At Chicago Backflow, backflow is all we do! After 30 years of being the experts in all things backflow testing, repair, installation and emergencies, we know this industry like the back of our hand, but we realize the world of backflow might be unfamiliar and uncharted territory for you. Keep reading to learn all about what backflow preventer is, what is cross-connection, what causes backflow incidents to occur, and what to do if you need backflow help.  

backflow testing equipment

What is a backflow preventer?  

Backflow preventers are devices that are installed in your commercial or residential property on the water pipes. They ensure that water only flows in one direction. Backflow preventers make certain drinking water doesn’t get contaminated from other sources. If this were to happen, it is called a backflow incident. Backflow preventers also make sure that your neighbors have a clean drinking supply, as well as making sure the city’s main water supply stays clean and free of waste, chemicals, or other contaminants that might flow backward through pipes during a change in water pressure. Illinois and Indiana both require homes and commercial businesses to install backflow prevention devices. Many newer buildings and irrigation systems already come equipped with one or many depending on the size of the building or area.  

What is cross-connection?  

A cross-connection is any potential connection between the public or consumer’s potable water system plus any non-potable source or substance that could present a hazard to the quality of the public or consumer’s potable water system. Backflow testing manages these cross-connections to protect public water safety.   

A backflow preventer

What causes backflow incidents to occur? 

There are two main ways backflow incidents can occur; backpressure or backsiphonage. Backpressure occurs when the pressure within the system becomes greater than the water supply pressure. Backpressure is usually caused by elevated tanks, heating systems, and booster pumps. The other way a backflow incident can occur is backsiphonage. Backsiphonage happens when there is a negative or reduced pressure in the water supply main. The two main causes of backsiphonage are water main breaks or hydrant flushing. These can be very dangerous, which is why it’s important to make sure that your backflow devices are functioning properly or that you even have backflow devices at all!   

What do to if you need backflow help 

The general idea is that you have a backflow preventer installed anywhere a wastewater line might be cross-connected with a water supply where any backflow could occur. Most newly built homes, businesses and irrigation systems should already have backflow preventers installed before reaching main water lines. If you are unsure of whether your property is up to code for your local area, set up an appointment with us and we will send a certified backflow tester out to assist you. They will suggest where you’d need to install any backflow devices.  

Call the experts! We are proud to guarantee on time appointments with reliable professionals. Chicago Backflow has been the trailblazers in the backflow industry for the past 30 years. Call us at (708) 389-5600 or visit our website to schedule a test today. 

Chicago Backflow work vans