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What to Expect During a Backflow Preventer Inspection

March 03, 2017

Backflow is bad news. Whether it comes in the form of backpressure backflow or backflow siphonage, the unfortunate occurrence of non-potable water streaming back into the usable water supply is a serious potential health crisis situation. If the pressure in the hoses changes for any reason due to pipes freezing, water main bursts or when multiple fire hydrants are opened at once, there is a greater chance for there to be a flow reversal.

To prevent this undesirable circumstance, a backflow prevention device is required, in addition to regular checkups. Backflow testing, therefore, is a critical part of the annual maintenance you should undertake for your business. In some places, such as Ohio, businesses (and some residences) with commercial sprinkler systems are forced to have their backflow prevention assemblies tested annually by a certified backflow inspector. What should you expect during such an inspection?

Types of backflow prevention devices

In terms of the equipment that will be checked, there are two possible options: a reduced pressure principle device or double check valves. Both include a mechanical backflow preventer – essentially, a physical barrier to the backflow.

In order to prevent backflow siphonage, which is the reversal of a normal septic system flow, you should have professionals determine the pressure within your plumbing and see if it's in any danger of causing a problem like this.

What should you know?

In circumstances where the backflow prevention device should be inspected annually, be sure to partner with a backflow trained and licensed professional who has plenty of experience in the area. When testing the device, the backflow certified plumber will first turn off the downstream shut-off valve and wait for a few minutes, and then he’ll test the pressure in the system by hooking up test kit hoses. The plumber is basically looking for areas where the pressure isn't what it should be.

The cost of having your backflow preventer inspected varies based on your location and the companies you may choose from. In order to make sure contaminants from animal feces, pesticides and fertilizers aren't getting into your drinking water, however, it's critical to partner with a company that's been around for a long time and has a stable of experienced certified backflow professionals at its beck and call.

For more information about our backflow preventer inspection services and to learn why backflow prevention devices are critical for public health, contact your local plumbing experts at Roto-Rooter today.

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