Your faucet drinking water is clean thanks to a backflow preventer. The last thing you want is waste and pesticides to flow backward and contaminate your drinking water.
Occasionally, a backflow preventer can leak, which is a severe problem. A backflow preventer cannot protect your drinking water if the preventer is leaking or damaged. You will need to call a professional plumber to fix the problem.
There are several reasons why your backflow preventer may be leaking.
What causes backflow?
Backflow happens when pressure changes in the plumbing cause water to flow reverse. This can occur when the pressure in your water tank falls below the pressure in your home’s water line. It can also happen when there is a break in the main water line or when the fire department uses a fire hydrant.
When pressure changes, the backflow preventer acts as a one-way gate to stop backflow from entering your drinking water unless something causes it to leak.
High pressure can open the pressure relief valve on your backflow preventer. This can cause water to leak and discharge from the pressure relief valve until the water pressure returns to the appropriate level.
Debris can sometimes clog the pressure relief valve and prevent it from closing correctly. If the leak is continual and does not let up, debris is likely the problem. Fortunately, it is easy for a licensed plumber to remove the debris and fix the leak simply. If the leak persists, the debris may be located deep within the system, or there may be another problem.
Head assembly malfunction
The head assembly is a critical component of your backflow preventer. If it is not placed correctly, it can cause your backflow preventer to leak. If you installed the head assembly yourself, it is easy to install it incorrectly. That is why we always recommend having the work performed by a licensed plumber.
First, the plumber must install the timer before the head assembly, or the pressure will not be even, resulting in leaks. The head assembly and other surrounding parts must be tightened by hand. These parts must not be too loose or too tight. It is also essential that the head assembly not be placed unevenly, resulting in leaks.
Other signs of trouble to look for with a backflow preventer
In addition to leaking issues, there are other signs your backflow preventer may require repair:
- The water is interrupted or slow-moving.
- The water smells or tastes bad.
- There are visible signs of sediment or rust in the water.
- Some drains have increased water levels, while others have decreased water levels.
- The water is discolored.
Need help with your backflow preventer? Call Boston Plumbers 911
If you need help inspecting or repairing your backflow preventer, call Plumbers 911. We are a network of licensed Boston plumbers who can improve your backflow preventer and ensure your drinking water stays clean.