St. Paul, Minnesota
1465 Selby Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55104
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What Causes Backflow & How to Prevent It October 8, 2019

St. Paul, Ramsey
What Causes Backflow & How to Prevent It, St. Paul, Minnesota

The inflow of water should only come from one direction. However, sudden and unexpected shifts in pressure leave you with backflow that could potentially contaminate your fresh drinking and bathing water. Backflow testing is a fantastic way to ensure that the pressure in your plumbing is sufficient enough to flush out wastewater. If you are wondering how backflow works and how to prevent it, below are the fundamentals of this issue.

What is Backflow?

Backflow occurs when there is a change in the pressure, and the flow of water in your home reverses itself. The usual sources of backflow include the toilets, dishwasher, washing machine, or even your swimming pool or lawn sprinklers.

The most common reasons for a backflow include a broken water main, an open fire hydrant, or a pump failure at your local municipal pumping station. While these are typically not circumstances you can prevent, there are ways to help resolve a backflow in your home.

How to Prevent a Backflowbackflow testing

Hose Bib

Hose bibs are used for residential plumbing and help protect your single flow water outlets such as faucets and sinks. These compact devices consist of small springs that maintain the correct water pressure and keep it flowing in one direction. A quick backflow testing will identify the faucets in your home that need such a device.

Pressure Type Vacuum Breaker

If you have a sprinkler system installed in your yard, you can install a pressure type vacuum breaker in the pipes supplying water to the system to keep water pressure at optimum levels. A pressure type vacuum breaker holds a valve that closes when the system is not being used to help prevent backflow.

Air Gap

Backflow testing will identify where your pipes lack sufficient air gaps or pressure that’s allowing for the backflow to occur. Usually, an air gap is created right above the highest possible water level of an appliance such as a sink. The pocket of air keeps contaminated water from flowing back up.


If you’re looking for a trusted plumbing expert to perform backflow testing on your home’s pipes, then contact the team at Norblom Plumbing in St. Paul, MN. With a staff of licensed plumbers, these experts are waiting to help you with any of your toilet, leaky faucet, or backflow problems. If you need to schedule an appointment, call (612) 827-4033 or visit them online for more information on all of your plumbing needs. 

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