Not only is it important to get your backflow prevention assemblies tested often, but its the LAW. For good reason too, It ensures the health of not only you but the other around you in the community.
What is Backflow
Backflow is exactly what it sounds like. Have you ever turn on the tub or kitchen sink only to find dirty, unclear, or even contaminated water? The cause of these conditions is often backflow.
Backflow occurs when contaminated water is allowed to backflow into the water supply. It is cause by a decrease in pressure from the water supply. When the supply pressure decreases it allows water to flow backwards and can cause a suction. When this reverse suction occurs it is referred to as back siphon-age.
Another form of backflow is caused by back pressure. Back pressure occurs when the water in a non potable system has higher pressure than the potable system which can reverse the flow of water. Both of these occurrences are equally dangerous and fixable with backflow prevention services.
Also visit our Orange County backflow testing page
Can we prevent backflow and siphon-age?
For the sake of our health it’s good to know that yes, we can in fact prevent backflow and back siphon-age. Prevention of backflow is done with the use of backflow assemblies. There are 4 main types of backflow prevention assemblies
- Air Gap
- Double Check Assembly
- Reduced Pressure Principal Assembly
- And Pressure Vacuum Breaker Assembly
The assembly used is Determined by the severity of hazard, and the potential risk it can cause. In most cases a certain assembly is required by law. Not installing and testing your backflow(s) properly could result in legal issues and is not recommended.
*Unless the valve is 4″ or larger in which case the price for the additional test(s) will remain $75
Due to the seriousness of backflow and the prevention of backflow you need to be a contractor with state licensing in order to repair a backflow. The same goes for the installation of a backflow. A company with a state accepted contracting licence must be the installer of the assembly.
When a backflow has begun to fail it usually means something is leaking and allowing backflow. It is important that this issue get fixed right away. In fact it is so important that it is also now the law. Most commonly a rebuilt kit will need to be installed. these kits usually contain replacement rubber parts for all the seals that are consealed inside the assembly. because the backflows check valves are usually spring loaded, taking them apart can be extreme dangerous. Give us a call today to schedule any repairs your backflows may need!
In some more serious cases you may not have a repairable problem, Or the manufacture may have discontinued making parts for your backflow. In this case you will need to replace the backflow with a newer model. It is important that you use the right size assembly for your water service. Often it is important to inspect what the water is feeding to make sure the assembly you install does not restrict flow to much for the current conditions.
Testing a backflow is an important maintenance step. The testing of a backflow by law is required once a year. If it is found that your backflow is old and constantly failing it can be required to be tested even more frequent than that. These test our to insure that the backflow is still doing its job to a degree of standard.
Backflow Certified Testers
When getting a backflow tested many counties or cities require the test to obtain certification to test in their jurisdiction. On the test form it will ask the tester to identify there certification number, and if they don’t have one they can not turn in the test form. This is done to prevent improper testing of backflow assemblies. The reason different areas require their own certification is because they may have different water conditions than other area so its important the tester know how to test their area specifically.
Installing a backflow can be a difficult task. not only is the sizing and pressure loss important to note but the location is sometimes mandated by codes. If the orientation or location of the backflow is improper it can be required to be re installed, sometimes costing thousands of dollars. Depending on the location there can also be minimum and maximum height requirements. The backflow may also require an enclosure or insulation. make sure you have a professional install it the first time around to avoid any head aches.