Prevention and Repairs

Backflow Device Testing

Water that flows into your home should flow in only one direction. Clean water enters, and dirty water exits. And usually, that’s how it works. Sometimes, though, the flow of water changes direction so the dirty water flows back toward the clean. When that happens, you have backflow on your hands.

It’s the law that business owners have a backflow test performed annually at their premises, so for this reason, a certified plumbing company needs to perform the test. The backflow testing process typically takes about 20 – 30 minutes to complete. Valves are opened and closed to check for any irregularities.

Drinking water flows through pressurized water taps from the source to your tap. It generally flows in one direction but on some occasions, it may flow in the opposite direction, or “backflow”. Essentially, backflow is when water runs backward through a water system. This water is not drinkable and may contaminate the drinking water supply. Backflow can be caused by a water main break or high demand at a water hydrant and testing is necessary, you can never be sure when backflow is going to happen.

If it’s a home or business, numerous state regulations require a backflow test to be performed annually. A letter from the city will be sent with a backflow test report form a month before it is due. Once you have received this letter, you should contact a licensed professional at Aquifer Mechanical. After being tested and certified by a licensed backflow preventer company, the report must be filed back to the city who sent it.

Once the formalities have been done, the actual test can begin. There are two main purposes of the test, to see if backflow is present and to determine the issue that is causing it, so that it can be fixed. The testing process involves using valves on the backflow testing device, known as gate and relief valves. Essentially the plumber will be closing valves and checking for changes in gauge movement, water leaks and other clear signs.

Specific Criteria for Testing Process

  • To ensure that the check valves prevent backflow.
  • To ensure that the air ports open when they should.
  • To ensure that the relief valves open before the pressure between the check valves is less than 2 PSL below the pressure at the inlet device.
  • Water will be shut off for a while and that they need to make alternative plans for water use or perform the tasks beforehand.