a Result of Heavy Rains

plumbing problems associated with rain in Central FloridaCentral Floridians know about rain. We live through several months where it basically rains every day, sometimes two or three times a day. So, what effect can all this rain have on a plumbing system?

Heavy rains can flood your yard and cause the plumbing pipes buried in your yard to burst. You can usually tell that this has happened when your yard remains flooded even when the rains have subsided.  You may also notice foul smell if the damaged pipe is related to the sewer system.  Continue reading

Most Commons Plumbing Issues Associated with Summer

summer time plumbingSummer is definitely upon us. The nights are warm and the days are hot. Daylight has been more and more abundant. In fact, we are only a week away from the longest day of the year, the summer solstice.

That got me thinking: what are the most common plumbing problems this time of year? So, I put together a list below:

  1. Washing machine problems – The washing machine is used very frequently in the summer time. Kids make their clothes dirty all day and the laundry piles up. More use of the machine means more drain build up. Plumbers get lots of calls related to washing machine drains in the summer.
  2. Sprinkler issues – The lawn is thirsty this time of year and water sprinklers are working over time. More use means more of a chance for them to break. One should check their system for leaks and make sure the heads are clean.
  3. Backed up shower drains – Heat plus more daylight equals more showers. The family must stay clean and that means more shower use. More soaps are washed down the drain as a result. Soapy residue and hair make for bad clogs. Make sure to keep pipes clear by occasionally applying liquid plumbing treatment.
  4. Clogged toilets – The incidents of clogged toilets goes up in the summer as well. The kids are home all day and, well, let’s just say stuff happens. When you have a severe blockage it is best to have a professional plumber address the problem.
  5. Insufficient Sump Pumps – We don’t have basements in this area but people who live in low laying areas have water infiltration around their house. They employ sump pumps to keep the water at bay. This time of year with all the rain, those pumps can become overwhelmed. Make sure you have the right pump for the space you are keeping clear.

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Recovering from Water Damage

home floodingYou may have seen the flooding that it happening up north on the news. Flooding can happen to most people in a bad enough storm. It is important to have a plan ready in case of flooding.

Or you may suffer from a burst pipe sometime in the future. In any event, it is always a good idea to be prepared and know what to do if a large amount of water is entering your home. Continue reading

Substances That Cause Household Drain Clogs

clogged drainYou probably have suffered from clogged drains before and were able to resolve it either using a commercial drain cleaner or by calling a professional plumber. We all know that drains get clogged, but what are they clogged with? Here is a list of the six most common reasons for the clog:

  1. Hair – Human hair is designed to protect us from sun and weather. But it is also designed to replace itself in a cycle over time. This means that your hair is constantly falling out. Most of the time this occurs in your shower and when you wash your hair or shave.
  2. Soap – Soap re-solidifies once it has collected and cools. This goes for all soap types. These soaps include hand soap (major culprit), shampoos, laundry soap and dish soap.
  3. Dirt – Dirt makes for a great component with the soap mentioned above. It adds strength to the clog and allows it to congeal.
  4. Food Waste – Even if you don’t have a garbage disposal, food is getting into your drains. When you wash dishes or rinse a plate off, it travels down the drain in small bits that will latch onto the existing drain clog.
  5. Minerals – Minerals are in water. They are especially in hard water or unfiltered water. If you have a well for your water, then you know this fact all too well. Minerals start building microscopically and can be seen over long periods of time causing buildup.
  6. Toilet Paper – It’s a fact of life: we all need toilet paper. And no matter how biodegradable this stuff is, it can still cause buildup in your sewage drains.  The paper latches onto existing clogs and allows it to compound itself.

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Smelly Drain? Here are Some Tips

Summer time is upon us in Melbourne Florida. It’s hot every day now and as a result, some sewer gases may creep back through the pipes into your house. If you have a smell that is emanating from your drain that seems to be sewer gas, you will want to call a professional plumber. But, if you think the smell just may be old food particles, then you may want to try a few of these home remedies.

  1. Baking Soda, Vinegar and Hot Water – Dump a handful of baking soda into your drain. Let it sit for a bit (about 15 minutes). Then pour half a cup of vinegar on top of it (wait another 15 minutes). Finally, follow with a pot of very hot water. Be careful and do not burn yourself. This trick seems to work for many people.
  2. Baking Soda, Lemon Juice and Hot Water – This is similar to the first trick. Just replace the vinegar with lemon juice. It smells nicer but has the same effect because it is acidic.
  3. Boiling Water – The power of boiling water is real. If it is hot enough to kill bacteria in food, then it is hot enough to kill bacteria in your sink. Heat it up and dump in down.
  4. Commercial Drain Cleaners – These cleaners may cost 5 or 6 bucks for a bottle but if you follow the directions and apply to your drain properly you can really eliminate a lot of the build up that occurs. These cleaners use more powerful ingredients than vinegar and lemon so handle with care.

If the smell persists after trying these methods, please feel free to give us a call at Space Coast Plumbing Inc. 321-725-5996