Homeowners expect their plumbing to work properly in order to avoid their water being contaminated. However, when their plumbing breaks, it can lead to several problems, including the risk of unsafe potable water in the house. Specifically, when the device that is meant to prevent dirty water from re-entering your potable water breaks, the backflow, the entire house is suddenly at risk of contamination. The good news is that there are some signs that indicate when a backflow needs to be repaired or replaced. Here’s what you should look for if you suspect your backflow is broken.

Strange Smells and Tastes

One of the first indicators of a broken backflow is strange smells or tastes coming from your water supply. If you’re using tap water with an odd odor, such as sulfur, there could be something wrong with the device regulating it. This could be caused by damage to the valve or pipe, which would decrease performance and increase the chances of contaminants entering the system. It’s a good idea to call a plumber as quickly as possible if you notice any suspicious scents or flavors coming out of your faucets.

Signs You're Dealing With a Broken Backflow

Discolored Water

Another warning sign of a broken backflow is discolored water coming from the faucets. If your water appears cloudy, brown, or red-tinged, it could be a sign of something wrong with the system. This can occur when dirt and debris enter through faulty valves and pipes due to a malfunctioning backflow.

Signs You're Dealing With a Broken Backflow

Unusual Noises

Another sign that something might be amiss with your backflow device is when you hear unusual noises coming from it. This could include hissing, gurgling, or other sounds that shouldn’t emanate from the device. These noises are usually caused by air bubbles forming in the pipes due to decreased pressure or a blockage somewhere in the line. In this case, you’ll want to call for help before further damage occurs.

Signs You're Dealing With a Broken Backflow

Particles in the Water

If you notice that there is sediment or particles in your tap water, it’s likely a sign of a broken backflow. This could be caused by a crack in the valve or pipe, allowing debris such as rust or unwanted minerals to enter the system and contaminate the water. In this case, it’s crucial to call an expert right away, as the particles could be dangerous, and ingesting enough of them will make you sick.

Signs You're Dealing With a Broken Backflow

Increase in Maintenance

Finally, if you find yourself having to do more maintenance on your backflow than usual, this may indicate that something isn’t working properly. The amount of maintenance required will depend on how old your device is and how much wear and tear it has experienced over its lifetime. Still, if there’s an unexpected spike in maintenance requirements, then it’s likely something has gone wrong and needs repairing soon.

Signs You're Dealing With a Broken Backflow

A broken backflow means bad news for homeowners who rely on their devices to keep their water clean and safe from contamination. Fortunately, there are some signs you can look out for if you think yours may be malfunctioning; strange smells and tastes coming out of your tap water, unusual noises emanating from the device itself, and an increase in maintenance requirements are all indicators that something might not be quite right with your backflow system, so make sure to act fast if any of these sound familiar. Remember – prevention is better than cure.