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Last Updated on January 11, 2023 by acechapman
There are many toilet models and designs available today. While this can be great, it can make updating or buying a toilet a little more difficult. It’s easy to see why modern plumbing is confusing many people. That is why we will discuss what toilet anti-siphon is all about.
Anti-siphon or backflow is a more recent term that has entered modern plumbing. Let’s discuss what anti-siphon is in plumbing terms and why you should be concerned about it.
What is an Anti-Siphon Valve?
Anti-siphon valves are a type of backflow prevention that is popular in residential water supply systems. They are easy to install and affordable, making them one of the most widely used backflow preventers.
An anti-siphon valve works by using a mechanical barrier, such as a flap or ball, to block the flow of fluid in the opposite direction. This barrier is typically held in place by a spring and is opened when the fluid is flowing in the correct direction. When the fluid flow stops, the spring closes the barrier, preventing the fluid from flowing back into the system. In addition to toilets, it is also widely used in irrigation, gas, or other systems to prevent backflow.
Limitations of Anti-Siphon Valve
Anti-siphon valves are still a popular backflow prevention method, but they have their limitations. These limitations prevent them from being used in all situations. Here are some limitations to anti-siphon devices:
- The mechanical barrier inside the valve can become stuck or blocked, preventing the valve from functioning properly. This can happen if debris or other contaminants get into the valve.
- Anti-siphon valves are sensitive to changes in pressure and can be difficult to adjust.
- They may not work in extreme low-pressure or vacuum conditions, can’t maintain the seal when the pressure is too low, or becomes a vacuum.
- Some anti-siphon valves may not be appropriate for certain types of fluids or in certain environments. For example, they may not be suitable for use with very hot or very cold fluids, or in areas where there is a risk of freezing.
- Valves may corrode over time, especially in aggressive environments, and can cause leakage.
- They also may require regular maintenance and inspection, like all mechanical devices
Anti-Siphon Prevention: Plumbing Protection
Anti-siphon prevention, from a plumbing standpoint, is a code that protects buildings and homes from low water pressure. Bathroom fixtures are connected to the water supply of the home, which then connects to the community’s or town’s water supply.
Normal pressure allows water to flow into the pipes. However, there are instances when the pressure can drop. One example of this is when the local fire department requires a lot of water to fight a particular fire. Because they are using the most water pressure, the flow to other buildings and homes will drop. It is more likely that water from the pipes will seep back into the plumbing system.
Why is it a problem?
This is a big problem because if water flows back into the pipes, any other debris or particles can cause it to backflow into your toilet. This is particularly true for older toilets without anti-siphon protection. If you use a tank cleaner to clean these older toilets, backflow can be a problem. The cleaning agent will seep into your water supply and begin coming out of the sink or bathtub.
Modern toilets have anti-siphon protection built in. However, if your toilet is older, it could be vulnerable to backflow. How do you find out if your toilet is protected from backflow? Check the ballcock, the refill valve inside your toilet tank, for the words “antisiphon” and “code-approved.” This will help you determine if your toilet is protected against backflow.
Sometimes, the tank’s fill valve might be too small. This can cause water to rise above the valve, and possibly overflow. Calling an expert plumber is your best option to get the parts you need.
Why Not A Toilet Anti-Siphon?
Although it may not seem like a big deal, having an anti-siphon toilet can result in higher water bills. This is something no homeowner wants to have to worry about. If the water from the tank is not flowing over the fill valve, it can then cause water to cycle through your pipes, leading to higher utility bills.
While toilet anti-siphon devices can be effective in preventing backflow, they are not always the best solution for every situation. There are several reasons why a toilet anti-siphon might not be an option:
- They may not be required by local codes: Depending on the building codes in a particular area, a toilet anti-siphon may not be necessary or even allowed.
- Anti-siphon toilets may not be suitable for certain types of plumbing systems: For example, if a toilet is installed in a location where the water supply is under constant pressure, an anti-siphon device may not be needed.
- They can be expensive: Installing an anti-siphon device in a toilet can be costly and may not be necessary for certain situations.
- Can be difficult to install or maintain: Some toilet anti-siphon devices can be difficult to install and may require specialized tools or knowledge to service or replace.
- They can cause water hammer: Some anti-siphon valves can cause water hammer, a banging sound that occurs when a valve or faucet is suddenly closed.
- In some situations, other forms of backflow protection may be more appropriate: For example, if there is a risk of backflow from multiple fixtures, it may be more effective to install a backflow preventer on the main water supply line, instead of installing multiple anti-siphon devices in each fixture.
To summarize, newer toilet models have anti-siphon or backflow prevention devices that keep your home clean and free from pollution. These preventative valves keep your family and bathroom safe from sewage gases, soil-ridden water, and other contaminants that can flow back into your water supply in low-pressure situations.
Backflow can occur due to high water demands (such as fire department), freezing pipes, and main bursts. It is safer to be safe than sorry. Look for toilets that comply with backwater codes. You can also hire a professional plumber to ensure your toilet has antisiphon protection. It is worth making a small investment to save thousands later.
Remember to check our top-rated toilet reviews and toilet-buying guides.