Water is an essential and limited resource, and ensuring its safety is crucial for both residential and commercial properties. Backflow preventers play a vital role in maintaining the security of the water supply by preventing contamination. In this blog post, we will explore the significance of backflow testing and its benefits for the community, homeowners, and businesses alike.
Understanding Backflow and Its Risks
The water system is a complex series of pipes that are designed to be a one-way delivery system of clean water to your home or business. But sometimes there are instances where there are pressure interruptions or breaks in the line that can cause water to backflow and contaminate the main water supply. There are two different forms of backflow, the first is backpressure, which is when the water downstream overcomes the water distribution systems pressure causing the water to flow in reverse. This can occur from pressurized systems such as boilers, elevated tanks, and pumps that are designed to propel water to higher floors. The other form of backflow is back siphonage, this is when the water pressure significantly drops which causes a vacuum that pulls water out of buildings or homes. This can occur from sudden overuse, fire-fighting emergencies, or other projects that require a significant amount of water in a short period of time.
The Role of Backflow Preventers
Not all buildings and water systems are exactly the same and different facilities require different types of backflow preventers based on the degree of hazard as well as the type of backflow they are protecting against. There are three different types of testable backflow preventers that are approved to protect the water system, Reduced Pressure Zone Assemblies, Double Check Valve Assemblies, and Pressure Vacuum Breakers. Reduced Pressure Zone devices (RPZ) provide the highest level of protection and can be used to protect against both types of backflows. RPZs are designed with 2 internal check valves as well as a relief valve that dumps water if the check valves fail. Due to the fact that RPZs dump water, they should be installed with an air gap as well as installed near a drain to prevent flooding. RPZs cannot be installed in a pit, and must be installed at least 12 inches off of the ground with an air gap on the relief valve. Double Check Valve Assemblies (DCVA) offer protection for low-hazard facilities, they have 2 internal check valves that prevent water from backflowing out of the building. But it is important to note that they do not protect against back siphonage only head pressure. The great thing about DCVAs is that they can be installed in any orientation and can be installed in a pit. The final testable backflow preventer is known as a Pressure Vacuum Breaker (PVB), these devices are typically found in lawn sprinkler systems and protect against high and low-hazard facilities. They have to be installed vertically and must be at least one foot above the highest downstream in the plumbing system. PVBs are only able to protect against back siphonage due to the fact that they only have an air inlet valve and one check valve.
Protecting your Home and Business: Backflow Testing for Residential and Commercial Properties
In the state of New Jersey, backflow preventers are not mandated to be installed on the internal domestic plumbing system of your residence. But they are mandated to be installed on a lawn sprinkler system, it is most common for a Pressure Vacuum Breaker to be used. Most municipalities require the device to be inspected and tested upon installation, no annual test is required. As for commercial properties, a backflow preventer must be installed and tested annually at every property. If you do not have a backflow device installed, you should consult with a licensed Backflow Tester to assess the degree of hazard and choose the appropriate backflow device for your needs.
Benefits of Choosing a Trusted Backflow Testing Service Provider
One of the advantages of becoming a licensed Backflow Tester is that licenses are only individually awarded, each tester must go through a Backflow Prevention Device training course that teaches you the ins and out of these devices and how to properly test them. If you pass the two tests at the end you are awarded with an inspector/tester license. But unfortunately, not all backflow testers are honest and test results are very easy to manipulate. An untrusted tester can easily fail a working device to charge more for labor and repair costs. At Backflow Testing Services, we pride ourselves on giving real test results to ensure the safety of the water supply. We only work with reputable plumbers that we know we can trust to get the job done right. Don’t get caught in a scam, call Backflow Testing Services LLC. and get the job done right the first time.