Staying Cool and Safe This Summer
Summer is in full swing! The kids are out of school and everyone is looking for a way to keep cool. While some of us are enjoying cool, air-conditioned homes, others are heading outside to cool off with the backyard hose. That means the kids are running water through the outside taps. They’re filling up their kiddie pools, water balloons, and water guns and having the time of their lives. Every year, we talk a lot about checking your outside taps and hoses before the cold weather sets in to prevent icy disasters, but you can encounter problems in the summer as well. Before the kids go out to play, you want to make sure all the hose connections are safe and up to code. Every year, it’s good to check the pipes for potential leaks, along with the hose connection itself. After all, you don’t want water leaking through that connection, which can cause rot and deterioration around the tap. The most important thing to be aware of, however, is the backflow prevention device. The backflow device is a type of valve designed to help keep the drinking water supply free of contaminants. Most homes should be equipped with this device, and it’s something you want to make sure is working properly. If your home’s water is clean and the water pressure is good, then the backflow device is doing its job. That said, there are things that can disrupt the device. For example, if water pressure drops too far, contaminated water can flow back into your water system. But that hose connection could spell trouble.
Water pressure drops are often caused by pipe leaks or breaks within the home or along the pipe outside the home. Even a fire hydrant discharge can cause a drop in water pressure if that hydrant is connected to the same pipe system as your home.
“The most important thing to be aware of, however, is the backflow prevention device.”
When water pressure drops, dirty water can enter the system and cause big problems. For one, no one likes to shower in dirty water, but worse, this water can be a carrier for all kinds of bacteria. If this water is ingested, you and your kids can get sick.
Along this same line, as a general rule of thumb, you should never drink out of a hose. Hoses are often used on an infrequent basis, so water doesn’t always get flushed out. This makes the inside of a hose a breeding ground for bacteria and other grime. Before the kids and pets play in the water, it’s good to flush out the hose for a few minutes. Let the water run before filling up a pool or before the kids run around in the sprinkler. If you have any questions about your home’s backflow prevention device or the outside taps, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’re here to help your family stay safe — and cool — this summer. As always, we’re standing by the phone, ready to take your call 24/7. Our technicians can take care of all of your plumbing, drainage, heating, and air conditioning needs.
From all of us at Lewis MacLean, here’s to a fun and safe summer!
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