City life has blessed us with things like clean drinking water, flushable toilets, and all kinds of other fantastic indoor plumbing concepts. Every home is outfitted with a device called a RPZ, otherwise known as a Reduced Pressure Zone. This device protects your water from various contaminants. An RPZ valve is a requirement for every home, or any building that features irrigation, a large boiler, or a fire suppressant system.
An RPZ or backflow device is in place to protect your drinking water. Pesticides and bacteria can enter our water from the weed killers you spray on your lawn, or simply from water reversing the way that it flows in your pipes. Backflow is something to be cautious about because it can happen at the fault of others. There are numerous reasons water can backflow, including city water main break, the use of a fire hydrant, or if the water pressure in your home or the city drops.
If there’s a drop in water pressure, your RPZ valve will open and dump out the water to ensure that contaminated water isn’t flowing through your faucet. Imagine what could happen if this valve wasn’t functioning properly. You could be drinking or bathing in dangerous water. This is how backflow testing comes into play. This is an important step in your routine plumbing maintenance. Backflow can result in mild to severe contamination either through siphoning or pressure from the reversal of water flow, which can result in serious illness, or disease and sometimes even death.
In today's world, the most frustrating part of backflow is sewer back up. Historically you’d be dealing with things like salmonella or typhoid. For the most part these days you’re going to see hazardous chemicals like sodium hydroxide and insecticides enter your water, which is better than dysentery but still pretty bad for your body! The RPZ device is placed at plumbing cross connections in the home, where drinking water is most likely to be contaminated. You can also find RPZ valves placed in your irrigation systems, to avoid the fertilizers you use in your lawn from entering your drinking water. Backflow testing can only be done by a licensed plumber. Lucky for you, we know a guy! Call us today to schedule your annual backflow test, and ensure safe drinking water for your home!
At Tony's Plumbing & Heating, we offer outstanding residential and commercial plumbing and heating services in the East Twin Cities metro. With our blog, we hope to bring you useful tips and tricks for ever day life!