Go Green Solutions - Backflow test - Don't waste water

Backflow Testing – You Can Do It Yourself…

What is backflow?

The term is used to describe the unintentional or sudden reversal of the flow of water in a system. The result of such a reversal is pollution or contamination of a clean water supply by particles, gas, or other mixtures. Basically used water or water exposed to contaminants mixes with the clean water intended for use in a home or business, resulting in unsafe water.

Why do I need backflow testing?

Yearly backflow testing is required in many states and the responsibility of doing so rests on the property owner. The backflow prevention device located at the front of a property must be checked every year to ensure it’s functioning properly. If any malfunctions are found, repairs need to be done immediately. The testing requirement is meant to protect your water supply and the health of everyone on your property.

The test itself is very simple. A technician arrives and connects a testing kit to a port located on the device. He or she will shut off all downstream water before performing the test. In most cases, you don’t even need to be home to have this done. Unless the backflow preventer is located inside a locked property, in which case you will need to be present to let the technician access it.

What are some common reasons you would fail the test?

It doesn’t happen often, but when you fail a backflow test it is usually due to water pressure or quality, extreme weather conditions, or a worn or broken part like an o-ring, seal, or spring. A technician will be able to quickly locate the problem and replace or repair as needed. Soon enough your water will be safe to turn on again.

Can I fix a backflow preventer myself?

You can attempt this, but with caution and some research first. Take a look at diagrams for device parts – this should help you disassemble and reassemble a device for a repair. The most common mistake of a DIY repair is failing to put back a backflow device correctly.

How do I find a reputable backflow testing company?

Ask other property owners or professional you trust what company they use. Also checking reviews written by customers on local companies really helps. There are some backflow testers out there who take advantage of frantic property owners who wait until the last minute to test. The will charge much higher than necessary because they know the test is required. With a little careful research this should never happen to you. You can then rely on the same company to return year after year without having to ever stress about it.

In order to keep people safe, make sure you get the necessary tests and implement the required prevention. If you are unsure of how to test and prevent backflow on your own, hire a professional that knows what they are doing. Do not wait until it is too late. You hold the responsibility to keeping your systems safe.

Featured images:

Sean Thomas is a Certified Backflow Prevention Specialist at Simply Backflow who is board certified and state certified in the repair and implementation of backflow prevention devices.

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