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Backflow Valve or Backwater Valve, What is the Difference?

Backflow valves and backwater valves are two important plumbing devices that serve different purposes. Although they both help prevent water from flowing in the wrong direction, they operate differently and are designed for different types of plumbing systems. In this blog, we will discuss the differences between a backflow valve and a backwater valve.


Backflow Valve:


A backflow valve, also known as a backflow preventer, is a device that prevents the reverse flow of water in a plumbing system. This is essential because backflow can cause contaminated water to enter a clean water supply, which can be dangerous for human consumption. Backflow valves are typically installed in commercial and industrial plumbing systems, where the risk of cross-connection between the potable and non-potable water sources is high.


Backflow valves come in different types, including:


Pressure Vacuum Breaker: This type of backflow valve is used in outdoor irrigation systems and swimming pools. It works by allowing air to enter the plumbing system when the pressure drops, preventing water from flowing back into the main water supply.


Double Check Valve: This type of backflow valve is commonly used in commercial and industrial plumbing systems. It features two check valves that prevent water from flowing in the wrong direction.


Reduced Pressure Zone Device: This is the most advanced type of backflow valve, used in large commercial and industrial plumbing systems. It features two check valves and a relief valve, which ensures that water flows in only one direction.


Backwater Valve:


A backwater valve, also known as a sewer backflow valve, is a device that prevents sewage or wastewater from flowing back into a building's plumbing system. This is essential because during heavy rain or flooding, sewage can back up into a building's plumbing system, causing significant damage and health hazards.


Backwater valves are typically installed in residential plumbing systems, particularly in areas prone to flooding. They operate by automatically closing a flap when water starts to flow in the wrong direction, preventing sewage or wastewater from entering a building's plumbing system.


The main types of backwater valves include:


Gate Valve: This is the simplest type of backwater valve, which features a flap that is manually operated to prevent water from flowing in the wrong direction.


Swing Check Valve: This type of backwater valve operates automatically, and features a flap that swings closed when water starts to flow in the wrong direction.


Automatic Gate Valve: This is the most advanced type of backwater valve, which operates automatically and features a motorized gate that closes when water starts to flow in the wrong direction.


Conclusion:


In summary, while both backflow valves and backwater valves prevent water from flowing in the wrong direction, they serve different purposes and operate differently. Backflow valves are used in commercial and industrial plumbing systems to prevent contamination of the potable water supply, while backwater valves are used in residential plumbing systems to prevent sewage or wastewater from backing up into the building. It's essential to choose the right type of valve for your plumbing system to ensure optimal performance and prevent potential health hazards.


Backflow valves and backwater valves are essential plumbing devices that require specialized knowledge and skills to install and maintain properly. While some plumbers may offer services related to these devices, it is not recommended to use just any plumber for these services.


Instead, it is important to seek out specialized professionals who have the expertise and experience in dealing specifically with backflow valves and backwater valves. At Markham Backflow Plumbing Services, we specialize in backflow valve repairs, services, and installations. Our team of certified plumbers has the knowledge and experience to ensure that your backflow valve or backwater valve is installed and maintained properly, reducing the risk of contamination and potential health hazards.


Using a specialized plumber like those at Markham Backflow Plumbing Services ensures that your plumbing system is in good hands, and you can have peace of mind knowing that your water supply and plumbing system are protected. Don't take chances with your plumbing system and the health of your family or employees. Contact us today for all your backflow valve and backwater valve needs.


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