Normally, water that enters a building flows in one direction, but backflow occurs when dirty, contaminated water flows in reverse and enters clean water lines because of a change in water pressure. A change in pressure may be caused by a burst water main or increased demand on a water hydrant. Backflow is dangerous because sewage, chemicals, and other harmful materials can contaminate your clean water, presenting a serious health hazard if anyone were to drink or use the water. That’s why annual backflow testing is often required for business owners.
Backflow can be avoided by installing a backflow preventor device. There are several types of backflow preventors, such as a pressure vacuum breaker (PVB), reduced pressure zone (RPZ), and double check valve (DCV). These preventors have varying levels of complexity, but essentially they all use valves to ensure that dirty water won’t enter clean water lines. When you get backflow testing, your plumber can check your backflow preventor to make sure it has been installed properly and is doing its job. Your plumber will also test your plumbing system to check that there is no backflow present and locate any problems.
Backflow testing may seem inconvenient because your plumber will need the water to be shut off to do proper testing. However, planning ahead and making sure everyone who needs to know is aware about the water shutoff will help it seem like less of an interruption. Additionally, backflow testing does not take that long at all! If there are no major issues, your plumber may be able to finish the job in less than an hour.
If you have questions about backflow testing, give us a call at BL Plumbing Service.