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Water Powered Sump Pump Backflow Prevention

What is backflow, and what does it have to do with water-powered backup sump pumps?

water-powered sump pump backflow preventionIn the plumbing industry, the term "backflow" refers to dirty or used water reversing direction and flowing backwards into a clean water source, like your municipal water supply.

Of course, plumbing codes mandate that home plumbing systems include protective features to keep this from happening. However, if your plumbing system is not properly protected, a backflow problem could occur if the municipal water system suddenly loses pressure, from an event like a water main break, for example. Dirty water could be siphoned backwards from your home into the clean water source, since the city water system would suddenly have a lower water pressure than your home's plumbing system.

To prevent this from taking place, municipalities require that appropriate backflow prevention measures are installed, both within a home's plumbing system and also where items like a sprinkler system or a water driven sump pump are being used.

Water Powered Sump Pumps

backflow preventer water powered sump pumpTraditional water powered backup sump pumps, located down in the sump pit, have discharge pipes filled with dirty sump water. Left unprotected, this water could potentially be siphoned backwards into the clean municipal water source if a sudden loss of city water pressure occurred. To guard against this, plumbing authorities generally require that homes with traditional water powered sump pumps install a Reduced Pressure Zone (RPZ) backflow preventer.

These devices bring some complexities, however. They are expensive, often costing $150 or more and requiring a $70 to $80 annual certification by an inspector. In addition, they usually need to be reported to your city's plumbing authority. Finally, further complicating matters, they reduce the pump's power by restricting the water flow going to the pump.

Unfortunately, homeowners regularly find themselves in trouble with their city's plumbing authorities because they lack sufficient backflow prevention for these traditional water powered sump pumps. Consequently, they are often forced to either install the expensive RPZ device or remove the pump.

Here at Water Damage Defense, we carry water powered sump pump systems that have solved this problem for homeowners. Many of the Basepump water powered sump pumps we sell come with built-in "Vacuum Breaker" backflow preventers (RB750-EZ, RB750-AVB, HB1000-PRO, HB1000-AVB, and CB1500-AVB).

Basepump vacuum breakers meet industry standards (ASSE Listed, CSA Certified, IAPMO Listed), and most municipalities recognize them as effective ways to prevent backflow problems. As the only ceiling-mounted water powered sump pump on the market, Basepump is the only one that can use a vacuum breaker. By "breaking" the suction vacuum of a backflow condition, these vacuum breakers operate automatically to protect your clean water source from backflow, without reducing the pump's pumping capacity. To learn more about how these unique pumps work, see our Basepump fact page.

This article is intended for informational purposes. Before beginning any construction project at your home, please ensure that you take necessary safety precautions and consult construction professionals whenever necessary.